German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she would talk to French President Francois Hollande about building up a European communication network to avoid emails and other data passing through the United States.
Merkel, speaking on Saturday ahead of a visit to France, has been pushing for greater data protection in Europe following reports last year about mass surveillance in Germany and elsewhere by the U.S. National Security Agency. Even Merkel's cell phone was reportedly monitored by American spies.
Merkel said in her weekly podcast she disapproved of companies like Google and Facebook basing their operations in countries with low safeguards on data protection while being active in countries like Germany with high data protection.
"We'll talk with France about how we can maintain a high level of data protection," Merkel said before her visit to Paris on Wednesday.
"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."