Is Silicon Valley Silently Thrilled at Europe’s Demand for Increased Privacy?
The NSA PRISM saga, when it was exposed a few months ago, brought about reaction from organizations in Europe, with countries like Germany insisting that the NSA provide information on how extensive their invasion on German citizens was. Many people were angry at the NSA, little did they know that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Last week we were all shocked to hear that the NSA was not only spying on citizens but leaders too. It is alleged that the NSA has been spying on European leaders like Angela Merkel. While the spying on citizens was bad, this new allegation is worse.
European countries have reacted to this new angle by drafting privacy bills that will require internet companies to get permission from European countries when they get data requests from the US government. This means that a company can refuse or delay to provide the data from Europe in question if they have no received permission from Europe.
On the face of it, it might look like internet companies will be facing two masters-the US and Europeans-but behind the scenes, they are thrilled that someone has stood up against demands which are threatening to cost them clients as people take measures against privacy invasion.
When people for example hear that Gmail is sharing data with the NSA, they will slowly start looking for other options causing Gmail to lose clients. This whole NSA saga is bad for the bottom line and companies are thrilled at any legislation that works towards reducing the NSA’s reach.
It is good that there are governments that want to take active measure to reduce the spying. But we have to remain grounded and realize that we are talking about bills which can be shot down, amended or remain under debate for a long time.
And that is why we always recommend that you take charge of your own privacy by getting a VPN package from a good provider like HideMyAss (in depth review). With VPN, you rest assured that even when your government is taking measures to improve your online privacy, you have a tool with which you are protecting yourself.