German protestors hold posters reading 'Stasi 2.0' depicting US President Barack Obama wearing headphones.

Editor’s Note: Emma Llanso is the director of the Center for Democracy & Technology’s Free Expression Project, which works to promote policies that support users’ free expression rights in the U.S. and around the world. The opinions in this commentary are solely hers.

Story highlights

Warnings about governments' ability to muzzle citizens has emerged at a web conference

Snowden's revelations rattled people around the world, and revealed how reform is needed

However proposals for data to be stored locally could create a "splinternet"

That would be a dangerous move, Emma Llanso writes, with little effect on surveillance