Freedom of data movement in the cloud era

In January, we joined an amicus brief with other technology companies in a case pending before the Supreme Court involving Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Justice. The companies that joined the brief argue that Congress must act to resolve the complicated policy questions raised by the case, as Congress is best-suited to weigh the important interests of law enforcement, foreign countries, service providers and, of course, the people who use the services.

Pending legislation in the U.S. Congress—the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act—would make important strides in addressing the issues raised in the Microsoft case by updating the decades-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Notably, the bill clarifies that the physical location of data is not a relevant criterion in determining the data disclosure obligations of U.S. service providers.

We wanted to share a little more information on why we think this is important and what it means for our customers and users. Modern distributed networks function in ways that do not focus on data location. As more people and businesses turn to the cloud to keep their data secure and ensure their services are dependable, infrastructure has had to grow and evolve to meet those demands. Global networks offer end users a level of dependability that previously required the most sophisticated backup technologies and significant individual hardware investment. Understanding how a global distributed network like ours works is key to understanding the benefits it offers and the challenges that are presented by laws that focus on where data is stored.

Growth of the public cloud

It’s been an important goal of Internet companies like ours to offer services that can be accessed by hundreds-of-millions of users no matter where they are. These services have to be fast, reliable, robust, and resilient. From our earliest days, it was essential that our index, with its links to vast swaths of content, be as comprehensive as possible.

This article was sourced from Google Blog

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