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BAE Systems Abandons Microsoft Cloud Plans Citing Patriot Act

One of the leading defence contractors for the UK government has opted not to use Microsoft's cloud computing platform as it fears that its data might be accessible to the US government under the Patriot Act.

London based defence equipment maker BAE Systems has abandoned its plans for using Microsoft's Office 365 cloud based productivity platform, claiming that there was no guarantee that the data will not be accessed by the US government.

Charles Newhouse, BAE's head of strategy and design, during the Business Cloud Summit 2011 in London, said that Microsoft can't guarantee that the data stored on its servers will not leave Europe, ZD Net reports.

BAE, which makes arms and defence systems and sells them to several governments around the globe, is afraid that using Microsoft's cloud platform could endanger its business secrets and plans as the US government can order Microsoft to see the data under the Patriot Act.

"A number of high profile outages that users have suffered recently demonstrated just how little control you actually have. When it all goes horribly wrong, you just sit there and hope it is going to get better," Newhouse said.

"I was on a study tour recently, and 85 per cent of European companies out on that, now cite international regulations being their major issue. Everyone was ‘on about' the U.S. Patriot Act, saying that the geo-location of that data and who has access to that data is the number one killer for adopting to the public cloud at the moment," he claimed.