Mind you I don't do anything that any of them would care about, but if I were running a major company I'd be worried about government snooping into my business. Perhaps I should also be worried if, say, the cloud storage company I've entrusted my data too-- let's call it MegaUpload--gets into hot-water with the Department of Justice (DoJ, another TLA!) and all my data is eventually deleted by the Web hosting company. You can't tell me that's not a real worry.
While David S. Linthicum, senior vice-president of Cloud Technology Partners, pointed out recently that he doesn't see much of a connection between the NSA and cloud computing still "As we migrate to public clouds, the most vocal protesters against this shift also happen to believe the data is at more risk for government monitoring. While you can show them mechanisms and statistics that demonstrate the value of leveraging public clouds, the "NSA scandal" will provide more fuel for the already paranoid of the cloud.
No, it's not spying on US citizens. It's spying on non-US-citizens using the telecommunication systems of the rest of the world. You know, places like, oh say, the EU.
Regardless of what the NSA is doing in the US, it's a lead-pipe guarantee that they're trying to collect data in all over the world. And, lest we forget, all those other countries have their own electronic intelligence-gathering organizations as well.
There is no magic safe Internet harbor where your Internet traffic can't be spied on. If your data is on the net, the potential is there for it to be spied on. Deal with it.
Realistically, if someone is really out to dig up your data, you don't want any of it on a public cloud. But, if all you want to do is maximize the safety of your business-critical data while realizing the flexibility and cost benefits of a cloud architecture, a private or hybrid cloud may still be exactly what you need.
If you want more security than that, then keep your data in on-location server rooms or on-campus data centers and keep it all within your intranet. Just remember, however, that when Edward Snowden walked out of an NSA office in Hawaii with sensitive data he didn't send it out on some super encrypted virtual private network (VPN) tunnel or via a TOR proxy. No, he just walked out with it in his pocket on a thumb drive.
You know, maybe there's something to be said for paper records after all!