Cloud Computing - the Next Wave: Embassy Hosts Cloud Conference

May 31, 2013

Deputy Chief of Mission Kurt Tong addresses the Cloud Computing Conference on May 31.

U.S. Embassy Tokyo hosted a conference entitled "Cloud Computing Laws and Regulations: Clarifying Misunderstandings and Facts" on May 31. The conference featured speakers from the Department of State and the Department of Justice, along with an official from Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and a Japanese legal expert. The purpose was to address common misperceptions regarding U.S. Government policies on law enforcement access to private information stored online, or "in the cloud."

Stephen Bell, Counselor to the State Department Office of International Communications and Information Policy, noted that the U.S. Government recognizes that privacy and security are essential to the success of cloud-based information technology services. For this reason, in the national security and intelligence areas, the U.S. government maintains extensive "due process" provisions that equal or exceed those of our major trading partners. Bell referred conference attendees to this online PDF document for additional information.

Speakers and participants in the conference


Jeffrey M. Olson, the Department of Justice's Office of International Affairs Director for Asia/Pacific Affairs, addressed "Five Myths Regarding Privacy and Law Enforcement Access." He emphasized that "the United States provides numerous protections from law enforcement access to electronic communications, a key area of modern data privacy concern." A complete version of Olson's remarks appears online here.

Deputy Chief of Mission Kurt Tong assured the audience that the U.S. Government seeks to spur innovation that will create jobs and generate growth, and will continue to prioritize innovation and civil liberties even as it protects the country.

The Embassy hosted the conference in coordination with the Japan Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, and the following four U.S. information technology companies: Amazon Data Services Japan K.K., Google Japan Inc., Microsoft Japan Co., Ltd., and Co., Ltd.