You may have read my comments in the Yorkshire Post this week about the Prism scandal that’s overtaken the headlines recently.
If you didn’t get a copy of Tuesday’s paper, you can view it online here.
If you’ve missed the news recently, here’s what’s happened.
After working as an IT consultant for the US National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden has become a whistle blower, by revealing details of the Prism surveillance program operated by the NSA.
Snowden claims that the programme “targets the communications of everyone” and that the NSA can target “anyone, at anytime, anywhere”.
You can watch his full interview here.
We’re not surprised to learn of the Prism scandal. It’s not the first time US intelligence has caused uproar. Our Harrogate offices are only 3 miles away from Memwith Hill, which it’s been said is the “largest electronic spy station outside of the US”. There is a local group who are drawing attention to this.
So, how does this link to cloud computing?
It is alleged that big technology companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Skype all co-operate with the surveillance program and that the NSA are given access to their servers.
This means that anyone using Office 365 or Google Apps could potentially have their data intercepted and read.
This is clearly a breach of the data protection act and a European data protection group has filed a complaint against these companies.
At Yorkshire Cloud we’ve been banging the “data protection drum” for 18 months.
The perception people have is that the big technology players must be compliant with the data protection act because of their size and stature.
These revelations cast doubt on their credibility when it comes to keeping customers’ data secure and confidential.
If you are thinking of moving your data to the cloud, then our advice is that if you value your own and your clients’ privacy, then chose a local cloud supplier who can provide you with assurances that your data is in safe hands. Our own data centres are in Leeds and Wakefield: that might be a long way from the glitz of Silicon Valley but in the light of the Prism scandal, keeping your cloud provision local makes more sense than ever.