Some Internet technologists and privacy advocates say those actions and other government policies may be hastening the shift in Canadian and European traffic away from the United States.
“Since passage of the Patriot Act, many companies based outside of the United States have been reluctant to store client information in the U.S.,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington. “There is an ongoing concern that U.S. intelligence agencies will gather this information without legal process. There is particular sensitivity about access to financial information as well as communications and Internet traffic that goes through U.S. switches.”
Markoff also point out that US companies have, as they often do, dropped the ball on sustained investment. But it’s an intriguing notion, or would be if it weren’t more about who gets to wiretap than about the idea of wiretapping at all.