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What's Needed For Freedom In the Cloud?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the gumption-and-a-sturdy-parachute dept.

Cloud 81

jrepin writes "Georg Greve from Free Software Foundation Europe has often been asked to explain what he considers necessary prerequisites for an open, free, sustainable approach toward what is often called 'The Cloud,' or also 'Software as a Service.' He gives 7 ingredients that are necessary for freedom in the cloud. For example, 'it should be illegal to change privacy policies on users without their explicit consent. They need to know what is changing, and how, and what will be the resulting level of privacy they enjoy – in the same clear, transparent and understandable manner.'"

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81 comments

Don't use cloud. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36935760)

That's all you need for freedom..

That is a start. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36935996)

Then by using the ballot box, you let your representatives know who they work for.. If you don't, you still have told them who they work for, and don't.

Security is NOT an issue with The Cloud. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36936130)

Wait a minute. I'm a manager, and I've been reading a lot of case studies and watching a lot of webcasts about The Cloud. Based on all of this glorious marketing literature, I, as a manager, have absolutely no reason to doubt the safety of any data put in The Cloud.

The case studies all use words like "secure", "MD5", "RSS feeds" and "encryption" to describe the security of The Cloud. I don't know about you, but that sounds damn secure to me! Some Clouds even use SSL and HTTP. That's rock solid in my book.

And don't forget that you have to use Web Services to access The Cloud. Nothing is more secure than SOA and Web Services, with the exception of perhaps SaaS. But I think that Cloud Services 2.0 will combine the tiers into an MVC-compliant stack that uses SaaS to increase the security and partitioning of the data.

My main concern isn't with the security of The Cloud, but rather with getting my Indian team to learn all about it so we can deploy some first-generation The Cloud applications and Web Services to provide the ultimate platform upon which we can layer our business intelligence and reporting, because there are still a few verticals that we need to leverage before we can move to The Cloud 2.0.

Re:Security is NOT an issue with The Cloud. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36937162)

Is that the Big-Indian or Little-Indian teams?

Re:Security is NOT an issue with The Cloud. (1)

analyst-cz (1386075) | more than 2 years ago | (#36937726)

This is of course your own managerial responsibility. However I HAVE TO say word here. I was analyst of the team, developing the really safe alternative to the RSA algorithm, which later turned out to the whole PKI alternative, much higher safety level was confirmed by independent experts and based on this was the team scattered because there is NO POLITICAL WILL to have something, governements are not able to read.

I may not say more (do not need any lawsuits), but my recommendention: unless you see real alternative and mathematically approved 100% system unbreakability (yes, there exists something offering true (as the E=mc2 approvable) 100% safety) used worldwide, allways expect your data readable by at least but not limited to government experts. Whatever nice wording their supporters use...

And be sure many backdoors in Microsoft software are NOT bugs or just company measures.

Re:Security is NOT an issue with The Cloud. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36938234)

what is this unbreakable thing called?

Re:Security is NOT an issue with The Cloud. (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#36938848)

I hate to break the news to ya pal but governments haven't needed MSFT to provide backdoors in years. As someone who spends 6 days a week fixing the things I can tell you foolproof way to get into a good 90%+ of the machines out there. 1.- For the guys a webpage that says "Hey want to look at teh titiez! Just run our Iz_Not_Backdoor_Iz-Codec.exe to get teh free pronz!" 2.-For the ladies a chat window that pops up "Hey you just got to see teh cute kitteh videoz!" which takes them to a malware laden page, and 3.- for the old folks a page that looks like Windows Update that says "ZOMG you got teh viruz ZOMG! Run Iz_Not_Backdoor_Iz-cleaner to kill it ZOMG!" and voila! you have just pwned any damned machine you want.

I wish it weren't so but I have actually seen a user uninstall the AV because it wouldn't let him install malware so sadly i know it is true. Linux or Mac OSX wouldn't help either because all you'd have to do is send Iz_Not_Backdoor_Iz- stuff _u_want.sh with helpful instructions on how to run it and they WILL run it as long as they think they are getting something, titties, free movies, kitteh pictures, or protection from a mythical bug.

