A European cloud provider has written to Angela Merkel, urging her to reconsider plans to make European internet providers reveal what data they store and to whom they make it available.
Outbox, which is headquartered in Poland but has an office in the UK and operates across Europe, urged the German chancellor to think again after she made the suggestions in the wake of the PRISM scandal.
The debacle emerged after a Guardian investigation claimed the US National Security Agency (NSA) had access to data from citizens in Europe from tech giants like Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Google – something the firms deny.
As the PRISM story broke, Merkel said: "Internet companies that are operating in Europe, such as Facebook and Google, must give... European countries the information about whom they have given data to." However, Outbox reckons this will make business impossible for EU cloud firms.
"While we understand the need for greater transparency on the use of data in the EU, as a company working closely with US vendors, which store data under the jurisdiction of the US authorities, we are concerned any changes to our laws will impact European competitiveness and runs the risk of alienating US cloud suppliers and jeopardising our ability to form valuable partnerships across global markets," it said in its open letter.
It urged the EU to keep the internet open, maintain the EU's current privacy laws and not give US and Indian firms an advantage by inhibiting EU firms.
David Terrar, a governance board member at the Cloud Industry Forum, agreed with Outbox. "I'm all for regulation and data protection, but, from my point of view, I agree with those guys," he said. "Whatever is decided [in light of PRISM revelations] should not be damaging to European businesses. This snooping happens whether you like it or not."
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