Great articles on other sites
- iiNet founder Michael Malone finally backs TPG Telecom takeover
- How and why the public sector must make friends with artificial intelligence
- Second anniversary of IT pricing report approaches - Computerworld
- Doctors spend 15 mins opening Fiona Stanley Hospital software
- What to expect from Abbott's national cyber security strategy
- ISPs need more time for data retention compliance
- TPG iiNet bid: major shareholders complain
- Qld emergency services payroll replacement on the rocks
- Victoria to wait another eight months for public IT dashboard
- Superloop CEO slams Australian govt tech policies
Renai's other site: Sci-fi + fantasy book news and reviews
- Kim Stanley Robinson’s new book Aurora is due in July
- What’s the future of “Grimdark” fantasy?
- An epic rant from Richard Morgan about nuance in writing
- Brandon Sanderson’s Firefight: Review
- Get into Jeff VanderMeer’s head as he writes the Southern Reach trilogy
- George R. R. Martin’s next book The Winds of Winter won’t arrive in 2015
- Alastair Reynolds’ Poseidon’s Wake launches 16 April
- Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Sword: Review
- Ann Leckie finishes Ancillary Mercy
- Hannu Rajaniemi’s The Fractal Prince: Review
Enterprise IT, Featured, News - Written by Navina Anand, Chillibreeze on Friday, April 13, 2012 11:30 - 52 Comments
US slams Australia’s on-shore cloud fixation
news The United States’ global trade representative has strongly criticised a perceived preference on the part of large Australian organisations for hosting their data on-shore in Australia, claiming it created a significant trade barrier for US technology firms and was based on a misinterpretation of the US Patriot Act.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), recently released “The 2012 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE),” that surveys significant foreign barriers to US exports. The issue of cloud computing was a major barrier, it was felt.
A number of US companies had expressed concerns that various departments in the Australian Government, namely, the Department of Defence, The National Archives of Australia, the Department of Finance and Deregulation, the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) and the State of Victoria’s Privacy Commissioner had been sending negative messages about cloud providers based outside the country, implying that “hosting data overseas, including in the United States, by definition entails greater risk and unduly exposes consumers to their data being scrutinised by foreign governments”.
The cloud issue is not a new one. In August 2011, the global head of CSC’s cloud business, Siki Giunta who was present in Australia to launch BizCloud commented that she felt that there was a lack of collaboration between the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) industry and the Government in Australia. However, Glenn Archer, First Assistant Secretary at AGIMO, said the AGIMO had, in fact, been working very closely with industry for many months through the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) Cloud Task Force.
Recently, Acting Victorian Privacy Commissioner Anthony Bendall highlighted some of the privacy concerns with cloud computing, particularly in its use by the local government. He said the main problems were the lack of control over stored data and privacy, in overseas cloud service providers. He felt that data security; accountability for data breach; and differing privacy laws were concerns that needed to be addressed, when considering storing information and data, especially relating to the government, in a cloud.
On the issue of privacy concerns, the report stated that there seemed to be a misinterpretation of the applicable US law including the US Patriot Act and regulatory requirements. In November last year, draft legislation had been introduced in Parliament, banning the overseas storing of Australian electronic health records. The report claimed this to be a significant trade barrier for US information technology companies with data centres in the US and other countries. US industry sources have appealed asking for a risk-based approach to ensure the security of sensitive data as against a geographical one.
In the telecom section, the report stated that the structure of the National Broadband Network Company, NBN Co, (responsible for implementing wholesale broadband services in Australia) could enhance non-discriminatory access to network services for overseas companies including US companies, as the NBN would not compete in retail markets. The United States expressed concern that foreign equity limits in Telstra, were still capped at 35 percent, and the individual foreign investors could own only up to 5 per cent of the company. The report stated that the US Government would monitor the development of the NBN to ensure that competitors obtained fair access to services and customers.
This is pretty much what you’d expect from the US Government — it’s looking out for its own interests and trying to push Australia to conform with it. However, I don’t view the US Trade Representative’s views as legitimate, when examined from an Australian perspective. US cloud computing companies such as Salesforce.com, Rackspace, Amazon and Google have committed very little infrastructure to the Australian market, and analysis after analysis has warned of the data security dangers of storing sensitive data in jurisdictions covered by US legislation, which can, at times, allow the US Government unprecedented access to private data.
I would hope that Australia’s large organisations, and our governments, ignore this criticism from the US. Cloud computing companies are completely free to build infrastructure in Australia, and it’s not a trade barrier when some organisations simply don’t want to buy your products because of some portions of your government’s legislation. In fact, it’s probably true that Australian companies view the Patriot Act as a trade barrier to dealing with US companies. Perhaps Australia’s own trade representative should lobby to have it repealed? ;)
Blog, Policy + Politics - Jul 30, 2015 12:27 - 0 Comments
More In Policy + Politics
- 7:30 exposes Aussie Hacking Team industry
- Hypocrisy? Fletcher pushs tech exports to China while TSSR bill looms
- Telcos seek data retention extension to avoid legal action
- Turnbull defends Geelong MP from FTTN critics
- Labor unveils strong Digital Economy push with top political support
Analysis, Enterprise IT - Jul 28, 2015 16:20 - 14 Comments
More In Enterprise IT
- Qld Govt Depts have no disaster recovery plan
- ASD releases Windows 8 hardening guide
- ASG picks up $35m CIMIC IT services deal
- Datacom completes mammoth Health ICT takeover
- Weather bureau gets $80m Cray supercomputer
Industry, News - Jul 28, 2015 12:37 - 0 Comments
More In Industry
- iiNet shareholders vote ‘yes’ for TPG buyout
- iiNet chairman “proud” as TPG sell-out looms
- Kotaku alleges abuse, gross staff neglect at retailer EB Games
- Aussie software firm Marketplacer grabs $10m
- Expert360 pulls in $4.1m for consultancy 2.0
Consumer Tech, News - Jul 29, 2015 17:14 - 10 Comments
More In Consumer Tech
- Older Australians embracing video games
- Gasp … Qld will fuel electric vehicle charging stations with solar
- Oops … Tesla enthusiast charges car on Qld windfarm
- Netflix Australia: Review
- RAC builds electric vehicle highway in WA