In this image made from video released by WikiLeaks on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden speaks during a presentation ceremony for the Sam Adams Award in Moscow, Russia. Snowden was awarded the Sam Adams Award, according to videos released by the organization WikiLeaks. The award ceremony was attended by three previous recipients. (AP Photo)
BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union lawmakers are set to hold a first vote on sweeping new data protection rules to strengthen online privacy and outlaw most data transfers to other countries' authorities to prevent spying.
The draft regulation was beefed up after Edward Snowden's leaks about allegedly widespread U.S. online snooping. It foresees stringent privacy protection and stiff fines for violations that could have significant implications for U.S. internet companies.
The legislation is expected to pass a committee vote late Monday. It's likely to be amended later on since it also requires approval by Parliament's plenary and the EU's 28 member states.
Supporters hail it as a milestone toward establishing genuine online privacy rights, while opponents warn of creating a hugely bureaucratic regulation that will overwhelm businesses and consumers.
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