“Aside from taking an ax to the undersea fiber optic cables connecting Europe to the United States, it is hard to imagine a more disruptive action to trans-Atlantic digital commerce.”

That was the measured reaction of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington think tank, to the news that the Court of Justice of the European Union had torn up the Safe Harbor privacy protection agreement on the transfer of personal data from the EU to the U.S.

But the European Commission seemed unperturbed by the abrupt end of the agreement it struck with the U.S. government in July 2000 to ensure that the personal data of Europeans was granted the same legal protections in the U.S. as it was in the EU.

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