Amazon have announced a centre in Sydney, Australia for their Amazon Web Services "cloud" server. This answers the concerns I had about Australian organisations having to move their data to other countries for processing.
By specifying the Australian server, the data can remain in Australia, under Australia law. This is particularly useful for organisations handling personal data which is subject to the Privacy Act. Moving data offshore to a jurisdiction which does not have the same privacy protections as Australia is unlawful. Organisations such as government departments and agencies, banks, telecommunications companies and universities risk prosecution if they place client data in "the cloud" outside Australia.
Australian provider Ninefold seem happy with the Amazon announcement as it legitimises them as an alternative.
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