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EU countries call for the removal of barriers to data flows

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David Brown

View photosMoreAn illustration picture shows a projection of binary code on a man holding a laptop computer, in an office in Warsaw June 24, 2013.

In a letter to the European Commission and the Netherlands - which holds the rotating EU presidency - ministers from countries including Poland, Britain, Sweden and Finland urged Brussels to make sure regulation is not a barrier to the development of data-driven technologies and to avoid one-size-fits-all rules for online platforms such as Amazon and Facebook.

The Commission last year unveiled its Digital Single Market strategy, a wide-ranging plan to knock down barriers in the online world to give Europe a better chance of competing with mainly U.S. tech giants.

On Wednesday, it will present the results of its inquiry into online platforms and where it thinks action may be needed.

The strategy has faced accusations of protectionism - which the Commission says are unfounded - and data flows to the United States have endured a particularly tough ride since revelations of mass U.S. government snooping programs.

"It's extremely important to allow free data flows across the EU and we know that in some member states there are ideas to localize data inside of those beautiful countries.

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