BigPond emails will be stored overseas

 

Some 4.2 million email accounts will fall under foreign jurisdictions.

Telstra has confirmed that the emails of its 4.2 million BigPond customers will be hosted offshore under a planned migration to the Windows Live cloud platform.

The telco, which announced the migration on Friday, originally told iTnews and several other publications that email data will continue to be stored locally in Australia.

This was not incorrect.

What Telstra hasn’t made public on its web site is that Microsoft will be hosting the service offshore. Telstra will simply store a mirror (copy) of this data in Australia to remain compliant with Australian law.

“Microsoft stores their emails as per Microsoft's network architecture and their responsibility,” a Telstra spokesman confirmed with iTnews.  

“In the case of Windows Live they are stored overseas and locally to assist Telstra in meeting its legal obligations.

"This means that a copy of all BigPond emails will continue to be stored locally in Australia as well.”

This revelation could have significant consequences for small businesses that rely on BigPond email services.

As a business, storing email data offshore is mired in legal complications.

As first revealed in iTnews’ Cloud Cover research report by lawyer Mark Vincent, many cloud contracts subject data to the laws of the jurisdiction in which the data is stored rather than where business is transacted.

If Microsoft stores BigPond email data in its Singapore data centre, for example, the data becomes subject to the laws of the Singaporean state, which has far fewer requirements around privacy.

It also exposes customer data to Singapore’s Computer Misuse Act [pdf], which empowers Singaporean law enforcement officers wide ranging powers to gain access to any computer stored in Singaporean territory if they suspect it has been used to commit a crime.

A recent whitepaper [pdf] by Telstra competitor Macquarie Telecom suggests that Telstra will also have to comply with over 160 Singaporean laws if customer data is stored in Singapore.

If Microsoft and Telstra stores BigPond email data in its United States data centre, the data becomes subject to US laws such as the Patriot Act, which also provides US law enforcement unbridled access to US-hosted data without requiring a court order.

Nothing new?

These risks are not new for consumers using free web versions of Gmail or Hotmail, nor for business customers of Telstra’s existing ‘T-Suite’ cloud services. 

These users, knowingly or not, have already agreed to allow their data to be hosted offshore. T-Suite’s terms and conditions [pdf] state that Microsoft Exchange emails, Microsoft SharePoint and Office documents, Microsoft Dynamics CRM data and conversations using Microsoft’s Lync and Live Meeting services consumed as -a-service from Telstra “will be transmitted to and stored overseas”.

But BigPond customers would have signed up with Telstra under the reasonable expectation that their data was stored locally, by Telstra.

Telstra has confirmed that these customers will need to sign a new set of terms and conditions to allow the company to host the data offshore.

Would you be concerned about your business' email data being hosted offshore? Let us know on our poll, which you'll find on the front page of iTnews.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


BigPond emails will be stored overseas
iTnews editor Brett Winterford.
 
 
 
Top Stories
Earning the right to innovate
Breaking down the barriers to innovation is a long, but rewarding process, says Bank of Queensland Group CIO, Julie Bale.
 
A call for timely reporting
[Blog post] Businesses need incentives to keep customer data secure.
 
Doubts cast on Queensland's ICT Dashboard
Opposition, former Govt CIO say it can't be trusted.
 
 
iTnews editor Brett Winterford.
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Have customers that won't pay debts?
Jul 10, 2014
The ACCC and ASIC have updated their advice when it comes to collecting debts.
Carpet cleaner faces court over online testimonials
Jul 4, 2014
The ACCC has initiated proceedings against A Whistle (1979) Pty Ltd, the franchisor of Electrodry...
You can now get 15GB of free online storage using Microsoft OneDrive
Jun 25, 2014
Cloud storage has reached both the capacity and price where it's a viable alternative to local ...
Another clever trick you can perform with Xero
Jun 25, 2014
Here is another way to reach out to particular subsets of your customers using Xero.
Have a phone, tablet and laptop?
Jun 20, 2014
This new Telstra pre-paid 4G mobile hotspot might be useful if you regularly need to use fast ...
Latest Comments
Polls
What is delaying adoption of public cloud in your organisation?







   |   View results
Lock-in concerns
  26%
 
Application integration concerns
  3%
 
Security and compliance concerns
  29%
 
Unreliable network infrastructure
  9%
 
Data sovereignty concerns
  23%
 
Lack of stakeholder support
  3%
 
Protecting on-premise IT jobs
  5%
 
Difficulty transitioning CapEx budget into OpEx
  3%
TOTAL VOTES: 843

Vote