[LINK] The cloud vaporises: Will you lose your online files?

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Sun Nov 30 08:03:24 AEDT 2008

Stephen Wilson wrote:
> Rick Welykochy wrote:
>> Absolutely *everything* you upload to a cloud computing site is no longer
>> secure, no longer yours and no longer safe.
> Why so absolutist?  Let's look at another case of 'outsourcing' that has 
> gone online in recent years, and see if the absolutes are in fact a bit 
> more nuanced (and manageable).  Substitute 'cash' for 'computing'.  Most 
> of us happily have banks hold our money; moreover, we happily manipulate 
> ones and zeros over a web interface with the effect of moving money from 
> one account to another, including other peoples' accounts.  All pretty 
> hairy stuff when you think about it.  Don't get me wrong -- I am not in 
> the slightest bit complacent about web security.  In fact my business 
> has a lot to do with developing and advocating much better ways to 
> protect payments and digital identities.  But I would not agree that my 
> money online is, without qualification, "no longer secure, no longer 
> [mine] and no longer safe".  To some degree we all 'trust' a lot of 
> important stuff online, and we 'trust' a whole ecosystem of service 
> providers.  Cloud computing is not a great stretch from today's 
> computing norms.  It cannot be dismissed as absolutely insecure or 
> unsafe.  I do find it pretty scary (especially some of the privacy 
> policies and Ts&Cs kicking around) but I do not think it profoundly 
> unmanageable.
I'll leave the enterprise implications aside for a moment, and
concentrate first on the consumer.

My big problem with consumer cloud computing is asymmetry. There's no
way the average consumer can acquire enough information to make an
informed decision. The information and power is weighted towards the
cloud provider.

Now, the same could be said of banking, but that's one reason banks are
regulated: to address information asymmetry (no, I'm not proposing that
the regulation is perfect).

> Cheers,
> Stephen Wilson.
> Lockstep Technologies
> www.lockstep.com.au/technologies
> --------------------------------
> * ABC TV 'The New Inventors' Nov 2008
> * Global Security Challenge Asia Top Five 2008
> * Australian Technology Showcase 2008
> * AusIndustry COMET Grant 2007
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