Your Data in Australia is subject to the US Patriot Act

Your Data in Australia is subject to the US Patriot Act

One of the great advantages of cloud computing is the ability to compute across borders, thereby insulating a business from any localized issue that can potentially disrupt work (Earthquakes and Cloud Computing ). However, this necessarily means that business data is scattered across the globe, leading to possible legal and political complications (Computing Without Borders – What Works, What Doesn’t ).

Some time back I had written about a potential threat to consumer rights under the US PATRIOT Act, a threat that is somewhat protected against by the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution but loses that protection in the cloud (Is Cloud Computing a Threat to Consumer Rights? ). Now, it seems that that threat goes beyond American borders, reaching out to Australia halfway across the world.

Now, some of you may very well chafe at the use of the word “threat” in this context. After all, you will argue, when the government wants to access private data for public good, it is in everyone’s interest to cooperate. While I wholeheartedly agree with the need for greater scrutiny in our current terrorism-stricken world, I feel it is only right to point out that there is a fine line between a caring government and an Orwellian Big Brother who dictates every sphere of human activity. After all, McCarthyism was right by the laws of its time, but subsequent generations have condemned it.

Make no mistake about it: I am not advocating individual or corporate rights over those of the society; I just believe there should be adequate safeguards available to ensure that in pursuit of protecting one of them, we don’t trample over the others.

According to Australian cloud computing company Ninefold, any data residing on Amazon servers in Australia would possibly to US legislation, specifically the US PATRIOT Act. This assertion was made even as Amazon CTO Werner Vogels tours Australia in a visit that analysts have speculated as being in the interests of Amazon’s introduction in the country.

There are … critical considerations around data sovereignty and US-headquartered organizations, regardless of the location of the data center,” Ninefold’s local managing director Peter James said. “The US Patriot Act and the US Constitution affects data stored in AWS (Amazon Web Service) data centers wherever they are – even in Sydney.

In an effort to highlight possible privacy issues, Ninefold had given considerable publicity to a recent FBI raid at a US-based data center operated by DigitalOne. The hosting company wasn’t informed about the raid until three hours after it had begun — and the end customers were kept completely in the dark.

If DigitalOne hadn’t communicated with their customers, affected businesses would have had no idea that their website outage was not down to the usual suspects of technology or error, but instead due to their valuable data sitting in the back of an unmarked black van speeding away from the scene,” Ninefold had communicated on its company blog.

Now, this may be a scare tactic, but Ninefold has also warned that even if a business is storing “innocent” data, a hosting customer could still be impacted if “the Feds go after someone hosted on the same infrastructure”. “This means your data, while housed outside North America, can be taken and withheld by government and police with no warrant or due process simply because your provider is a US registered company,” it warned.

While Ninefold has its own motives in discouraging use of possible future Amazon service, being a rival to the American company, its claims do merit a closer look.

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/

One Response to Your Data in Australia is subject to the US Patriot Act

Comics

At CloudTweaks, we're plugged into the cloud, the internet of things and all that the web has to offer. From wearable technology, to mobile computing, cloud computing and big data, CloudTweaks is your source for updates and news on the most innovative technology.

Popular

Top Viral Impact

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Computing Growth

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Computing Growth

An excellent infographic provided by AwesomeCloud which predicts a continued high level of growth in the cloud computing industry. Potentially staggering numbers for Public Cloud IT Services of $100 Billion by 2016. Infographic Source: AwesomeCloud About Latest Posts souryaSourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with several financial organizations of international repute, besides being a…

Are Cloud Servers The Right Choice For Your Business?

Are Cloud Servers The Right Choice For Your Business?

Cloud servers offer power, flexibility, reliability, and client friendly hosting for small and medium businesses that have outgrown shared hosting. New business hosting clients are bombarded with an incredible diversity of different choices for their site’s hosting. It can be a challenge to negotiate the range of platforms and the marketing hype that many hosting…

Cloud Infographic: The Education Of Tomorrow

Cloud Infographic: The Education Of Tomorrow

Cloud Infographic: The Education Of Tomorrow  Online Education is a very exciting topic for many as it opens up many new doors and opportunities. We’ve touched on areas such as Massive Open Online Sources (MOOC) which provides tremendous levels of cloud based interconnectivity. We’ve taken a look into higher education,  the increased demand for online courses as well as…

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter The city of the future is impeccably documented. Sensors are used to measure air quality, traffic patterns, and crowd movement. Emerging neighborhoods are quickly recognized, public safety threats are found via social networks, and emergencies are dealt with quicklier. Crowdsourcing reduces commuting times, provides people with better transportation…

Featured Sponsors

The Internet of Everything Opens Up The World

The Internet of Everything Opens Up The World

Shaping The World With New Technologies As a connected collection of intelligent objects, the Internet of Everything promises to open up those areas of the world hardest hit by economic, political and agricultural blights. Relatively inexpensive devices, paired with revolutionary energy sources and unprecedented access to information offer great promise to farmers and workers in…

Watching You Shop: Stores And Mannequins “Read” Their Customers And Respond

Watching You Shop: Stores And Mannequins “Read” Their Customers And Respond

Watching You Shop The mannequin in the store window stares blankly ahead as shoppers look at the clothes it is dressed in and contemplate a purchase. One shopper makes some comments. “It’s nice. I wonder if they have my size.” Another takes a few steps inside the store to see where these particular clothes might…

Sponsors

What Is A Hybrid Cloud?

What Is A Hybrid Cloud?

What Is A Hybrid Cloud? With the emergence of cloud-computing technology comes the addition of new terminology. The terms public cloud and private cloud are reasonably well understood. However, a hybrid cloud can mean different things to different people. Under The Engine Perhaps the best way to define or explain a hybrid cloud is to…

Placement Opportunities - Find Out!

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.

You can help continue to support our community by social sharing, sponsoring, partnering or contributing to this great educational resource.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021

Join Our Newsletter