US Corporations Look To Switzerland For Cloud Services After NSA Spying Fallout

It appears that the Swiss have turned a reputation for having the most secure banks in the world into a possible refuge for corporations trying to keep data from the spying eyes of the NSA.

The NSA’s PRISM program used the shadowy Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and a secret court to request data on U.S. citizens from major providers of Internet services such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. If you missed it, we’ve had quite a bit to say about the subject.

Now, according to Ibtimes, it seems that U.S. companies are losing faith in domestic cloud storage providers, from large-scale operations such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure to smaller-scale (but frequently used by employees) services such as Dropbox. This is not due to the services themselves, but to the fact that the government appears to be able to access much of that data without very much oversight.

Switzerland's Artmotion offers cloud hosting secure from the NSA and PRISM
Credit: Artmotion

Artmotion, a Switzerland-based offshore hosting company, has seen a 45% jump in revenue in the weeks since the information on the NSA program came to light. CEO Mateo Meier noted that the ever-neutral Swiss are not part of the EU and are thus not subject to the same laws for requesting data that other countries, including the U.S., are subject to. “The only way to gain access to the data hosted within a Swiss data centre is if the company receives an official court order proving guilt or liability,” he said.

Not to paint too dire a picture based on one news item, but it’s possible that the NSA’s shady practices will lead to the U.S. losing its footing as the world’s premier provider of cloud service. That probably wasn’t the NSA’s intent, but it’s a logical result of its actions.