Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Cloud Businesses Government Privacy Security United States Politics

Patriot Act Clouds Picture For Tech 203

Harperdog writes "Politico has a piece on how the Patriot Act is interfering with U.S. firms trying to do business overseas in the area of cloud computing. Here's a quote: 'The Sept. 11-era law was supposed to help the intelligence community gather data on suspected terrorists. But competitors overseas are using it as a way to discourage foreign countries from signing on with U.S. cloud computing providers like Google and Microsoft: Put your data on a U.S.-based cloud, they warn, and you may just put it in the hands of the U.S. government.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Patriot Act Clouds Picture For Tech

Comments Filter:
  • Probably, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:11PM (#38242244)
    ...you put it anywhere on the "cloud", and it's one mis-step away from being everywhere.
  • Yep (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:11PM (#38242248)

    Doesn't matter if you comply with EU data protection rules, we still don't trust you.

    • Re:Yep (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:34PM (#38242646)

      More importantly, since there are US laws which contradict the very protections that EU safe harbor rules require, we CAN'T trust US companies to abide by our data protection requirements. We are bound by law to ensure these protections, so sending the data to the US is arguably illegal. The only reason why anyone still does it is that enforcement is so lax.

      • Re:Yep (Score:5, Insightful)

        by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:50PM (#38242882)

        Would you kindly step up the enforcement, then? We all know that the US government isn't going to listen to it's citizens, but it's just as obvious that they listen to corporations. Maybe if Amazon, Google and a few other major cloud storage providers take a huge hit, they'll tell the government to fix the situation.

        • Re:Yep (Score:5, Informative)

          by crankyspice ( 63953 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @05:10PM (#38243254)

          Maybe if Amazon, Google and a few other major cloud storage providers take a huge hit, they'll tell the government to fix the situation.

          No, shops large enough to have influence are likewise large enough to simply setup European subsidiaries, with hardware in Europe and a cadre of European compliance officers, and it's business as usual. "You can choose a Region to optimize for latency, minimize costs, or address regulatory requirements ... Objects stored in a Region never leave the Region unless you transfer them out. For example, objects stored in the EU (Ireland) Region never leave the EU." http://aws.amazon.com/s3/ [amazon.com] (emphasis added)

          • But can they really get around the Patriot Act this way? After all, if they're American companies, with their headquarters located in Silicon Valley, aren't they still required to follow American laws, including any wholly-owned subsidiaries they may have? (disclaimer: IANAL) Some company located in Switzerland, for example, with absolutely zero physical presence in the USA, would not have this problem or this potential legal liability.

            • Re:Yep (Score:5, Informative)

              by canadian_right ( 410687 ) <alexander.russell@telus.net> on Friday December 02, 2011 @07:31PM (#38245376) Homepage

              It is illegal in BC, Canada to store any personal information on any server physically residing in the USA. This law is an acknowledgement that the USA Patriot act can lead to Canadian information, protected by Canadian laws, being revealed without judicial oversight.

              We don't care if it is a cloud or not, it can't be stored in the USA.

              • As an American, I think more countries (and the rest of the Canadian provinces too) should enact laws like this.

                • As an American, I think more countries (and the rest of the Canadian provinces too) should enact laws like this.

                  I recently applied for a job in Canada. The one I applied for as well as several others I saw said that precedent is given to Canadians over foreign nationals. I've never seen an American government or industry job make the same disclaimer. President is the only thing that comes to mind.

                  • That's because in the USA, preference is given to whoever they can pay the least, no matter how incompetent they are at the job.

                    I'm reminded of a Dilbert comic where the PHB says he only wants top-notch candidates, but wants to pay average salaries.

                    Most advanced countries have governments which look out for the interests of their citizens, who vote for them. It's not like this in the US, where the government only looks out for the interests of lobbyists and large corporations.

            • Re:Yep (Score:5, Informative)

              by chrb ( 1083577 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @08:50PM (#38246220)
              Wholly-owned international subsidiaries are separate legal entities under the control of the parent company. They are obliged to follow the laws of the country that they are based in, but under no obligation to obey the law of a foreign land (such as the U.S.), as they are outside of that legal jurisdiction. However, the parent company is under such an obligation, and since it controls the subsidiary, under the Patriot Act it has a legal obligation to compel the subsidiary to comply. But if, in complying, the subsidiary may break local laws, then there are problems. Basically, the company has to decide whether to violate U.S. law or local law.

