American trade representative claims EU’s proposal for ‘Schengen cloud’ goes against international trade policies.
The US Trade Representative (USTR) has criticised European Union proposals for a Europe-only electronic network in a bid to circumvent emails and other data passing across Atlantic.
In its annual review of telecommunications trade barriers, the USTR noted that obstacles to cross-border data flows were a serious and growing concern particularly citing the European debate, which it warned was against international trade norm.
"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" the USTR noted .
In addition, Deutsche Telekom has proposed to thwart data transfer within continental Europe being routed via Asia or the US, overlooking the Safe Harbor agreement that enables US firms with EU-level privacy standards access to European data.
"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," the agency added.
"Accordingly, USTR will be carefully monitoring the development of any such proposals."
The EU’s latest proposals come amid anger following disclosures regarding worldwide snooping by American security agency the NSA, including the revealation that it spied on the mobile communications of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.