TRAI wants to regulate cloud computing, seeks comments

With businesses increasingly turning to cloud computing for factors like sharing resources for big data storage, software and processes, India’s telecom watchdog has proposed regulating this segment of industry and has invited comments from stakeholders.

“What regulatory provisions may be mandated so that a customer is able to have control over his data while moving it in and out of the cloud,” is among the questions posed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in a consultation paper released on Friday.


The other areas in which it has sought comments include provisions for billing and metering re-verification of cloud services, how disputes are to be addressed, mechanisms for customer complaints and the security aspects of such services.

The paper comes after Twitter co-founder Evan Williams’s account was hacked and another report said that hackers might have used malware to collect more than 32 million Twitter login credentials.

It sought opinions about the quality of services parameters based on which the performance of different cloud service providers could be measured for different service models.

The paper also sought comments on the steps government should adopt to promote cloud computing in e-governance projects, establishment of data centres in India, encourage business and private organisations to utilise cloud services and to boost Digital India and Smart Cities incentive using cloud.

“Should there be a dedicated cloud for government applications? To what extent should it support a multi-tenant environment and what should be the rules regulating such an environment?”

It also touched upon the legal aspects relating to cloud computing.

The law of the users’ country may restrict cross-border transfer or disclosure of certain information. “How can the client be protected in case the cloud service provider moves data from one jurisdiction to another and a violation takes place? What disclosure guidelines need to be prescribed to avoid such incidents?”

“What policies, systems and processes are required to be defined for information governance framework in cloud, from lawful interception point of view and particularly if it is hosted in a different country?”

Cloud Computing has four attributes — data intensive, resource pooling, scalability and rapid elasticity and On demand access.

It can be operated in one of the four deployment models — public cloud, private cloud, community cloud and hybrid cloud.

Cloud computing accounted for about 33 per cent of the total IT expenditure in 2015 across the world. Analysts project that from 2013 to 2018, the cloud computing market will grow at a 9.7 per cent annual rate. Also, by 2019, cloud IT infrastructure spending is expected to be $52 billion, or 45 per cent of total IT infrastructure spending.

In India, cloud computing has huge potential for industries. Verticals such as retail, railways, manufacturing, banking, education and healthcare have started switching their on-premise applications to cloud services for optimised reach and performance as well as elasticity and scalability.

The sector regulator has asked stakeholders to send their written comments by July 8 and counter-comments by July 22.


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