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January 10, 2014

Canada Could Reap Benefits of NSA Scandal

New Report Indicates Canadian Government Offering to Store Data for American Web Companies

Cloud Security
Photo Credit: FutUndBeidl via flickr

Canada is hoping to capitalize on the National Security Agency kerfuffle in the U.S. by offering to store data for frustrated American Internet companies such as Facebook and Google, according to a new report from The Toronto Star.

Canadian Cloud Council CEO Robert Hart told The Star Canadian government agencies are “actively trying to recruit Silicon Valley companies like Google and Facebook and trying to convince them to build cloud infrastructure in Canada.”

“I would say there’s a lot of movement right now at a political level to convince some of these larger software companies … to host their software in Canada to get that data away from the NSA for optical reasons.”

The fallout from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations has left all of the big U.S. Web firms scrambling to reassure users that their data is safe.

Some of technology’s heaviest hitters — Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple and AOL — have joined forces to demand increased transparency on national security surveillance orders.

The group most recently wrote a letter asking members of the Senate committee to institute “substantial enhancements to privacy protections and appropriate oversight and accountability mechanisms for those programs.”

Hart described Canada as an ideal data storage alternative for such companies due to its proximity to the U.S. as well as its skilled workforce and reasonable energy prices.

“I think right now Canadian and international organizations have a monumental opportunity to capture a lot of business from organizations that no longer want to deal with the States,” he told The Star.

Industry Canada, when asked by The Star if it is in talks with any American Web firms, gave a non-committal answer.

“Industry Canada routinely meets with stakeholders in the information and communication technology industry. Canada is open to businesses who create jobs and help grow our economy.”

According to The Star’s report, a number of companies — from European banking and insurance firms that do business in the U.S. to American oil and gas companies and even retail outlets — are all looking for good alternatives for data storage.

Toronto and Montreal, both major cities, are known to be Canada’s data hubs, and, therefore, ideal locations to store American data, the report said.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.