As for TFA? Give it up friend. The governments have done gotten spooked by the Arab springs so I doubt very seriously if your "unbreakable" encryption exists they will allow YOU to have it. Hell I'm waiting for them to have Nancy grace and the other talking heads start talking about how "Encryption is nothing but a haven for perverts and terrorists!" complete with a couple of pedos that "got away with it" thanks to having encryption. I figure if they do go after it they'll go after TrueCrypt first, that one is too easy to use.

We all make jokes about Pakistan trying to ban encryption but with all the big brother bullshit we see being passed how long until the west joins them?

Re:Security is NOT an issue with The Cloud. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36939386)

I do agree with you in (almost) all points. However I was provoked by the commenter, speaking "Hey, I have SSH so I am safe, because somebody told me so."

And for the rest - all depends on the awareness and will to care among population. Oh, what did I say? Oh no, we are so doomed...

Re:Security is NOT an issue with The Cloud. (1)

analyst-cz (1386075) | more than 2 years ago | (#36939404)

Sorry, was not logged when replied. I authorize that the following comment is my own:

I do agree with you in (almost) all points. However I was provoked by the commenter, speaking "Hey, I have SSH so I am safe, because somebody told me so."

And for the rest - all depends on the awareness and will to care among population. Oh, what did I say? Oh no, we are so doomed...

Re:Security is NOT an issue with The Cloud. (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#36942894)

The problem is (and this is NOT a Godwin, this is an analogy to their infrastructure not their evil) we have a propaganda machine that makes the ones the Nazis had in the 30s look like some kid with leaflets. look at how quickly the government got the MSM to label Assange a "dirty rapist terrorist monster" while NOT A SINGLE ONE said a damned thing about the cable showing we had a contractor selling 9 year old boys as fucktoys to get a contract, and they had done the same to 11 year old girls in Kosovo and our ONLY concern was how to cover it up, no busting the bastards, no getting the kids back, just cover it up.

It is THIS, this right here, that is gonna cause us to be fucked. The Hiroshima bomb power of the MSM when they get together to spread propaganda. If they want to eliminate ANY right to privacy or anything else all they need to do is have Nancy Grace stand there and say "This (insert thing the government wants removed) is a haven for pedos and terrorists!" and its bye bye. Hell thanks to the power of propaganda 3 years after Dubya left office a full 40% of Americans STILL believe that Iraq had something to do with 9/11. That is what Goebbels proved years ago, you give them a truth, a half truth, and a complete lie, and they will swallow the whole thing. I'm afraid you're right, we're soooo doomed!

Re:Security is NOT an issue with The Cloud. (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#36960198)

I hate to break the news to ya pal but governments haven't needed MSFT to provide backdoors in years. As someone who spends 6 days a week fixing the things I can tell you foolproof way to get into a good 90%+ of the machines out there. 1.- For the guys a webpage that says "Hey want to look at teh titiez! Just run our Iz_Not_Backdoor_Iz-Codec.exe to get teh free pronz!" 2.-For the ladies a chat window that pops up "Hey you just got to see teh cute kitteh videoz!" which takes them to a malware laden page, and 3.- for the old folks a page that looks like Windows Update that says "ZOMG you got teh viruz ZOMG! Run Iz_Not_Backdoor_Iz-cleaner to kill it ZOMG!" and voila! you have just pwned any damned machine you want.

  I wish it weren't so but I have actually seen a user uninstall the AV because it wouldn't let him install malware so sadly i know it is true. Linux or Mac OSX wouldn't help either because all you'd have to do is send Iz_Not_Backdoor_Iz- stuff _u_want.sh with helpful instructions on how to run it and they WILL run it as long as they think they are getting something, titties, free movies, kitteh pictures, or protection from a mythical bug.

You've just described the Dancing Pigs problem. And worse yet, there's no security system on the market that will solve it.

It doesn't matter how many dialogs you throw up, how many warnings and big scary screens - the user will find a way around it. Oh yeah, they won't read any warning signs either.

