Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why you should avoid to use the US cloud

Loose thoughts by Bjorn Landfeldt

I just read this interesting blog entry from ZDNet.

Microsoft has now openly admitted that US authorities has the power to force any US company to hand over private and public data stored on ANY server in the world AND to force the company in question not to disclose this to the owner of the data. Now, call me overly cautious, but I really don't like the idea of this for my future cloud services. Already, this blog, my Gmail data, flickr images, youtube videos, Google calendar, documents, facebook account, twitter and linkedIn data is readily at hand for these authorities. Couple this with Google keeping a history of all my web searches, Apple keeping my movement history from my iPhone and you guessed it, US authorities know more about me than my wife does already.

In my line of work, I am dealing with filtering of child pornography, web pages with threats to national security Internet vulnerabilities etc. I have publicly commented that the Obama kill-switch is ridiculous etc. Am I an interesting object to investigate? Not unlikely.

Let's play with the thought that some homeland security desk clerk gets an alarm from the data mining stream filter tool that there is an individual who has searched for some irregular things and also publicly commented that the US administration is giving itself powers they should not have. Hmmm, that's interesting perhaps this Australian professor is hiding something... With a mindset of finding incriminating evidence and irregular behaviour it is not far fetched that I would be subject to an investigation and if I had all mu data and all my information stored on servers that are owned by US based companies, I bet there would be lots of very personal information about me in circulation among US authorities. Would I mind? Probably not if I was kept unaware of this situation, but what if someone saw some incriminating pattern by chance and they actually acted on it?

I guess there is a real business case for non US owned cloud services. Greece?