“The biggest lobby campaign Brussels has ever known” is being carried out by the Washington administration and “big US firms (Google, Microsoft, Facebook etc)” so that “European regulations do not restrict their main business: the capture of data about people who surf the Internet, and its exploitation for commercial purposes,” states El País.

According to the Spanish daily, the US has hosted meetings, lunches and workshops in order to influence the outcome of a draft EU policy document, which has been under construction since December 2011. Although a “priority, it risks not to be ready in this European [parliamentary] term,” notes El País.

Other methods of influencing the document, such as the recent scandal over US spying on its partners, highlight what MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht has already detailed – the huge pressure on EU policymakers to soften the European stance on privacy and data protection.