Finnish communications minister Pia Viitanen has stated bluntly that the NSA may be breaking the laws of Finland. According to the Finnish Constitution, capturing and reading emails or text messages without privileges is illegal. Viitanen plans to take up the issue with the European Comission. Several European countries are apparently considering unleashing Neelie Kroes, the feared European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, in an effort to fight back against the NSA’s PRISM program.
The formidable Ms. Kroes is not to be trifled with. She is currently taking on some of the biggest corporations in the European Union by trying to abolish roaming charges between European countries. This could potentially be quite painful for incumbents like Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom.
Ms. Kroes has repeatedly been named as one of the most powerful women in the world. However, it is not clear whether the European Commission has any real appetite for picking a fight over the NSA issue ahead of a tricky round of US-EU trade negotiations. France is already threatening to torpedo the talks unless its cultural quotas are moved off the table. Over the next few weeks, European Commission will have to decide how to reconcile the PRISM opposition of many of its member countries with EU’s trade negotiation goals.