Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 21st Mar 2014 16:56 UTC
Internet & Networking

Microsoft has lost customers, including the government of Brazil.

IBM is spending more than a billion dollars to build data centers overseas to reassure foreign customers that their information is safe from prying eyes in the United States government.

And tech companies abroad, from Europe to South America, say they are gaining customers that are shunning United States providers, suspicious because of the revelations by Edward J. Snowden that tied these providers to the National Security Agency’s vast surveillance program.

Right. Because, as we all know, European governments did not fully comply with the US spying programs, nor have they similar programs of their own.

High time some smart company develops a very simple and straightforward 'personal cloud'; a simple, large box with loads of storage that you dump in the basement somewhere, with pre-configured email, internet storage, and so on. Also offer the ability to have multiple of these things tied to the same account for data duplication, so you can, say, dump one of them at a trusted friend's home. Make it platform-agnostic and encrypted, et voila.

Doesn't sound like something that's terribly hard to do.

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It's not so complicated
by novad on Fri 21st Mar 2014 18:02 UTC
novad
Member since:
2010-06-10

Once again... Sorry for my english but...

I can only say that this is a blessing to my ears:

High time some smart company develops a very simple and straightforward 'personal cloud'; a simple, large box with loads of storage that you dump in the basement somewhere, with pre-configured email, internet storage, and so on. Also offer the ability to have multiple of these things tied to the same account for data duplication, so you can, say, dump one of them at a trusted friend's home.

This is EXACTLY what I try to do and try do convince my friends to do. When you really look at it it's not so complicated (Even if I agree it's not out of the box)

What do people really need? :

- Mail
- CMS (data not web)
- Website (Far stretched for simple endusers but let's go for it)
- Replication for safety

How can you do that quite easily today? :

1) Virtualisation (Hyper-V 2012R2 free would be a good choice for its replication abilities)
2) Zimbra for mails. It's (resonably) easy to install and rock solid. It can run on Ubuntu LTS.
3) As CMS (Data) you could use plone or maybe Silverpeas (a bit complicated to install but quite nice once it's up and running). It can also run on Ubuntu LTS.
4) For websites there is an infinite choice. Let's just mention Joomla. Once again it can run on Ubuntu LTS

With two boxes installed in the exact same way you can configure replication over slow lines with Hyper-V

Costs:

- Hardware (Can perfectly run on a machine with 8 cores and let's say 12GB of RAM)
- Time: One day to set everything up when you know a bit those tools.

Everything is based on FREE operating systems and software with at least 5 years of support for each OS

I can only encourage everyone with some IT knowledge to do the same.

Reply Score: 4

RE: It's not so complicated
by WorknMan on Fri 21st Mar 2014 18:14 in reply to "It's not so complicated"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I can only encourage everyone with some IT knowledge to do the same.


Yeah, doing all that work to secure my grocery list and other random stuff I have stored in the cloud sounds like a swell idea.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: It's not so complicated
by novad on Fri 21st Mar 2014 18:25 in reply to "RE: It's not so complicated"
novad Member since:
2010-06-10

You don't have to if you have only a grocery list to keep safe or if you don't want to.

As for myself I use a similar installation since 5 years and have everything on it. I store every single administrative document / pic / video / work stuff / mail / etc etc etc.

And yes... Everything is secured ;)

Wherever I am I just need a connection to access everything I could ever need. It would really be a handicap for me if I had to give that up.

Edited 2014-03-21 18:31 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: It's not so complicated
by RobG on Mon 24th Mar 2014 16:42 in reply to "RE: It's not so complicated"
RobG Member since:
2012-10-17

I see a good argument for secure by default - otherwise the presence of something encrypted will raise alarms.

Make them work to see the mundane.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: It's not so complicated
by Morgan on Fri 21st Mar 2014 21:38 in reply to "It's not so complicated"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

This all assumes you can trust Ubuntu.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: It's not so complicated
by hallux on Fri 21st Mar 2014 22:55 in reply to "RE: It's not so complicated"
hallux Member since:
2013-12-08

This also assumes you can trust Linus Torvalds, et al.

Even if, however, everything we use is potentially compromised, if we use as many layers of security as we're willing to tolerate, one assumes at least that it will make it markedly more difficult for the spies. If you make it difficult enough, maybe they'll only have the resources to spy on a select subgroup of EVERYONE and will therefore have to pick and choose whom they spy upon.

It's not a perfect solution, but forcing spies to think carefully before spying on Americans versus indiscriminately spying on everyone would mean that at least SOMEONE is paying attention to what they're doing, which would be better than the situation we currently have, in which NO ONE knows what they're doing, because the way the laws are written now, the US intelligence services are functionally answerable to NO ONE, and that's NOT how it's supposed to be.

Without freedom--of speech, of thought, of movement, and of association, and the right to vote, THERE IS NO democracy. Without democracy, there can only be tyranny of one form or another. Even benign-seeming tyranny, as for example under a "good king" is still tyranny. No matter how good he might be, no matter how noble and virtuous and fair, you have now way of knowing how his KID is going to turn out, and in a hereditary monarchy, you're stuck with him.

