U.S. Claims Country Building Its Own Network to Protect Against NSA Spying Violates Trade Laws

Labels Attempt to Thwart NSA Spying “Draconian”

NSA spying is costing the U.S. tech industry tens of billions of dollars, and people around the world are trying to find non-U.S. companies to provide internet, cloud and computer products and services. And see this and this.

Numerous countries are trying to thwart NSA spying.

Many countries are planning to create their own communications infrastructures to bypass the U.S. altogether.  For example, economic powerhouse Germany is rolling out a system that would keep all data within Germany’s national borders.

The U.S. is trying to not only protect U.S. businesses, but also keep the NSA’s hand in the cookie jar by arguing (wait for it…) that closing borders to the NSA would violate trade law.

Specifically, the United States Trade Representative released a report Friday stating:

Recent proposals from countries within the European Union to create a Europe-only electronic network (dubbed a “Schengen cloud” by advocates) or to create national-only electronic networks could potentially lead to effective exclusion or discrimination against foreign service suppliers that are directly offering network services, or dependent on them.

In particular, Deutsche Telekom AG (DTAG), Germany’s biggest phone company, is publicly advocating for EU-wide statutory requirements that electronic transmissions between EU residents stay within the territory of the EU, in the name of stronger privacy protection.Specifically, DTAG has called for statutory requirements that all data generated within the EU not be unnecessarily routed outside of the EU; and has called for revocation of the U.S.-EU “Safe Harbor” Framework, which has provided a practical mechanism for both U.S companies and their business partners in Europe to export data to the United States, while adhering to EU privacy requirements.

The United States and the EU share common interests in protecting their citizens’ privacy [cough, sure, cough], but the draconian approach proposed by DTAG and others appears to be a means of providing protectionist advantage to EU-based ICT suppliers. Given the breath of legitimate services that rely on geographically-dispersed data processing and storage, a requirement to route all traffic involving EU consumers within Europe, would decrease efficiency and stifle innovation. For example, a supplier may transmit, store, and process its data outside the EU more efficiently, depending on the location of its data centers. An innovative supplier from outside of Europe may refrain from offering its services in the EU because it may find EU-based storage and processing requirements infeasible for nascent services launched from outside of Europe. Furthermore, any mandatory intra-EU routing may raise questions with respect to compliance with the EU’s trade obligations with respect to Internet-enabled services. Accordingly, USTR will be carefully monitoring the development of any such proposals.

What’s next?

The U.S. trade rep claiming that countries which don’t invite killer American reaper drones with open arms are unfairly competing against American weapons manufacturers?

Postscript: The U.S. Trade Representative is the same motley crew pushing the Trans Pacific Partnership, which would destroy the sovereignty of all nations which join.

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  • Undecider

    Surprised?

  • cettel

    Another terrific piece from George. And it reports a marvelous thing: that Obama’s scumminess is now causing the rest of the world to devalue the U.S. brand. Finally, there is some real accountability in this world! Bravo to all countries that are applying it!

  • “NSA spying is costing the U.S. tech industry tens of billions of dollars, and people around the world are trying to find non-U.S. companies to provide internet, cloud and computer products and services”

    Can WE do that, too? Start an alternate internet HERE in the U.S. where the government doesn’t spy on you? Why hasn’t this happened yet?

    • Jimmy Cogsdil

      How are you going to do that when the NSA can demand the encryption key and you have to provide it or rot in jail

    • Jimmy Cogsdil

      How are you going to do that when the NSA can demand the encryption key and you have to provide it or rot in jail

  • oregoncharles

    The EU proposal contains a very large glitch: the UK.

    Britain is in the EU, and has been a very active partner with NSA in its spying, especially in Europe. Consequently, any EU network that includes Britain would be pointless as far as excluding the NSA.

    One result, somewhat ironic, is that the USTR would have a point – since no real security is accomplished, it’s effectively more of a trade exclusion. Not that I’m opposed to those.

  • Jimmy Cogsdil

    Wow that would mean that US business interests would have to fund their own R&D.

  • Jimmy Cogsdil

    Wow that would mean that US business interests would have to fund their own R&D.

  • goingnowherefast

    Your allusion to the TPP at the end of the article says it all. The US, which hasn’t been a sovereign nation for a century is pushing the global elite’s agenda of stripping away the sovereignty of all nations in order to be able to exploit the wold’s people and resources without government interference. May they fail miserably.

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  • freiheitspirat

    The USA are the real Terrorists.. I hope european countries awake and cancle all TTIP negotiations…