back to article USA opposes 'Schengen cloud' Eurocentric routing plan

The US Trade Representative is warning Europe not to proceed with the idea of EU data network services that don't cross the Atlantic. The idea of a European “walled garden” emerged in February amid rising anger over revelations that the NSA wants to listen to the whole world – and that its sweeps included snooping on German …

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      1. Heisenberg

        Re: even more exclusion?

        "...if its paid for by my bloody TV license then I want access to it..."

        One could argue that Fiona Bruce's underwear is paid for by the bloody TV license... Just sayin'!

        1. earl grey
          Joke

          Re: even more exclusion?

          Trying to figure out if that's a big or little deal...??

        2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: even more exclusion? @Heisenberg

          :-) :-) :-) Please behave, bitch Heisenberg. :-) .... although that is no way to be construed as a condemnation of the access sought on your part. And if one is a true gentleman, let's not be having any discussion on rights and access to the contents harboured within underwear paid for by the bloody TV license, for that would be an argument which would surely raise passions undeniably true and impossible to match in any other naked field theatre of operations .... Just saying', and having a pleasant time thinking of the myriad possibilities and variety that such thoughts provide :-)

          Godisagoddessur2die4 Amen.

      2. SumDood

        Re: even more exclusion?

        "British Broadcasting Corporation my ass, if its paid for by my bloody TV license then I want access to it."

        If it's paid for by your bloody license you probably meant to refer to your arse, not your donkey.

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For a start....

    Please re-brand that "Schengen Cloud" thing, it's far too foreign sounding for the U S A.

    1. ici.chacal

      Re: For a start....

      Indeed. Schengen..? Sounds like that place in China, so must be some kinda commie network...

      1. d3rrial

        Re: For a start....

        Schengen is a German word if I remember correctly.

        A place in China would be Shenzhen (for example) ;)

        1. JohnG

          Re: For a start....

          Although, the Schengen Treaty takes its name from Schengen - a town in the well known centre of communism, Luxembourg.

          Not being a signatory to the Schengen Treaty, the UK would presumably be excluded from a "Schengen walled garden" - for some reason, it appears our fellow EU citizens don't trust us.

          1. Tromos

            Re: For a start....

            "...for some reason, it appears our fellow EU citizens don't trust us."

            I don't suppose it has anything whatsoever to do with the NSA branch office in Cheltenham.

            1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

              Re: For a start.... @ Tromos

              "...for some reason, it appears our fellow EU citizens don't trust us."

              I don't suppose it has anything whatsoever to do with the NSA branch office in Cheltenham. ….. Tromos

              Hi Tromos,

              Nobody is trusting offices in Cheltenham, because just look at what their intelligence is allowing in all media theatres of operation, both domestic and foreign, real and virtual. And the problems and difficulties they have, all stem and are rooted and routed from the very top, where management personnel have lost the plot and are bluffing their way in fields in which they are being decimated and proving themselves to be politically inept and catastrophically naive. And that is the most generous and kind assessment which can be made.

              Such is easily solved though with new broom BRoom Command and Control Programmers supplying the top tier with what IT needs to feed and seed/mentor and monitor for future business and reality leadership.

              They surely must have, or be damned and confined and constrained to always follow, Beta Command and Control Rooms for Advanced IntelAIgents Programs in Novel Field and Noble HyperRadioProActive IT Theatre Hostings of Great Games Plays for the Live Operational Virtual Environment in Global Operating Devices and vice versa, for Global Operating Devices in the Live Operational Virtual Environment. It is simply in ICT, just a Comprehensive Applied Minds Project and Uniquely Complex AI Researching and digital Development Promotion …. and a SMARTR AIR&dD Attack Root in Defence Forces for Zeroday Vulnerable Operating Systems, which be all SCADA Command and Control Systems.

              And not a lot of folk know or knew that, but all now have been told of it, for there it is before your very own eyes on a popular website in a interactive browser on the world wide web internetworking ..... and doing its IT thing, educating the masses to higher levels of consciousness and universal engagement ........ :-) and a right devil of a heavenly job is it too.

              And most certainly not at all suited for the weak hearted and lily livered, because of the extreme degrees of excitement to be encountered and embraced, so take care if you dare play in its ICT fields. Too much LOVE can kill you, every time.

              PS.... NSA jump through GCHQ hoops, hence the present chaos and current mayhem, madness and systems dysfunction.

          2. Scroticus Canis
            Coat

            @ JohnG - "- for some reason, it appears our fellow EU citizens don't trust us."

            Not only them, old joke "Why does the sun never set on the British empire? Because God doesn't trust them in the dark." Boom, boom!

          3. Patrick R

            Re: Not being a signatory [...] it appears our fellow EU citizens don't trust us.

            Could it be that the 1st part of your phrase is one of the reasons for the 2nd part?

