Hey, you, get off of the Cloud

Hey, you, get off of the Cloud

Summary: With all of the problems that have arisen with cloud service providers lately, can we really trust the cloud anymore?

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TOPICS: Browser, Security
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OK, I'm ranting again.

Last year, I wrote an article on the pros and cons of keeping your data in the cloud. The benefits are obvious; your data is centrally located and you can access it from anywhere there is available internet access. The drawback, of course, is that you can't be sure your data is private, and if the service goes down your data is inaccessible.

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Recently there's been a spate of bad news for the cloud. In April, Amazon suffered a major outage in its web services division, taking numerous popular websites offline.

Last week, cloud storage provider Dropbox found itself under fire for allegedly lying about the security of customer data. The fact that they changed their claims about data security several times, including employee access to supposedly encrypted customer data, reveals a major problem in their security promises.

Last year I also wrote about protecting your personal data, including a section of an article dealing directly with cloud access. There are a lot of people out on the internet whose primary goal is to get access to your personal data for monetary gain. And if you live in a country where you are entitled to certain freedoms, it's illegal for the government to go snooping through your personal data without a warrant.

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It's really time we reconsidered cloud altogether. I really do like the idea of being able to access my data from anywhere. But I am having a lot of trouble reconciling that with the failures and lack of security from the cloud services providers we're expected to trust. The hell with that. I don't trust them anymore.

What we really need right now is a ramping up of the capsule data hotel, which Jason Perlow and I offered in our Project Blade Runner articles. We proposed that you could have access to your home data while abroad through a secure web interface, and also be able to rent space in a data hotel at a FedEd-Kinko's shop, where a small, dedicated hardware server would reside in a space the size of a PO box.

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I trust myself a lot more than I trust the cloud services. If something goes wrong, at least it's through a mistake I made, not because the cloud service provider was negligent, or deliberately lied about the access they had to my encrypted data. Unless I have broken some law and there is a warrant to access my personal data, the only person that should have discretion about who accesses it is me.

Topics: Browser, Security

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41 comments
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  • RE: Hey, you, get off of the Cloud

    Reminds me of an old Rolling Stones song. ;-)
    Wakemewhentrollsgone
    • RE: Hey, you, get off of the Cloud

      @ptorning That was exactly the idea. Of course, I can't post a video of it without violating copyright. :)
      Scott Raymond
      • RE: Hey, you, get off of the Cloud

        @Scott Raymond

        I assumed as much. Very clever and well done!
        Wakemewhentrollsgone
    • Well, you can listen to it here:

      h-t-t-p-:-/-/-www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0Ti9IWlt7M&feature=fvst
      DonnieBoy
    • RE: Hey, you, get off of the Cloud

      @ptorning "Start me up"?
      edkollin
  • Well, no excuses for outages and problems. But, compared to all of the

    problems people have with PCs it is nothing. People often lose everything. With the cloud it is really rare to lose anything, you just not might have access for anything from a few minutes to a few days. And, when there is a problem, YOU do not have to fix it, somebody else has to fix it, you just have to wait.
    DonnieBoy
    • RE: Hey, you, get off of the Cloud

      @DonnieBoy <br><br>They <b>are</B> loosing everything when going to the cloud. Mr. Raymond is correct in his rant where he expresses concerns over the privacy of his data. If you really think your data is private, think again. What customers are loosing here is just exactly that. Privacy. There is none online. None. <br><br>Now, I have no quarrels uploading a Word or Excel document to Live Spaces when I forget my jumpdrive, so that I can access it at home later on, but to upload my <I>entire</I> harddrive is asking too much. Who knows what is going on in that datacenter. And, as was pointed out in the article, employees are going to snoop. Do you want them snooping through your family pictures? Your personal documents? Another thing not mentioned is what are the companies doing with my files? Who outside the company would have access to my files (Yes, third parties would be involved)? <br><br>While the risk to user data is greater, the only people they should be entrusting with it should be themselves, and themselves only. There just is no need for this paradigm shift. Hardware is powerful, and plentiful to do what we need to do locally. Our network infrastructure is clogged enough already, we don't need to clog it any further with nonsense that is best left offline.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • Hey, sure, there are bad providers, and you have to pick who you trust.

        Do you keep your money under a mattress, or do you use a bank? Do you build your own car, or buy one from Ford?
        DonnieBoy
      • RE: Hey, you, get off of the Cloud

        @Donnieboy

        Reading your post actually gave me an idea... A very, very bad idea.

