Where Is Your Data “Located”?

In a well-reported decision last week, a New York Court ordered Microsoft to produce emails stored on a server located in Dublin, Ireland.  There has already been some very good legal analysis of the opinion, which Microsoft has stated that it will appeal.  A key issue, of course, is whether a US-based court should have the ability to order the production of data “located” in a foreign country.

One of the issues with analyzing this problem is the application of old school ideas, like physical location, to electronic information.  It’s easy (and convenient) to think about data being stored on a server, which is an actual physical item, and identifying that data as being located in that place.

But unlike actual physical objects, data is easy to copy, and copies often are stored in different places for more convenient access or for data protection and backup purposes.  It’s likely that the email messages in Dublin were replicated several times, possibly on backup media such as a tape or on a backup server (both of which are physical items).

However, unlike physical objects, many people can have “access” to data at the same time, and physical proximity is generally not very important to that access.  So while only people located near the server in Dublin can physically touch that server, there are likely dozens or hundreds of people throughout the world with the ability to access the server and read the data stored there.  The only constraint to that access is having the security credentials to access it.

Conversely, it’s easy to turn the idea of physical access on its head.  Even if you were standing next to the Dublin server, you would not have access to its data without proper credentials.  Thus, even assuming that a court with jurisdiction could order to you to “get” the server, you might not have any ability to actually deliver the data stored on it.  In fact, with the right security and encryption, it’s possible to limit access to that information to just one person in the entire world!

The law changes slowly, and for good reason.  But until we have a better legal framework for analyzing electronic data issues, cases like the Dublin server will be difficult to predict and explain under our current legal structures.

A Sneak Peek At EMCWorld 2014


It’s almost here!  It’s hard to believe a year has passed, but it’s once again time for EMCWorld.  The event is held next week, May 5-8 in Las Vegas at The Venetian, we’re excited about this year’s theme: Redefine.   Continue reading

Jennifer Kirk

Jennifer Kirk

Principle Social Media Engagement Manager
An east coast native, Jennifer started her career in PR and events in the Nashville music industry. Sensing the potential online media offered, Jennifer shifted to working in social media before it had a name. She moved to San Francisco where she now is Principle Social Media Engagement Manager for the Data Protection and Availability Division at EMC. When she isn't managing the DPAD social channels, Jennifer can be found traveling or happily eating her way through the foodie scene.

Protection Storage, Is It Just Disk?

You will hear many vendors telling you how important it is to protect your data. This will usually be achieved by a second copy on disk or even tape. Let’s assume like most companies you choose to store that second copy on disk, what disk do you use? Do you go and re purpose some older disk for your backup / archive or do you purchase a dedicated Protection Storage layer of disk? Continue reading

Mark Galpin

Mark Galpin

EMEA Product Marketing, Data Protection and Availability Division
As a product marketing lead based in Guildford, Surrey, I'm often seen presenting to EMC’s partners and end users at various events across Europe. I have over 20 years experience in the storage market, largely gained in the financial and legal sectors, including PaineWebber, part of UBS, and Clifford Chance, the international legal practice, where I was the storage manager for a number of years. But I've also held had product marketing stints at Quantum and previously at EMC. I'm married with two children and live in Guildford, Surrey.

Application Owners Rejoice – Introducing DD Boost for Enterprise Applications!

Over the past few weeks we’ve covered various aspects of the most recent Data Domain launch including the new Data Domain Operating System and additional detail on secure multi-tenancy. I will be rounding out the Data Domain launch coverage by introducing you to Data Domain Boost for Enterprise Applications, which provides advanced integration between Data Domain systems and leading enterprise applications via DD Boost software to efficiently protect database and big data environments.   Continue reading

Alyson Langon
A couple years ago, fresh out of Business School at Boston College, I started at EMC and dove head first into all things backup and archive, focusing on Data Domain systems. I love the challenge of communicating complicated technologies in innovative and engaging ways and there is certainly no shortage of inspiration at EMC’s Data Protection and Availability Division. Outside of the tech world, I am an artist, animal lover and sufferer of wanderlust. You can also find me on Twitter achieving the perfect balance of data protection and cat gifs.

I’m Happy…Because Disaster Recovery Can’t Bring Me Down

Graduation is the end of a college education but it’s also the beginning of a new career or post-graduate opportunity. It’s time to celebrate endings and new beginnings, as the school year draws to a close and summer makes its tantalizing approach (yes, even for storm-battered U.S. east coasters).  This seasonal shift makes us happy… and apparently life as a student at Brown University in historic Providence, Rhode Island is a happy place too. Continue reading

Lisa Matzdorff

Lisa Matzdorff

Voice of Customer, Data Protection and Availability Division
I have a passion for listening, more specifically, listening to customers share their IT stories, their experiences, their successes! Over the past 7 years in the role of customer reference manager and customer advocacy manager, I’ve had the pleasure of listen to amazing stories and meeting some very interesting people. The one thing that makes my job even better…I get to share those stories. When I’m not working, I’m volunteering with foster children, running 5K fun runs, playing fashion consultant “What Not To Wear” style, traveling, and watching reality t.v