When we think about cryptographic keys, we tend to think about closely guarded secrets. Keys are the only thing that keeps the attacker away from your encrypted data. Some keys are usually treated with the appropriate level of respect. Security professionals in the payments industry, or those that have deployed a PKI, know all too well about the importance... 

Richard Moulds

Race for the 2012 White House: Could the Cloud Factor?

Race for the 2012 White House: Could the Cloud Factor?

The pursuit of the 2013 Presidential seat is both of great interest and a major bore. Incumbent President Obama has remained mostly mum, biding his time by building up his future campaign’s financial coffers. His would-be combatants on the other side of the aisle have struggled to coronate a worthy GOP competitor.

At least recent elections have winnowed down a collection of misfit electoral toys to a potentially promising few: Newt Gingrich most recently won the South Carolina Primary; Mitt Romney took New Hampshire, while Rick Santorum wrested Iowa.

The nation’s financial deficit, taxes, the economy, and job availability rank as the most important issues to consumers. But should cloud computing also factor in as a critical topic of debate for this election’s presidential hopefuls?

Smart candidates interested in courting a web-enabled community of voters would surely not fail to realize the cloud’s import; the new boom in technology has implications in a diverse array of fields that prove important to polled Americans, including health care, government ethics and corruption, and the economy.

Information technology professionals in the healthcare sector have been beating the drum for the incorporation of cloud computing into hospitals for months now, with increasing fervor. The cloud could reputedly reduce the costs of data storage and exchange throughout medical facilities, from the radiology department to general family care.  Most facilities are hesitant to move to the cloud out of concerns for its security and maintenance of privacy — an apt transition into the growing conversation about internet data safety, in the wake of SOPA and PIPA.

Many political candidates might look to avoid conversation about the cloud, regarding it as currently immaterial or as an attractant for the bitter discussion around governmental interference into the Web. Yet a savvy stumper could still mention cloud computing without harming his or her campaign, by capitalizing on its ramifications on the country’s economic status.

Forbes recently released an article praising the cloud as a potential economic boon. By lowering business costs, spearheading projects and intra-team communication, and improving an establishment’s ability to rebuild and avoid superfluous measures, according to the article, cloud computing could reboot the power of American labor.

Will the current crop of GOP candidates ever acknowledge the cloud? Can we count on youth magnet Obama to galvanize his web-astute voters with a cloud computing conversation? Could cloud computing eventually surface as a make-or-break issue for future White House occupants?

By Jeff Norman

About Jeff Norman

Jeff Norman is a freelance writer currently based in New York City. He's moved into writing about cloud computing from substantial work in culture and the arts. He earned his undergraduate degree in English at Stanford and has studied at Oxford and Cambridge.