Norwegian town faces data cloud ban

Norway’s information technology overseer, the Datatilsynet, is considering a “Danish style” ban on cloud computing for government agencies, saying subscriptions to remote data storage, software and retrieval could put citizens' private data at risk.

Norwegian town faces data cloud ban
Photo: Universitetssykehuset Nord-Norge

The government agency singled out Google Apps, just as competition is heating up in Norway over which of some three dozen software companies — some of the remote-services type  —will win a billion-kroner bid for computing services at the national social services agency.

The Norwegians are considering a ban in one town, Narvik, just as Denmark forbade the municipality of Odense the right to store their social services data remotely and use Google Apps. Norway’s Datatilsynet is also worried the “standard contracts” available from vendors don’t allow a government to change packages as privacy laws change.

“On the one side, cloud computing has become a big deal. It’s cost-effective and important. We must also look at the other side, and we can’t just close our eyes to the intense developments in this area,” said Datatilsynet director Bjørn Erik Thon to digital magazine Digi.

The Norwegian township of Narvik is seen as a test case for Norway’s public-sector use of cloud computing. The town was further along in its own appraisal of the issues involved and became “an ideal place to start”.

One of the data authority’s problems with cloud computing for private-sector and private companies handling sensitive information is not knowing or being told where the information is stored.

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Norwegians want futuristic vacuum train between Oslo and Copenhagen

Norway’s climate-friendly Green party wants American innovator Elon Musk’s Hyperloop transport concept to be up and running between two Scandinavian capitals within 20 years.

Norwegians want futuristic vacuum train between Oslo and Copenhagen
A 3D rendering of a concept monorail tunnel train. Photo: lookaround/Depositphotos

At its annual conference in the city of Lillehammer Saturday, the party received strong support for the proposal to introduce the futuristic train, reports newspaper Dagbladet.

Green Party member Per Espen Stoknes told the newspaper that the introduction of the environmentally-friendly transportation would create value.

“A network will be established between the major cities, and we don’t want to miss out,” he said.

A Hyperloop connection between Oslo and Copenhagen is still some way off, with the transport form still only at the design stage. But the Green party has hopes that the train, which will be tested in Dubai in the near future with a view to opening a connection in the United Arab Emirates in 2020, will provide a link between Oslo and Copenhagen by 2037.

The technology, which was developed by American investor and businessman Elon Musk – the man behind the Tesla car – is based on the principle of a train cabin travelling at the speed of sound through an airtight tube, saving both time and energy.

According to calculations, a Hyperloop could travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco – a distance of 560km – in 35 minutes, at an average speed of 970 kilometres per hour.

READ ALSO: Norway to grow food crops in space

“Other parties have not thus far shown any interest in this area. When they see that this is reality and not just green fantasy, and that it is based on scale and looking at overheads before profit, I think they will jump on the bandwagon,” Stoknes said.

The distance between Oslo and Copenhagen – as the crow flies – is around 480 kilometres. A Hyperloop trip between the two cities at 970 km/h would take somewhere around 29 minutes.