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Summary:

… but they’re forging ahead anyway. In their expansion mode they will also face growing competition from local providers, especially in China. The Week in Cloud.

US flag, propaganda, PRISM
photo: Marina99

It’s clear that American tech companies are pushing their respective cloud services abroad as fast as possible at a time when suspicion of American tech companies abroad is growing thanks to the never ending Edward Snowden revelations. This poses an interesting problem both for those companies and the U.S. government that appears bent on being able to unencrypt the best encryption those companies (or anyone else for that matter) brings to bear.

We know that US tech companies feel that news of NSA snooping is hurting their prospects both at home and abroad. We also know the government thinks it needs to protect us. But if the news of the last few weeks — Amazon and IBM opening up China cloud services, for example — things are moving along.

Amazon Web Services CTO Werner Vogels recently told Om that international expansion is hot, hot, hot for the company which, including its new China operation, fields full regions out of Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Dublin, and Sao Paulo in addition to all its North America regions.

Moderated by: Jo Maitland - Research Director, GigaOM Research Speakers: Werner Vogels - CTO, Amazon.com

Moderated by:<br />Jo Maitland – Research Director, GigaOM Research<br />Speakers:<br />Werner Vogels – CTO, Amazon.com

The theory is that just as countries without good fixed-line telephony were able to soar past that problem with the mobile phone revolution, the advent of cloud services and cheap endpoints will help these countries progress fast.

“The cloud is eliminating the need for IT infrastructure and as a result we are starting to see cloud just catch up internationally, and how businesses are changing as a result,” Vogels said.

It’s not too difficult to conclude that China is just the beginning of planned new AWS regions around the world  I’ve bet in the past that, given data sovereignty concerns spiked by NSA gate, Amazon will set up a slew of localized GovCloud type regions where it can guarantee that data that’s mandated to stay in country will, in fact, stay in country. The new Beijing-based AWS region sounds a lot like that.

Of course, China has some huge companies forging into cloud as well.  China Telcom, China Unicom, Alibaba’s Alyun division — will all compete with AWS both inside China and beyond.

Open Data and what it can do for you

Jonathan Reichental, the CIO of the city of Palo Alto, talked to us about the government’s Open Data push and why it could be a very big deal for citizens. Check out the most recent Structure Show podcast to see why.

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  1. “The cloud is eliminating the need for IT infrastructure and as a result we are starting to see cloud just catch up internationally, and how businesses are changing as a result,” Vogels said.

    Hmmmm, because this is not true. Well, it is in the sense he was probably speaking on, but its not true really. In order to even need a cloud, to even require the notion of cloud computing, something must to be created in the form of output, converted to 0s and 1s and ‘marked’ in order to ever be found again. It is in that collecting, conversion and that marking where the infrastructure remains, and since we all know that the government(s) (NSA is a part of that) have that part intrinsic in their operations and access since … the beginning.

    As a young child using the computer, my father always said, whatever you put in goes somewhere and anyone who wants to find it can if they are looking and know how the internet works. Cloud computing doesn’t change that.

    With only exclusive exception perhaps for those who are most intimately familiar with the intrinsic nature of government access to the core of the internet and its operation, there’s is going to become a need for common acceptance that “God is always watching,” in the form of the NSA (etc.) and that there is, except for perhaps those who have an exceptional relationship with the internet, really, no way around it except through those agreements amongst thieves to “not peek or leak.”

    IMO, eventually, the snowball Snowden has set off down the hill will come to a place of transparency that has a two way street, where the equality of thieves will engage a level of honor that is not necessary to bother with when you hold all the keys, as our US government has been doing … since the beginning.

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  2. localised Datacentres are the way things are and will go, as the EU laws post NSA Prism show. US-hosted Public Clouds have been missing out to Uk/ EU hosted private clouds that provide far better data privacy levels and do not get as attcked as often by hackers as they are les sof a target. We have seen lots of companies realising that their data is key and so moving to premium private and ultra-secure hosting providers such as http://www.rtwhosting.com in the UK where I am based

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  3. For individual users and small groups, they can still use a reliable – with-no-backdoor-entry encryption-on-the-device software and still be able to use the US based cloud services such as dropbox, google drive, sky drive etc. One such software is @securasi (www.securasi.com) that many professionals like doctors, lawyers, accountants are using happily. Low cost, control in their hands and still use the freebies from the cloud services.

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  4. i think the problem is that many users now think that **no** encryption is uncrackable now…

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