Nationalism is rearing its head in cyberspace. A proposal is gaining ground in France to build a federation of interconnected local computing clouds—funded in part by the government—to protect the country’s sovereignty, data privacy, and jobs. Some observers fear the idea could spread to other countries on the Continent, potentially undermining the promised benefits to Europeans of universal cloud computing, which is being billed as the biggest shift in information technology since personal computers were introduced in the 1970s.
The idea for a cloud à la Française is in part a backlash against American providers of cloud computing services such as Google, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft. As with Europe’s $6 billion Galileo sat-nav system—an alternative to the U.S.-operated GPS—and various Old World search engine projects such as France’s Quaero, some Europeans worry about becoming overly dependent on American technology in key strategic areas.
Source: Business Week