Tech companies rally round Microsoft over US government cloud surveillance

Grazed from Computing. Author: Graeme Burton.

Microsoft has been backed by technology companies and a swathe of US corporates in a legal action against the US government over laws that could have major implications for the development of cloud computing. The law would enable US government agencies to seize data hosted on third-party computers, while at the same time barring the hosting company from informing its customers of the seizure.

Microsoft claims that the law is unconstitutional, and filed suit in April in a Seattle federal court in a bid to have the law overturned. Microsoft argues that the law violates the Fourth Amendment, prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizures, and requiring warrants to be judicially sanctioned and supported by "probable cause"...

U.S. cloud vendors adjust to Snowden effect, Privacy Shield

Grazed from CIO. Author: Clint Boulton.

When whistleblower Edward Snowden shocked the world in 2013 by revealing that the NSA was allegedly siphoning data from U.S. internet companies, pundits proclaimed that winter was coming for American cloud vendors in Europe. Evidence now suggests those fears may have been overblown.

IDC said this month that U.S. cloud vendors have increased their combined cloud infrastructure revenue two-and-a-half-times in Western Europe, topping $2 billion since the Snowden Effect was supposed to freeze the market. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, Alphabet’s Google and IBM increased their market share by a third in the region, hitting 40 percent in 2015...

With Microsoft’s trusted Cloud, startups and ISVs are building a safer, secure digital world

 Grazed from YourStory.  Author: Editorial Staff.

According to the 2015 breach report from Gemalto 707.5 million data records were compromised. This data when broken down, translates into 1.9 million records getting compromised every day, 80,766 records compromised every hour, 1,346 records compromised every minute and 22 records compromised every second!

Today, as companies and devices continue to collect ever-increasing amounts of customer information, and as consumers’ online digital activities become more diverse and prolific, more and more data is at risk and trust is defining how and who the companies do business with.  Another report by McKinsey & Company on enterprise IT security implications released in January 2014 states that lack of cyber-resilience could cost the global economy as much as $3 trillion by 2020 by slowing down the pace of technology and innovation....

Can we trust cloud providers to keep our data safe?

Grazed from BBCNews. Author: Matthew Wall.

Cloud computing - storing data and applications remotely rather than on your own premises - can cut IT costs dramatically and speed up your operations. But is it safe? Despite the rise of public cloud platforms offered by the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, less than 10% of the world's data is currently stored in the cloud. So what's holding many companies back? Technology of Business explores the issue of cloud security.

What's so good about the cloud anyway?

Building your own energy-hungry data centres is expensive and time-consuming, while managing hundreds of software applications chews up IT resources. If you can outsource a lot of this hardware and software to specialist tech companies that can expand or reduce the level of service according to your needs, it can save you a lot of time and money...

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Cloud Computing: Microsoft files lawsuit against US government and secret snooping orders

Grazed from BusinessCloudNews. Author: Jamie Davies.

Microsoft has filed a new lawsuit in federal court against the United States government arguing the right that customers should have the right to know when the state accesses their emails or records. Under current law, the government has the right to demand access to customer information, while also issuing orders to companies such as Microsoft to keep these types of legal demands secret.

Microsoft claim these orders are becoming too often common place; rather than common routine, these secrecy issues should be the exception not the rule. “We believe that with rare exceptions consumers and businesses have a right to know when the government accesses their emails or records,” said Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer at Microsoft on the company blog...

Conflicted Feelings: Concerns About Cloud Security Growing, But So Is Trust

Grazed from EnterpriseTech. Author: Doug Black.

Organizations are racing to the cloud at an accelerating pace – with growing anxiety. Concerns about cloud security is the core finding of a new study from Intel Security that reveals a variety of conflicting cloud adoption perceptions. Even as most IT managers point to compliance as the biggest concern with cloud adoption (some admit they don’t know if sensitive data is stored with a public cloud provider), an even larger number said they have more trust in the cloud than a year ago.

One of the more eye-opening findings of the survey (“Blue Skies Ahead? The State of Cloud Adoption”): in the next 16 months, 80 percent of respondent IT budgets will be dedicated to cloud computing. “Even if that outlook overestimates cloud spend it still shows a dramatic shift in mindset,” said Rolf Haas, enterprise technology specialist, Intel Security, in a blog post accompanying the survey, “ and it's often the business, rather than the IT department, that is driving that shift. In today's digital world the pull of the cloud and its benefits of flexibility, speed, innovation, cost, and scalability are now too great to be dismissed by the usual fears.”...

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Backing up to ‘the cloud’ means data is more easily available to authorities

Grazed from BDLive. Author: Jack Nicas.

While the increasing use of encryption helps smartphone users protect their data, another sometime-related technology, cloud computing, can undermine those protections. The reason: encryption can keep certain smartphone data outside the reach of law enforcement. But once the data is uploaded to companies’ computers connected to the internet — referred to as "the cloud" — it may be available to authorities with court orders.

Major cloud-computing suppliers, including smartphone providers such as Alphabet ’s Google, Microsoft and Apple, routinely comply with court orders and search warrants to turn over data that in many cases would have been harder for law enforcement to obtain had users kept it solely on their devices...

Email Privacy Act should protect cloud computing

Grazed from CloudPro. Author: Clare Hopping.

A number of technology companies, including Google, have come together at the hearing of the Email Privacy Act, which specifies US governmental bodies must obtain a warrant in order to gain access to customer emails. These technology companies argue that putting measures in place to prevent official bodies from gaining access to the content of emails is essential to benefit the future of cloud computing.

At present, under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), law enforcement agencies are able to obtain emails from a provider without getting a warrant, as long as the information has been stored for more than 180 days However, a court ruled in 2010 that in fact, this legislation violates the US's Fourth Amendment, which specifies a person has the right to "be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."...

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Cloud Computing: Living In A Post-Safe Harbor World - What Your Company Needs To Know

Grazed from CloudTweaks. Author: Editorial Staff.

With the striking down of the Safe Harbor agreement in October, we have seen the tip of a data privacy iceberg whose global implications will play out well into the new year. In 2016, U.S. businesses can expect a regulatory domino effect that will occur region by region, as more governments will take steps to protect citizen data, preserve national security interests, and build legal fences to protect local businesses.

These evolving rules will be determined within various governments, with different privacy concerns driving each set of regulations. It’s likely to produce more chaos before consistency. As we close out 2015, representatives from the EU Commission and the U.S. have been working on the terms of a new data-transfer framework that will meet the EU court’s requirements...

Commission To Congress Regarding The Cloud: Require Disclosure Of Server Locations

Grazed from Forbes.  Author: Lisa Brownlee.

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) recommended Wednesday that “Congress evaluate existing consumer right-to-know laws to determine whether a cloud-based computing company has an affirmative duty to identify the physical location of its cloud based assets.

” This recommendation came in USCC’s 2015 Annual Report to Congress. USCC Commissioner Michael R. Wessel indicated in an email last night that the impetus behind this recommendation was to enable consumers to make informed choices about data storage/processing risks...