back to article Microsoft's top lawyer demands a cloud computing law

Redmond's top legal mouthpiece Brad Smith is calling on US lawmakers to overhaul rules on cloud computing, just as the company ramps up its efforts to belatedly step on other vendors' toes in that marketplace. He asked Congress yesterday to legislate cloud computing, in a move to protect business and consumer information. Smith …

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Unhappy

I can write this story in less words:

Microsoft are to lobby us.gov into creating laws which in some way mandate the use of one of its patents related to cloud computing.

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Bronze badge
Joke

Cloud computing

I suppose the software for this stuff is true vapour-ware :-)

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Jobs Horns

On another related subject.

Hackers will create their own form of cloud computing called thunder.

Thunder will test the security of cloud computing by testing its fortification to make sure it passes or exceeds per customer specification for security.

Not only including data security but physical access to the cloud service as well.

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Gates Horns

Microsoft-only Cloud

I utterly trust Microsoft with all my data, so much so that I think they should - by law - be the only cloud services provider in the galaxy. Forever.

What can possibly go wrong?

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Happy

Little fluffy clouds

"While the benefits of these new [cloud computing] technologies are clear....."

Are they???

"...accessing data at your fingertips whenever and wherever you want"

Oh, I see now - it gives you access to your data remotely. ...just like an old fashioned network / internet connection to your office server ...only it's less secure ...and there are some privacy risks involved ...oh, and you have to PAY someone else for the privilege - well, fair enough, I suppose.

Yep - I'm sold! ...Or, on second thoughts, I'll just stick to my old fashioned remote access system that works well, ...and doesn't have the same security and privacy issues ...and costs me next-to-nothing because I'm running the server anyway, and the internet connection for it is peanuts ...and I can configure it to do exactly what I want rather than relying on a faceless and unresponsive company to do it... Mmmmm...

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Silver badge

Exactly

Agreed. I think that the real practical use for the "cloud" is in the original Amazon context of pay-per-use grid computing power. I run a business, say, that does some kind of specialised number crunching for clients. This on demand power is exactly what I would need without having to maintain shitloads of nodes myself. Security and privacy of what I put up there is a different matter though.

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Unhappy

this is what happens...

... when corporations decide that rent-seeking is more profitable than wealth creation.

Sadly the scum that we elect every few years are delighted to pander to that view.

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C 2
Alien

Microsoft and legal aren't usually two words I use together

Seriously, when is this idiotic software patent crap going to be overturned?

Also he said 'open source' ha!

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Gates Horns

Heavy hitters wanting protection from the cold wind of competition?

What else is new...

If some complete r-tard thinks legislating "cloud computing" is of any relevance whatsoever, what about legislating the "cloud cash management" that are banks? When was the last time anyone taking part in a bank run actually expected to see his savings again? And suddenly we should go all tiptoe about the data cloud....

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Stop

just what is the motive

It is hard to imagine that Microsoft has anyone's interests in mind other than its own. They have never done that.

My guess is that any legislation Microsoft proposes would either be designed to restrict Google or eliminate any liablility for Microsoft. Like if Microsoft confirms to the legislation it is immune from being sued by customers for loss of data, breach or security or whatever other negligent Microsoft might be involved with.

And of course, any legislation making cloud related services more difficult would certainly slow down all of Microsoft's competitors.

The industry has had cloud related data services since its inception. Or practically so. Certainly in the 1970's computer timesharing was the vogue. What was that? Simply a clould. So why the urgency now that Google and other Microsoft competitors see services as a way to develop businesses not strapped by Microsoft?

Look for any limitations on liability by service providers. And look for restrictions that keep in check primary Microsoft competitors.

It may very well be that some new laws are appropriate. But, Microsoft has never had the best interest of its customers at the forefront. They are still all required to purchase IE at a secret price despite the practice being illegal.

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Boffin

Cloud computing is only for data you don't care about

Be it hackers, government snoops, or people with frivolous lawsuits carrying discovery subpoenas, "All your data are belong to us."

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Stop

Even fewer words:

More FUD from MS.

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Silver badge

Keeping IT Simple for Simpletons and Top Legal Mouthpieces

"Redmond's top legal mouthpiece Brad Smith is calling on US lawmakers to overhaul rules on cloud computing,..."

