The following are excerpts from an article by Helene Fouquet and Marie Mawad, dated ‎24‎ ‎February‎ ‎2019, under the headline "Huawei Frightens Europe's Data Protectors. America Does, Too."

(Begin excerpts)
A foreign power with possible unbridled access to Europe’s data is causing alarm in the region. No, it’s not China. It’s the U.S.

As the U.S. pushes ahead with the “Cloud Act” it enacted about a year ago, Europe is scrambling to curb its reach. Under the act, all U.S. cloud service providers from Microsoft and IBM to Amazon -- when ordered -- have to provide American authorities data stored on their servers regardless of where it’s housed. With those providers controlling much of the cloud market in Europe, the act could potentially give the U.S. the right to access information on large swaths of the region’s people and companies.

The U.S. says the act is aimed at aiding investigations. Some people are drawing parallels between the legislation and the National Intelligence Law that China put in place in 2017 requiring all its organizations and citizens to assist authorities with access to information. The Chinese law, which the U.S. says is a tool for espionage, is cited by President Donald Trump’s administration as a reason to avoid doing business with companies like Huawei Technologies Co.

“I don’t mean to compare U.S. and Chinese laws, because obviously they aren’t the same, but what we see is that on both sides, Chinese and American, there is clearly a push to have extraterritorial access to data,” Laure de la Raudiere, a French lawmaker who co-heads a parliamentary cyber-security and sovereignty group, said in an interview. “This must be a wake up call for Europe to accelerate its own, sovereign offer in the data sector.”....

The Cloud Act (or the “Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act”) addresses an issue that came up when Microsoft in 2013 refused to provide the FBI access to a server in Ireland in a drug-trafficking investigation, saying it couldn’t be compelled to produce data stored outside the U.S.

The act’s extraterritoriality spooks the European Union -- an issue that’s become more acute as trans-Atlantic relations fray and the bloc sees the U.S. under Trump as an increasingly unreliable ally....

A Dutch lawmaker at the European Parliament, Sophie in ’t Veld, recently expressed frustration at what she called the EU’s “enormous weakness” in the face of the U.S.’s “unlimited data hunger.”

“Because of the Cloud Act, the long arm of the American authorities reaches European citizens, contradicting all EU law,” she said. “Would the Americans accept it if the EU would grant itself extraterritorial jurisdiction on U.S. soil? And would the Commission also propose negotiations with Russia or China, if they would adopt their own Russian or Chinese Cloud Act?"....

The Cloud Act was enacted just weeks ahead of Europe’s data-protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which states that all businesses that collect data from EU citizens have to follow the bloc’s rules, which could put the two laws at odds....

“The more we dig into the Cloud Act, the more worrying it is,” said ANSSI chief Guillaume Poupard. “It’s a way for the U.S. to enter into negotiations... but it has an immediate extraterritorial effect that’s unbearable.”...

“No one can accept that a foreign government, even the American one, can come fetch data on companies stored by a U.S. company, without warning and without us being able to respond,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in a speech on Feb. 18.

France has been more vociferous in its opposition to the Cloud Act because its companies have borne the brunt of other extraterritorial U.S. laws. In 2014, BNP was slapped with an $8.97 billion U.S. fine for transactions with countries facing American sanctions. French oil company Total SA walked away from a $4.8 billion project in Iran after Trump pulled out of its nuclear deal.

One consequence of the Cloud Act is that European companies and organizations will start looking for local alternatives. Europe’s phone operators, many of whom are already being steered away from Huawei, see the act making providers from the U.S. a threat, too.... (End excerpts)

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...erica-does-too