“Once Your Data Is On A Cloud Computing Service You Lose Your Property Rights”–US Government.

Many users who quite legitimately used Megaupload to store personal data and photos and who never illegally shared music or films are still fighting to get their data back from the US Government who seized the Megaupload servers after charging the owner of the service with allegedly “operating as an organization dedicated to copyright infringement”.

One of the people affected Kyle Goodwin is trying to hold the US Government accountable for denying him access to his property.  He is using the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) legal team to raise a brief to this effect.

According to the EFF site it appears the US Government has admitted to reviewing Mr Kyle’s files when he clearly had nothing to do with the case against the owners of Megaupload and as such is an innocent person who just happened to use the cloud service to store his personal files and was innocently caught in the crossfire between the Government and the owners of the Megaupload site. 

If that wasn’t bad enough, the US Government has said that “Mr. Goodwin lost his property rights in his data by storing it on a cloud computing service.”

You can read the full post on the EFF Site here:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/10/governments-attack-cloud-computing

As you know I have always maintained that storing your data in the cloud is dangerous and this yet again confirms my worst fears that all your data in the cloud is accessible by the US authorities.  As most cloud services we use here are based in the US you can take it that your data is being picked over at will by the US and their allies (UK Government I am sure), as well as any “anonymous” style hacking groups who seem capable of breaking into pretty much any site they wish including the US Government ones.

Public cloud services … no thank you!

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Mega Upload Innocent Customers To Lose Their Data!!!

I just read this with horror:

“MegaUpload has received a letter from the US Attorney informing the company that data uploaded by its users may be destroyed before the end of the week. The looming wipe-out is the result of MegaUpload’s lack of funds to pay for the servers. Behind the scenes, MegaUpload is hoping to convince the US Government that it’s in the best interest of everyone involved to allow users to access their data, at least temporarily.”

Read the full post here at Torrent Freak:

http://torrentfreak.com/megaupload-user-data-soon-to-be-destroyed-120130/

The shocking aspect of this and it’s something I have been ranting about on this blog for ages, is the danger of leaving your stuff with cloud providers who can just disappear in minutes taking your data with them. 

If I was a MegaUpload customer with all my private home photos stored on their servers and no access to get them back and worse, if I was foolish enough to not have them all backed up elsewhere I think I would be going out of my mind right now.

I cannot imagine how I would feel if my pictures of the kids when they were growing up and family holidays were lost. Additionally to add to the horror, what if the authorities decide to sell off the servers on which they currently reside to cover the debts that MegaUpload probably incurred to its debtors?  You now have the possibility that your private photos are being viewed by unscrupulous buyers of the MegaUpload hardware!!

As I say, treat all Cloud Services with extreme caution, as providers are appearing with services that have scant service level agreements and customers are foolishly trusting them with important, possibly irreplaceable data.

Dropbox for instance has a lot of stuff in their “Terms and Conditions” about them not sharing your data with anyone else, but I can’t see anything that looks like a service level agreement, this paragraph is probably the nearest to it:

Dropbox is Available “AS-IS

Though we want to provide a great service, there are certain things about the service we can’t promise. For example, THE SERVICES AND SOFTWARE ARE PROVIDED “AS IS”, AT YOUR OWN RISK, WITHOUT EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF ANY KIND. WE ALSO DISCLAIM ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. (We are not shouting- it’s just that these disclaimers are really important, so we want to highlight them). Dropbox will have no responsibility for any harm to your computer system, loss or corruption of data, or other harm that results from your access to or use of the Services or Software. Some states do not allow the types of disclaimers in this paragraph, so they may not apply to you.

Basically you do everything at your own risk and they can accept no liability.  Now I don’t blame Dropbox for that, if you are providing a free service I think you the consumer should not expect too much and take reasonable precautions.  What I would like to see is something about what happens if Dropbox goes out of business, what happens to my data? Will they guarantee that before sale the servers that hold my data will be erased so that it can’t be recovered. Also will they confirm what happens if I chose to leave the service, will they destroy my data so that it can’t be used by anyone else?

To me if any of this stuff matters to you, don’t use Cloud Services as none of them will guarantee any of this.

Beware!!

Siv

More Ammunition Against Cloud Services

I don’t like to say told you so, but …. told you so!

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/114803-megauploads-demise-what-happens-to-your-files-when-a-cloud-service-dies

There are a lot of good people who used MegaUpload for legitimate purposes who have now lost access to their data.  I just hope that they have made backups of their own as I suspect it will be a long time before they can gain access to their data whilst the authorities search through the files looking for more evidence of copyright infringement.

I have and always will have a big problem with my data being stored on someone else’s servers that I personally do not have any control over.

See my previous rants on the subject:

Permalink to What happens to data when your cloud provider evaporates- – Computerworld

Permalink to VMware Cloud Goes Down

Permalink to Now it’s Amazon’s EC2 that proves my point!!

Permalink to The Cloud–An Example Of My Distrust of Cloud Computing

Permalink to The Cloud–What do I think-

I know it’s all negative, but I think everyone should have a healthy mistrust for personal data stored on the web, you just never know where it goes what it’s used for and if it’s important to you whether it will survive the demise of cloud providers.

Siv