I was reading an article on GigaOm about a presentation at the Structure 2012 conference in San Francisco today. At first I thought it was going to be the usual “security is still the biggest obstacle to the cloud” drivel that we have all read before. It was based on a presentation by Juergen Urbanski of Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems. While Urbanski did say that security perceptions were still the biggest obstacle to wider cloud adoption in Europe (a mistaken perception according to Urbanski), he also noted a fear that seems to be almost bordering on paranoia by Europeans of the far reach of the US Patriot Act.

Regardless of your politics or feelings on the Patriot Act, I was not aware that in many parts of the world they view the Patriot Act as a means for the US Government to gain access to your data. I have seen in cloud computing where customers want to make sure that their data in the cloud is stored in data centers within certain geographies. Frankly, being from the US, I always assumed that US companies and especially US Government agencies wanted their data stored in US based clouds. It would seem that many outside the US have very different feelings about storing in the US.

Urbanski had this to say about security in the cloud concerns in general and Patriot Act fears in particular,

“If you peel back the onion a little bit, about 90 percent of those concerns are really perception versus reality — in other words, it’s evident to everyone that your money is better off in the bank, but with data, people are like ‘is it really safer in the cloud?’”

“Keep in mind that the issue of the U.S. Patriot Act is way overblown in the minds of European customers,” he added. “They will go to great length to keep their data outside the realm of discoverability, outside of U.S. data centers or U.S.-run data centers.”

But oftentimes one’s perception is their reality. It would seem that as long as the Patriot Act is on the books, we will see some reluctance from foreign companies to using the cloud, at least US based or US owned clouds.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Porticor Cloud Security June 21, 2012 at 7:07 am

I believe the discussion can be richer, since there are some solutions out there. You should take a look at "Cloud privacy, regulation and the Patriot Act". http://www.porticor.com/2011/08/cloud-privacy-reg

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john vandaly June 25, 2012 at 12:42 am

Good recap and opinion. Made me think about this some more as cloud computing and storage solutions continue to get traction but resistance too – I actually had never given thought to Patriot Act provisions given our company is US based anyway. Interesting though. This was another helpful service and resource related to cloud services http://blog.webroot.com/2011/06/07/why-put-securi

I too would think that I'd be better off keeping our data in US based clouds, mainly due to perceptions over security and regulatory safeguards. http://www.webroot.com/En_US/business-products-se… –

It'll be interesting to see how this develops over the next year or so…

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security companies July 2, 2012 at 6:20 am

Yes its true that security is still the biggest problem in this world. I don't know how but, now days terrorist and thieves are having more advance technology than our security expertise so there is need of paying extra attention towards it and security services are working good for this and they also providing advance training to their security guards and all.

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