AT&T’s bid to enter the European market may stumble if the networking giant cannot provide strict guarantees that European data will not leave the 28 member state bloc.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, citing European officials, the ongoing U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance scandal may put a dampener on any attempt for the American giant to enter the new market, given its past cooperation with the intelligence agency’s data-collection program.
One of the major concerns is that AT&T may be a conduit to siphon off vast amounts of European citizens’ data back to the U.S., where it can be inspected and analyzed by intelligence agencies.
In 2006, privacy groups sued the networking giant after a staff technician blew the whistle on Room 641A, a secret room in a San Francisco, California, that allegedly routed Internet traffic in order for the NSA to collect data.
The case was dismissed in 2009 by a federal judge.