The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Love the idea, but I don't trust just anyone …

Imagine if you had access to all your stuff, everywhere …

That's what ZumoDrive does. Just install ZumoDrive on each device, and it's like all your stuff is on all of them. Plus it's all backed up. Laptop stolen? Don't worry, just install ZumoDrive, and your files will be restored in minutes.

ZumoDrive - Hybrid Cloud storage for all your documents and media

This is something I've been doing readily since 1992 (out of my office at FAU) and while it wasn't always easy to dial into the school network (and I let the department in charge of the dial-up modems know exactly how I felt about them, but that, as they say, is another post) I did have remote access to most of what I needed.

It's something that's hard to comprehend unless you experience it.

So in theory, I have no problem at all with “Cloud Computing.” But companies like Zumodrive, Dropbox and even Google scare me.

Why? Because I care about my data.

This is about your data. This is about your work. This is about you using your time so that you make things and work on things and you trust a location to do “the rest” and guess what, here is what we have learned:

These questions that you have all work around that other overused word: value. To me, history guy, your old junk you used to do is of interest to me. But there's a lot of people and a lot of stuff, so I wouldn't want you to do it just for little ol' me. But for yourself? What about yourself?

Via Hacker News, ASCII by Jason Scott / XXXX THE CLOUD

This is somewhat related to yesterday's rant—it's about control. Yeah, it's great that you can access your data from anywhere there's an Internet connection. Woo hoo! Great times!

Until the company providing you the cloud service goes belly up. And then what? If you're lucky you get notified and some time to suck down your content. Miss the notification, or a company goes down too quickly for said notification, and well … hope your data wasn't all that important.

But there's another aspect that I haven't seen mentioned, probably because of connotations of wrong doing, and that has to do with this bit of law:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment IV, The United States Constitution (1791)

My data is located on my computer here at Chez Boca. If law enforcement wants to root around my files (not that any law enforcement would, but hypothetically speaking here), they have to show up on my door step with a warrant. Which means I know they're interested in me.

But what if my “papers” are stored at ZumoDrive? A warrant would be required (I hope those at ZumoDrive would ask), but what is their obligation about informing me of said warrant? I imagine very little, and that is just as scary as losing all my data unannounced.

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