Cloud Computing – UPSC GS3

Is Cloud computing leading to new avenues for government to spy their citizens?

Microsoft Corp has sued the US government for the right to tell its customers when a federal agency is looking at their emails.
Context:
  • US government requests Cloud storage companies to access users data
  • Microsoft wants to tell the user when their data is being accessed by government.
  • There are older laws( prior to cloud technology) which allows government to request access to data and prevent companies from sharing any information with user.
  • Microsoft is challenging those laws.
  • Also, US government has asked Apple Inc. to write a software so that iPhone encryption can be broken and data inside iPhones can be read by officials.
  • Using the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the government is increasingly directing investigations at the parties that store data in the so-called cloud.
  • Increasingly, US companies are also under pressure to prove they are helping protect consumer privacy. The campaign gained momentum in the wake of revelations by former government contractor Edward Snowden in 2013 that the government routinely conducted extensive phone and Internet surveillance to a much greater degree than believed.