Oracle To Open Two German Data Centres Following Spying Scandal

data centre

The facilities, based in Frankfurt and Munich, are partly in response to questions around security, Oracle said

Oracle has announced it will open two data centres in Germany, located in Frankfurt and Munich, following European concern over the scope of the US’ NSA spying programme, disclosed over the past year by Edward Snowden.

The facilities, announced on Sunday at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, will begin operations in the next few weeks and are due to be fully operational by the end of the year. Oracle also runs data centres in the UK and the Netherlands.

Oracle cloud biplane aircraft © Anatoliy Lukich Shutterstock


Loïc le Guisquet, Oracle’s executive vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the centres were planned mainly due to rising demand for cloud services in Germany, but were also a response to “questions around security”. The centres will be targeted at German businesses looking for “cloud applications deployed in Germany”, he said.

Following the NSA revelations, state-backed Deutsche Telekom last year proposed a “German Internet” that would route domestic web traffic within the country, protecting it from the prying eyes of foreign intelligence operations.

German chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this year proposed measures that would keep emails and other data within Europe. Merkel’s mobile phone was reportedly tapped by the NSA as part of its surveillance operations.

Jürgen Kunz, country leader of Oracle Germany, said the planned facilities are intended to bring data storage closer to key customers.

“The new Oracle data centres in Germany will service the considerable demand for cloud applications among German businesses and will provide an important, strategic facility on the doorstep of some of Germany’s biggest businesses,” he said in a statement.

Legal questions

US companies may not, however, have the right to withhold data from the US government, even if it is stored overseas. Microsoft is currently fighting demands by US authorities to hand over emails stored in an Irish data centre.

At a keynote at the Oracle event, former chief executive Larry Ellison, who resigned last week, said Oracle’s cloud uses more than 30,000 computers, offers 400 petabytes of storage and has 62 million users per day.

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