[LINK] EPIC: Cloud Computing Initiative Lacks Privacy Umbrella

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Sat Sep 26 12:57:03 AEST 2009

Volume 16.18                                         September 25, 2009


[5] Cloud Computing Initiative Lacks Privacy Umbrella

Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra announced the launch of
"Apps.gov", a website where federal agencies can obtain cloud-based
IT services. Cloud computing allows data and applications to be
housed on centralized servers, so that they are accessible at any
time from anywhere, so long as the user has access to the internet.

The initiative is aimed at "lowering the cost of government
operations while driving innovation." Kundra notes that in the
current economic climate, "the federal government must buy smarter,"
and cloud computing is a response to the President's charge to ensure
"we are lowering the cost of govt operations, that we are finding the
innovative path, and that we are deploying solutions that are going
to be greener and better for the environment itself."

Currently, the administration's main goal is to increase the size
and scale of cloud computing, but key concerns, such as security and
privacy, have received little attention. In a speech given at NASA
Ames Research Center, Kundra "challenge[d] industry to step up and
address . . . security concerns [to] make sure that information and
data [are protected and secured]. Still, Kundra recognizes that
finding appropriate solutions to these concerns will not happen
overnight, but will take months or even years.

In March, EPIC filed a complaint with the Federal Trade
Commission urging the agency to open an investigation into Cloud
Computing services, such as Google Docs, to determine "the adequacy
of the privacy and security safeguards." Subsequently, thirty-eight
computer security researchers and privacy academics sent a letter to
Google's CEO, asking Google to uphold privacy promises made to users
of Google Cloud Computing services. The Commission's investigation is
ongoing; no response has been received from Google.

Vivek Kundra's Blog Announcement regarding Apps.gov:

Vivek Kundra's Speech on Cloud Computing at NASA's Ames Research

EPIC's Federal Trade Commission Complaint Urging an Investigation
into Cloud Computing Services: 

Letter to Google's CEO regarding Google Cloud Computing Services:

EPIC "Cloud Computing":


Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

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