Snooping could hurt US tech firms in cloud services

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The technology world is shaken and in dilemma. However, many European business units may discontinue the services of American internet companies because of the National Security Agency's surveillance scandal.

Major losers would be those providing cloud services. The cloud service allows users to store data at remote location servers and access it anywhere. Most of cloud services are provided by US companies. The US is known for its vast server farms for data storage.

Cloud computing lets you rent the technology you want and there are three types cloud services: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Renting could be either an app or working platform or just the hardware and tools to maintain the hardware. The third service is most popular with startups and enterprises.

Our personal files are stored in the cloud. We maintain our friendships via apps in the cloud.

Mobile phones and tablets run powerful apps via the cloud. Instead of buying every app and server they need, individuals and companies rent them.

EU talks under threat

Meanwhile, the revelations that the US had spied on European countries' embassies are being played loud as the long-awaited EU-US negotiations on a new transatlantic free trade pact was scheduled to open in Washington on Monday.

Dalia Grybauskaitė, the president of Lithuania, which will take over the rotating six-month EU presidency this week, said she hoped the EU-US talks on electronic surveillance would also be launched on Monday and run concurrently.

Since much of the alleged US hoovering up of telephone and internet traffic in Europe is assumed to amount to commercial and industrial espionage, the two parallel sets of talks will affect one another.

However, some senior EU officials complain that there is no point engaging in sensitive trade talks when the other side has already eavesdropped on you and knows your negotiating position.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the European commission and Grybauskaitė made clear they wanted the trade talks to go ahead as planned on Monday. France appeared to drop its objections despite previously insisting on guarantees that the espionage had been halted before the trade talks could start.

It was not clear where Britain fitted into the picture since it is one of the biggest EU countries but has not been targeted by the NSA, unlike Germany or France, according to the reports, and the UK's GCHQ has itself been collecting vast quantities of European internet and telephone data.

OneIndia News
(with inputs)

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