Microsoft's Patriot Act admission has the EU up in arms

Last week, Microsoft quietly confirmed that cloud data stored on its European servers can still be handed over to American investigators -- and the EU is none too pleased about it. As it turns out, the revelation has shed new light on a fundamental conflict between US law and the EU's Data Protection Directive -- an edict requiring that companies notify consumers whenever sharing their personal information. The bi-lateral Safe Harbor agreement calls for similarly strict protocol, but under the Patriot Act (which trumps all else), companies like Microsoft could be forced to hand over private data without informing targeted individuals. In response, some members of the European Parliament are calling upon legislators to take action and to implement safeguards that can't be overridden by third-party governments. It remains to be seen whether or not this leads to any new laws or transatlantic tensions, but if we've learned anything, it's that Europeans take their clouds very seriously.