Can a public cloud strengthen National Security and integrity?
More and more data of our lives is stored in the cloud. The progress of cloud technology has made it simple and cheap to store quickly growing amounts of data and make it accessible to us when we need it.
This very positive development has also brought some question marks relating to security and integrity. We see more and more demands for answers on what the effects are of companies, governments and citizens storing critical data in different places around the world, far from our control. And it’s not just experts who start to ask those questions. Ordinary citizens want their data, pictures and files also stored in a secure way.
In the Nordics for example have been a number of scandals where authorities have purchased solutions where critical -and in some cases even classified- data has been stored outside the boarders of the country by private companies with employees who have not gone through the necessary background checks. As a result more and more people started to see cloud services as a part of their country’s critical infrastructure and as an important piece of the puzzle with regards to national security and the safety of citizens.
All around me, in private and work life- and surely not only in the Nordics- I see a bigger wish for a situation where everyone can benefit from the advantages that cloud technology brings, while it’s secure and supervised. This made me wonder: Could this problem be solved if we invent and install a National Public Cloud? A public cloud which is controlled by the local authorities, or as collaboration between the nations technical universities, which would bring the positive effect of citizens using the cutting edge expertise that is available at these institutions.
A National Public Cloud would give good conditions for getting or continuing –depending on the current situation- the leading role within IT and digitalization for the respective governments, while at the same time it provides a solid platform to handle our critical data without being dependent on large global -private- vendors.
I see the use of open source as a natural part of such a project, since it validates that the cloud belongs to all of us rather than giving the ownership to a private entity. Open source also contributes to good transparency where everyone can review the underlying software of the cloud based on the publics’ right to know. Additionally, we also get good conditions to store critical data in a safe way, regardless if it originates from a private person, a company or public sector.
What do you think? This is a rough thought, for sure, but I’m happy to hear your opinion on this or on the security and integrity of the current way how our –and your- data is stored.
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