Merkel, Hollande to discuss European communication network avoiding U.S.

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she would talk to French President Francois Hollande about building up a European communication network to avoid emails and other data passing through the United States.

Merkel said in her weekly podcast that she disapproved of companies such as Google and Facebook basing their operations in countries with low levels of data protection while being active in countries such as Germany with high data protection.

“We’ll talk with France about how we can maintain a high level of data protection,” Merkel said.

“Above all, we’ll talk about European providers that offer security for our citizens, so that one shouldn’t have to send emails and other information across the Atlantic. Rather, one could build up a communication network inside Europe.”

“Now that the German government is formed, it is important that we take up the initiative together,” an official said.

Government snooping is a particularly sensitive subject in Germany due to the heavy surveillance of citizens practised in communist East Germany and under Hitler, and there was widespread outrage at the revelations of NSA surveillance by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Full article: Merkel, Hollande to discuss European communication network avoiding U.S. (Reuters)

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