The dark satanic rumour mill is suggesting that the EU will ban cloud based services which are run by US companies.
Our sources say that European commissions are incandescent with rage after discovering that the US intends to apply its Partriot Act to all cloud based services in Europe. Microsoft has already said that it will have to comply.
But it appears to have caught the EU on the hop. Sophie in 't Veld, Dutch member of the European Parliament's civil liberties committee, wants to know how it is possible that the Patriot Act overrules the European data protection laws.
She is leading a counter attack, attempting to make sure that European data protection legislation can be adequately enforced, particularly on cloud based systems.
Brussels was stunned to discover that European data protection laws could be nullified by the invoking of the Patriot Act. Effectively, all data stored in Europe was subject to seizure by US spooks.
Until now, the EU had been drafting tough legislation expected to give greater powers to the end consumer, and stricter penalties for those who break the rules. But these had been mostly focused on things like Facebook and not the big cloud based systems that Google, Microsoft and HP are building.
The EU has told Microsoft, Google and Facebook "must adhere" to the strict EU privacy rules, but realistically they can't and remain in the US.
It backs up information from an influential source in the United Kingdom's cloud industry, which said central government departments would be stupid to turn to the US. Accountability in the cloud has a different set of rules with your Googles or Microsofts, indeed, the UK is approaching native business instead.
Our sources in Brussels say that there is talk that the EU has to ban US companies from operating cloud systems in the EU in the hope of getting the US to change its legislation.
A ban is actually easier to do than to draft carefully worded legislation designed to circumvent US laws. It could be seen as a way of getting a European cloud developed.
With the US insisting on its bizarre Patriot Act, there would be no fears that International Trade bodies would object. In fact, they are more likely to haul the US over the coals for trying to intervene in foreign trade.
Either way, companies and government departments are getting concerned about spying.
We have heard accounts that some companies are putting the brakes on their cloud arrangements with Microsoft, fearing that they will lose data to US spooks.