Megaupload and data security. Don’t put it out there

If you’re afraid you might lose it: George Washington at Naked Capitalism:

The government’s takedown of the 800 pound gorilla online storage site Megaupload may have killed the cloud storage model.

Many innocent users have had their data taken away from them.

Washington quotes PC World:

The MegaUpload seizure shows how personal files hosted on remote servers operated by a third party can easily be caught up in a government raid targeted at digital pirates. … Before its closure MegaUpload had 180 million registered users and an average of 50 million daily visits, claimed a total visitor history of more than one billion, and accounted for about four percent of all global Internet traffic[.] …

Take, for example,, a site that appears to be similar to Megavideo. Videobb bills itself as an ideal place to share videos without ever having to worry about “disk space or bandwidth again.” Videobb is “safe, secure and easy” the company says, and that’s probably true; at least unless the FBI and the Department of Justice decide that videobb is ripe for a takedown. Behind the scenes, videobb is rife with pirated content just as Megavideo was.

A quick check of sites that index pirated content shows you can find recent episodes of The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, and the recent movie Contagion available for free streaming on Videobb.

Washington concludes:

In other words, the government is exercising the power to seize all of the legal property held in a storage facility because a handful of crooks have illegal property in theirs.

And if that’s not enough to kill your enthusiasm for cloud storage, CIO points out: Worries have been steadily growing among European IT leaders that the USA Patriot Act would give the U.S. government unfettered access to their data if stored on the cloud servers of American providers—so much so that Obama administration officials this week held a press conference to quell international concern over the protection of data stored on U.S. soil.

Agents Provocateurs?

Handing the US government further justification for its ongoing crackdown on the Internet: Gizmodo reports that in response to the Feds shutting down the extremely popular file-sharing site MegaUpload, the “Hacktivist” collective “Anonymous” have shut down the websites of the main corporate copyright enforcers, including the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, Universal Music and EMI.

The hackers have also shut down the main U.S. governmental copyright enforcers: the U.S. Copyright Office, the Department of Justice and the FBI.

Net neutrality and bandwidth

While attempts by telcos to meter the Net are noxious and need to be opposed, technology advancements will neutralize them long term. Telcos want tiered service, charging more for top tier, but the proflieration of ever-faster and ever-cheaper bandwidth renders this a moot point.

Fiber optic is blindngly fast, cable modem companies keep ramping up speeds, and cell phone providers now offer city wide connections for laptops. In a few years we’ll look back at current conditions as way primitive. Kids will say, “gee grandpa, you mean you had to go somewhere to get a wireless connection?” They, of course, will be used to anytime, anywhere, ultra high speed connections.

Thus, it won’t matter if telcos charge more for top tier. Bandwidth will be ubitquitous, everywhere, and cheap. Nor should there be too much concern about the Net getting locked down. It’s become too much a part of business and commerce for that to happen.

We should absolutely be vigilant and fight any attempts to meter or lock down the Net, but long term, they won’t be able to do it anyway. It’ll become like the telephone. Always there, always on, and modern life would not be the same without it.

House Judiciary passes Net Neutrality bill

The House Judiciary Committee today passed the Net neutrality bill proposed by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) by a 20-13 vote. The action represents the first legislative victory for the Net neutrality forces, which are pushing Congress to enact legislation that would prevent service providers from developing premium tiers of Internet content delivery with higher prices.

Yes, that Sensenbrenner…Ԛ  And this is a big victory indeed.