Shatter warns against US 'Big Brother' tactics
THE US has defended its use of controversial data surveillance equipment after Justice Minister Alan Shatter said citizens had the right to use modern technology without feeling 'Big Brother' was watching.
He was commenting after he and EU officials pressed US Attorney General Eric Holder (pictured) for assurances that the system exposed by ex-CIA officer Edward Snowden does not infringe on European citizens' privacy rights.
Defending the use of data surveillance, Mr Holder said that it was only used in specific circumstances under court order.
Mr Holder was speaking after he and the US Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security attended a meeting in Dublin with Irish and EU officials.
And he revealed that the person responsible for leaking information would be "held accountable".
Irish and EU concerns about how the US seized data from internet and phone firms was raised at the meeting.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Shatter said that they recognised that the protection of European and US citizens from terrorist attacks was "hugely important".
"But also important for European citizens is their right to privacy and that they can use modern technology without feeling 'Big Brother' is watching," he said.