German Chancellor Angela Merkel is apparently all in favor of the idea of the European Union building a separate internet, so that American bad boys from the National Security Agency (NSA) can't snoop on her. While it all sounds good on paper, the idea, from certain angles at least, isn't practical enough and wouldn't serve the purpose.
First of all, it's well known that the NSA collaborates with agencies of a number of European countries for its operations. Hence, even if Europe gets its own internet, the nosy American spies would still get the data they want from their partners in Europe. The need here is to make sure that European agencies limit their collaborations with the NSA.
But if Edward Snowden's revelations have taught us one thing, it is that the NSA is quite self-sufficient in the espionage department and would steal private data even if their formal requests aren't honored. To counter that, creating a better defense to stop attackers from penetrating European data networks is a more feasible solution. China's infamous Golden Shield Project could be a model to base this firewall on – only not in a creepy way.
However, even a deterrent of this kind wouldn't be ideal as supporters of free speech could raise hell for implementing China-like tactics. But wherever the solution of this problem lies, it certainly doesn't in isolating Europe's web space from the rest of the world.
Merkel herself was the victim of NSA's snooping, and this is exactly why she feels a bit too strongly on this subject. However, French President François Hollande, whom she is scheduled to meet and discuss the issue with on Wednesday, may not share her enthusiasm and seemed to have made his peace with the NSA when he met US President Barack Obama last week.