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Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Fri Feb 10 15:24:44 AEDT 2012
BigPond emails will be stored overseas
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
"Microsoft stores their emails as per Microsoft's network
architecture and their responsibility," a Telstra spokesman confirmed
"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
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.
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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