Sunday, June 30, 2013

clouds over silicon valley

flickr / jitze
Soon, near you, the Sovereign Cloud, the Private Cloud, the Personal Cloud, the Cloud

Lets thank the US Government for the next phase of rapid innovation thats about to be unleashed in the Internet industry.

With the recent revelations that NSA apparently spied on EU governments, the suitability for anyone in the world to use cloud providers based in the USA just plummeted. Countries, and companies, and maybe even individuals, soon enough, will be looking at myriad solutions that offer regional, corporate-private, or even rapidly deployable and de-provisionable personal cloud infrastructure.

Update: As discussed here: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/06/us-government-surveillance-bad-for-silicon-valley-bad-for-democracy-around-the-world/277335/

I've been concerned about the negative consequences for companies like Google, and others, that provide a world-wide scalable technical infrastructure for global computing. In retrospect it was naive to think this was an architecture that would survive very long. The MPAA and RIAA have been worried for a long time about Piracy1.0. Maybe it took a large government a little longer to realize that the Internet, as currently architected, offered a perfect surveillance and control regime, and it took them a litte longer to deploy their attention in this direction. People less naive than I foresaw this.

That the pirates first, and the governments later have been able to turn the architecture of the internet to their own purposes may push the Internet to evolve to a new architecture, one that is more distributed, with perhaps more resilience, if maybe with less seamless interoperability. It won't be a smooth ride, for sure some nation states will insist upon near-dystopic architectures for their national clouds, and it will be a new tariff opportunity for international collaboration, but also, perhaps, innovation will spur new developments that foster privacy and interoperable communication across infrastructures, owned and secured on an individual basis.

Or not.

If I were really smart, I'd figure out the consequences in the stock market.  Will investors ding companies like Google and Facebook because their growth, internationally, just got seriously limited? Will people in the EU no longer buy routers and other internet infrastructure from US-based companies? Will German internet technology providers see their markets increase significantly?

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