Microsoft to open data centers in Germany controlled by Deutsche Telekom, providing greater security

Kip Kniskern

Yesterday at The Future Decoded in London, Microsoft announced it was opening new datacenters in the UK, and today at a press conference in Berlin, the company announced further plans to open more datacenters in Germany, this time with a twist.
The new data centers, although they will “enable the full power of Microsoft’s cloud in Germany”, will be under the control of a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, acting as something of a shield between Microsoft and the US and German data.  Microsoft will have no access to data held in the facilities without the permission of that subsidiary, T-Systems.
Germany has one of the strictest data protection laws in Europe, and the move will help to allow German companies to store their data in the cloud without exposing them to possible US intrusion, similar to the attempts by the US government to gain access to data held in Irish servers.  According to the Financial Times, the 3rd party trusteeship will protect German data by forcing official requests to go through German authorities.
Microsoft is pushing hard both to enable companies outside the US to use its cloud storage offerings, and also to clarify government rights and limits when it comes to data storage.