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US President Barack Obama’s administration persuaded the European Commission to redraft its data-privacy legislation in January 2012 and drop a clause that would have stopped American spy agencies from eavesdropping on international calls and emails.

The economic daily reports that it “would have nullified any US request for technology and telecoms companies to hand over data on EU citizens,” such as those revealed in the recent Prism scandal.

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding warned against dropping the measure, but most other commissioners felt it should be cut from the legislation as it would have little legal weight and would antagonise the US, a key European ally.