What rules? There is only one rule in ITs Virtual Spaces, which is what cloud computing really is, isn't it, and that is Do No Evil for there is no Hiding Place for Dirty Big Secrets?

And if you don't like them legislative rules, bubba, stay out of cloud computing. Capiche?

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Alert

Ahhh!

Reminds me of when Intel went before Congress suggesting that the US Govt should fund research into making microprocessors that could be hardened for use outside of the Earth's Atmosphere. Other Chip Makers had already done research on their own and were producing chips for this application. Intel was trying to get public funding to help them catch up.

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Paris Hilton

Polite applause at legal dood

But he is right you know.

Do you want equality of access to cloud information by a country that imposes limits and maximises scrutiny of the same?

Maybe even a country that will backtrack on weaknesses in the cloud to gather what it should not yet to do so without constraint either by agreement, contract, law or ...

And while it is good and wholesome for the discussion to be in US of A would it be better for the US of A to draw its initiatives to the attention of UN?

No cnsenting agreement then equals no cloud baby and no access to mega metadata on the cloud if a countries government minimises cloud and maximises scrutiny?

You got to hand it to MS - they see dangers (or rather rights and responsibilities) where others merely contemplate belly buttons.

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Anonymous Coward

If anyone else had said this....

What a bunch of MS Haters you all are. If anyone other than Microsoft had made this call to action you would all be in agreement that these matters need to be considered by every country that wants a piece of the cloud.

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"every country that wants a piece of the cloud"?

I have no idea what that means.

Some companies and individuals may want to "use the cloud" -- but they should think seriously about whether they want their data stored on North Korean servers rented by a Colombian company.

There are no new issues here, "the cloud" is not special, this is just MS trying to legislate themselves a better market share.

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WTF?

RE: If anyone else had said this

So if someone else demanded special laws for data protection depending on their choice of storage and processing methods everyone here would be all for it? Have you ever read the comments here before?

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Bronze badge

What's new?

I don't get it. How is this different from "you give your details to an eCommerce site in an other country - whose laws govern the privacy of that data"?

This sort of "Buyer in one country, Seller in a second country, Website possible hosted in a third country" legality problems existed well before Cloud Computing ever came into being. Hell, ye olde "site hosted in country X is publishing stuff legal there but illegal here, so we should sue them/shut them down" was a mainstay of early attempts from governments around the world at regulating the internet.

So what's so suddenly knew about this legal morass? (no mr clinton, "morass" isn't a request for extra interns)

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Silver badge

When you can press all the right buttons .....

"You got to hand it to MS - they see dangers (or rather rights and responsibilities) where others merely contemplate belly buttons" .... Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 22nd January 2010 01:12 GMT

AC,

Where there are seen dangers, do others perceive unbridled commanding opportunities. And they will lead with that which they follow out of harms way in danger.

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Badgers

Wrong angle

If anyone tries to hack a cloud, their computer electrocutes them, covers them in purple dye and implants an RFID chip in their head.

That should cut down on these sky pie hackers.

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Paris Hilton

Can't we have...

a few laws restricting lawyers from proposing new laws?

or even better a new law restricting lawyers.

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Silver badge

Mission Possible ...... with a CyberIntelAIgently Designed InterNetional Narrative and ......

...Global Operating Device Spell

"Can't we have... a few laws restricting lawyers from proposing new laws?

or even better a new law restricting lawyers." .... Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 22nd January 2010 10:30 GMT

In CyberSpace, of course you can, AC, for it an Intelligence Space and Justice and Courts and Law and Police and Military and Terror and Love and Everything else, do not Exist in ITs Virtual Places, other than Imagined and Shared down to Listening Creatures, both Great and Small, on Earth where all those Thoughts are Realised and Rendered Phorm in our Being and Presence. ...... ergo We Think and thus Are as We Think to Be.

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Black Helicopters

I'm all in favor of a bit of privacy.

That's why I don't trust truly private bits of information to the cloud. I trust MS less than I trust the cloud. I think MS should be limited to their own cloud, and their cloud should never connect to any other clouds.

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