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Foreign Businesses Flee US Cloud Computing, Survey Finds

Concerns about NSA surveillance driving some Canadian and UK companies to take their cloud computing business abroad.

(Image Credit: Bruce Clay, Inc.)
(Image Credit: Bruce Clay, Inc.)

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User Rank: Ninja
1/15/2014 | 11:59:27 AM
Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt: Still a marketing tactic?
While I absolutely understand the hestitation of companies to leverage US based cloud services due to the fear around the NSA leaks, the reality is that sadly a lot of the more established cloud providers are US companies.  That being said, this means it is a great opportunity for startups in the UK and Canada to start to build competitive services to meet the needs of the market.  The only downside is that funding for these startups is very scarce, especially in Canada. So we are just not seeing the innovation and startup pool that we would like.

As for the figures themselves, its always going to be need to be taken with a grain of salt.  These are projected "poor us, this is how much we are hurting" but the reality is that the market itself might have slowed down.  If indeed these services are being avoided, the subscriptions must be going somewhere else.  I'd be curious to see if there is a revenue shift geographically for cloud providers as a result. That will be the true test.
User Rank: Strategist
1/13/2014 | 8:19:49 PM
While Patriots strut, Canada gets stronger
Other countries, particularly Germany, UK and France, have laws on the books like the Patriot Act  but they are not so foolish as to trumpet them as the work of patriots. They are special provisions buried in existing laws or given much more non-descript names. In the Netherlands, for example, the government's power to snoop is in Artical 2: 2(b) of the Personal Data Protection Act. America, home of the golden arches, doesn't hide its sins of excess behind a veil. See, "Is Cloud Computing A Global Market Yet? Nyet."  On the other hand, Canada continues to develop stronger and stronger indigenous cloud service suppliers, like CentriLogic in Toronto. See
User Rank: Author
1/10/2014 | 3:52:31 PM
Figures Hard To Believe
These figures sound overblown. And even if they're indicative, one has to wonder whether pulling out of the US is a realistic answer -- and for that matter, whether there are really any safe data havens in the world.  The laws on data sovereignty from country to country are a mess, and likely to remain in flux, as Daniel Castro, quoted in this article, discovered in preparing a report he and the ITIF released recently. The report called for a "Geneva Convention" to address the complex maze of data laws that affect growth of cloud computing and global trade.   (You can read more at Tangled Data Protection Laws Threaten Cloud, Critics Say).
User Rank: Author
1/10/2014 | 12:47:53 PM
More To Learn
The author does a good job of showing the weaknesses of this research, so I wouldn't jump to too many conclusions based on it. What's I'd like to see is a comprehensive, truly international study on this subject.
User Rank: Strategist
1/10/2014 | 11:00:19 AM
Re: Is anywhere safe?
This is precisely why I don't use my Facebook account or even have a Twitter account. If my correspondence contains anything that needs to be secure, I use snail mail. I will NEVER use cloud computing for any reason. If there comes a time when that is all that is available, I guess I'll just retire my internet connection and go dark. Security promises mean nothing in this time of data overload.

Now, we can't even trust our own government. I admit that I am an old man. I still have my original Social Security card that I got when I was in the 8th grade so that I could get work with a work permit. The government (OUR government) printed the following on the bottom of ALL Social Security cards back then: "For Social Security and Tax Purposes Only - Not For Identification". They had promised my parent's generation that no citizen of the United States would ever be given a universal identification number as Germany had done. We all can see how that has worked out.
User Rank: Ninja
1/10/2014 | 10:57:39 AM
Hard Spot
The Patriot Act really puts U.S. technology companies in a tough spot.

And while these companies are saying that the NSA revelations are not affecting their business, I think we all know that they are on some level. 
David F. Carr
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
1/10/2014 | 10:14:36 AM
Is anywhere safe?
Is there any good reason to believe the NSA doesn't also have its fingers in data centers outside of the U.S., with or without the operators knowledge? The agency's mission is supposed to be connecting signals intelligence from around the world, is it not?
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