Taking national security to the cloud

Germany is furious over reports the U.S. tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

Over the past few months, there has been growing evidence that online surveillance conducted by the U.S. government is impacting the tech industry.

One area in particular? Cloud Storage. Tech companies have started to move some of their facilities overseas under pressure from foreign governments. Some of those governments have even considered building their own infrastructure, so that their citizens information won't be stored in the U.S.

Germany, in particular, is talking about a so-called "bundescloud."

But Jonathan Zittrain, founder of Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, says these attempts are misguided. He thinks we should  stop worrying about where data is physically in the world. People will be held accountable by the legal system, but data should be free to roam the clouds. 

"The ultimate goal would be to make it what the goal may be for electricity generation on a grid," says Zittrain. "And you could see at some point, people with extra storage would offer it up as a commodity to the overall web ... or they might need extra storage."

About the author

Ben Johnson is the host of Marketplace Tech.

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