The only real effective way is to run LUA, in which the user doesn't have any sort of admin priviledges and passwords (and thus can't blindly type it in). But that isn't practical at all, especially for home PCs. For family PCs it's a bit easier (especially with remote access), but then updates are a pain.

And no, sending them off to Geek Squad after refusing the fix their PC won't doing it either - they'll just bitch about how much Geek Squad charges.

All OSes suffer from this problem. OS X, Linux, Windows. Even iOS and Android. Either one has to do an iOS style walled garden (no guarantees), or accept that having to deal with infected PCs and phones are going to be a fact of life. (Android's permission screen is a nice step, if you limit Android users to tech-savvy people. Eveyrone else just hits "Install".)

Re:Security is NOT an issue with The Cloud. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36939346)

I like ur thinking on this: the techs just don't get business drivers behind the big picture. What we need is proactive leadership.

Going forward we need to have laser focus on The Cloud and execute at light speed on the global initiatives and synergies it offers, while staying technologically agnostic going forward.

Send me ur slide deck and we'll hook up a conf call.

Sent from my Blackberry.

Re:Don't use cloud. (2)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#36936516)

Or use your own [owncloud.org] .

Once again, free software comes to the rescue :)

That is not "your" cloud. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36936598)

You still are dependent on someone else' hardware. You are dependent on how they maintain that server, that router, that infrastructure. THAT, is not freedom. All you have done is create a veil, a facade of safety.

Re:That is not "your" cloud. (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 2 years ago | (#36937146)

You still are dependent on someone else' hardware. You are dependent on how they maintain that server, that router, that infrastructure. THAT, is not freedom. All you have done is create a veil, a facade of safety.

It might help if you read the link

Re:Don't use cloud. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36937192)

More appropriately the ability to choose to use the cloud or not too would be freedom. I'm pretty sure that "agree with me and don't do things I don't like" doesn't equal freedom but I do see how you could be confused given that that is the definition most of our society uses these days.

nothing to do with cloud (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#36938132)

just everything to do with every online service.

it's not like you, as the user, have any idea if the data is in a cloud or not.

cloud is just a modern code word for "we're buying the servers from a generic servers service".

Re:nothing to do with cloud (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#36938998)

This.

The issue is not whether you have virtualized service stacks all over the place, the issue is whether or not you retain control of the whole thing. Keeping control allows you to do pretty much what you want, (almost) no restrictions, but it costs a lot and takes a lot of extra work. Letting someone else take control of part of the whole thing is cheaper (specialists tend to do a better job) but it does mean that you have to work with them.

As for Georg Greve's plea for standards, I think he underestimates how hard that is. There's a lot of different levels that a service interface can be placed at, and getting comparable service between two providers is exceptionally difficult. Georg seems to see that as a problem, but the issue is just that different things are different. Might as well ask for one standard type of road vehicle for all tasks so as to promote an interoperable market. Except that it's even harder with SaaS as there's more variation.

Re:Don't use cloud. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36944350)

That's all you need for freedom..

EXACTLY,

and the name itself is a big give-away, analogous to Google's "Do no evil" slogan.
anything but

There should be legal action taken against any centrally planned IT infrastructure labeling itself as "cloud"

It preys on human association of sky and innocence. In reality, it's a sinister attack grid, designed to destroy liberty. It i not based in the clouds, it is very much based on the ground and increasingly, and aptly under it also.

"The Cloud" is just ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36935768)

this year's marketing bullshit term for a "thing designed to extract money and/or information from fools". Like any cloud, it will soon vanish, never to be seen again.

Re:"The Cloud" is just ... (5, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#36935824)

Like any cloud, it will soon vanish, never to be seen again.

Judging from the "Error establishing a database connection" message I'm getting, the cloud is already gone.

Competition and easy transfers (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#36935796)

There needs to be lots of choices for users, and an easy, free way to transfer all data from one company to another. Otherwise all the disclosure in the world is meaningless, since they can hold your data hostage to make you accept their new terms.

