In our work on Asian backhaul capacity, we had noticed the decline of traffic to North America. One of the results of the WCIT deliberations was an added focus on national and regional Internet Exchange Points, the natural result being more intra-regional traffic and less routing through the US. The PRISM exposure will accelerate these processes. At some point the changes in the Internet architecture will translate into changes in the policy architecture.
For a decade, the United States has fought to position itself as a neutral party that could be trusted to administer the internet in a manner that was beneficial to all parties. Now, the NSA has been caught gloating over the fact that internet traffic routing rules drive foreign data directly into its data centers by the truckload. Latin America, China, and to a much smaller extent, Europe, have precious little reason to trust the NSA and now, a great many reasons to guard their own digital borders. The question of whether the NSA actually did anything inappropriate is remarkably unimportant when there’s political hay to be made.