Several authorities over the Microsoft Teams service for fear of US eavesdropping. However, Lund University continues to use the service – “We have no alternative”, says IT director John Westerlund.
A number of Swedish authorities over the service Microsoft Teams. This reports SVT and Computer Sweden. The reason is that sensitive personal data risks falling into the hands of the American intelligence service.
– It is a risk we can not take, says Daniel Melin at the Swedish Tax Agency to SVT regarding the potential wiretapping.
John Westerlund, IT Director at Lund University, tells Lundagård that the university uses Teams to a certain extent, and plans to continue with it.
– We have no other options, the alternative is to interrupt training. The situation is the same with Canvas and with Zoom, which is also headquartered in the United States.
The problem with those US cloud services are the result of a number of legal processes. To ensure that EU citizens’ personal data could be safely handled by US companies, the Privacy Shield agreement was signed in 2016. However, the agreement was short-lived: last summer it was annulled by the European Court of Justice after new US legislation allowed the CIA to request sensitive data.
John Westerlund tells that it, since the Privacy Shield ended, Work has been underway between Swedish universities to ensure the extent to which it is actually possible to use the American cloud services. He can also ensure that the university, through agreements with both Microsoft and Zoom, has ensured that all data warehouses in Europe – but at the same time this can not be very good for the statutory level of security to guarantee.
– Microsoft has located its support outside Europe to be able to offer support around the clock. So even though our data is in Europe, it is reachable outside Europe, says John Westerlund.
From a rent From a legal perspective, it is first and foremost about the type of information that is placed with the American companies. From the university’s point of view, therefore, potential eavesdropping is not seen as a problem in itself, as long as it is not about sensitive personal data or the like. Here, John Westerlund also believes that the specific concern for the cloud services is exaggerated in this context.
– You have an American computer, made in China, connected to a wireless network, probably from an American manufacture, which goes through a network that also comes from an American supplier. So if you can use Teams or Zoom to talk … There is no risk of information disappearing or not.
As a student, should you be worried that Joe Biden is sitting and listening to your seminar?
– No, not especially. It is not the type of information that someone is looking for or is interested in. It has always been free for anyone to go and listen to a lecture.