back to article EC: NSA slurps scare you? Europe's clouds are open for business

The European Commission has outlined its aim for the EU to become a "world leading" cloud computing market on matters relating to data protection and security. However, it said it is opposed to the EU closing its market to cloud providers that are based and store data abroad – despite recent revelations about the accessibility …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge

They've obviously not heard of GCHQ.

6
0
HMB

Hahaha, Oh wait, they're serious.

If the computers are outside America, then there'll be less data slurping. *snigger*

Maybe now is a good time to suggest The Menwith Hill Ballooning Experience with Mark Thomas.

Since I'm poking fun, I might as well take the time to say for the sake of balance (and I do believe it) that a lot of people are working hard to keep us safe and have almost certainly averted some major disasters. It's churlish not to be thankful to them for that.

It's difficult to resolve top secret citizen surveillance against the principles of democracy though, and the massive potential powers any government could have over it's citizens if this sort of thing went wrong.

It's a tricky one.

1
6
HMB

Re: Hahaha, Oh wait, they're serious.

Since no one who down voted cared to share their wisdom or perspective with me so far I'm going to be forced to conclude that it was my degree of sympathy with the security services that got me in trouble with the 'Rage Against the Machine' brigade.

I'm not afraid of opposing views to my own you know, you can speak up. Come on, try and enlighten me ;)

0
1
Silver badge
Boffin

@HMB - Re: Hahaha, Oh wait, they're serious.

Well I've just downvoted you because whilst you may "believe" that "a lot of people are working hard to keep us safe and have almost certainly averted some major disasters", it's actually up to you to demonstrate the validity of this belief, not up to anyone else to show that you are wrong. (BTW I have a magic stone that protects me against alligator bites. It must work, because I've never been bitten by an alligator...)

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Hahaha, Oh wait, they're serious.

It's difficult to resolve top secret citizen surveillance against the principles of democracy though, and the massive potential powers any government could have over it's citizens if this sort of thing went wrong.

It's not THAT difficult: it requires proper oversight, and it requires defined transparency. The use of the "National Security" excuse should be scrutinised too and ANY abuse in the system should result in criminal charges. Not fines, because that simply means tax money shifts budget, no, those who want that power will have to accept the risk of jail time too - an inability to hide behind the machines of government may inspire some more moderate behaviour. Too many of these agencies have been on a "let's grab rights while the going is good" spree, and that needs to be brought under control.

You see, the upside of doing it right is that it may become visible just how much good work they have done. At the moment we only get to hear when it goes wrong, because the good stories are so buried under spin that they become hard to believe. Let's clean up the bad bits, so that the good stuff becomes visible. And if there is no good to report we need to know that too. From a citizens' perspective, that's a win-win.

3
0
HMB

Re: Hahaha, Oh wait, they're serious.

@Graham Marsden, @AC

Firstly I'd like to thank you both for your replies. It very much confirms my suspicions of why what I said has proven unpopular.

I think there's always a question of who watches the watchers. I don't really believe that transparency and spying go hand in hand, though I think the gist of what has been said is admirable. If the government did tell us about thwarted plots though:

A) Would you believe them?

B) Is open sourcing failed terrorist plots really a good idea?

Getting back to whether security agencies thwart plots and do us all good...

I don't seek to prove this to anyone here. I would have thought that a lot of people would have come to this conclusion from their own thinking. Do we really think that a mass of smart, intelligent people get up to go to work in the morning just to undermine our freedom and privacy? I don't believe that. If you don't think they offer us some protection and do some good, what do you actually think they do and what do you think motivates these people?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

I never ceased to be bemused by idiots coming up withn grand schemes that bear no relationship to reality, you would think they would find something more constructive to do with their time, that someone around them would point out that they're not placed to pass comment or produce policy directions. That their lack of technological understanding should make them wary of such undertakings, but no, here we are again with them coming up with grand delusions about how they can make everything better by doing something which will make no fucking difference at all. Can't we find someone... anyone who is willing to give up their real job and go into politics, so we could end up with some people who have at least some kind of clue?

It's difficult to resolve top secret citizen surveillance against the principles of democracy though

I've been thinking about this quite hard and have come up with a grand scheme of my very own... I'm calling it Judicial Oversight... what you do is only allow state surveillance of citizens after the specific case has been made to an independent authority, like say a Judge. I know, I know, it's a radical idea, but lots of countries have managed to implement it before, so I'm sure we could manage to make it work.

