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Oct. 6 (UPI) — The European Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that member states cannot collect mobile and Internet data en masse, saying it’s illegal to gather such “general and indiscriminate information.”

The court ruling answered several cases brought by Privacy International and La Quadrature du Net.

Austrian privacy advocate Max Schrems had filed a lawsuit based on work by whistle-blower Edward Snowden that showed the United States doesn’t offer sufficient protection against surveillance by public authorities. His lawsuit opened the initial inquiry that lead to Tuesday’s decision.

“EU law precludes national legislation requiring a provider of electronic communications services to carry out the general and indiscriminate transmission or retention of traffic data and location data for the purpose of combating crime in general or of safeguarding national security,” the court said in a statement.

The court ruled in recent years that prevailing EU law bars member states from mandating

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