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Swisscom plans 'Swiss Cloud' to hide data from PRISM spies

04 Nov 2013
Cloud computing

The fallout from the PRISM spying scandal continues to rumble on with Swisscom revealing plans for a dedicated cloud service based within Switzerland. This should help firms to ensure data is protected from government spies.

Swisscom's head of IT services Andreas Koenig told Reuters that although plans for the so-called Swiss Cloud have been in place for some time, they would definitely help allay fears that the PRISM scandal has brought to light.

He said that given the nation’s strong association with privacy it made sense to offer such a service, although he acknowledged that the firm would still be bound to reveal data if the relevant laws applied.

"Data protection and privacy is a long tradition in Switzerland, and that's why it's pretty difficult to get to something," Koenig said.

"But if legal requirements are there and we are asked by the judge to obtain or deliver certain information then we would obviously have to comply with it."

European officials have warned that cloud services could suffer as a result of PRISM, although they have urged firms to still consider the use of cloud computing, given its cost savings and productivity benefits.

The move by Swisscom to offer such a service underlines the growing push by European-based infrastructure firms to ensure privacy of data. Last month Deutsch Telekom said it wanted a local internet to stop traffic having to leave the country.

The PRISM scandal, which started when whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed documents showing the extent of US and UK efforts to gather data, continues to impact the tech market with new claims that the National Security Agency (NSA) has accessed Google and Yahoo data centres.

The head of the NSA has denied these claims, but tensions around data privacy remain high.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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