9
0
Silver badge

I fail to see the advantage.

Use an EU cloud, and half the governments of Europe will have access - and the NSA probably still has a way in too!

The only way you can trust a computer now is if you configured it yourself and know exactly where it is, in a locked room, for which only you and your small team have the key.

4
0
Bronze badge
Mushroom

Re: I fail to see the advantage.

The only way to have a truly secure computer is to disconnect it from the networks, power it off, and fill the case with concrete.

..Or thermite. -->

Usability and security are not always contradictory, but the absolutes of each are incompatible with the other.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: I fail to see the advantage.

The concern isn't that the NSA has your details - it's that they pass these on to immigration, the taxman, bureau of alcohol tobacco and firearms (also known as a damn good party).

If you have 28 separate intelligence services spying on you then nobody is going to find out what you are really upto. Since all these agencies spend 100% of their effort spying on each other there is no way that GCHQ is going to grass you up to the Germans fro pirating David Hasselhof CDs

2
0
Bronze badge

I disagree

The concern is that individuals within the NSA pass your private info along to organised crime and there is no way to catch them because they're working for the NSA.

Or do you believe nobody working for the NSA ever gave data to someone they weren't authorised to?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: I disagree

Or do you believe nobody working for the NSA ever gave data to someone they weren't authorised to?

Well there was this one guy I heard of Snow... something... but surely none of the others would be accessing data they weren't allowed to access for nefarious purposes... oh hang on.

0
0
Rol
Bronze badge

Half measures

I assume no American company willingly complied with NSA's demands, but instead reluctantly accepted the unstoppable force of their legitimised buggery of back doors and every other conceivable orifice.

Regardless of which nations the companies were operating in and the local laws, just being American owned was enough to circumvent every nations control over that data.

So, the EU faced with such an unbending regime and having the opportunity to put a strategy together that protects its citizens has come up with half measures that will not be effective, yet will undoubtedly add cost to EU IT without adding value. Should I be surprised?

Have the EU gravy train riders not woken up to the fact, America has declared a proxy war against the entire world, utilising the near monopolistic grip its IT companies and structures have to great effect.

Nothing short of a complete shut out of American companies from EU IT will suffice, with the additional bonus that our IT industry will get the opportunity to thrive in such a closed market, a strategy that has been used time and again by the USA to nurture its own domestic economy whenever it suited.

I guess I come across a bit anti American, but that's not my intention, it's nothing personal, it's just that your government agencies suck and blow.

As one American said, and my apologies that it isn't verbatim "I can't think of anything worse than living in America and suffering under its domestic policy, other than be foreign and suffering under its foreign policy" As I said not quite the quote, but it's about right.

8
0
Silver badge

I had to sign a confidentiality agreement today, and I wonder if there is a problem now doing so if I am using a cloud service and receive documents from the party who's information I have promised to keep confidential. Given the extent of the public disclosures are we now breaking confidentiality agreements by default if we use cloud based services?

I'm not a legal eagle but I suspect the answer may now be "yes."

7
0
Rol
Bronze badge

Up until the point it became common knowledge that most clouds rain down their data in America you would be safe from prosecution.

Now you know better, you are right to question your actions, but in your defence you will be doing exactly what everyone else is doing, including the organisations that would seek to prosecute you, so I guess you're safe for now.

Well, safer than the data, that is.

0
0
Silver badge

I should have worded my post better. Being anal about such things I have already taken measures and use Boxcryptor with Dropbox. All material given to me that I need to keep confidential will be stored in Boxcryptor folders. I'm asking the question because I think now many could fall into trouble on this point. How long before confidentiality agreements include a government snooping clause. Not long I think.

4
0
Silver badge

The Commission has the right to wish that Euro-clouds not be closed to the US

And I have the right to choose a provider that guarantees no ties to any country abroad.

Not that there are any that do that now, or that I actually place an ounce of trust in the Cloud for anything important, but still, that is what I require.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Do they allow people to encrypt their own information in the cloud? If not, you are no better ahead.

The only environment I would tolerate is one that gives me a space to do with as I see fit. You proved the hardware and the up time, I provide the encryption so that only my people can see the data within. And it won't be AES-256.

1
0

Those making derisive comments against European Union based Cloud Services are acting just as expected as arrogant but ignorant, self-assured Americans who reject anything in their "nto-mode here" or not dominated by US small mentality.

The recent report of American adults scoring well below their peers in other more developed countries proves this point.

4
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums