Cloud computing holds great potential for both the private sector and the public administration in Europe. Simultaneously, data protection and data security in the cloud have a high priority in order to provide confidence in the context of the revelations about the NSA’s activities critical to cloud computing.
More than 95 percent of cloud services that are used in Europe come from a different legal space, without any European participation, in which there is the kind of security that some other countries have demanded but not the kind of security that satisfies European need.
To seek innovative solutions for trusted use of cloud computing in the public sector, The Federal Government Commissioner for Information Technology, and State Secretary Cornelia Rogall-Grothe and co-funded by the European Commission under the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP7) launched “Cloud for Europe” project. According to the project site, Cloud for Europe supports public sector cloud use as collaboration between public authorities and industry. The project identifies obstacles, finds innovative solutions and builds trust in European cloud computing. Cloud for Europe will identify innovative solutions for cloud services that best fit public sector needs, but also provides better information to public procurers about the potential of cloud services.
Cloud for Europe seeks to establish a regulatory that could create a more secure space for data storage, European governments and consumers, intended to be more secure from the eyes of foreign intelligence services particularly NSA and Prism program. Lawmakers are also proposing to revive an amendment that will prevent American diplomat and security agencies to snoop cloud infrastructures of European Union. The European Commission is also considering imposing sanctions on companies that turn over records to American law enforcement authorities, violating European regulations.
The EU-funded Cloud for Europe project addresses the objectives of the European Cloud Partnership and 22 partners from ten countries will identify requirements of various public institutions across national boundaries to the cloud. For this initiative, within three years a pre-commercial procurement to promote industrial innovation and simultaneously establishment on the introduction of cloud in the public sector will be promoted.
The European Agency for Network and Information Security Information Security Agency (ENISA) is supporting the work of the European Commission and the European Cloud strategy by participating in the Select Industry Group on cloud certification. ENISA in it earlier report said that excessive growth of cloud computing is a double-edged risk. According to the agency, the cloud is clearly an area of great concern because it focuses the users and data and is used in critical areas such as finance, health, energy and transport.
The debate came on the project whether the Europeans will trust the Cloud for Europe project, as only 11 of the 28 countries of the Union have supported it till date.