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The lack of confidence in entrusting sensitive information to cloud Computing Service Providers (CSPs) is one of the primary obstacles to widespread adoption of cloud computing, as reported by a number of surveys. From the CSPs' perspective, their long-term return-on-investment in cloud infrastructure hinges on overcoming this obstacle. Encryption and privacy protection techniques only solve part of this problem: in addition, research is needed to increase the accountability and auditability of CSPs. However, achieving cloud accountability is a complex challenge; as the authors now have to consider large-scale virtual and physical distributed server environments to achieve real-time tracing of source and duplicate file locations, logging of a file's life cycle, and logging of content modification and access history.
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