          4. 080

            Re: For a start....

            "for some reason, it appears our fellow EU citizens don't trust us."

            That's OK, since we sure don't trust them.

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: For a start....

            Although, the Schengen Treaty takes its name from Schengen - a town in the well known centre of communism, Luxembourg.

            Can't we move this to Maastricht? I know for a fact that the beer is better there :p

        2. Mephistro
          Coat

          Re: For a start.... (@ d3rrial)

          "A place in China would be Shenzhen (for example) ;)"

          "Who cares, Shenzen, Schengen, it's all the same shit."

          ;-)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: For a start.... (@ d3rrial)

            "Who cares, Shenzen, Schengen, it's all the same shit."

            That's very, umm, American of you :)

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Data is like oil

    A lot of (western) countries dislike being reliant on countries that they consider less stable, or not idealogically aligned with their views, as their only source of oil and gas. What Snowden's security leaks have done is to make a lot of (western) countries think about their data security in the same way they think about their energy security. And for the same reasons.

    What we learned from the story of the Natwest Three is that one party in the UK can strike a deal with another party in the UK, that is legal in the UK. However if the emails which make up that deal touch american soil, then american laws are applied and - since the UK government is about as useful at looking after its citizens interests as a Rottweiler is at guarding your sausages - you're banged up : Jim. Unless you can personally afford to foot the bill to defend yourself against the might (and drawn out proceedings) of the US legal system.

    Sp apart from not wishing a foreign power to know everything you ever committed to email, phone conversations, downloads or Dropbox, there is the not insignificant matter of legal hegemony, which is just as wide-reaching and just as insidious.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    I can understand the potential foreign trade implications...

    But having a "We run a Europe-only network" can be a commercial differentiator. Kind of like "All our furniture is made in the U.S.A.". And it's something that American server providers can do too, they just locate all the datacenters and fiber in Europe for customers that want "Europe only" service.

    And the Schengen cloud comes with pitfalls too. "We're a European company and for security we have used "Europe-only" data services. But now we want to open an office in New York/Shanghai/Singapore--so I guess we need to change".

    1. Apdsmith

      Re: I can understand the potential foreign trade implications...

      Hi Marketing hack,

      While you're correct, and they can do that, U.S. Law as it currently is (under my understanding) means that there's no difference between a U.S. server running in New York or in Berlin - if the NSA wants access, the U.S.-headquartered company is required to provide it and then required to lie about providing this access. This is why, through no fault of their own, _no_ U.S. company is trustable - the legal framework they are subject to simply precludes this.

      A carefully-structured EU company, however - at least, until the EU gets around to implemented this law themselves (surely it's only a matter of time) - could create a U.S. division that it _knows_ will get compromised by the NSA and only provide the minimum data necessary for it to function. Would seem a tad risky - I'm sure that any competent spook, given legal access to a chunk of a network, would duly attempt to break into the rest of it and nobody with any sense would _want_ to go up against the NSA - but the structure could be put in place.

      Regards,

      Adam

      1. DavCrav

        Re: I can understand the potential foreign trade implications...

        "This is why, through no fault of their own, _no_ U.S. company is trustable - the legal framework they are subject to simply precludes this."

        Then if they want to trade in the EU then the US can change the law. Not that big of a deal.

        1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          Re: I can understand the potential foreign trade implications...

          if they want to trade in the EU then the US can change the law. Not that big of a deal.

          Ah, but that is the sticking point: it IS a big deal - a HUGE deal, actually. The US laws that are the problem exist at federal level, and there are 2 main issues:

          1 - those laws were created (or, to be more exact, existing laws were seriously weakened) for a reason. Plenty of authorities and companies base their existence on these laws, so they will not give up this seriously deficient framework to go back to a situation where they will actually have to submit to supervision and due process and provide transparency of what they do. Another factor that matters here is that there have been plenty of skeletons produced, to be discovered when this gets tidied up (as Snowden has already shown).

          2 - even assuming issue (1) can be addressed, as the problem exists at federal level you can't quickly fix this problem. Changing federal level laws will take years of drafting and wrangling with stakeholders (and that's without taking the politics into account). The issue is that the revenue hit is taking place right now. Silicon Valley is already feeing the pain, and I expect a lot of privacy BS to be sent our way in the coming months. 2014 will probably become known as the year of privacy bullshit, because the depth of the hole the US has dug for itself here has finally become visible.

          Anyone with even a remote clue about privacy would have seen the not-so-very-Safe Harbour agreement for the sham it was. Seriously? Self certification for something so critical to EU data protection rules? Also, just examing what sort of *cough* "fines" the FTC has been handing out to companies that were not compliant - it exposes Safe Harbour for the fudge it is. The only issue unsafe Harbour addressed was preventing a trade war - it has absolutely ZERO to do with the protection of privacy of EU citizens. That this particular chicken has now come home to roost is IMHO A Very Good Thing That Was Long Overdue.

