Last year word of the U.S. National Security Agency’s clandestine electronic spying programs broke when former CIA technical analyst Edward Snowden leaked a barrage of highly classified documents. There has been a steady stream of leaks from Snowden since then, alleging that the NSA also spies on citizens of foreign countries, even those of its allies. The revelations, or allegations depending the story you choose to believe, haven’t exactly been welcomed by allies, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel being one of the most outspoken figures against U.S. electronic spying. Even her personal cell phone was alleged monitored by U.S. spies, so you can imagine where she’s coming from. The Chancellor says she’s going to talk to Francois Hollande, the President of France, about building a dedicated communications network that only services Europe so as to stop data from passing through the U.S.
Merkel has been quite vocal about improving data protection in Europe particularly since NSA’s activities came to light. Due in France on Wednesday, Merkel says that “we’ll talk with France about how we can maintain a high level of data protection.” They’re also going to talk about European providers that offers security for EU citizens, “so that one shouldn’t have to send emails and other information across the Atlantic.” Hollande’s office has confirmed that this matter will formally be up for discussion once both leaders meet, with Merkel remarking last week that “we’ve got to do more for data protection in Europe.”