Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

European cloud: the status of the hype

Recently, we were bombarded with the ominous message that the “European cloud” is actually a sham. This statement was especially put forward in response to questions surrounding the introduction of Microsoft’s cloud service Office 365, on which occasion Managing Director Microsoft UK Gordon Frazer had to recognize that even information in European clouds is not always safe for American ‘searches’.

The idea that data is safer at Microsoft or Amazon because, unlike Google, they have a special ‘European cloud’ has thus turned into an illusion. Simply because also these companies can be forced to share the data they host in Europe with the American authorities and secret services. Imagine, if you will, an organization such as Rackspace. This hosting company recently opened a datacenter in the U.K. that they set up especially for the European cloud. A waste of time and money?

Fortunately, it is not as straight forward as it looks at first sight. The reason why companies such as Microsoft and Amazon can be forced to hand over their data is the fact that these companies’ headquarters are located in the United States. Therefore, they must adhere to U.S. claims, rulings, the Patriot Act and act upon the requests of U.S. intelligence agencies. Whether the data is hosted in Europe is absolutely irrelevant in this matter. Case closed. Or is it…?

Apparently not… A Microsoft spokesperson in Brussels seems to have claimed that any company that has an office in the U.S. is obligated by law to respond to a legitimate request from the U.S. government for information. According to this person, this applies to every situation. Again, regardless of where the data is stored and whether there are other, conflicting legal obligations in the country where the data is stored.

And then there’s an interesting legal interpretation of the incident, for example the version which an employee of a renowned Dutch agency  has posted. The author of the article states that he would not be surprised if the European Commission would indicate that the use of cloud solutions for processing sensitive personal data involves (too) many risks. He based his opinion in particular on the questions that Sophie in ‘t Veld, Dutch member of European of the Parliament’s civil liberties committee, posed.  More specifically: “Does the Commission consider that the U.S. Patriot Act [thus] effectively overrules the E.U. Directive on Data Protection? What will the Commission do to remedy this situation, and ensure that E.U. data protection rules can be effectively enforced and that third country legislation does not take precedence over E.U. legislation?”.

I would like to comment on all three points. Let me start with the assertion of the Microsoft spokesperson in Brussels, which I can counter with great certainty by saying that the relevant journalist has simply misinterpreted the spokesperson’s story. It’s not about companies who have an office in the U.S. but about companies whose headquarters are located in the US.  Jitscale has an office in Florida, but our European clients know and trust us among other things because of the fact that we put their data in the European clouds that are NOT American owned. Moreover, we look at our client’s business requirements first. If these requirements – or specific rule and / or laws for that matter – dictate that privacy-sensitive data must be stored in a certain way or location, we simply adjust the infrastructural design, for example by storing the data in a local data center or cloud. “EU Outraged Over Cloud Data Access by US Patriot Act”  is a title that certainly does not apply to our customers. And with that I’ve basically also commented on the first point; an European cloud does exist! And it is simply being exploited by providers with an European headquarter.

And then my response to point three, the legal part. However legitimate the lawyer’s conclusion may be from his legal view point, I sincerely hope he is blatantly wrong. And I’m not the only one, I’m sure. I would be very disappointed if the European Commission would convey to its inhabitants that using a cloud for processing and storing personal data is risky. We are all just getting used to the idea that the cloud offers many benefits. Provided that it is managed well, that goes without saying. But everyone knows by now that the cloud, in comparison with physical infrastructure, is cheaper, scalable, future-proof, redundant where necessary, and therefore safe, flexible, and so on.

I surely understand Ms. In het Veld’s reasons to raise the problem of data protection that exist between Europe and the U.S. But please let’s tackle the problems where they actually occur. In my opinion Ms. In het Veld rightly states that Europe should introduce clear rules and agreements with the Americans as soon as possible, as American laws increasingly seem to apply to European territory.

But Ms. In het Veld rightly didn’t question the merits of cloud computing itself. If well managed, with the specialist knowledge available today, there is nothing to worry about. Especially if the provider has its headquarters in Europe. The entire discussion should be about responsibilities, rights and obligations associated with data management and traffic. Not about how data management and traffic are achieved.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Arjan de Jong

Arjan de Jong is Sales & Marketing Manager of Basefarm and has been working in the Internet industry since 1997.

Latest Stories
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science" is responsible for guiding the technology strategy within Hitachi Vantara for IoT and Analytics. Bill brings a balanced business-technology approach that focuses on business outcomes to drive data, analytics and technology decisions that underpin an organization's digital transformation strategy.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Sanjeev Sharma Joins November 11-13, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @CloudEXPO New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Kevin Jackson joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized cloud computing expert and Founder/Author of the award winning "Cloud Musings" blog. Mr. Jackson has also been recognized as a "Top 100 Cybersecurity Influencer and Brand" by Onalytica (2015), a Huffington Post "Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter" (2013) and a "Top 50 C...
For years the world's most security-focused and distributed organizations - banks, military/defense agencies, global enterprises - have sought to adopt cloud technologies that can reduce costs, future-proof against data growth, and improve user productivity. The challenges of cloud transformation for these kinds of secure organizations have centered around data security, migration from legacy systems, and performance. In our presentation, we will discuss the notion that cloud computing, properl...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.