Re:Competition and easy transfers (2)

jonahbron (2278074) | more than 2 years ago | (#36935874)

Mod parent up. Article is slashdotted and Google hasn't cached it yet, but I hope this is in it. This is point #1.

Re:Competition and easy transfers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36935958)

Which is funny, because that's *how the entire fucking internet originally was*. You could use standards based protocols described in RFCs that anyone could implement to move data from anywhere to anywhere. We have things like email that works on everything from an Android phone to an IBM Z-series mainframe because it's a standard protocol.

Only fairly recently did people seem to start using all these proprietary protocols that lock people into various things. Why they did that, I have no earthly idea, but they did, and now here we are, trying to undo all the damage.

Captcha: Trauma

Re:Competition and easy transfers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36936278)

There are standards. "What Amazon does" is basically a de-facto standard. No, seriously: almost every platform has an S3 compatible API. Take a look at OpenStack for an obvious example.

Re:Competition and easy transfers (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#36937564)

Sounds like the situation with Microsoft and office document formats or HTML back in the earlier days of IE. What they did, everyone else followed - because maintaining compatibility with the market-leader-by-far was far more important than following any openly-defined standard.

Re:Competition and easy transfers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36938604)

The difference is that Amazon openly publish their API. Having a common API, even if it is defined only by one player, is currently better than having no common API at all. Although with what's happening with OpenStack these days It's likely the companies who are involved there will begin to define non-Amazon API's.

Re:Competition and easy transfers (1)

Sinanju (588194) | more than 2 years ago | (#36942334)

"Only fairly recently did people seem to start using all these proprietary protocols that lock people into various things. Why they did that, I have no earthly idea...." The answer is inherent in the question. To lock people into various things (i.e., the hardware and/or software I provide for them, in return for teh monies). I mean, seriously! If they can just move their data anyplace they like using standard protocols, I have no leverage. I have to actually, you know, WORK for their patronage. I have to provide competitive services at competitive prices. That's hard!

Re:Competition and easy transfers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36935970)

What is needed for freedom in the cloud?

Wings?

Re:Competition and easy transfers (2)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#36936074)

How about an easy free way to transfer your data that they can't revoke the moment you fall behind on your bills or for whatever reason feel like holding you hostage?

Paying a toll to cross a drawbridge doesn't do any good if the king can just raise it and lock you inside the castle when he feels like it.

Re:Competition and easy transfers (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#36936144)

Users need to be able to back up their own data. If they fail to do so, tough shit.

Re:Competition and easy transfers (1)

PaulMeigh (1277544) | more than 2 years ago | (#36936162)

Transfers involve bandwidth and so cost money. It seems that an easy and free option to permanently delete would suffice. If you care about the data and don't have a copy under your own control then that's your problem.

Re:Competition and easy transfers (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#36936182)

Indeed. An none of that is going to happen. The only real solution is to stay out of the cloud.

Re:How about easy transfer from Slashdot? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#36937026)

I just emailed one of the admins at Slashdot to find out how do I download my comment file. By now I've built up some 100,000 words that I would like to merge and rework into a blog.

So here I go with a test case of one of the sites that should know how! Let's see what answer turns up. I asked for a "few-click" method if possible, without having to install any utilities etc.

Freedom lay with the user (2, Insightful)

heptapod (243146) | more than 2 years ago | (#36935800)

Don't trust a third party with your information and data. Memory and storage are dirt cheap, pipes are fat and the cloud is just gee-whiz yet redundant technology.

Re:Freedom lay with the user (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#36936174)

Great - can you point to an open-source web-based email solution that works as well as Gmail? That is, with a single key I want to be able to archive or delete a new message.

Unfortunately the state of web-based FOSS apps isn't great, since most of the effort goes into fancy desktop apps that don't work when you're stuck using a phone or have more than one PC.

One exception to this I think is Gallery, which is a picture-sharing app that I'd say is competitive with just about all of the major offerings. The only thing I think it lacks is face recognition.

Re:Freedom lay with the user (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36936220)

Mutt via shellinabox. Pretty sure there are opensauce clients for Android.

