Does the USA Patriot Act give the U.S. government too much access to data stored on the cloud servers of American providers regardless of where those servers are located? That’s the concern among European IT leaders.
… Worries have been steadily growing among European IT leaders that the USA Patriot Act would give the U.S. government unfettered access to their data if stored on the cloud servers of American providers—so much so that Obama administration officials this week held a press conference to quell international concern over the protection of data stored on U.S. soil.
… Escaping the grasp of the Patriot Act, however, may be more difficult than the marketing suggests. “You have to fence yourself off and make sure that neither you or your cloud service provider has any operations in the United States,” explains Lakatos, “otherwise you’re vulnerable to U.S. jurisdiction.”
Few large IT customers or cloud providers fit that description in today’s global business environment. And the cloud computing model is built on the argument data can and should reside anywhere around the world, freely passing between borders.
… The two most likely to be used to access cloud-stored data are Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Orders and National Security Letters, says Lakatos. Both forms of discovery may include gag orders, preventing the cloud provider from notifying its customers about the government request for data.
Entire companies are moving to the cloud to save money, so certain parts of the US Govt could steal corporate secrets for profit instead of using the snooping power to prevent terrorist attacks.