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14 Dec 2015

Data Sovereignty and Email

Data Sovereignty and Email

With Wiki Leaks and Snowden’s exposes, there has been a lot of press around data sovereignty and how important it is to us if our personal information can be “hijacked” or viewed illicitly by government agencies in other parts of the world.

In parallel with this we have an ever increasing growth in the popularity of cloud based processing and storage.

Most of us will have heard of Office 365, Google, Yahoo, Hotmail and Xero. The first four are associated with the USA and in the context of this blog, are therefore linked with the NSA (National Security Agency) and other agencies that can and do access data.

The latter – Xero, as most know is the fastest growing online accounting package in the world. Their servers just happen to be based in the USA and are hosted by a very reputable company called Rackspace. With all of the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) being thrown around both politically and by companies with a vested interest, it is intersting to note that Xero has a dispensation from the NZ Inland Revenue Department to host the data in the USA – so a large portion of New Zealand’s SME companies financial and tax data is being held overseas with our Government’s blessing.

Alongside this, you may be interested to know that the mainframe computers that perform the processing for the BNZ are based in Melbourne.

It probably won’t surprise you to know then that of a random sample of 1,000,000 transactional emails sent by Cumulo9 in March 2015, 69.3% of them ended up in email accounts based on one of the four companies servers mentioned above.

In fact 73% of all email sent ended up on international mail servers. Of the remaining 27% a large portion probably ended up on international servers, but we have classed it as New Zealand email because the domains used were all “.co.nz”.

So while data sovereignty has received a large amount of “ill-informed” press, the fact is that large amounts of data exist outside our borders.

News is the first draft of history

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