US hits out at European communications network proposals

07 April 2014 | Kavit Majithia


The US has knocked recent proposals by the EU to build a communication network in Europe to avoid data passing through the US.

The office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) said cross-border data flows were a growing concern, with the US now monitoring the situation in Turkey, where certain websites, including Twitter, have been blocked.

There were calls for a communications network in Europe after it was revealed that the US was using digital eavesdropping and surveillance to monitor European traffic.

The USTR said in a report that the proposals could lead to exclusion or discrimination against foreign service suppliers.

"Recent proposals from countries within the European Union to create a Europe-only electronic network 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," a report stated.

Following the US spying scandal over German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone, Germany and France have reportedly been discussing how to keep data secure from the US.

The US claims such proposals gives European companies an advantage, after Deutsche Telekom suggested laws should be implemented to stop data that flows through Europe from being routed via Asia and the US.

The USTR also hit out against restrictions on internet telephony in India and China and foreign investment limits in Asia.