03 July 2013

Oz report considers offshore data security

Australia may need to reconsider its policies on data sovereignity, a recent report by law firm Baker & McKenzie and the University of New South Wales says.

By Charlotte Mullen

The report, which was written by Baker & McKenzie partner Adrian Lawrence and David Vaile from the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre at the University of New South Wales found that the impact on  business-orientated cloud data services by PRISM data-mining, recently exposed in the US National Security Agency (NSA) suveillance leak by whistleblower Edward Snowden, was  as yet unclear.  However, it said that the US scandal raised issues regarding constitutional protection in countries such as Australia, reports Lawyers Weekly.

Cloud policies

The report also questions the necessity of data-sovereignty-aware cloud policies for companies, using the data of an Australian company as an example to compare how that data is accessed in both the US and Australia.
At a panel discussion in Sydney to discuss the report, the NSA breach provoked plentiful discussion about the constitutional protection provided by the fourth amendment of the US Constitution, subsequently raising questions as to whether or not countries without such protection, such as Australia, would eventually be in need of 'legal protections'.
Mr Vaile acknowledged that not everybody is perturbed by data jurisdiction. He said that  many people were unconcerned by the fact that offshore data is potentially accessible to other law enforcement agencies: 'We're not suggesting we're going from blissful ignorance to blind panic about data jurisdiction in one jump'.

Email your news and story ideas to: news@globallegalpost.com