Germany’s government wants to foster Europe’s technology companies to make them stronger competitors to their US counterparts.
The cabinet led by Angela Merkel agreed on an initial strategy to reduce American dominance in the Internet market on Wednesday.
"We need a strong European information technology industry which can offer alternatives," said Germany’s economy minister Philipp Roesler, naming security of cloud computing and closer ties between technology start-ups and established industry players as a key to achieve the goal.
The decision is seen as a response to growing public concerns regarding private-data protection following the revelations of the extent of US digital surveillance programmes. Leaked by a former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the documents pointed to the involvement of technology giants such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook in the data-mining activities.
In the wake of the international scandal, Germany started negotiating with the European Commission over how to tighten EU data-protection laws, aiming ultimately at signing a 'no-spy' deal with Washington.