The problem of the American cloud to the test of the sovereignty of European states
This problem is not new at all.
Indeed, Europeans have been questioning the dependence on the technologies produced by the Americans for some time. And the major question is whether Europe will lose control of certain essential services to the American IT giants. At least, that is what many governments are asking.
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These concerns are understandable. Indeed, in recent years, the major European institutions, in particular government organizations and private companies have continued to enter into contracts with the Americans in the field of cloud. The examples are palpable. Let's talk about the contracts between Google cloud and the French companies that are Orange and Renault, Amazon Web Services with Volkswagen, or Microsoft Cloud Azure with the French Ministry of Health for French research data.
Speaking of cloud or cloud here, certainly alludes to those services that can store IT resources, or borrow computing power via online services. All this without having to have its own IT infrastructures that are usually expensive to install, maintain and renew.
The European state most worried about such a trend is undoubtedly Germany. And of course this is understandable when one observes his rich heritage in terms of computer data because of the increasing evolution of his industry. "Most European data is stored outside Europe, or, if stored in Europe, it is stored on servers owned by non-European companies," read a report provided by several media executives and experts published in mid-July under the leadership of Henning Kagermann, the former head of the german software company SAP. One could also read these lines that the EU is "losing its influence on the digital sphere, at a time when it has taken a central role in the continent's economy",
Earlier this month, a diagnosis was made by a senior French official. "We have a huge issue of security and sovereignty around clouds," he said. "In many cases, it is an easy or even a betrayal for European companies or institutions to go and get rid of all this from non-European actors because it is simpler," the official continues. He also believes, without unfortunately giving specific examples: "However, we have very good players in the cloud and data processing."
To be honest, the main concern of Europeans is particularly concerned with the Cloud Act. This U.S. law that allows U.S. security agencies, the CIA or the NSA, is other federal agencies to access information hosted by U.S. companies on their servers, regardless of where they are. "My company is American and I know very well what the implications of such legislation are," a Franco-American source warned recently, speaking on condition of anonymity. "And given what's happening in American rhetoric, these things aren't going to change for the better."
European policymakers are concerned about the information that these US agencies could gather when processing this information. Even the experts are worried. The senior French official quoted above points out: "we are just able to produce data, needing others to exploit it, so we are going to be in the same situation as the countries that have mineral resources, but which have given the ability of others to enrich themselves with, with extremely small benefits" for the Europeans themselves.
Since June, we have been talking about the Gaia X project in Europe. An initiative initiated by the State of France and Germany to enable a European offer in the cloud sector.
In other words, instead of continuing to provide customers to American companies, which today span virtually several areas and services such as storage, data processing, artificial intelligence or even the power of data calculations, the French and German governments would like to set up a set of European companies that can offer all of its services. This is to enable the European consumer to find what he needs without looking elsewhere.
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