At a meeting held on June 6 in Brussels, on the very day when news of the Prism scandal broke in the press, EU Justice ministers failed to come to agreement on measures to protect personal data, reports the daily.

El País explains that a year ago, the EU, whose regulations in the area date back to 1995, when the Internet was still in its infancy, has launched an initiative to limit government and corporate access to personal data. The daily continues —

… although it had one of most stringent frameworks in the world, the explosion of Internet use in Europeans’ daily lives — in particular with the emergence of social networks — has made EU regulations obsolete. [Nonetheless] the European Commission regretfully had to come to terms with the fact that certain [EU] states were ready to block the [introduction of updated] regulations, just moments before the disclosures published by the The Guardian highlighted the urgent need to reach agreement on a new legal framework.