Since June 2013, the leak of thousands of classified documents regarding highly sensitive U.S. surveillance activities by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden has greatly intensified discussions of privacy, trust, and freedom in relation to the use of global computing and communication services. This is happening during a period of ongoing transition to cloud computing services by organizations, businesses, and individuals. There has always been a question of inherent in this transition: are cloud services sufficiently able to guarantee the security of their customers’ data as well s the proper restrictions on access by third parties, including governments? While worries over government access to data in the cloud is a predominate part of the ongoing debate over the use of cloud serives, the Snowden revelations highlight that intelligence agency operations pose a unique threat to the ability of services to keep their customers’ data out of the hands of domestic as well as foreign governments. The search for a proper response is ongoing, from the perspective of market players, governments, and civil society. At the technical and organizational level, industry players are responding with the wider and more sophisticated deployment of encryption as well as a new emphasis on the use of privacy enhancing technologies and innovative architectures for securing their services. These responses are the focus of this Article, which contributes to the discussion of transnational surveillance by looking at the interaction between the relevant legal frameworks on the one hand, and the possible technical and organizational responses of cloud service providers to such surveillance on the other. While the Article’s aim is to contribute to the debate about government surveillance with respect to cloud services in particular, much of the discussion is relevant for Internet services more broadly.
Joris V. van Hoboken & Ira S. Rubinstein,
Privacy and Security in the Cloud: Some Realism about Technical Solutions to Transnational Surveillance in the Post-Snowden Era,
Me. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.mainelaw.maine.edu/mlr/vol66/iss2/7