Saying this could “cripple” Facebook is probably an overstatement, but there’s definitely a storm brewing over the cross-border interactions of US-based social media and cloud vendors. This article is a little old now, but just the other day I was reading about Microsoft having a very similar battle, albeit in reverse. That is, the US government wants them to hand over data stored in an Irish datacentre.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: data privacy laws in the US are weird. They’re weird (by which I mean “very, very lax”) in such a way that companies like Google and Facebook–that essentially rely on the third-party sale of personal data–couldn’t exist in places like the EU. And if you don’t think Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon (in its AWS incarnation, at least) haven’t been paying attention to that in order to use it as a point of market differentiation? Then you haven’t been paying attention.