              To whom do these laws apply? All U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens, entities and organizations located in or out of the United States (including any subsidiary or foreign offices overseas) must comply with the USA PATRIOT Act, Executive Order 13224, and Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations. Further, U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373 and other resolutions have the force of international law binding on all member states.

              http://www.mott.org/resources/patriotact/faqs.aspx#q6 [mott.org]

              Whether the Patriot Act could be used to compel a U.S. parent to disclose records held by a Canadian subsidiary remains a matter of debate. The B.C. Commissioner Report found that it is a “reasonable possibility” that the FISA Court would order production of documents that are within the custody or control of a U.S. company, such as a U.S. parent with access to records held by a Canadian subsidiary.[14] If a U.S.-linked company makes a disclosure to U.S. authorities without the consent of the Canadian individuals named, this could result in the Canadian organization that transferred the information breaching Canadian privacy legislation unless the disclosure meets an exception in the applicable Canadian privacy legislation. http://library.findlaw.com/2005/May/10/245866.html [findlaw.com]

              Any company that is wholly-owned by a U.S.-based corporation cannot guarantee that the data will not leave its customer-designated datacenters or servers. Google would not budge from its first and final response, and Microsoft could not offer guarantees to not move data outside the EU under any circumstances. These subsidiary companies and their U.S.-parent corporations cannot provide the assurances that data is safe in the UK or the EEA, because the USA PATRIOT Act not only affects the U.S.-based corporations but also their worldwide wholly-owned subsidiary companies based within and outside the European Union.

              http://www.zdnet.com/blog/igeneration/case-study-how-the-usa-patriot-act-can-be-used-to-access-eu-data/8805?pg=4&tag=content;siu-container [zdnet.com]

              • Very good analysis. It seems to me that some foreign governments need to proactively warn these subsidiaries in their countries that they risk jail time if they follow the orders of their US-owned parent companies.

          • Stop squashing my hopes and dreams, dammit. The government and the 1% do a good enough job of that without you helping them :p

  • A new way? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:13PM (#38242290) Journal
    No, this isn't new, it's an argument that's been used since the USAPATRIOT Act passed. Well, maybe they're saying 'cloud' instead of 'costing' or 'colocation'. The other good argument is 'the USA has no data protection laws so if you do business in the EU and host your data in the USA then you're opening yourself up to potential liability'.
    • by chrb ( 1083577 )
      The British government has an advice page for companies that want to export data: Sending personal data outside the European Economic Area (Principle 8) [ico.gov.uk]. It is okay to send personal data to the U.S. as long as the U.S. company agrees to a contract protecting the data. They even provide model contracts.

      Although the United States of America (US) is not included in the European Commission list, the Commission considers that personal data sent to the US under the “Safe Harbor” scheme is adequately protected. When a US company signs up to the Safe Harbor arrangement, they agree to: follow seven principles of information handling; and be held responsible for keeping to those principles by the Federal Trade Commission or other oversight schemes. Certain types of companies cannot sign up to Safe Harbor. View a list of the companies signed up to the Safe Harbor arrangement on the US Department of Commerce website. In July 2007, the EU and the US signed an agreement to legitimise and regulate the transfer of passenger name record information (PNR) from EU airlines to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This agreement is regarded as providing adequate protection for the personal data in question.

      • by Gonoff ( 88518 )

        an agreement to legitimise
        In other words, they were already doing it. The idea was to stop them breaking the law without stopping them doing what they were doing.

        This proves that US companies are unsuitable for having any contact with my data but, as others have said, it pre-dates the "Patriot Act". The difference is that US citizens now have bigger penalties for not doing it. Previously it used to be just your disregard for my privacy in favour of your bottom line.

  • Well why not? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pastor Jake ( 2510522 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:14PM (#38242308)


    I don't understand these companies' hesitance when deciding to do business with US-based companies. Sure, the data may need to be seen by the government, but we aren't China; the data will be kept safe while our researchers are doing God's work by looking for pedophiles, rapists, and terrorists. Perhaps they could even insert biblical references into the cloud, in order to spread the Word to those who would not otherwise hear it.

