Russel Winder's Website

The NSA, USA government, extraterritoriality, and The Cloud

The NSA spying on every packet on the Internet "scandal" continues. The question is, of course, for how much longer will this be an issue. Countries around the world are increasingly seeking to avoid having Internet packet traffic routed via the USA. The logical consequence is that the USA will rapidly lose economic benefit from the Internet worldwide.

What does this mean for "The Cloud", well at this rate it's current USA- centric future is in grave doubt. As soon as a USA company is involved in a service, or there are servers associated with the service on USA territory, the USA claims jurisdiction and believes it can order the NSA to spy on all traffic associated with that service. So can Amazon Web Services (AWS), the current market leader in Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), survive? Possibly not. Ditto all services hosted using AWS. Amazon as a company, and a parent of other companies, is a USA company and so the USA claims jurisdiction over all the Amazon group no matter where they are incorporated. So purchasers of "Cloud Services" need to know how a service is hosted in order to know whether the USA will spy on their traffic. This undermines the whole market.

Will the Brazilians, Chinese, Indians, Russians foster their own infrastructures independent of the USA. Of course they will. Sadly though they also believe in spying on Internet traffic. Either that or simply censoring it.

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