As the fall out of Snowden continues, it’s now the US IT industry which is going through widespread surveillance, which may stop businesses around the World from working with American companies.
Last Thursday we saw Microsoft suffering another setback in their case, testing cross-border law enforcement of the cloud computing era, after it was ordered to hand US law enforcement agencies data held in a data centre in Ireland. Yes, even if you’re a UK or European business hosted on a Cloud service in Europe but operated by an American company such as Microsoft, Amazon or IBM, your business data could be accessed by the American governments National Security agency.
Microsoft’s general counsel Brad Smith says “Europeans are less than enthusiastic about seeing the US government reach into data centres in Europe and see their data”
American IT companies fear that the Snowden revelations and attempts by the US authorities to tap data overseas may see a foreign boycott of their services, damaging the competitiveness of US Cloud providers in general.
Where does the national security agencies jurisdiction end? I think the next five or six years, up to 2020, we are going to see new levels of security installed in European data centres, to block out the threat of government agencies.
I’m all for dealing with the terrorist threat, but accessing business information and data is a different kettle of fish.
The case in America continues and Microsoft have said they are willing to take it to their Supreme Court and White House if necessary – so watch this space.