Leonardo boss calls for state-operated cloud services

The chief executive officer of Italian defence and electronics firm Leonardo has called on Italy and other European countries to operate government-controlled cloud services for sensitive data.

Speaking at a hearing at the defence committee of the Italian lower house of parliament, Leonardo boss Roberto Cingolani called the matter “one of the key issues of our future”.

He warned that while using data centres owned by companies like Microsoft and Amazon “may be fine” now, “if in two generations' time the grandson of the current owner is a bit mad, we would be in the hands of a madman".

Leonardo itself is controlled by the Italian government and offers cloud services to the state via a consortium which includes Telecom Italia, state lender CDP and state-owned IT business Sogei.

Cingolani said: "In my opinion, a safe country needs a government cloud, at least for financial, health and defence data.

"We have a mountain to climb. First of all creating a (national) government cloud. Then understanding that these (national) government clouds need to become European government clouds.”

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