        If this crap takes off, why do I see bad guys masquerading as good guys, in an attempt to gain your trust and access to your data? If users really aren't educated about this this ploy could work much similar to the rouge AV scares popular today. Users install them becuase they don't know any better.

        If bad guys can disguise themselves as "good guy" to be trusted, users would be none the smarter, and the bad guys could get the gold without even breaking a sweat.

        As anyone else thought of this? Or am I just off on a wild adventure?
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Hey, you, get off of the Cloud

        @DonnieBoy [i]Do you keep your money under a mattress, or do you use a bank? Do you build your own car, or buy one from Ford?[/i]

        Now I see where you're coming from. Do as little work as possible, and just pay someone else to do work for you.
        Badgered
      • RE: Hey, you, get off of the Cloud

        @Cylon Centurion Very well said.
        statuskwo5
      • Cylon Centurion: Oh, yea, and there will be BAD banks masquerading as good

        banks too. Careful with your money!!!
        DonnieBoy
      • Badgered: It is not a question of being lazy, it is a question of how to

        to get the best, most scalable, most secure system, at the best price. You also have the problem of bad / disgruntled employees, even if you do it in house. You also have the problem that the computers all have to be connected to the internet, even if they are in house.

        Would you design and build you own cars? Would you construct your own bank?
        DonnieBoy
      • RE: Hey, you, get off of the Cloud

        @Cylon Centurion Good old social engineering, huh? You don't need to steal what people will give you because they don't know any better...

        @DonnieBoy The difference here is that with cars and banks, there are regulations to guarantee some level of service (in the case of cars, there are lemon laws; in the case of banks, there are such things as FDIC insurance). On the other hand, in software there are no guarantees, even as to whether the software will work properly/at all.

        I don't doubt that the cloud will have a place; I am just not entirely sure what that place will ultimately be, and I think that the "cloud everywhere" idea is premature without a legal framework that guarantees a standard of quality, along with legal consequences (criminal and civil) for when companies fsck up and lose your data (or worse, leave your data open to those who would use it to negative ends).
        Third of Five
      • Hows that working out for those people

        @Donnieboy
        who invested with Bernie Madoff, Goldman-Saches, ect?

        These were well trusted names and people, yes?

        And hows that Google Tech doing these days? You know the one, the guy that used his access to stalk girls?

        Wow I feel safer allready! ;)
        Will Pharaoh
      • RE: Hey, you, get off of the Cloud

        @Cylon Centurion -Ditto! I build my own computers and I had to think about the actual Cloud computing system. This has to be a massive computer and who is in charge of this computer. I have put so much into building the computers for my home network. I am extremely paranoid of certain elements collecting my info. Without a hard drive and all your info in the hands of someone who may be goverment or unscrupulous in some manner. Just what happens if you say the wrong thing in a blog? If something happens to my PC I can fix it on my own. If someone tries to snoop I have my own programs I have created in my network to stop them. More people need to get educated about how to build their own PC and how to program and create protective software. This is an age where our own goverment wants to collect our info. I do not even acept all of Win 7, WinVista, or XPs updates because they are not all harmless. The cloud is something I just will not accept. I can not see it as safe, ever.
        widdybear
    • RE: Hey, you, get off of the Cloud

      @DonnieBoy
      What? Are you speaking out of your mind? With proper precautions and tools, I could easily recover the stuff I accidentally lost on my PC, but on Cloud, my data will never be in my control. thats why hybrid approach is more precisely required.

      On a side note: where were you when issues of Android were spilled over these blogs today morning. Conveniently disapppered?
      Ram U
      • RE: Hey, you, get off of the Cloud

        @Rama.NET Thought the same thing.
        ItsTheBottomLine
    • RE: Hey, you, get off of the Cloud

      @DonnieBoy

      Hey Donnie, there's lots of blogs about Android's loose security, why aren't you turning up to contradict the facts?
      tonymcs@...
    • RE: Hey, you, get off of the Cloud

      @DonnieBoy [i] And, when there is a problem, YOU do not have to fix it, somebody else has to fix it, you just have to wait.[/i]

      That's kind of the problem. If it's something in my control, I CAN fix it. Waiting on someone else to fix a problem (like I do now with phone/data lines) is not a pleasant experience.
      Badgered