STORIES OF STORIES of STORIES STORIES … The storage war, cast by black and blue, is taking place right now.
The U.S. Government’s proposed 2018 budget calls for the creation of about $1 trillion in new funding for storage for national security reasons.
But the bill’s main backer, Senator Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is the target of an online campaign that calls him “a coward” and “a traitor.”
The fight over who controls the country’s vast data centers is at a fever pitch.
It comes as lawmakers, privacy advocates, tech companies and tech companies’ allies argue that they’re losing the battle against terrorism and cyberattacks, as well as the privacy battles with foreign governments.
In recent weeks, lawmakers have called for the government to relinquish control over the storage and processing of data in the country, citing the threat of terrorism.
The stakes are high, and so are the battles.
The bill to take over control of the data centers passed the Senate by a vote of 50-47 on Wednesday, and it faces an uphill climb in the House.
This is a real battle, and this is a big one.
The stakes are too high, said Chris Mancuso, director of the Data Security Initiative at the Center for Democracy and Technology.
We have the biggest data center in the world, we have a lot of the largest internet companies, we are in the midst of a major data breach, and we have this massive battle going on over who owns the data that is on the internet.
And the government is really trying to get out from under that burden, Manciso said.
The storage industry is also deeply invested in the fight.
Storage giant IBM Corp. said in a statement Thursday that it “will continue to work with the Department of Homeland Security and Congress to ensure that data is safely and securely stored at national security sites and in other critical facilities.”
But others are less enthused.
“I don’t know if this is really the best use of the Department’s resources, but if they can’t secure the internet in this way, we’ll just get rid of them,” said David Smith, a security analyst at cybersecurity firm Trend Micro.
As Congress debates the issue, the Federal Communications Commission and other agencies have made clear that they want to keep the US government’s hands off of the storage of data.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has made clear he’s willing to go along with the White House.
The FCC is the primary authority for determining whether US companies can charge for data, and Pai has said he wants to use that authority to ensure the internet stays “secure.”
If Congress and the administration aren’t willing to use the authority, the technology industry is ready to take the fight to Washington.
There are signs that the tech industry may be gearing up for a fight.
Microsoft Corp., a Microsoft-owned company, announced last month it was going to invest $1 billion in an cybersecurity training center.
Google Inc., another major tech company, recently said it plans to create a new cybersecurity center in its Mountain View, California, headquarters.
The companies have made their stance clear.
“We will fight to the end for a secure internet,” Google said in an internal email.
“I will not stand by idly while our data is handed over to the United States Government.”