Microsoft's cloud gives EU data to US spooks -

European companies who use Microsoft's cloud service will have to surrender their data to United States spies.

One of the weak points of Microsoft's cloud operation is that the company has headquarters in the Land of the Free, which voted to bring in something called the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act demands that US companies hand over all data in their servers if the spooks want it.

This applies to all servers owned by US companies in foreign parts, including those parts of other civilised nations like those found in Europe and Africa.

Thanks to the Patriot Act, US spooks no longer have to waste their time having to crack into European company servers to steal their secrets. They can show up in Redmond with a court order. The company in question would never know that the US government is spying on them.

Microsoft has admitted to Zdnet that this is a bit of a problem for its newly released cloud based plans

Gordon Frazer, managing director of Microsoft UK said that regardless of where cloud data was in the world, Vole had to hand over information to the spooks.

Frazer explained that, as Microsoft is a U.S.-headquartered company, it has to comply with the United States, as well as any other location where one of its subsidiary companies is based.

He said that "customers would be informed wherever possible", but unfortunately he can't guarantee that, as the spooks are almost certain to ask for a gagging order.

To be fair to Vole, the same problem applies to Google, Oracle, Apple, Amazon or HP based cloud services.

Last week, Microsoft opened up its Online Services Trust Center which explained in great detail how data was managed, handled and if necessary, handed over to the authorities.

Meanwhile any non-US based company would be insane to use any cloud-based service which is based in that country.