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6 Mar

Microsoft opens first datacenters in Africa with general availability of Microsoft Azure

Microsoft has has announced the opening of its first datacenters at two locations in Africa: Cape Town and Johannesburg , South Africa. The new datacenters on the continent will make Microsoft Azure cloud services available to benefit organizations with increased computing sources and connectivity.

The new cloud regions in South Africa will ensure that Africa is fully connected to Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure which will increase business opportunities, help accelerate new global investment, and improve access to cloud and Internet services across Africa.

12 Apr

21% growth for public market this year, Gartner predicts

Gartner predicts a 21.4% growth of the public cloud market, leading to a total $186.4 billion by the end of the year. While the largest investment is in software as a service (SaaS) at the moment, the analysis predicts a much higher revenue for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in the next three years. The high concentration on the IaaS market is expected to grow, with the top 10 players accounting for 70% of the market by 2021.

 

23 Mar

CLOUD Act signed into law

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act was signed into law on 22 March by President Donald Trump. The new legislation amends the 1986 Stored Communications Act to allow federal law enforcement to compel U.S.-based technology companies via warrant or subpoena to provide requested data stored on servers regardless of where in the world the data is stored. The CLOUD Act allows for requesting any data on U.S. citizens stored on any server they own or operate when an warrant exists and it introduces expedited procedures for ‘executive agreements’ with foreign governments. While many companies expressed their support for the law in a joint letter on 6 February, civil society groups and human rights organizations warned on 12 March that the CLOUD Act ‘undermines privacy and important democratic safeguards’.

24 Feb

Apple storage of iCloud keys in China raise HR fears

Apple is set to begin hosting Chinese iCloud accounts in China, raising fears about human rights, as state authorities gain easier access to data stored in the cloud, according to Reuters. The article reports that 'Human rights activists say they fear the authorities could use that power to track down dissidents.' Apple issued a statement saying that this is necessary to comply with new Chinese laws requiring that cloud services for Chinese citizens be stored in China, by Chinese companies, noting 'While we advocated against iCloud being subject to these laws, we were ultimately unsuccessful.' Apple said that iCoud keys stored in China will not give access to data stored in other countries, but privacy lawyers say protection for Chinese customers will suffer. 

20 Feb

Tesla cloud system exploited to mine cryptocurrency

Cloud environment of Tesla, the carmaker, was exploited by an attacker to mine cryptocurrencies, RedLock security firm reports in its study “Cloud Security Intelligence (CSI)”. The unsecured Kubernetes console - an open source system used for operation of application containers, virtualised software and cloud-based services - exposed access credentials to Tesla’s Amazon Web Service (AWS) cloud environment, which allowed attackers to inject cryptocurrency mining scripts as well as to reach out to sensitive data such as vehicle telemetry. The study suggests that the unauthorized use of computing power to mine cryptocurrency - known as cryptojacking - is becoming an increasing threat for cloud environments, such as those of Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

23 Jan

Apple's first data storage center in China in partnership with Guizhou-Cloud Big Data

Apple partnered with Guizhou-Cloud Big Data, a Chinese state-owned company, to build Apple’s first data-storage center in China. The iCloud content of Apple ID users registered in China will be sent to and managed by Guizhou-Cloud Big Data starting in March. Apple’s new terms and conditions agreement with China reveals that all personal information and files of Chinese customers stored on the iCloud will be shared with the Guizhou-Cloud Big Data and could be further accesed and scrutinised the Chinese authorities.

16 Jan

Google to build 3 new submarine cables for its cloud business

Alphabet-owned Google is planning to build three submarine cables in 2019 to expand its cloud computing infrastructure. The first, called the Curie cable, will connect Los Angeles to Chile; the second cable, Havfrue, built in partnership with Facebook, will link U.S. to Denmark and Ireland; the third cable, for the Pacific region, will run from Hong Kong to Guam.  With these three connections, Google now has direct investment in 11 cable systems. The work on these three undersea cables should be completed in 2019. While the Havfrue and HK-G cables will be built by joint consortia, the Curie link will be Google’s solo endeavour. ‘With Curie, we become the first major non-telecom company to build a private intercontinental cable‘, informs Google.

 

8 Jan

Microsoft makes policy recommendations for the fourth industrial revolution

Microsoft has published as updated version of its A Cloud for Global Good policy roadmap, originally released in October 2016. The 2018 edition reflects recent developments in areas such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning, and contains several policy recommendations for 'governments, industry and civil society to consider as they realise the opportunities and address the challenges presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution'. These recommendations are clustered in three broad categories. The 'Trusted cloud' category contains recommendations about protecting personal privacy, government access to data, promoting the free-flow of data, ensuring secure and reliable infrastructure, creating a Digital Geneva Convention, and preventing cybercrime. Under 'Responsible cloud' are recommendations focused on protecting both human rights and public safety, reducing technology fraud and online exploitation, promoting environmental sustainability, and amplifying human ingenuity through AI. The third cluster 'Inclusive cloud' outlines recommendations targeted at providing affordable connectivity everywhere, preparing people for the new world of work, and including people with disabilities.

27 Sep

Alibaba setting its sight on European countries to establish more hubs

Chinese company Alibaba, one of the three largest e-commerce companies in the country, is setting its sights on European countries to establish new hubs. The Serbian State Secretary of the Ministry for Trade confirmed that Alibaba is considering opening a 'logistics centre' in Serbia. Croatian media also reported that Alibaba is considering opening a distribution centre in Zadar, while the Bulgarian government said Alibaba Group plans to invest in a centre in Bulgaria. In November 2016, Alibaba Cloud - the cloud computing branch of Alibaba - opened its first data centre in Frankfurt, co-locating its centre within Vodafone Germany's data centre facilities.

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