ENISA Says Government Cloud Essential to the Economic Success of the EU

Cheryl Kemp, The Whir,  Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Although the idea of government cloud has been supported by the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) since 2010-2011, agencies have been slow to adopt cloud services. Despite the benefits to government cloud such as savings of up to 30 percent and increased productivity, “not many public administrations are actively procuring Cloud services nor are they launching any test bed projects on Cloud computing (e.g. the European project “Cloud for Europe”),” according to report released by the ENISA last week. The report identifies cloud use as an important economic tool, a fact that should encourage governments to adopt services to facilitate innovation.

France asks U.S. authorities and Internet firms to cooperate more closely in terror investigations

Jeff Gould by Jeff Gould, SafeGov.org
Friday, February 27, 2015

On a recent visit to Silicon Valley, France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve listed the reasons why he would like to see better U.S. cooperation in cases like the Charlie Hebdo attack. Before citing those reasons, let’s briefly review how things are supposed to work. Most countries have what are called Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) that establish standard procedures for cooperation with the police and legal authorities of other countries.

Data protection rules: the overlooked reason for Apple’s Athenry move

Karlin Lillington, Irish Times,  Thursday, February 26, 2015

As the EU prepares its new data protection Regulation, indications are that data protection challenges will be handled by the data protection commissioner in the country in which a multinational has its EU headquarters. For many of the big data handling tech companies, that country is already, Ireland. Yet even having a data centre well-placed in Europe might not be enough to shield data from the long arm of US law. The current, ongoing American court case in the US in which Microsoft is contesting the right of a US court to directly demand the company hand over emails held in its Irish data centre highlights the real concerns big data multinationals now have - and the alarm customers outside the US may feel if such access is deemed lawful. That’s why so many technology companies have rowed in behind Microsoft in this critical case. If Microsoft loses this case, it is no overstatement to say the future of big data businesses and cloud computing looks utterly chaotic.

The EU’s Path to Cloud Regulation

Pymnts.com,  Monday, February 23, 2015

By the end of 2015, Europe could change the way data is transferred across its Member States. The European Commission is knee-deep in exploring cloud computing regulations that would span the EU, but cloud technology often sparks fear of privacy breaches – especially within small businesses. The way B2B does business in Europe could change significantly with these cloud computing rules, and the Commission will need to juggle the concerns and needs of the industry as it looks to rain the benefits of the cloud upon all businesses.

Google Agrees to Spot Checks by Italian Privacy Regulators

Alistair Barr and Sam Schechner, WSJ Digits,  Friday, February 20, 2015

A spokesman for the Italian authority said this is the first time in Europe that Google will be subject to regular checks to monitor progress. The regulator will get quarterly updates from Google and the ability to send a privacy officer for “on-the-spot checks” at Google’s Mountain View, Calif., offices. The regulator hasn’t decided yet how often it will visit the campus, the spokesman said. “It’s very troubling that Google needed the threat of legal action before it agreed to change its privacy policy to become more transparent about its data mining and profiling practices,” said Bradley Shear, an attorney specializing in privacy law. He questioned whether Google will voluntarily implement the same privacy measures elsewhere.

Safe Harbor's Final Reckoning May Begin Next Month

Sam Pfeifle, IAPP,  Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Late last week, Max Schrems, the Austrian law student who began Europe-v-Facebook and has seen his suit against the Irish DPA regarding Facebook's handling of his data forwarded all the way to the European Court of Justice, posted a somewhat cryptic tweet... Contacted directly, Schrems could only say that he'd been given a "heads up" from the courts and that he's bound by court rules that don't allow for public statements that might be construed as trying to influence public opinion around the case. As a refresher, at issue is whether U.S. intelligence programs, such as PRISM, which involve sharing by U.S. companies of EU citizen data with organizations like the NSA, violate the fundamental rights of those EU citizens. If the ECJ finds that they do, then Safe Harbor could be invalidated as a program for cross-border data transfer between the EU and U.S.

Google defends its use of data, points finger at governments

Business Cloud News,  Monday, February 16, 2015

Google’s senior vice president communications and public policy Rachel Whetstone has defended the company’s evolving strategy on collecting and managing personal data, but said governments need to reform how they seek data from private firms and one another. She also said Google’s progressive policy on encryption “requires governments to go through the proper legal channels” for customer data, and hit out at how governments secure data from one another and private firms across borders for law enforcement purposes including surveillance. “The MLAT process is too slow, too complicated and in need of reform,” she said. “Europe is leading the way here. We now need the US to follow suit.”

US lawmakers propose reforms to limit government’s reach over cloud data

Business Cloud News (UK),  Friday, February 13, 2015

This would effectively force the US and other countries it currently has treaty agreements with which focus on or impact data sharing between countries (Safe Harbour, or MLAT, for instance) to lean more heavily on those treaties for regulatory clarity, while allowing for local providers to defer to legislation in their home countries in the event of a conflict between legal frameworks – even if the firm located outside the US is a subsidiary of an American company.

Proposed US law could deal knockout blow to FBI in overseas cloud privacy ding-dongs

Iain Thomson, The Register,  Friday, February 13, 2015

"The government’s position that ECPA warrants do apply abroad puts US cloud providers in the position of having to break the privacy laws of foreign countries in which they do business in order to comply with U.S. law. This not only hurts our businesses’ competitiveness and costs American jobs, but it also invites reciprocal treatment by our international trading partners." - Senator Chris Coons

EU mulls new rules to free up the cloud market

Phil Wainewright, Diginomica,  Thursday, February 12, 2015

So what’s new? The topline messaging is all about achieving the long-awaited ‘digital single market’ that sweeps away national barriers to delivering cloud services across Europe, especially for small businesses. This isn’t new in itself although there’s a hint of increased urgency this year to complete this project. At the same time, the Commission continues to maintain that the cloud market will only take off if clear standards are defined, on the grounds that businesses won’t buy into cloud without some certainty about what exactly is guaranteed.