As Europe’s ire at US surveillance continues to grow, along with concerns about the eventual economic and social fallout, the EU Parliament has confirmed plans for an “in-depth inquiry” into PRISM and other spying allegations.
A resolution was passed on Thursday, tasking Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee with carrying out the investigation, the results of which will be released by the end of the year.
Some have now called for data sharing deals with the US, which cover bank and air passenger information, to be suspended too.
Parliament has also expressed concern over reported surveillance programmes run by several EU member states, including the UK, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany and Poland.
And MEPs have called for greater protection for whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden, who has released troves of information on spying by US and other nation states.
European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes has continued to voice her own concerns about reports of mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA).
In a speech yesterday, she questioned whether the revelations would damage the adoption of cloud services, given the impact on trust.
“If European cloud customers cannot trust the United States government or their assurances, then maybe they won’t trust US cloud providers either. That is my guess. And if I am right then there are multi-billion euro consequences for American companies,” Kroes said.
“If I were an American cloud provider, I would be quite frustrated with my government right now. I do not have an agenda here: I am committed to open markets, to liberal values, and the opportunities of new digital innovations. Yet even I am thinking twice about whether there is such a thing as a level playing field when it comes to the cloud.”
For whatever reason, Kroes did not speculate on the impact of allegations of widespread snooping by EU nations on the future of cloud.