The Australian Financial Review reported that Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Trade, Defence, the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission were told to relocate their data from data centres owned by a firm known as Global Switch.
New rules about data sovereignty were issued by the government in April last year, saying in part: "This includes a requirement that data centre facilities that host high-value government data achieve certification as 'sovereign' or 'assured' data centres."
CDC Data Centres, a company that meets the requirements for hosting Australian data, is already considered to be playing host to too much of sensitive government information. CDC is owned by the Future Fund, the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation and New Zealand’s Infratil.
The parent company of Global Switch, Aldersgate Investments, owns two data centres in Ultimo where it stores classified Australian government material, including sensitive Defence and intelligence files. Both these data centres have secure gateways certified by the ASD and can be used for secure access by government offices.
The issues with Global Switch go back to 2016 when Aldersgate sold a 49% stake to the Chinese firm, Elegant Jubilee.
Investors in Aldersgate are said to have been brought together by Li Qiang who owns Daily Tech, a leading data centre company in China. The main investor was the Jiangsu Sha Steel Group, China's largest private steel enterprise. Elegant Jubilee gained full ownership of Global Switch in August last year.
iTWire has contacted Home Affairs for comment.