          Don't get me wrong: I fully expect the EU with be blackmailed into accepting a new Unsafe Harbour agreement for pretty much the same arguments as before. Let the EU corporate buyer beware - if client data gets exposed through an US connection, your own business ends up holding the can.

          IMHO, the US has become a no-go zone for those who need to protect clients or intellectual property, unsafe Harbour or not.

    2. JohnG

      Re: I can understand the potential foreign trade implications...

      "And the Schengen cloud comes with pitfalls too. "We're a European company and for security we have used "Europe-only" data services."

      Similar could be said of China but plenty of western companies have been prepared to sweep aside any moral considerations in order to comply with China's rather draconian approach to Internet services.

  4. whoseyourdaddy

    Fine. Let the terrorists win!

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

      What terrorists?

      I gather a recent report has shown that no terrorist was caught and no act of terrorism prevented as a result of the blanket snooping program by the NSA. I really do not see how snooping on a head of a friendly government helps fighting terror.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
        Joke

        Re: What terrorists?

        The only sane reason for spying on friendly governments was of course given by Lord Vetinari, who states that spying on friends improves mutual understanding and therefore promotes friendship even more.

        There is of course another school of thought who points to the bablefish, which by removing barriers in communication between species has lead to more and bloodier wars than anything in the history of creation, but it could be argued that the opposing sides in these wars weren't friends to begin with.

    2. Ken 16 Bronze badge
      Trollface

      You forgot your icon

      now get back under your bridge

    3. SumDood

      When a once democratic country (so it claimed) spies on its own citizens, as well everyone else's, that would seem to suggest that the terrorists have already won on a scale they could only have dreamed about, surely?

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Sumdoofus

        "When a once democratic country (so it claimed) spies on its own citizens, as well everyone else's, that would seem to suggest that the terrorists have already won on a scale they could only have dreamed about, surely?" That's as stupid as saying if you have a police force then crime has won - complete male bovine manure.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good

    If they're getting shouty, they're getting nervous.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good

      Are they getting nervous or is it just another simple ruse to appear nervous? Perhaps their men-in-the-middle fibre-linked containers full of flash storage can slurp all the data they like, then when they're full they can just sail slowly across the atlantic for later analysis and filtering offline. As long as the slurped data is all in plain text or encrypted with some noddy code that they have the master keys and certificates for then it'll be business as usual. Oh and the first thing that appears encrypted with anything that they don't have the master keys for will suddenly gain a lot of 'who touched that last' focus ;)

  6. tony2heads
    Trollface

    EU like Royston Vasey

    Don't touch the things, this is a local shop for local people, there's nothing for you hear

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: EU like Royston Vasey

      " there's nothing for you hear"

      We ain't mutton y'know.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    clearly ... reciprocal arrangement suggested

    it's time for US <-> US traffic to also go through Europe - if we're friends, nothing to lose from letting GCHQ etc. have the same access to US traffic that they're expecting of ours ...

  8. itzman

    Does anyone else find this all incomprehensible? Brer rabbit's briar patch?

    Maybe I am missing something, but what seems to be the situation is that :

    1/. The US is allegedly doing 'man in the middle' stuff.

    2/. The response is to try and make sure the middle isn't in the US?

    3/. The USA is making a big fuss despite the fact that half the world runs on Cisco and therefore Cisco ARE the men in the middle and therefore if Cisco and the spooks have an arrangement whether the traffic runs across the US or not is simply irrelevant?

    4/. The classic way to prevent or at least render hugely ineffective, man in the middle snooping is asymmetric encryption, on everything you do, with plenty of massively redundant messages of pure random garbage interpolated to prevent frequency analysis and confound the opposition.

    5/. Ergo, the spooks knowing this, are making a big fuss about the European firewall because they want attention focussed on that - a non problem for them rather than on the intrinsically obvious solution, of simply encrypting everything so that man in the middle scraping gets so awesomely expensive they end up having to attack the end points instead.

  9. PyLETS
    Big Brother

    So who are they speaking for anyway ?

    There already is a European data network, and no particular reason for messages not to be most efficiently routed within it, as I'm sure very many are. But that doesn't stop a free citizen or business operating within an EU or Shengen country locating data and servers wherever personal preference, business or legal issues require.

    I'm free to locate my server wherever it suits me and commerce offers suitable facilities, and having some crat or politician telling me I can't locate it where I want to reduces the reasons for me to want to locate it closer to home.

  10. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Catch 22 Big Time Real Time in the Virtual Space Sector

    Here be an alternative, independent and exiled view on the subject ..... http://rt.com/news/us-global-spying-assange-761/ ..... which wholeheartedly agrees with the premise, which doesn't really need to be made practical if one is just careful about what one sends over communications channels and who one would be wanting to share information and intelligence with. And don't forget, there is no way to beat the knock at the door and a quiet fireside chat [with a relaxing smoke and/or a bevy or beauty or two or three] to get things off one's chest, whenever things are truly sensitive and likely to be highly destructive. Such is so much more civilised and satisfying, methinks.

