Cloud Storage Divided By National Boundaries

Will national and political interests divide up cloud storage and computing? That topic came up while I was attending Interop last month in Las Vegas during a side conversation with an employee of the Canadian government. He stated that the Canadian government IT organizations were not permitted to use services which stored or hosted the government's data outside their sovereign territory. They especially could not use services where data was store in the United States because of fears over the Patriot Act. Whoa. That brings up reminders of conflicts governments have introduced to the Internet, such as Google cooperating with the Chinese government. The same could happen when your data is stored in the cloud.

What does it mean if your data is stored in the cloud and some foreign government entity might have access to it? If your business records or personal data were stored in China, would it be subject to access by government officials unbeknown to you? Maybe your data is somewhere which you don't know who might have spying eyes into it. I'm trying not to be paranoid or nationalistic here, but this is a topic no one is talking about... yet.

The Patriot Act or similar future laws could put a damper on organizations willingness to use cloud storage within US borders. The same can happen within other countries. I say, the first public example of one of these types of laws being used to access and then prosecute someone will cause a major uproar, here and outside our borders.

So, am I just being paranoid? Or is this a real issue. Post your thoughts.

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