After the NSA revelations many of us wonder whether cloud services are advisable. Do we wish to entrust a third party with our private and corporate data?
The big corporations provide smooth services, no question about that. Syncing data via Apple’s iCloud means that, well, that data is stored with Apple. Of course all these giants tell us that they do nothing outside what law requires from them. But admittedly “law” can include secret executive orders from authorities.
Long before the NSA revelations it turned out that Dropbox did have the keys to decrypt data that users had uploaded to them, using their encryption service. This was not clear at all from their user terms. Read this Wired story about this instructive case.
Swedish public intellectual Rasmus Fleischer, a founder of and activist in the now defunct “the Pirate Bureau”, just published a book (in Swedish) with “net-political” musings. He claims that we become less free when we hand over physical control over information: “To store files on a hard-disk starts to appear like having money on the bank – nothing for the broad masses …”.
At 5th of July Foundation we believe that it has become more important to consider who is behind different services, what is their track record, where are servers located, in what jurisdiction and so forth.