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So many companies that legally required a server physically located in Canada are going to be running to AWS now, practically everyone touching health care, government, personal data, or even getting some level of government funding likely was obligated to keep things within Canadian borders.

Yup. I've been eagerly awaiting this since they announced earlier this year. I was getting worried I'd have to contract with a different provider. I'm a heavy RDS user, too, so I wasn't looking forward to it.

I work for a large healthcare organization and multiple times have seen group messages instructing staff not to use surveymonkey since the data was hosted in the States, and something about the Patriot act allowing US authorities to view the data without warrants or something.

I work in education, and in BC we have the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) that stops us from using anything good. SurveyMonkey just went and bought a Canadian run survey company and moved all the servers, we had to drop our contracts... everyone is left without anything.

We def can't use Dropbox, Google Docs/Drive, anything above Office 2010. Slack is frowned upon even. It is kind of brutal.

> Office 2010

Why would FIPPA affect Office versions past 2010? 2013, 2015 and 2016 are available as standalone (non-365 subscription) versions, and regardless of your purchase model (subscription, retail, volume, etc) you can still store documents locally.

Unless you mandate specific configuration controls, most office installations make it easy to accidentally save data to the public OneDrive offering.

Okay, sure, you may need extra configuration. But parent said "can't".

Hi all, I'm the CPO and founder of www.surveypal.com and I just got a tip to comment on this thread. We have been working hard for the last months to get all our servers up and running in Canada and we finally went live two weeks ago. Go check us out and feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. Our contact info is on the website.

Our organization purchased a license with Survey Select (https://selectsurvey.net/). I've used it a bunch of times and it seems very powerful but not user friendly (very complicated UI/UX).

I recommend reaching out to other health organizations within Canada as they often collect survey data internally. For example, surveys get used for feedback for presentations/educational sessions all the time. With the exception of Alberta, all provinces have separate health authorities which would mean separate contracts/sales cycles etc, however they are usually of large size so it would be worth it financially.

There's no reason you can't use one drive through an office 365 subscription fyi. They have a Canadian data residency option

I've worked with several larger institutions where Dropbox was verboten because of concerns about data crossing into the US for storage.

Azure has had two Canadian data centers for half a year now if I'm not mistaken, so it's not like companies didn't have options, not even counting small Canadian providers that I'm sure also have offerings for people who need them.

Actually, when I worked at MS, one of the main reasons for slow Azure adoption in Canada was the lack of a datacenter in the country - IBM had one before Azure and almost all major bank providers had contracts with IBM.

However, in the last year, almost all major banks have moved to Azure and from what I've heard - a lot of companies don't mind it as much, but employees wanted to use AWS (familiarity I guess).

That said, MS has been on a hiring spree for TSPs and TAMs to expand as much as possible so it'll be fun to see what Amazon does to compete.

How can you be sure that data transmitting between the centre and user in Canada doesn't leave Canadian borders?

You can't. Most data transmitted between cities in Canada goes through the US.

The only mitigation is to make sure you encrypt everything in transit and ensure that the private keys never leave Canada.

And please please please make sure your server is configured to support Perfect Forward Secrecy.


A good source for the recommended SSL configuration for Apache, nginx, et al.: https://mozilla.github.io/server-side-tls/ssl-config-generat...

It almost certainly goes through the US no matter what you do. Traffic going anywhere out of my city first drops down to a big peer exchange in the US, then back up into Canada.

That's odd. I know traceroutes don't always show the truth, but when I was there I could route between Victoria and Vancouver without going through the US, at least. No idea about Vancouver to Montreal.

Mind to share a trace route to such destinations?

I don't believe there's any requirements for the data to never cross borders on transmission, just that it must be stored in Canada.

IT Manager in the Canadian Government here. There is indeed a requirement stating that data must not cross the border. This requirement though depends on the department and level of information security.

Whether or not AWS, Azure, etc. can meet this...I honestly don't know.

Yes, for government entities, but the rest of the comments here are talking about businesses, which are going to be the primary consumers of AWS in Canada. There's probably many more requirements that would be needed to be met for any cloud provider to be used for governments.

I don't believe any provinces have requirements on border crossing, and there's no federal requirement on data sovereignty at all for private corporations.

I worked for a very, very big Canadian telco.

Same requirement - data must not leave Canada, which ruled out basically all "hosted solutions"

It would be virtually impossible to comply with the never crossing the border as part of a fast link even if you hosted your own data unless you controlled every part of the link.


There are only 3 provinces that require storage in Canada: BC, NS and QC. And even then, that is for public sector organizations only.

I was in a territory (not a province) and we owned every meter of fiber in two territories.

I can assure you the data we were sending around didn't even leave our territory, let alone the country, seeings we owned every single scrap of networking hardware in a ~10,000km radius.

They are landing a govcloud there too. So I'd assume a lot of .gov investment.

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