Do We Need a National Cloud?

By Jürgen Biffar – In many countries, you can often hear calls for a national cloud. Is this the future for secure cloud applications or a dusty anachronism? Let’s discuss whether this is a question of perceived or actual security.

Two arguments are usually brought up when national clouds are mentioned: protection against data access by foreign authorities and a country‘s different legal standards regarding data protection.

Data Access
Securing data from unwanted access by some far-off forces is often a trigger point for a national cloud. The call is for the cloud to also be located in your own country, so that both legal and technical access by foreign players is prevented. Specifically, recent discussions concerned protection from foreign secret services.

Frankly, it’s not clear whether this approach is realistic in a globalized world. Key plus points of the cloud: a highly efficient, highly flexible, highly secure and cost-effective method of providing computing power and storage space. All this can only be offered by large organizations who are consistently competitive and profitable. Every possible provider of a national cloud operates internationally with subsidiaries in the most important industrialized nations. Authorities from these nations need only exert sufficient pressure on these subsidiaries to obtain desired data. This makes it doubtful whether a national cloud could provide additional protection.

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