Sunday 15 April 2012

Even the founder of Google is warning Whitehall against cloud computing

In a series of articles recently DMossEsq has warned against Whitehall's plans to adopt cloud computing, please see for example Cloud computing is bonkers or, as HMG put it, a "no-brainer". One of the risks of storing UK citizens' data on servers operated by Google, say, or any of the other suppliers of cloud computing services, is that the data will then come under the jurisdiction of other governments.

Is that true?

Yes it is. The Guardian today carry an article about Sergey Brin, one of the genius founders of Google, Web freedom faces greatest threat ever, warns Google's Sergey Brin, in which they say:
Brin acknowledged that some people were anxious about the amount of their data that was now in the reach of US authorities because it sits on Google's servers. He said the company was periodically forced to hand over data and sometimes prevented by legal restrictions from even notifying users that it had done so.
It is mystifying how Whitehall can even consider storing our personal data in the cloud, as though that might be acceptable to their parishioners. The question is indeed a "no-brainer", as Whitehall put it – no-one with a mental age over 12 would have the least trouble seeing that the answer is no.

Actually, some of these articles aren't so recent. The decision facing Francis Maude was published in January 2011 and With their head in the clouds was published 18 months ago in October 2010. Francis Maude is the man in charge. Him and Ian Watmore, permanent secretary at the Cabinet Office. Mr Maude. Mr Watmore. Please. Get a grip. Tell the children it's time to grow up.

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