    The smarter operators in the phishing and phorming fields in which spooks and security boffins play need to up their game though, to be effective in the future, and be proactive and engage with emerging talent which may be baiting and leading them, before it discovers all of their faults and weaknesses and decides they be certainly unworthy of future supply of their magnanimous gifts.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. All names Taken
    Joke

    Alternatively?

    EU: yeh we want an EU only limited network under principle that all electronic transactions (yes, including credit cards :-) ) to and fro in EU must remain in EU.

    and a second principle that a nation must communicate directly to another nation. So no bouncing to USA for stuff going from UK to France or UK to New Zealand.

    USA: but we want blah-blah-de-blah

    EU: how much are you prepared to pay to get what you want? Enough to reduce EU taxes to single figure levels?

    1. ian 22

      Re: Alternatively?

      "A nation must communicate directly to another nation"

      Interesting. Does Sweden have a dedicated direct connexion to Switzerland? Who will pay for the undersea France to New Zealand cable? Etc. Etc.

      Seems unfeasably expensive.

      1. All names Taken
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Alternatively?

        Sweden > Switzerland via EU servers

        Sweden > Uncle Sam > Switzerland with data sniffing and NSA compliance looks at least a little bit dodgy n'est pas?

        Even if the EU server route data sniffed at least citizens would have recourse to action.

        With Uncle Sam?

        Remember: no taxation without representation?

        Maybe

        no data slurping without representation should be new dilemma?

      2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Alternatively?

        Does Sweden have a dedicated direct connexion to Switzerland?

        In the context of intercept, Sweden is an interesting choice.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Waaaahh Waaaahh

    Mom those darn Europeeeens aint playing fair and are stopping us snooping on them...

  13. WatAWorld

    How Europe routes its traffic is none of the USA's business

    I wonder how Bush, er Obama, would react if Europe started insisting that interstate internet traffic pass through Europe.

    It is none of the USA's business how Europe connects to the internet provided it follows the standards. And this can be accomplished easily without violating any standards.

    Europe isn't advocating anything so drastic, but if Europe wanted to put itself behind an NAT firewall that is none of the USA's business.

  14. WatAWorld

    Obama is acting like Putin

    Putin breaks the peace and invades Crimea and then acts surprised The West takes actions to defend itself from further invasion by Russia.

    Obama spies on the world, denies that non-Americans are humans deserving of human righrts, and then acts surprised when the world takes actions to defend itself from further human rights abuses by the USA.

  15. WatAWorld

    The problem is when you send an EU<>EU email and it goes through a US controlled backbone

    The problem is when you send an EU<>EU email and it goes through a US controlled or US monitored backbone or US controlled or US monitored exchange.

    Sure there are German and French email companies, but your email has to get to the one you are using and then get to the one the other guy is using.

    You could encrypt the entire thing, including headers, but then you'd be "violating the rules" on how separate mail servers are supposed to connect.

    Much better to play by the rules and ensure the EU's internet is EU owned, EU controlled and only monitored subject to EU human rights laws -- at least as much as technically possible.

  16. jonathan keith

    "USA opposes 'Schengen cloud' Eurocentric routing plan"

    Well they would, wouldn't they?

    I have a whole "Yes Minister" Sir Humphrey speech going on in my head about this.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Be rather nice if there was an attribute you could set on an IP datagram that would control the region of the packet, and would only allow the packet to be forwarded to hosts in that same region, otherwise dropped. Want your packets to stay within Europe? Just set the correct zone, and make sure every router in Europe knows it's in Europe.

    Oh, to have a time machine...

    1. Tom 38

      nice if there was an attribute you could set on an IP datagram that would control the region of the packet, and would only allow the packet to be forwarded to hosts in that same region, otherwise dropped

      Yeah right, if that had existed at the start of the internet-era, ISPs totally wouldn't have been only selling geo-limited accounts.

      "Oh no sonny, no transatlantic pipes for you, get back on your local internet with our local services."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Haven't you ever wondered why there hasn't been a bigger push to roll out IPv6?

  18. Remus4271e

    Am I missing the point or is somone else???

    Why should anyone route traffic trough the US when the source and the destination is in Europe?

    I certainly don't route my local traffic through my ISP, simply because my LAN is a lot faster than the connection to my ISP.

    The "Shengen Cloud", at least as far as I understand it, does not address encryption, it's only concerned with routing.

    And the current routing should already provide the proposed cloud, unless someone screwed the routing.

    Conclusion: Either am I missing the point or whoever proposed the "Shengen Cloud" had no idea what they were talking about.

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