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Canada Deterred from US Cloud Vendors by Patriot Act

Canadian Citizen Data Presumably Would be Exposed to Snooping

There was a line in a recent report on Cloud Computing in the EU, produced by its information security agency ENISA, that almost literally jumped off the page: "as a result of the USA Patriot Act, the Canadian government instructed departments not to use computers operating within US borders."

The fear is that the US government will snoop on the Canadian data, which would no doubt contain substantial information about its citizens. This Canadian directive shows the level of mistrust of the US government these days, even by close allies, and also sets the tone for how Cloud Computing data may be regulated.

One imagines that no government its data stored on servers outside its borders in any case, even if said servers were domestically owned. The potential for spying by a foreign country, the possibility of civil unrest in a foreign country, and political backlash about not hosting citizens' data domestically all come into play. So perhaps the decisionmakers in Ottawa made a moot decision.

But what about additional government regulation? Will businesses be allowed to store their financials offshore? How about customer data? Several well-publicized examples of customer information from US banks being held hostage by disgruntled outsourcing employees in India set a precedent. Will a similar disaster related to Cloud Computing make governments feel compelled to intervene?

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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