    Your Friend,

    • Please - someone tell me that this is snark.

    • I know you're trying hard, but "Pastor Jake" is just a little too obvious to be the next Doctor Bob, as I suspect it is meant to be. That's on top of the fact that these things never work as well the second time round. Sorry!
  • Goes both ways (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pozican ( 864054 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:15PM (#38242342)
    American companies are scared their data might land in china and copied. This is only news in that the US is turning into the same crazy police state that we've thought was limited to china and north korea.
  • 'Warn' ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:16PM (#38242352) Homepage Journal
    do they even need to 'warn' ? previous incidents and documents that are in the open shows that u.s. govt, police, secret service, departments etc can wantonly request data from these services and get it. many of these, we discussed here.
  • by Calibax ( 151875 ) * on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:16PM (#38242358)

    Four thoughts:

    They may well be right in thinking their data will be more accessible to the US government.

    If I were an overseas competitor, I'd certainly use this as a reason to not to use a US provider. In a heartbeat.

    The law of unintended consequences bites the US yet again.

    This wouldn't be an issue if the US government hadn't acted the way it has over the last 10 years. The US government has so little trust overseas that people have no trouble thinking the worst of it. Karma is a bitch.

    • by kozubik ( 969276 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:56PM (#38243010)

      Not all providers are based in a single nation.

      Amazon, for instance, has AWS locations around the world, although that probably doesn't help you much given their track record.

      But rsync.net (I am the founder) has storage locations in Zurich and Hong Kong, in addition to the US. These sites are protected, just like the US sites, by the Warrant Canary:

      http://www.rsync.net/resources/notices/canary.txt [rsync.net]

      So while I agree that everyone in the world should be wary of USA PATRIOT, it's not a given that non-US consumers have to avoid US providers across the board.

      • by chrb ( 1083577 )
        That's an interesting scheme but it's not very specific. If they stop updating the page, all you know is that they got a request. You have no idea if it was for your data or someone elses.
        • by dissy ( 172727 )

          That's an interesting scheme but it's not very specific. If they stop updating the page, all you know is that they got a request. You have no idea if it was for your data or someone elses.

          If they stop posting updates, then they got a request.
          The only safe assumption at that point is that ALL of their datais now compromised. Yours too.

          Any other assumption would simply be foolish and dangerous to make.

      • by Maow ( 620678 )

        the Warrant Canary:

        http://www.rsync.net/resources/notices/canary.txt [rsync.net]

        That is freaking brilliant! I'm not in a related field, but am still kicking myself for not having thought of that myself.

        So while I agree that everyone in the world should be wary of USA PATRIOT, it's not a given that non-US consumers have to avoid US providers across the board.

        The Canary Warrant is not enough to make it safe to store data in the US, it just lets one know that they've been owned.

    • by omb ( 759389 )
      Exactly correct, lax big government, overseen by a corrupt and venal Congress, and manipulated by a politicised over-reaching Executive, Obama, will get you exactly this, It is not as if the US was liked before 9/11
  • by gessel ( 310103 ) * on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:17PM (#38242370) Homepage

    If you put your data in the cloud, you put it in the hands of not just the US government, but every government the cloud company does business with. And also in the hands of every underpaid employee in the company; and while some companies may claim otherwise, their claims are unverifiable and unenforceable. "Cloud" services have their place - it is for data that is intrinsically public and ephemeral. Nobody should ever trust any cloud service with data that is proprietary or private or irreplaceable.

    Most obviously, the "free" services are predicated on exploiting the value of their users as product to customers that are not the users. The model makes sense in some cases, for example a forum, where the shared public content is willing coproduced by users of the forum, exchanging their content creation efforts for use of the forum itself, the forum exploiting that content to attract eyeballs to advertisers that pay the bills.

