(AGI) Rome, Oct 6 - European citizens can ask Facebook andother web giants not to store their members' data in the U.S.after a decision by the European Court of Justice on Tuesday.This ruling overturns a 2000 decision by the EuropeanCommission which said it was confident that the U.S. wouldguarantee an adequate level of protection of personal data, the'Safe Harbour' agreement, thus allowing the transfer of data ofEuropean citizens. The highest court in the European Unionaccepted the request that is at the centre of a long legalbattle against Facebook that was started in 2011 by an Austrianlaw student, Max Schrems, after the scandal of the NSAsurveillance programme revealed by American Edward Snowden. Theruling sets a precedent that will also affect other U.S.technology giants in Europe, such as Apple, Google andMicrosoft. According to EU law, personal data may only betransmitted to a third country if it ensures adequateprotection. The EU court pointed out that in the U.S.,national security needs prevail "over the Safe Harbouragreement" for the private data of European citizens. This iswhy the biggest web companies are obliged to disregard theusual standards of protection with the risk of "interference,by United States public authorities, with the fundamentalrights of persons". . .