In August, the Financial Times reported that European companies are concerned about entering into agreements with U.S. cloud providers because U.S. companies may be required to turn over data to U.S. government agencies under the Patriot Act. Such disclosures would violate European data protection laws, which require that individuals be given notice when their personal data is disclosed to third-parties.

Earlier this week, ComputerWorldUK reported that the Dutch government was concerned about government contracts with U.S. cloud providers due to potential data disclosures authorized by the Patriot Act. Ivo Opstelten, the Dutch minister of security and justice, reportedly answered questions about a statement Microsoft made about being subject to the Patriot Act, and Opstelten reportedly said that U.S. cloud providers would basically be excluded from contracts with the Dutch government. (The minister’s answers to the questions are here, in Dutch.)

However, today PCWorld reported that Opstelten stated that the matter is a "conflict of legislation" that the European Union and the United States need to address and that U.S. cloud providers can continue to do business in the Netherlands. He reportedly softened his position after deliberations with the Dutch minister of the interior.