    While there are strong logical reasons why cloud services are intrinsically untrustable (ultimately, he who owns the hardware, owns the data), a simple thought experiment proves the folly: how hard is it to bribe an employee of a cloud service to give you inappropriate access to someone's data? Do you think you couldn't find one employee in one company somewhere? While one may be able to find companies that are currently resistant to easy attacks, cloud companies come and go like the .coms that they are are, and with inevitable waning economic optimism, so too wanes employee loyalty. In the eventual asset transactions that follow, acquiring companies of even trusted entities are unknowns and customers have no recourse and no authority.

    At best, the loss of yet another fleeting cloud service means only the loss of the associated data and whatever codependent business line the cloud service customer bet on the serial risk of the success of the cloud company itself.

    The premise of handing your proprietary data to another person for remote, invisible processing and care is fundamentally flawed. Your interests are not aligned and their interests will evolve and ultimately diverge or fail.

    Foreign companies (and US as well) are well advised to be wary of cloud services.

    • No kidding (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @05:12PM (#38243282)

      This seems like trying to spin a general fact of life in terms of "the cloud" (a term I dislike) in to an anti-US thing.

      Your data is subject to being looked at by whoever controls it. Doesn't matter if they are supposed to, they can. The idea that the US government is the only one that looks in on data in their country is quite silly.

      Also to expand on your bribery note, this could well be done by the government too in any country, but not as direct bribery: Find an employee who is patriotic to your country at the service, recruit them, and use them to get access to data you want. Could be quite easy since even a very moral person might agree. The government sells them on the idea that they need this access for legit work and it is just much quicker and cheaper to do it back channel rather than via the courts.

      Basically if you give up your data to someone else, you have to understand that means others can have access. That is going to include their government. Don't think this is unique to the US. Other countries participate in the intelligence game just as much. Look up some information on the British Security Service or Secret Intelligence Service, or the French DGSE.

      • The idea that the US government is the only one that looks in on data in their country is quite silly.

        With respect that is missing the point entirely. If your local government does something objectionable with your supposedly confidential data there are legal mechanisms to do something about it. If a foreign power does something with the data there isn't much you can do about it.
        In the case of the PATRIOT act it's an explicit warning that anything hosted in the USA is fair game and there is nothing you ca

  • As a European (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:19PM (#38242406)

    But competitors overseas are using it as a way to discourage foreign countries from signing on with U.S. cloud computing providers like Google and Microsoft

    It's not just competitors highlighting that important fact! As a European, I personally don't want my data to fall into the wrong hands, and the hands of the US corporation-state are most definitely wrong.

  • by Loopy ( 41728 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:23PM (#38242474) Journal

    If people think their own government security/spy agencies aren't hacking (or coercing their way) into their own (non-US) infrastructure, then that's more a statement about their own gullibility than those mean, nasty Americans and their dastardly Patriot Act.

    • Difference is that we, like China, have declared that our secret police have carte blanche to examine your data.

    • Yeah. I'm trying to figure out just who anybody would trust as a cloud provider for sensitive data outside the US. Great Britain? France? Turkmenistan? If international 'cloud' providers are bringing this up then pot, meet kettle.

      Really, we've been about this time and time again. Some stuff you can put in 'the cloud'. Other stuff ought to be locked in your basement. Your own basement.

  • Laughable (Score:4, Interesting)

    by koan ( 80826 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:29PM (#38242572)

    The "cloud" analogy always seemed like "newspeak" to me, designed to get the customer to NOT think about where their data is "Don't worry we will take care of it" while their data is sitting on some cheesy server with questionable security practices and the usual disgruntled suspects.

    Seriously what next? A service to wipe your ass because you can't be bothered? (note to self research iPhone controlled bidet)

    Since it still has to sit on a server somewhere it might as well be your own server then deploy software that makes it accessible to you on the road, in addition how many jobs does this destroy for IT personal, some of the few decent paying jobs left in the USA.

    To me the "cloud" is as ridiculous as Facebook, if you're stupid enough to put your data on FB you deserve what you get.

