Germany and France plan secure new data network

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Germany's Angela Merkel to discuss with Francois Hollande a European solution to avoid emails and other information passing through the US.

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GERMANY and France are ­discussing plans to build a European communications network to improve data protection and avoid emails and other information passing through the United States, reports The Herald.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is to open talks with French President Francois Hollande this week following revelations of mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA) that have prompted huge concern in Europe.

Mrs Merkel, who will visit France on Wednesday, has been pushing for greater data protection in Europe following reports last year about US surveillance in Germany and elsewhere. Even Mrs Merkel's cell phone was reportedly monitored by American spies.

She said in her weekly podcast that she disapproved of companies such as Google and Facebook basing their operations in countries with low levels of data protection while being active in countries such as Germany with high data protection.

"We'll talk with France about how we can maintain a high level of data protection," she said. "Above all, we'll talk about European providers that offer ­security for our citizens, so that one shouldn't have to send emails and other information across the Atlantic. Rather, one could build up a communication network inside Europe."

There is no doubt that Europe has to do more in the realm of data protection, she said.

Read more of this report from The Herald.

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