In Cloud We Trust: Why the Bloomberg Snoopgate Affair Matters

Written by David Michaelis

Too trusting? Our global news ed David Michaelis investigates the recent flap around journalists culling data from Bloomberg terminals. In cloud we trust .. –In the world of hacking clans like anonymous and self-appointed government outers like Wikileaks, consider the Bloomberg affair.

Anonymous and Wikileaks watch a myriad of organizations for better or worse. The government and corporate worlds watch only you.

As the Google Transparency Report makes clear time and again, the government usually gets what the government wants. Forget racketeering tools to get at information, like RICO. The U.S. government and leaders the globe over ask first — and add pressure later.

And then there’s the Bloomberg Snoopgate affair. Thanks to extensive investigative reporting, it might very well prove terminal for Bloomberg data services. JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are up in arms about Bloomberg journalists ostensibly using their data terminals as hunting grounds.

This corporate clash of the titans reflects on the total misunderstanding of the not-so-brave new world of financial information. Think about it. A company that provides the terminals and the storage space in the cloud or elsewhere also has access to your network, legal disclaimers or not.

The Bloomberg journalists who allegedly dove into the financial information service claimed they saw their involvement as part of their jobs.

The surprise and anger at the Snoopgate Bloomberg affair is typical of the “how could one of us” be guilty mentality held so strongly by the Masters of the Universe world of finance.

The fact of life is that, short of full TruCrypt style encryption, everything about you is pretty much discoverable. The borders between what is yours and what isn’t are liquid borders — and they grow more so every day.

And consider this. The whole situation would be a national security issue if this were a Chinese company. But it is not. The challenge powerbrokers worry more about is whether some company will succeed to disrupt Bloomberg`s monopoly — or whether others will exploit Bloomberg cloud services. Feeling insecure? You should.

Timothy Bourgaize Murray, an analyst at WatersTechnology.Com put it this way:

As more of those services become cloud-based, expectations around demonstrable verification and auditing practices have heightened … but discussing where data usage for product development ends … and (where) more nefarious activity begins … is not such a bad thing. In fact, Brian Nadzan, chief development officer at buy-side combined execution and order management systems provider TradingScreen, says clarity is the best way to avoid these kinds of events to begin with.”

“We have to prove to clients that we have good safeguards in place, particularly around change management and data access—e.g., ensuring changes go through the right environment as they are given to production,” Nadzan told analyst Timothy Bourgaize Murray in the piece.

This piece is developing. Find an enlightening video and more on the story via CBS at this link ….