  • by zarmanto ( 884704 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:30PM (#38242586) Journal

    Salesman: "That's right, since we don't operate within the borders of those capitalist pig Americans, we're way more trustworthy then them... We absolutely promise that we'll never give away your data to the US government, no matter how many times they ask us.
    Customer: That's great... but what about your own government? Do you ever give data up to them?
    Salesman: Huh? Well, of course not! At least, not without a court order, anyway... or a law which says we have to for some reason.
    Customer: Ah... So how is that different from the US based companies again?
    Salesman: Ummm... but... capitalist pigs... ummm...
    Customer: I see. Well, this has been very illuminating indeed. I'll get back to you on my decision real soon.
    Salesman: ............... Wait... what just happened?

    • by forkfail ( 228161 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:35PM (#38242660)

      Except that said US court orders can be executed by a secret court with no oversight. Pretty much like China's.

    • Canada Too.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by codegen ( 103601 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @05:11PM (#38243262) Journal
      You miss the point. The point is the jurisdiction of the court. Both Europe(and Canada) have data protection laws that say that you cannot divulge certain classes of data without a court order. And it has to be a European (resp. Canadian) court that allows you to give up the information. If you store the data in another jurisdiction where another court can order the data to be divulged, then you have a problem. Because the moment that the cloud service obeys a court order from the other jurisdiction and discloses some of your data, you are in breach of the law in your jurisdiction. The sticking point in the case of the U.S. Patriot Act is that the US government can demand the data without any court oversight and in addition prevent the cloud service from notifying you that the data was disclosed. There have been several controversies here in Canada, specifically in the area of health and student information. One of the provincial governments wanted to outsource some of the government health plan data management to a U.S. company (the lowest bidder). It was effectively stopped because they could not guarantee that someone would not use a U.S. court to order the data management company to disclose the health information of a Canadian citizen in the US. As a result, the data had to remain in Canada, and the US company did not get the contract. Similarly, student information at Canadian Universities has been an issue. I am a professor, and I cannot legally put a spreadsheet with student marks or any other student information in dropbox or on any cloud service that stores the data in the U.S. Just this month, I was approached by a web based application provider that wanted me to use their web app in our classes. But the web app stored all of the data in Amazon EC2. I had to tell them that the best I could do is inform the students that the app existed and disclose the fact that their data would exist outside of Canadian jurisdiction, but under such circumstances, we could not formally adopt the software for the course. We can't require the student to student to store data outside of Canadian jurisdiction as a condition of getting the degree (i.e. completing assignments, and passing the course). Any European company is going to be in a similar bind. While the Data Safe Harbour is supposed to provide an out. But it depends on the extent to which the European governments want to make a stink if the US government goes after the European data held by US companies. Even if the government doesn't make a stink, the nightmare of a European company would be the PR disaster of client data being revealed because of court action in the US.
      • by Maow ( 620678 )

        There have been several controversies here in Canada, specifically in the area of health and student information. One of the provincial governments wanted to outsource some of the government health plan data management to a U.S. company (the lowest bidder). It was effectively stopped because they could not guarantee that someone would not use a U.S. court to order the data management company to disclose the health information of a Canadian citizen in the US. As a result, the data had to remain in Canada, an

    • When constructing a strawman, consider that you may just not know what you're talking about.

  • Very real issue (Score:5, Informative)

    by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:51PM (#38242904) Journal

    We deal with this on a daily basis. Our clients (large Fortune 500 corporations) are requesting that we do not store data in the US. I personally think it has more to do with the fact that they are up to shady financial maneuvers than terrorism, but the end result is the same. It is just another nail in the economic coffin of the United States. The oft claimed, "It is too expensive/risky to do business in the States" rears its ugly head again.

    The article talks about "cloud" providers, which we are not. We are more of a SaaS shop, but the regulatory challenges are the same. It all comes down to the client wanting to feel like their data is safe, and that they will have some expectation of privacy. With the United States government declaring the right to come in and seize data (the life blood of any company in this day and age) without any form of real due process, corporations are deciding that they do not want to subject themselves to that unnecessary liability.

  • It's true (Score:5, Informative)

    by Baldrake ( 776287 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:51PM (#38242906)

    I work at a 2,000 person organization outside the US. The institution has formally adopted a policy that no sensitive data can be hosted in the US, precisely due to the Patriot Act.

    Don't look for logic in this. They would rather we use a server sitting under some IT guy's desk than use, say, DropBox, which is based on encrypted S3 storage. But perceptions are everything.

