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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

A short section of President Trump's immigration executive order that tells agencies "ensure that their privacy policies exclude persons who are not United States citizens or lawful permanent residents from the protections of the Privacy Act regarding personally identifiable information" is drawing attention in tech circles.

Why privacy hawks are worried:

  • Nuala O'Connor, the head of the Center for Democracy and Technology, said that the order sends the message that "people who don't hold a U.S. passport or current green card are not entitled to the same dignity as those of us who do."
  • It raises questions about the United States' broader approach to protecting the data of non-citizens.

The bigger picture: The order has worried some in Europe, where recent revelations about American tech companies working with the government surveillance regime have caused officials to be wary of Silicon Valley. It also raises questions about the fate of the US-EU Privacy Shield agreement governing the transatlantic transfer of data.

Hold your horses: A European Commission spokesperson told TechCruch that the Privacy Shield agreement "does not rely on the protections under the U.S. Privacy Act." But the body has promised to keep an eye on the issue.

Update: Ken Propp, a director at software trade group BSA, says that the executive order "should not affect the privacy protections afforded under the US-EU Privacy Shield," and cited the agreement's grounding in a law called the Judicial Redress Act.

Go deeper

Biden administration releases long-awaited Khashoggi report

Photo: Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released an unclassified report assessing that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) approved the operation to "capture or kill" Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Why it matters: The grisly October 2018 murder of Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul sparked worldwide outrage and calls for the U.S. to fundamentally reevaluate its relationship with the Gulf kingdom.

Updated 16 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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  2. Vaccine: Employers mull COVID vaccine requirements — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategyPfizer begins study on 3rd vaccine dose as booster shot against new strains.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
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Democrats call for briefing on legal justification for Biden's Syria strike

Sen. Tim Kaine. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) are among the Democrats criticizing the Biden administration for Thursday night's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, demanding that Congress immediately be briefed on the matter.

Why it matters: The strikes, which the Pentagon and National Security Council say were a response to threats against U.S. forces in the region, constitute the Biden administration's first overt military action.