Instead of taking a leaf out of Beijing’s playbook, Europe offers another model the US could look at—and also improve upon. The 2018 privacy rules known as GDPR fragmented the internet in their own way, but in this case to protect user data from the prying eyes of US government surveillance. Citing those privacy rules, a European court last week struck down an earlier agreement that had allowed US tech giants to move data overseas to process it, a decision that will affect thousands of companies. While those rules were originally aimed at US tech giants, Sinclair believes they’re “the clearest signal that Europe may become more aggressive against China-origin companies as they gain influence.” Already, on matters of hardware, the UK has followed the US to ban Huawei from building its 5G networks.

Europe’s data sovereignty approach makes a lot of sense, and large tech companies should be planning for that to become the norm, said Raina Kumra, a managing partner at VC firm The Fund and a former internet adviser at the State Department during the Obama administration. “What we have now is not designed, it’s predatory to users, and dangerous to our national security,” Kumra said.

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