    • Dropbox encrypted? (Score:5, Informative)

      by codegen ( 103601 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @05:20PM (#38243412) Journal

      This has come up in the past. While dropbox uses S3 for the base encryption layer, the staff at dropbox have access to the encryption keys. In fact because of a FTC complaint [wired.com] dropbox had to change the terms of use as explained on their blog [dropbox.com] To clearly indicate that while the contents are encrypted, that dropbox staff still have access to be able to comply with the US justice system. And the US can order the dropbox to disclose the data without telling you that the data was disclosed. At least if the courts come after the data in the server sitting under some IT guy's desk, you will know about it.

      • Well, fair enough. But my point was really that the odds of having your data requested by the US government is vanishingly small compared to the risk of having that "server under the desk" hacked or physically stolen.

    • by LilWolf ( 847434 )

      Given the security problems DropBox has had, no sane person let alone corporation would use it for anything remotely important.

  • Should be the "All Your Data Are Belong To Us" department.

  • by babboo65 ( 1437157 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:51PM (#38242912)

    This will show who's asleep at the wheel. All the services offering SaaS and Cloud-based services including anti-virus, mail storage, NAS, vulnerability management, the list grows - come at a cost. Namely who are the vendors and who are the customers? When a business had all their enterprise servers on-site there was no question who managed, maintained, and monitored the data at rest or in motion. Now, if a company (and what happens if the "company" is a hospital or retailer having to meet auditory compliance) used a cloud-based service offering they have no way of knowing who is managing, monitoring, maintaining or accessing their data. This is off-shore outsourcing gone awry. It may make sense briefly on the bottom-line, but the bean counters are not considering the extended costs of security and vulnerability. Put your trusted data in someone else's hands and you are assuming they are just as, if not more, safe as you would be.

  • We'll just amend the law so that our honored corporate personages are no longer subject to these ignominities while keeping our human scum personages subjugated to the full extent of our data-searching wrath! After all, corporations never support illegal activities, but humans? You can't trust them any farther than you can throw them (or bomb them, or lock them up, etc.).

  • Anyone remember ECHELON [wikipedia.org]. The US spying on its own allies is not an issue since 9/11 and the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act and 9/11 just gave them a new ground to put political pressure on the EU (see also airline passenger data and SWIFT) after the cold war was over. Is there anything similar to Room 641A [wikipedia.org] in the EU? The US demanding all kinds of intelligence data from the EU would maybe Ok provided that the deal would be mutual. But does the EU get US airline passenger data? No. Does the EU get US bank trans
  • Comparing the cloud security in both countries is like comparing... ummm?

    Let's see, in China they shoot you in the back of the head, in America the poison you. In America the rich go Scott free, in China they still might shoot you. In China there really isn't any due process, in America the Gov can suspend it at will. In China there are low paying jobs, in America there are no jobs.

    Spock said, "Only Nixon could go to China".

  • by mseeger ( 40923 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @06:08PM (#38244262)


    First: I am working in sales and i am using this pitch (rarely, but it happens). I have no bad conscience about it, since i am doing the customer a service. If he uses a U.S. based cloud for personal data of German citizens without their consent, he would be breaking German law.

    The main problem with the Patriot Act is, that it allows seizures of data without court approval and is therefor violating due process as it is defined here (e.g. those infamous "national security letters"). While the U.S. company cannot be sued for following such lettters, the German customer who stored data there can be held liable.

    The problem for U.S. companies is even bigger: Even if they store the data in a subsidary (e.g. Ireland), the Patriot Act forces them to hand over data from those data centers as well.

    So as long as the Patriot Act is at it is, i will use it as sales argument.

    Yours, Martin

    P.S. I am simplifying legal issues here, didn't want to post 10 pages of text. The gist is correct.

  • "Put your data on a U.S.-based cloud, they warn, and you may just put it in the hands of the U.S. government."

    As if there's any other way?
    They (USA) even need our credit card transactions without sharing theirs.
    (yes I am in the EU zone)
    So in this war on terror that they cannot win what will be the next thing they need after our data?
    The battlefield USA thing?
    Do away with the constitution?
    So it's truth w.r.t. the data.

This login session: $13.76, but for you $11.88.