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Virtual Machine User Group (VMUG) calls for clarification of Patriot Act and Data Location Policies

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My name is Gav Brining and I represent the Virtual Machine User Group (www.vmug.org.uk) an independent and active organisation comprised of 2000 end-users dedicated to virtualisation and cloud computing.

Today we call upon the IT industry – comprised of cloud and IT vendors, industry organisations and associations – to provide guidance to our community and beyond with regards the United States Patriot Act and data location guidance.

My group represents the individuals and companies who deploy your technology solutions in businesses across the UK, and as such we feel that it’s time for some clear and concise guidance as opposed to the general confusion, marketing hype and Machiavellian tactics of vendors who are are using such legislation to influence buyers.

The United Kingdom has historically been a stepping stone for American vendors entering the European market, and the protectionist attitude of UK vendors is creating a hostile reception for American companies wishing to deploy in our country. Can we as an industry and country in recession afford this loss of revenue, opportunity, jobs and influence?

We are not looking for yet another committee or think tank to ponder the subject and potentially do something about it at some point; this saga has been ongoing for over a calendar year now and is a constant source of frustration and confusion for our members.

…the United States Patriot Act and data location guidance… is a constant source of frustration and confusion for our members

We call on the IT vendors, trade associations and policy makers to solve this issue once and for all.

This is what VMUG proposes:

Simple clear effective guidance

We call on the industry to create a simple bullet point guide that allows our end-users to understand the conditions and impact that the US Patriot Act and Data location polices have on our businesses, and how this affects system deployments and technical architecture requirements.

We understand that there will be debate and ambiguity on each summary, but seriously – is it really that hard to provide a formalised five page PDF guide and summary to help us understand and make choices based on fact rather than fiction and irrelevant marketing hype by people who do not understand or have not conducted thorough research on the subject?

Let technology win!

As an end-user organisation we believe that technology should always be the winner. Vendors win orders based on usability, cost, and the depth and breadth of solution – whether that technology or cloud offering is American or British! We need American technology to drive our UK vendors to innovate, compete and to be leaders on the world stage! Without healthy competition how can you drive your products and service into world markets?

A central independent resource

We understand that this is a contentious subject, so we call on the industry to put rivalry aside for 5 minutes and work collaboratively to create a simple clearly worded resource – a website or page on an industry association – which allows our members to get to the bottom of what they need to know – without any of the marketing hype.

As an independent not-for-profit industry group we will assist any efforts to solve these issues once and for all.

Gav Brining on behalf of the Virtual Machine User Group (www.vmug.org.uk)

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