Google Goes Offshore
Speculation is that Google is building massive offshore data centers off the coasts of Maine and California (more specifically: Portland and San Francisco areas). Stop and think about that for a moment. Offshore data centers. What does that mean? Let's speculate.
Google Goes Offshore: Away From Government Hands
Technically, any structure (moving or otherwise) that is situated in international waters is out of the reach of government hands. It's why you can buy duty free items on an airplane (international air space), on a cruise boat, or gamble on certain islands but not on mainland (Google Goes Offshore).
If Google is building data centers situated on islands or on barges, any data collected by Google will remain completely unaccessible by government employees. That means that the NSA can not touch any data that Google collects and stores offshore. Brilliant, right? Well, it depends on how you look at it.
Google Goes Offshore: What Offshore Also Means
Sure, Google can keep your data safe from the government. But, an offshore data center also means that Google can do whatever the company wants with data. With very few laws pertaining to offshore structures, the company can have every last say when it comes to data. That's one way to look at it. Then again, that would defeat the purpose of Google completely.
When all of the NSA news broke, Google was at the forefront. Once Google users found out that the government had requested user data, user trust in the company took a nosedive (Google Goes Offshore). Building offshore is one way for Google to retain that trust, and the company can always set up rules that users can agree to (presumably, those rules would be in the favor of users). This offshore plan means something else too.
Google Goes Offshore: Might the Hosting World Follow?
Granted, most web hosting companies don't have a Google budget. However, building an offshore web hosting facility could be one way to prove to the world that your cheap hosting company is entirely safe and secure from prying eyes. Maybe, just maybe, centers that float offshore can be considered a much safer alternative to land-based companies.
It would cost a lot of coin, but Google has already decided, it seems, that this cost is worth it. It building an offshore data center means keeping user information safe, and gaining back user trust, Google is going to go for it. If you happen to have this kind of dough, and you want to start a hosting company, setting up shop on an island in the sea may be a way to go (Google Goes Offshore).
Google hasn't made any official announcements yet, though reports have traced the barges back to the same company Google uses to register other ventures. In short: you can expect to hear word from Google on these offshore locations sooner rather than later.