Linked by David Adams on Tue 30th Sep 2008 02:26 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y A very interesting "Blogwatch" posting at Computerworld links out to an interview with Richard Stallman wherein he posits that Cloud Computing is a trap to entice users to give up control and privacy and become subject to closed, proprietary platforms. Since RMS is a professional provocateur, I wouldn't consider all of his pronouncements newsworthy. But the thoughtful responses linked in this blog roundup were interesting, and I believe the issue of convenience vs control vis a vis Cloud Computing is a very timely and important debate to be having at this point in IT history.
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by darknexus on Tue 30th Sep 2008 22:51 UTC
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I can't believe it, but I'm actually agreeing with rms on something. I never thought I'd say that, or even come close to saying that, but well there you are.
As I see it, though, the problem is bigger than this new buzz word, i.e. cloud computing. Gmail is the only cloud I use, and the only reason is that I've switched ISPs enough that I don't want to go through the email switch hassle anymore. Yes, clouds have a very good possibility of establishing vendor lock-in and yes, they may be an extreme security risk for confidential data. But how many of us put our confidential data out there every day? has our credit card numbers and/or bank accounts. If we pay bills online those companies have them. If you use any online tax services guess what? They have more than just your employer information. Paypal has information on as many bank accounts and credit/debit cards as you give it. What about the various instant messaging services? They keep logs of your conversations. Your phone company keeps phone records, though thankfully they usually don't keep recorded conversations. But every text message you send through that slick new cel phone is logged. While all of these services do have a privacy policy, there's usually this little part at the end that no one bothers to read or if they do they ignore it. It says something like this: this policy is subject to change without notice at any time.
I certainly won't be putting any confidential data on a cloud deliberately but I can't help but wonder how much is already on one of them, simply due to purchases I've made online at one point or another. The closest I'll come to deliberately putting things on a cloud is my own house cloud, of sorts. Very few people know how to set something like that up, though, unless they've worked with computers more than simply browsing the web.
So, how much is already on a cloud? Because whether you think of it like that or not, all of the online purchasing centers are clouds of a sort, as is your cel phone, and even Paypal.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Agreed
by adkilla on Wed 1st Oct 2008 04:54 in reply to "Agreed"
adkilla Member since:

The problem with policies is that it is not law or a legally binding contract.
So though you could mention that in your policy statement, it does not stop the disagreeing party to reject future changes in policy.

Also though you may see statements that effectively state in your employment contract that require you to accept to their policies even if it changes, it doesn't stand a chance in court. This however does not mean lawyers wouldn't come up with ingenious ways of hoodwinking the unsuspecting public.

Reply Parent Score: 2