Continued from page 1

One of the sticking points for U.S. trade negotiators will be persuading the EU to allow companies to move data back and forth from their overseas operations to the U.S.

Europe was hesitant about such data transfers even before the NSA reports were published.

Bitkom, a German trade association for the information technology, telecommunications and new media industries, is pushing for the EU to place more emphasis on digital issues, such as data protection, during trade talks with the U.S.

“It is necessary to ensure that an adequate level of data protection is not only required but is also enforced,” Bitkom President Dieter Kempf said on the organization’s website.

The issue doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

“The issue of data theft and industrial espionage will remain on the agenda” for a while, Mr. Meseke said.