Cloud Computing and Wikileaks: Was Amazon’s action justified?

Cloud Computing and Wikileaks: Was Amazon’s action justified?

Wikileaks has been grabbing headlines across the globe, and has divided the world into those who laud it for standing up to free speech and others who decry it as detrimental to the national security of the United States. Without being judgmental, we present some of the issues related with cloud computing that this drama has brought to light.

The Wikileaks controversy and the subsequent action taken by certain cloud computing service providers like Amazon has brought focus to the need for an industry-wide approach to service level agreements and codes of practice.

While Amazon said that Wikileaks had violated the terms of service and hence they were justified in denying service, there have also been criticism on its actions, with Dr. Joseph Reger, Chief Technology Officer for Fujitsu Technology Solutions, going on record saying,

Cloud computing’s reputation has been damaged.”

Dr. Reger said that Amazon’s action “is bad news for the new IT paradigm of cloud computing. If a provider can terminate its service that easily, then it is doing exactly what skeptics expect, putting the security and availability of cloud services into question.”

“Many potential customers for cloud computing services will, I fear, have been paying attention and will now be forced to reconsider whether they can afford to make their IT that dependent on a third party. Cloud-computing’s reputation has been damaged. For IT, this is the real tragedy,” he remarked.

Dr. Reger said that Wikileaks may have actually violated the terms of service but that was not something that Amazon should decide on, but rather a court of law. He said that this scenario had introduced a new threat to company data – while earlier they feared threats from hackers, now they would potentially fear the cloud computing service providers as well. He cautioned customers of cloud computing services to be extra careful when reviewing their service agreements with the providers of such services.

As for Amazon, it has responded to allegations of impropriety with the following statement on its website:

“Amazon Web Services (AWS) rents computer infrastructure on a self-service basis. AWS does not pre-screen its customers, but it does have terms of service that must be followed. WikiLeaks was not following them. There were several parts they were violating. For example, our terms of service state that “you represent and warrant that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content… that use of the content you supply does not violate this policy and will not cause injury to any person or entity.”

It’s clear that WikiLeaks doesn’t own or otherwise control all the rights to this classified content. Further, it is not credible that the extraordinary volume of 250,000 classified documents that WikiLeaks is publishing could have been carefully redacted in such a way as to ensure that they weren’t putting innocent people in jeopardy. Human rights organizations have in fact written to WikiLeaks asking them to exercise caution and not release the names or identities of human rights defenders who might be persecuted by their governments.

We’ve been running AWS for over four years and have hundreds of thousands of customers storing all kinds of data on AWS. Some of this data is controversial, and that’s perfectly fine. But, when companies or people go about securing and storing large quantities of data that isn’t rightfully theirs, and publishing this data without ensuring it won’t injure others, it’s a violation of our terms of service, and folks need to go operate elsewhere.

We look forward to continuing to serve our AWS customers and are excited about several new things we have coming your way in the next few months.”

By Sourya Biswas

sourya

Sourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with several financial organizations of international repute, besides being a freelance journalist with several articles published online. After 6 years of work, he has decided to pursue further studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he has completed his MBA. He holds a Bachelors in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Information Technology. He is also a member of high-IQ organizations Mensa and Triple Nine Society and has been a prolific writer to CloudTweaks over the years... http://www.cloudtweaks.com/author/sourya/

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Recent

Wearable Tech Jobs Of The Future

Wearable Tech Jobs Of The Future

Wearable Tech Jobs Wearable Technology is a very exciting industry and the sky’s the limit with new possibilities for businesses and consumers. The new technologies will make our lives easier in terms of convenience, while in other ways more complicated due to learning curve of each new product. Lets take a look at wearable tech in…

How M2M Differs From IoT Internet of Things

How M2M Differs From IoT Internet of Things

What Is M2M Machine To Machine? When it comes to communications between machines, the terms Machine to Machine (M2M) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are seemingly similar to each other. In fact, there is a very strong connection between both terms which is why they are often used as the same. However, that is…

Cloud Infographic – Top Vulnerable Applications

Cloud Infographic – Top Vulnerable Applications

Top Vulnerable Applications  As you use the Internet on a daily basis, you probably come across cyber security topics, but rarely glance at them twice. After all, cyber security threats don’t concern you, right? Well, that’s not exactly true. Cyber attacks are more widespread than you can imagine and they may be targeting your devices as…

Popular Archives

Cloud Computing Checklist For Startups

Cloud Computing Checklist For Startups

Cloud Computing Checklist For Startups There are many people who aspire to do great things in this world and see new technologies such as Cloud computing and Internet of Things as a tremendous offering to help bridge and showcase their ideas. Innovation is not doing what everyone else is doing #onefest — Warren Whitlock (@WarrenWhitlock)…

Cloud Computing – A Requirement For Greater Innovation

Cloud Computing – A Requirement For Greater Innovation

Cloud Computing Innovation Sao Paulo, Brazil has had trouble with both energy and water supplies as of late. Despite it is the rainy period. Unfortunately Sao Paulo is very dependent on its rain as a majority of its power is generated from large dams. No water, no energy. Difficult situation for a city of some…

Sponsors

The Many Hats Of Today’s IT Managers

The Many Hats Of Today’s IT Managers

The Many Hats of IT Managers In years past, the IT department of most large organizations was much like a version of Middle Earth: a mysterious nether world where people who seemed infinitely smarter than the rest of us bustled around, speaking and typing languages that appeared indecipherable, yet, which made our world work. They…

Selling Your Business To Your Employees

Selling Your Business To Your Employees

Mobility For Your Employees It may seem a radical notion, the idea of selling your business to the people who work for you, but this is the era in which we now work. Employees of all levels are all incredibly aware of their options when it comes to mobility and employability. This doesn’t mean that…

Established in 2009

CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

CloudTweaks Comic Library

Advertising