26 November 2014 by Max Smolaks
Australia’s largest telecoms company, Telstra, is building a cloud platform aimed specifically at government agencies.
The Government Cloud will offer advanced security measures and comply with all the necessary standards, as well as guarantee that the data will not cross Australian borders. It will launch in the first half of 2015.
There’s currently no information on whether the same service will be offered to foreign governments through Telstra’s overseas data centers.
The cloud to run a country
Telstra says its upcoming public sector offering will be secure enough to deal with data designated as ‘protected’.
“As governments move into a new era of service delivery transformation to meet the current and future digital expectations of its citizens, the ability to use protected cloud services is as critical to their future plans as it is to the private sector – digital disruption is impacting everyone,” commented Erez Yarkoni, executive director of Cloud at Telstra.
“In line with our own cloud strategy to offer increased flexibility and choice, this new, highly secure cloud platform will help enable governments to be leaders in the use of cloud services and provide opportunities for continued innovation and collaboration.”
Telstra has maintained a close relationship with the Australian government, ever since the former national carrier was spun off from the Postmaster-General's Department. The company is currently providing services to the Department of Defense, Department of Human Services and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, among others.
Security and privacy of data remain hot topics in Australia. Last year, the government was widely criticized after Edward Snowden revealed that it sanctioned a massive regional surveillance operation in partnership with the US National Security Agency. It later emerged that the NSA considered spying on Australian citizens too, despite the country being a member of the ‘Five Eyes’ alliance.