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More tech firms move data centers to Europe

Another major cloud computing company is opening up European data centers to let its customers keep data within European Union borders — and under the region’s data protection laws.

Salesforce.com on Friday fired up a United Kingdom-based data center, an overseas first for the San Francisco-based company. It will also launch data centers in France and Germany next year.

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Cloud storage companies have begun opening new data centers in the EU, responding to consumer demand to keep data away from U.S. soil after revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance tactics.

Just over a week ago, Amazon booted up new data centers in Germany, a country that requires some data to be stored locally. The e-commerce giant specifically said the reason it targeted Germany was to assure EU customers their data would stay within EU borders.

Some analysts have estimated the disclosures about U.S. surveillance programs could cost the cloud industry up to $180 billion.

The U.S. is considering legislation to strengthen oversight and restrictions on its surveillance programs, including the USA Freedom Act, which passed the House earlier this year, but faces long odds in the lame duck Senate.