We owe it to ourselves, we have a moral obligation to each other, to our children and the world at large, if not in fact a legal obligation, to maintain control over the slavering beast that is the United States Government, for it is more fearsome than anything else on this Earth.

Said control can only realistically be exercised if we are free both to talk and to listen, and if we exercise and defend vigorously every right we have, for rights are the legal framework upon which are written the rules and regulations that protect us from our government. If our rights can be ignored, pushed aside, suspended, revoked, or twisted and perverted into uselessness, then our so-called "leaders" have authority *without* responsibility, which has been proven time and again throughout history to be a very, VERY bad thing.

Oh, btw... on the original topic, you can get a number of different OS's, completely OSS, and maybe even Free/Libre to boot, packages that you can run off a CD/DVD so you know it won't be modifiable once written, (or write to a USB stick if you prefer, though you are rolling the dice there,) that can have an HDD mounted to it, that will let you use a secure OS, such as based on Linux or one of the Unices, at least one of which comes configured with TOR only, (look up pressfreedomfoundation.org for more info on this,) which you can probably SSH into remotely to access your files, (you'd have to leave your computer running while away, so there is a financial cost, unless you live somewhere where electricity is free,) but that would give you, once properly set up, a personal, secure, internet-accessible cloud that you can use on-the-go from a similarly secured mobile device.

Downloading one, verifying its sha256 checksum is valid, burning it to a disc, and then (if you feel it's necessary, depending on how paranoid you are,) slapping that disc into a READ-ONLY device, (NOT A BURNER,) would give you the ability to know you have a fresh, new, clean install EVERY TIME YOU BOOT. If you know what you're doing, you could even make your own custom image, I think, that if you have enough RAM, loads to memory the entire OS and would therefore be extremely fast. Then it could act as a server for files on your standard HDD that would be mounted after booting.

My point is that I don't think anyone has to MAKE something like what the OP wrote about, I think that's all already out there.

Edited 2014-03-21 23:07 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: It's not so complicated
by novad on Sat 22nd Mar 2014 03:16 in reply to "RE: It's not so complicated"
novad Member since:
2010-06-10

This all assumes you can trust Ubuntu.


Or if you can trust MS (with Hyper-V), or if you can trust Plone/Zimbra/Silverpeas/Joomla.

100% safety doesn't exist but at least you can admit that those products don't send spontaneously data to whomever. If it was the case this would have been detected since quite a long time (Network traffic auditing)

Let's say it like this. I trust more an installation based on solid and mostly open source software behind a well configured firewall than a cloud provider in the US.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: It's not so complicated
by Alfman on Sat 22nd Mar 2014 04:03 in reply to "It's not so complicated"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

novad,

There are lots of ways you can run your own services, I've been doing it for myself and others.

Costs:
- Hardware (Can perfectly run on a machine with 8 cores and let's say 12GB of RAM)
- Time: One day to set everything up when you know a bit those tools.


How did you come up with these requirements? Unless your doing unusual processing on the server, they're usually IO limited rather than CPU limited, so this 8 core beast would mostly sit idle all the time. For a personal storage system, even a low power ARM processor used in typical NAS arrays should be able to to completely saturate a WiFi link, and come close to saturating a gigabit link for example.


I can only encourage everyone with some IT knowledge to do the same.


It can be fun and educational, but it can be time consuming. I've kind of backed away from some of these projects that I used to work on, not because I lost interest or inclination, but because I had kids.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: It's not so complicated
by novad on Sat 22nd Mar 2014 05:07 in reply to "RE: It's not so complicated"
novad Member since:
2010-06-10

Hello Alfman


How did you come up with these requirements? Unless your doing unusual processing on the server, they're usually IO limited rather than CPU limited, so this 8 core beast would mostly sit idle all the time. For a personal storage system, even a low power ARM processor used in typical NAS arrays should be able to to completely saturate a WiFi link, and come close to saturating a gigabit link for example.


I agree with you concerning the CPUs. They would mostly sit there doing nothing. It's more for the comfort of use for the few cases where you need performance that I recommend 8 cores. This also gives you some margin if you want to install additional systems in your hypervisor. (I'm not a great fan of CPU over over commitment)

For the memory I think this is quite accurate. Zimbra (in my example) consumes quiet a lot of memory as does JBOSS (Still in my config). You can certainly reduce that with other products but once again. It's nice if you want to extend the use of your hypervisor (BTW... Memory is so cheap actually that I don't see a reason to spare on this)

It can be fun and educational, but it can be time consuming.


It can be time consuming if you start from scratch with tools you don't know (That's sure ;) ) but once you have chosen and understood the tools that fit your needs it's quite fast and, in the long term, can saves you a lot of time in your daily tasks (It does it for me)

In the end everyone chose what fits him the best:

- Handmade config: Most flexibility (and probably most security) but a lot of work
- Out of the box solution (QNAP / Synology / ...): Quick and eays to set up if you want to keep data at home but less flexible than handmade.
- Cloud provider: Zero security but nothing to do except paying. That's the most easy solution for non sensible data

Reply Parent Score: 0