EU Politicians Realize US View Of De Facto Ownership Of The Internet Makes Their Data Protection Laws Irrelevant
from the jurisdictional-mess dept
As we noted recently, folks, like Erik Barnett at Homeland Security, have a rather expansive view over why the US has jurisdiction over any website using a .com or .net domain name. And, of course, it goes way beyond that as well, with the recent admissions from Microsoft that EU data protection rules are effectively meaningless when faced with a US PATRIOT Act request for data. Basically, the US appears to claim that even if the data is stored in Europe, with strict data protection rules, if it's a US company, the US believes it has jurisdiction and can demand access to it.
Not surprisingly, this is upsetting EU officials, who realize that their data protection rules may be effectively meaningless if the US continues to take this rather expansive view of its own jurisdiction.
While you can understand why US officials and law enforcement want to view the world this way, what stuns me is that they appear to be both totally tone deaf to how this makes the US look abroad, as well as oblivious to the obvious unintended consequences and likely counter moves to such a view. Not only does it give moral cover to other countries doing the same thing -- potentially harming US interests significantly -- it's also going to lead to inevitable backlash and widespread harm to US companies and internet users, as users in foreign countries won't go near their services.
This is what happens when you have people who can't think more than single step ahead and put them in a position of power.