In an ominous sign of changes that could change more than just privacy in the wake of Snowden, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel added to voices calling for a European-only communications network over the weekend. In a podcast she said publicly that she would raise the possibility this week with the French President -- yes the one without a steady date at the moment.
It's difficult to envision just what a Euro-only communications network would mean, i.e. at what level would this be and how do you keep it separate yet still connected to the internet? It's not a concrete idea yet of course. The idea is on the one hand to keep data from passing through the clutches of the NSA and on the other to perhaps find a way to enforce European privacy laws that non-European content providers might otherwise ignore.
I already spend a lot of time in a country where the telecommunications companies and government work hand in hand to make sure that the wrong sort of data doesn't cross the border. It's not the same kind of data to be sure, but bits are bits and the methods to control them and the side effects when you do aren't all that different. And even when you build your wall, it leaks like a sieve anyway. Whatever they do over in Europe (if anything), I hope they think it over carefully first.
This sort of stuff will be going on at a slow burn all year I suspect, and I don't think the politicians making hay over all this quite understand or care what it would do to global telecommunications infrastructure if everyone follows such a path. But then again, I don't think the NSA did either. Thanks guys.
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