The European Union (EU) found a fast, cheap way to gut draft an online privacy law: Outsourcing the work to lobbyists, including the American Chamber of Commerce, Amazon, eBay and a few groups actually based in Europe.\n\n\n\tThe EU\u2019s parliament\u2013using a trick from Congress\u2019s Guide to Destroying Institutional Credibility\u2013is cutting and pasting the exact language used by the lobbyists into its law. The lobbyists are also doing an impressive job of getting rid of anything that might smack of actual consumer protection.\n\n\n\tHere\u2019s a section of the law before the American Chamber of Commerce got its hands on it:\n\n\n\tAnd after:\n\n\n\tIf neither of these passages make any sense to you it is because they are not written in what we experts like to refer to as "English."\n\n\n\tSo I will do my best to translate. (Please do not attempt this at home. I am a trained professional operating on a closed test-track.) And\u2026\n\n\n\tI give up. Clearly the entire thing was translated from Finnish to Dutch to Klingon to English using Google translate on a day it was raining inside that particular cloud. All I can say for certain is that somehow people have been transformed from "natural persons" to "data subjects." I am pretty sure this was banned by the Geneva Convention on War Crimes and used as a plot in Star Trek: The Next Generation.\n\n Here is what the implication of the changes are, according to LobbyPlag,\u00a0the unfortunately named group that is tracking all this:\n\n\n\tWell, at least that\u2019s closer to English. LobbyPlag\u2019s website documents all the changes and includes PDFs of the lobbyist\u2019s documents that the language was copied from. It is a very impressive effort.\n\n\n\tSomeday soon, after the EU has grown up into an even bigger political mess, the members of parliament will do as we do here in the states: Make every attempt to stop the press from getting all of this information.