Commentary

Really - Cloud Computing Is Safe, Secure. Honest

Edward Snowden didn't just reveal a top secret U.S. surveillance operation, but rather opened the eyes of millions of Americans to misconceptions about online privacy. He is the former National Security Agency computer technician who acknowledged leaking classified documents about the United States government’s monitoring of Internet and telephone communications.

Look -- I buy into all the hype exploiting cloud computing benefits. Having the ability to upload, store and access email and streaming music and movies along with word processing, spreadsheet and video content from any mobile device with an Internet connection proves to be priceless. Lower costs and energy-saving advantages make the cloud the perfect place to store both work and personal information. The biggest plus: Your life becomes an open book, and if the government wants to monitor that information, all they need to do is ask Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook and others like Amazon Web Services.

advertisement

advertisement

Recently, Google publicly acknowledged receiving Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests to release consumer information -- including email messages, stored documents and photos -- and said it had complied with far fewer of the requests than it received, according to The New York Times.

Along with Google, Facebook and Microsoft also want to publish information on the volume of the government requests. The New York Times reports company execs are frustrated with the inability to remove the government gag order to give more details.

USA Todayreports that Google gave the data to the National Security Agency through a secure FTTP server, while Time magazine reports one surveillance program enabled the U.S. government to thwart dozens of terrorists' attacks. In my opinion, Edward Snowden, the intelligence contractor who leaked the details of a secret domestic data mining, isn't the issue. It's the millions of Americans who continue to believe in online privacy. Unfortunately, it doesn't exist.

Mobile technology will continue to contribute to this trend. If you want to keep something private, back it up on an external hard drive and forget about having access to the content from anywhere.

Aside from yourself, just assume someone else, or at least something else like automation software that serves up related ads in Web-based email systems like Gmail, reads your email correspondence and files uploaded to cloud servers. (As I've mentioned before, Internet routers make copies of every email sent.) Then when it happens you won't be surprised.

3 comments about "Really - Cloud Computing Is Safe, Secure. Honest".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Paul Farah from Paul's Taxi, June 13, 2013 at 7:48 p.m.

    The government has zero business looking at anyone's data for any reason without a warrant citing probable cause that a crime has been committed. Look, if your email is on Google's server, then arguably Google has some property right inherent in it. But the very worst Google can do with your information is sell it to an advertiser--annoying, maybe, but not really harmful. And if a Google employee abuses your data, you can sue the employee or Google or both. Further, Google has every incentive to be careful with your data, because if they do not, you will move to another company that will take care of you, and take your money with you. If Google does not please its customers, then it goes out of business.
    Contrast that with the Federal Government. The government can kick in your door in the middle of the night with an armed SWAT team. The government can bankrupt you with tax audits, and fines and fees. You can't sue the government, and you can't sue its employees. And if an employee violates your privacy, it is usually hushed up, or at worst the employee is only lightly punished. Furthermore, the government won't go out of business ever, even if it angers all of us. I do not have a big problem with private companies having some access to my data. I have a huge problem with the FedGov having any access at all. We must restrain their powers, and quickly, or we will all live to regret it.
    Use the cloud? Not on a bet.

  2. Eddie Mayan from Cloudy, June 24, 2013 at 6:09 a.m.

    Yes its very fast and secure. Gmail and Hotmail is also on Cloud. Some security tips are here: http://www.cloudreviews.com/blog/cloud-security-concerns-at-the-forefront

  3. Tim Orr from Barnett Orr Marketing Group, Inc., June 24, 2013 at 5:35 p.m.

    I remember when most execs had a "dumb terminal" on their credenzas. ("Credenza" is significant.) It was strictly an input/output device, with no computing power or storage. The mainframe was the "cloud" in those days. And the IT people had a stranglehold on you. You had to woo them and pay them to get them to construct programs for you, which they did their way and in their sweet time. My boss was impatient and low on budget, yet intrigued by our talk of what personal computers could do. We brought one into the office and showed him. He was so impressed that he finagled a way to buy one for the department without consulting the IT department (which enraged the IT people, of course!). But we got done what we needed, on our own terms and on our own schedule. He even used our office "home" computer as a threat to get something out of IT that he wanted and that they had told him would take at least 6 weeks for the feasibility study. The lesson for me was that a monopoly on computing power and storage creates dictatorial attitudes, and that putting that power into the hands of everyone creates a tsunami of creativity and productivity. Perhaps it's a bit paranoid, but I am not ready to turn all of my freedom and privacy over to a "cloud." (Oh, and by the way, when the boss got a personal computer for himself, it went on his desk, not on his credenza!)

Next story loading loading..