David Meyer of GigaOm writes a very sharp and astute comment here; excerpts below.
“The Safe Harbor agreement between the U.S. and Europe, which allows American web firms to process European customers’ personal data, is under serious threat in the wake of Edward Snowden’s NSA surveillance revelations….the privacy officials said there is a “high probability” that the NSA is gathering Germans’ personal data through the web services they use… Frankly it now looks like the whole system is in tatters. U.S. companies claiming Safe Harbor compliance include Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook and AOL, all of which now appear to be part (willingly or otherwise) of the NSA’s PRISM scheme. As EU data protection rules don’t say it’s OK for foreign military units to record or monitor the communications of European citizens – heck, even local governments aren’t supposed to be doing that – the Safe Harbor program now looks questionable to say the least… It sounds like we can expect, at the least, a shift in the way U.S. firms handle data, if they are to continue to trade in Europe; new Facebook and Google data centers in Sweden and Finland respectively may be intended as preparation for such a shift. If the deal is scrapped outright, though, many American companies may suddenly lose access to some of their most prized markets”
And some assorted images on this topic: