Cloud Computing Firms: We'll Protect Data from Snooping NSA and Hackers

Protestors supporting Edward Snowden, who leaked NSA snooping secrets, wear masks of his face (Reuters)

Cloud computing specialists are defending their data security set-ups amid inflamed privacy concerns in the wake of the NSA snooping scandal exposed by fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Snowden worked for the US spy agency as a contractor, but is now holed up in Russia on the run from American authorities after releasing documents and information showing the extent of the surveillance on citizens conducted by spooks in the US and UK.

One of the big sticking points for individuals and firms considering using cloud computing are fears that the data will not be sufficiently protected, an issue exacerbated by the NSA scandal.

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"I was just in Berlin for 48 hours and I was asked 60 times about the NSA," said Scott Collison, vice president of Platform Go to Market at salesforce.com, a cloud computing firm.

"The interesting thing is, would you rather trust your data privacy to some company that does it as a differentiator and a core competency? Or would you rather have your chief information officer or vice president of engineering host this thing in a box in a data centre?

"I think I know which one is more secure, from the government and from hackers."

He added: "We also have a rogue team within salesforce that tries to hack our servers every day. We're very, very serious about that."

Collison was speaking at a Capgemini event in New York. Another speaker on the stage, from cloud content storage and sharing service Box.com, shared Collison's view.

"We have people in our companies who do nothing but think about the security of this content," said Jon Herstein, senior vice president for customer success at Box.com.

"When your business is storing this content, whatever it is, that's the company. So the attention that we pay to it and the resources we put into it are disproportionate relative to the size of our companies."

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