Feeds

Switzerland to set up 'Swiss cloud' free of NSA, GCHQ snooping (it hopes)

Gnomes of Zurich want spook-immune system

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Swisscom, the Swiss telco that's majority owned by its government, will set up a "Swiss cloud" hosted entirely in the land of cuckoo clocks and fine chocolate – and try to make the service impervious to malware and uninvited spooks.

Companies providing secure communications, such as Silent Circle, already use Swiss data centers because the country has very tight data privacy laws. And surveillance can only take place after prosecutors secure a court order, as opposed to the secret clearances issued in the US.

"Data protection and privacy is a long tradition in Switzerland, and that's why it's pretty difficult to get to something," Swisscom's head of IT services Andreas Koenig told Reuters. "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."

Koenig insisted that introducing the Swiss cloud was less about addressing concerns over foreign spying and more to do with providing a local service that could be fast and secure, but acknowledged fear of surveillance and the existence of Switzerland's tight privacy policies may make the service attractive to those worried about the safety of their cloud data.

That includes the Swiss government. Last week the Swiss newspaper Basler Zeitung reported that the nation's administration was increasingly concerned about the extent of state-sponsored spying on cloud data. Much of the country's revenue comes from its banking sector and with an estimated $2 trillion stored by the Gnomes of Zurich, Swiss servers are bound to be of interest to snoopers and scammers.

The Swisscom cloud will use HTML5 for its user interface, and will host all its data within Swiss borders. While designed for domestic customers, Koenig said that the service could appeal to others who want their data to be as secure as their savings.

"If you are a provider in a cloud environment you need to apply the highest standards of security you can get," he explained. "It's like opening a data tunnel from the server to your screen and then displaying the data on your screen. That makes it pretty, pretty difficult for anyone to see what's there."

Swisscom aims to get about three quarters of its data, estimated to be between 200 and 300 petabytes, on its cloud by 2016, but it gave no more details on how fast the service could be rolled out to others. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
729 teraflops, 71,000-core Super cost just US$5,500 to build
Cloud doubters, this isn't going to be your best day
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.