Tagged With data sovereignty

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An important court case is playing out in the US Supreme Court at the moment - one that has repercussions for all of us. Law enforcement agencies in the United States asked Microsoft to hand over data pertaining to the prosecution of an alleged drug trafficker. However, the data is held in servers in Dublin, Ireland. And Microsoft says US authorities can't force them to hand over data as its storage is covered under Irish law, not American. The matter is now with the US Supreme Court.

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Encryption is still the most effective way to achieve data security from outside threats. However, it can also throw up a red flag that your data is worth stealing -- and could even convince government agencies that you have something to hide. According to encryption expert and Silent Circle founder Phil Zimmermann, the solution is for businesses to band together, Spartacus style.

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Enterprises spend a lot of time worrying about where their data centres are located and associated data sovereignty issues. But in an era where data moves rapidly and the legal principles underpinning its use don't always reflect reality, thinking solely about physical location doesn't make sense.

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Banks and financial services firms are often held up as examples of businesses which won't readily embrace cloud services -- regulatory requirements and a general sense of caution mean they prefer to maintain their own IT systems. While there hasn't been a wholesale embrace of cloud by banks yet, it's now rare for them not to have some form of cloud computing as part of the mix.

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As Amazon, Microsoft and other cloud providers move to break ground and build Australian data centres and points-of-presence, data sovereignty and the security of data stored offshore is still a massive concern for Australian companies. Microsoft is flipping the script on data sovereignty in a post-Snowden world, and now pledges to fight US Patriot Act orders it receives. So can the US government still take your company's data despite Microsoft's new fighting spirit? Sort of.