[LINK] Telstra Clouds its Profit Results

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Fri Feb 10 15:24:44 AEDT 2012

BigPond emails will be stored overseas
Brett Winterford
Feb 10, 2012 2:55 PM (26 minutes ago)

Some 4.2 million email accounts will fall under foreign jurisdictions.

Telstra has confirmed that the emails of its 4.2 million BigPond 
customers will be hosted offshore under a planned migration to the 
Windows Live cloud platform.

The telco, which announced the migration on Friday, originally told 
iTnews and several other publications that email data will continue 
to be stored locally in Australia.

This was not incorrect.

What Telstra hasn't made public on its web site is that Microsoft 
will be hosting the service offshore. Telstra will simply store a 
mirror (copy) of this data in Australia to remain compliant with 
Australian law.

"Microsoft stores their emails as per Microsoft's network 
architecture and their responsibility," a Telstra spokesman confirmed 
with iTnews.

"In the case of Windows Live they are stored overseas and locally to 
assist Telstra in meeting its legal obligations.

"This means that a copy of all BigPond emails will continue to be 
stored locally in Australia as well."

This revelation could have significant consequences for small 
businesses that rely on BigPond email services.

As a business, storing email data offshore is mired in legal complications.

As first revealed in iTnews' Cloud Cover research report by lawyer 
Mark Vincent, many cloud contracts subject data to the laws of the 
jurisdiction in which the data is stored rather than where business 
is transacted.

If Microsoft stores BigPond email data in its Singapore data centre, 
for example, the data becomes subject to the laws of the Singaporean 
state, which has far fewer requirements around privacy.

It also exposes customer data to Singapore's Computer Misuse Act 
[pdf], which empowers Singaporean law enforcement officers wide 
ranging powers to gain access to any computer stored in Singaporean 
territory if they suspect it has been used to commit a crime.

A recent whitepaper [pdf] by Telstra competitor Macquarie Telecom 
suggests that Telstra will also have to comply with over 160 
Singaporean laws if customer data is stored in Singapore.

If Microsoft and Telstra stores BigPond email data in its United 
States data centre, the data becomes subject to US laws such as the 
Patriot Act, which also provides US law enforcement unbridled access 
to US-hosted data without requiring a court order.

Nothing new?

These risks are not new for consumers using free web versions of 
Gmail or Hotmail, nor for business customers of Telstra's existing 
'T-Suite' cloud services. 

These users, knowingly or not, have already agreed to allow their 
data to be hosted offshore. T-Suite's terms and conditions [pdf] 
state that Microsoft Exchange emails, Microsoft SharePoint and Office 
documents, Microsoft Dynamics CRM data and conversations using 
Microsoft's Lync and Live Meeting services consumed as -a-service 
from Telstra "will be transmitted to and stored overseas".

But BigPond customers would have signed up with Telstra under the 
reasonable expectation that their data was stored locally, by Telstra.

Telstra has confirmed that these customers will need to sign a new 
set of terms and conditions to allow the company to host the data 

Would you be concerned about your business' email data being hosted 
offshore? Let us know on our poll, which you'll find on the front 
page of iTnews.

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 Faculty of Law               University of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

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