The Snowden effect

News that Microsoft will allow foreign customers to have their personal data stored on servers outside America raised more than a few eyebrows at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. “People should have the ability to know whether their data are being subjected to the laws and access of governments in some other country and should have the ability to make an informed choice of where their data resides,” the Financial Times quoted Brad Smith, the firm’s general counsel.Internet experts at the WEF saw this as another sign that the big consequence of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks will be that countries and companies will erect borders of sorts in cyberspace. But they also questioned whether Microsoft can make such a promise. “If the NSA wants to get its hands on something, it will succeed — if only because other intelligence agencies gladly do the job,” said one who prefers not to be named.

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