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2015 Prediction No. 7 -- The End of the Era of Cloud Geo-Neutrality

Dec 29, 2014 8:59:00 AM by John Mancini

I'll be pontificating on 2015 over the next few weeks. Actually, I have already started.  Prediction number one was published on the IBM Big Data and Analytics blog. I think there will likely be about 12 -- kind of like the 12 Days of Predictions.  But maybe not; we'll see.  At some point I will need to start actual Christmas shopping.

My running tally of prediction posts so far:

  1. 2015:  The Year of the I in IT (originally published on the IBM blog; will republish at the end)
  2. 2015:  E-mail Becomes Cool Again
  3. 2015:  The Commoditization of File Sync and Share
  4. 2015:  Collaboration Steals the Show from Enterprise Social
  5. 2015:  Security Shifts from the Perimeter and the Device to the Asset Itself
  6. 2015:  Case Management Lights Up (Or A Rose By Any Other Name?)
  7. 2015: The End of the Era of Cloud Geo-Neutrality

2015:  The End of the Era of Cloud Geo-Neutrality

During the period prior to World War 1 there was a great period of globalization in trade, particularly in Europe. Bilateral agreements initially led the parade, followed by multilateral ones, and trade surged.  Of course, all of this globalization came to a grinding halt with the rising nationalism that resulted in World War 1.

cloud geo neutrality

We have been through a period of globalization with regards to the web and the cloud that is rapidly coming to an end.  The last straw was the NSA/Snowden revelations, which put to bed the assumption that the US might play the same role re the cloud and the web (the protector of globalization) that the UK played in the pre-WW1 period re trade liberalization.

The signs of rising cloud and web nationalism are unfortunately all around us, and 2015 will be the year that the era of cloud geo-neutrality comes to an end.  Here are just three signs:

  1. The “Right to be Forgotten” -- Per Jeff Jarvis, “The [European] court has trampled the free-speech rights not only of Google but of the sites — and speakers — to which it links.  The court has undertaken to control knowledge — to erase what is already known — which in concept is offensive to an open and modern society and in history is a device used by tyrannies; one would have hoped that European jurists of all people would have recognized the danger of that precedent.”  Pressure is now underway from European regulatory authorities to expand the “right to be forgotten” to Google.com and French courts are trying to do similarly.

  2. National restrictions on Internet Access -- Per Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen in The Guardian, “Every state in the world has its own laws, cultural norms and accepted behaviours. As billions of people come online in the next decade, many will discover a newfound independence that will test these boundaries. Each state will attempt to regulate the internet, and shape it in its own image.”

  3. National Restrictions Based on Location of Cloud Servers -- Per TechTarget, “If the cloud that hosts your data has servers in a foreign country, the laws of that foreign country may govern your data when stored in that server. As a result, many important foreign laws may govern your data (in addition to those of the United States).” 

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