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Can Europeans keep America out of their emails?

February 20th, 2014
02:28 PM ET

Revelations of widespread spying by the NSA shocked several European leaders. Now German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are discussing ways to protect the continent’s data – including the possibility of setting up a European communications network.

The idea would see Europe build up its own network, allowing it to bypass American servers.  Emails and other information would remain within Europe, under the protection of the continent’s strict data protection laws.

Jonathan Mann spoke to CNN's Samuel Burke about what this bold idea would mean – and whether it would even be possible.

Burke said the European proposal is not only a "radical response" to the allegations of American eavesdropping, but also "a fundamental shift in the very internet as we know it."

While it would undoubtedly create jobs and opportunity, Burke said creating a European communications network would be a major challenge – requiring manpower, cutting-edge technology, and lots of money.

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