Cloud Computing and Information Policy: Computing in a Policy Cloud?

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Executive Summary

Cloud computing is a computing platform that resides in a large data center and is able to dynamically provide servers the ability to address a wide range of needs, ranging from scientific research to e-commerce. The provision of computing resources as if it were a utility such as electricity, while potentially revolutionary as a computing service, presents many major problems of information policy, including issues of privacy, security, reliability, access, and regulation. This paper explores the nature and potential of cloud computing, the policy issues raised, and research questions related to cloud computing and policy. Ultimately, the policy issues raised by cloud computing are examined as a part of larger issues of public policy attempting to respond to rapid technological evolution.

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