Originally posted in International Business Times by 

NSA building

Broken antenna covers of a former National Security Agency, or NSA, listening station are seen on Berlin’s Teufelsberg (“Devil’s Mountain” in German). Reuters

Add this to the fallout from the National Security Agency spying scandal: U.S. technology companies are building some of their most state-of-the-art data centers not in Silicon Valley or in ecologically favorable regions such as the Pacific Northwest, but in Europe, far from the NSA’s prying eyes. Big names such as Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and Salesforce.com Inc. are undertaking the construction to appease European Union watchdogs who are mulling a host of new regulations to safeguard Europeans’ privacy in the wake of revelations made by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Along with bringing their blueprints and engineers, these companies are creating thousands of new, high-paying jobs that might otherwise have been located in the U.S.

NetSuite Inc., a rapidly growing company that sells cloud-based software for the back office, is planning to open two new data centers in Europe this year. CEO Zach Nelson said the sites will mean faster data connections for the firm’s customers there. They will also help NetSuite comply with Europe’s increasingly strict privacy regime. The new facilities “will make the question go away,” Nelson told International Business Times in an interview.

Meanwhile, Apple announced Monday it would spend $1.9 billion this year to build data centers in Denmark’s Jutland area and Ireland’s Galway county. In a statement, CEO Tim Cook said the facilities would create “hundreds of local jobs” and feature “some of our most green building designs yet.”

The data centers’ proximity to European customers will help services such as iTunes and Siri run more smoothly. Significantly, they will also keep Apple from running afoul of Europe’s new regulatory regime around data protection and privacy, some of which was adopted in the post-Snowden era.

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