EU to Push Own Digital Cloud in Wake of PRISM Scandal

The EU will redouble efforts to promote EU-based cloud computing services amid mounting evidence that the US surveillance scandal may decrease the global market share of US cloud computing providers.

Already in September last year, the European Commission had published a strategy paper on cloud computing, which emphasised the potential of this technology to act as a driver for cost efficiencies, job creation and profit growth. However, a number of sensitive policy issues impacting on cloud computing remain in other policy initiatives, such as data protection and copyright.

In July this year, Neelie Kroes, Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, complained that national divergences in data protection rules would still stand in the way of a “European cloud” and called for a rapid harmonisation of European standards and information security.

The issue has also found its way into the German election campaign, with chancellor Angela Merkel recently speaking of the need for Europe to develop its own internet technology and  to start competing on the internal stage in this sector.