SSN Public Comment

Business Practices of Cloud Computing Providers

Policy field

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University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley

Below is an excerpt from a public comment submitted to the Federal Trade Commission in regard to the regulation of Business Practices of Cloud Computing Providers on June 1, 2023.

The phrase “cloud computing” can refer to any one of a wide range of products and services, from software provisioned as an internet-delivered service to hosted infrastructural solutions. In this comment, we focus specifically on content delivery networks (or CDNs, for short), one sort of infrastructure-as-a-service.

CDNs are systemically important to the modern internet. Specifically, CDNs offer, among other things, content caching and cybersecurity services. The NBA, for example, may enlist a CDN to more efficiently distribute video highlights. The CDN, in turn, will distribute and locate the NBA’s data near users likely to request it (e.g., Boston Celtics-related content in Massachusetts, and Golden State Warriors-related content in California), in order to improve the performance of the NBA’s web services. The CDN can also provide protection against cyberattacks by monitoring large-scale traffic patterns across its clients and blocking malicious activity targeting anyone (such as, to continue the example, the NBA).