Policy, Legal and Regulatory Implications of a Europe-Only Cloud

Broadband, Cloud Computing, Networks, the Internet, and Cloud Computing and Privacy and Security

Article Snapshot


Jon Crowcroft, W. Kuan Hon, Christopher Millard, Chris Reed, Jatinder Singh and Ian Walden


International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Vol. 24, No. 3, pp. 251-278, 2016


Reports of surveillance by the United States lead Europeans to propose a Europe-only cloud, also called the “Schengen cloud.” A Europe-only cloud would require complex legal and technical limits on the routing of data.

Policy Relevance

Balkanizing the Internet by walling off national areas stifles growth. A Europe-only cloud could violate trade agreements.

Main Points

  • A Europe-only cloud would protect messages sent between European citizens from surveillance by the Unites States or other foreign governments.
  • Europeans could be required to use the Europe-only cloud, or be given a choice between it and the unrestricted cloud.
  • It would be hard to stop European from using popular services based in the United States, such as Google, Microsoft Office, and Facebook.
  • The country where network facilities are located is not necessarily the only country with jurisdiction over the information carried by the network.
  • Requiring all software and hardware providers to be based in Europe would be hard, because many European providers are supplied by or affiliated with non-European companies.
  • Russia requires that data about Russian citizens be stored in Russia; this may make provision of some Internet services impossible and enable government control of the Internet in Russia.
  • Brazil abandoned a proposal to require that all information about Brazilian citizens be stored in Brazil; instead, the law claims Brazilian jurisdiction over this information wherever it is stored.
  • A Europe-only cloud could be created by requiring service providers to obey European law, but this might require providers to violate the laws of other nations.


Get The Article

Find the full article online

Search for Full Article