Re:Freedom lay with the user (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36936430)

since most of the effort goes into fancy desktop apps that don't work when you're stuck using a phone or have more than one PC.

And yet most of the FOSS desktop apps are woefully behind their closed source counter parts... The only place where FOSS is even remotely competitive is developer tools and it's not even a clear winner there.

Re:Freedom lay with the user (1)

allo (1728082) | more than 2 years ago | (#36939336)

have you tried roundcube?

Re:Freedom lay with the user (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#36941186)

I have - I couldn't find any way to get mail out of the inbox without at least two mouse clicks or a click/drag (which is very annoying on a trackpad).

Re:Freedom lay with the user (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36939614)

Roundcube's pretty similar to Gmail.

Re:Freedom lay with the user (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36939612)

pipes are fat

So are you in Japan, Finland or one of those little flyover towns that Google's fibered-up?

what's required for us to have freedom again (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36935804)

should it not be considered that the domestic threats to all of us/our
freedoms be intervened on/removed, so we wouldn't be compelled to hide our
sentiments, &/or the truth, about ANYTHING, including the origins of the
hymenology council, & their sacred mission? with nothing left to hide,
there'd be room for so much more genuine quantifiable progress?

you call this 'weather'? much of our land masses/planet are going under
water, or burning up, as we fail to consider anything at all that really
matters, as we've been instructed that we must maintain our silence (our
last valid right?), to continue our 'safety' from... mounting terror.

meanwhile, back at the raunch; there are exceptions? the unmentionable
sociopath weapons peddlers are thriving in these times of worldwide
sufferance? the royals? our self appointed murderous neogod rulers? all
better than ok, thank..... us. their stipends/egos/disguises are secure,
so we'll all be ok/not killed by mistaken changes in the MANufactured
'weather', or being one of the unchosen 'too many' of us, etc...?

truth telling & disarming are the only mathematically & spiritually
correct options. read the teepeeleaks etchings. see you there?

diaperleaks group worldwide.

No subject (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36935832)

Destroy capitalism

Re:No subject (1, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#36936158)

"Destroy capitalism"

Capitalist urges are primal and natural, which is why Capitalism or something like it asserts itself even in anarchic conditions.

Re:No subject (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#36937780)

Capitalist urges are primal and natural, which is why Capitalism or something like it asserts itself even in anarchic conditions.

All sorts of urges are primal and natural. Many of them mutually conflicting.

People are also social animals by nature. Sharing and working together is primal and natural.

So, socialism or co-ops are just as primal and natural as "capitalist urges".

Maybe it's just that you're at a competitive disadvantage with sharing and caring against selfishness and ruthlessness?

Re:No subject (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#36939110)

Maybe it's just that you're at a competitive disadvantage with sharing and caring against selfishness and ruthlessness?

A happy balance wins the day, as having this conversation on Slashdot on the Internet proves.

Re:No subject (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36937314)

So, it turns out that recognizing human nature for what it is and using it to our mutual advantage is more effective, efficient, and livable than attempting to deny it.

Get rid of all cloud polititions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36935844)

Kill -9 `ps ax|grep politition"

Freedom FROM the cloud! (1)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 2 years ago | (#36935860)

Thanks.

I don't need The Cloud, but I do need a service (1)

yourpusher (161612) | more than 2 years ago | (#36935888)

And that service is providing a sync path for my data. I'm willing to pay a premium for it. Yet I can't use and enjoy my Android phone with a simple sync path for any price. Its practical functionality depends upon me handing over all of my info to Google's cloud (and that's just for the basic apps, nevermind what I'd like to add on).

Re:I don't need The Cloud, but I do need a service (3, Informative)

jonahbron (2278074) | more than 2 years ago | (#36935926)

Sounds like you need Ubuntu One. Just the free package gets you 5GB and access via Android/iOS.

http://one.ubuntu.com/

Re:I don't need The Cloud, but I do need a service (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36935972)

Why not use SpiderOak? They have 2 GB free for an unlimited time, an clients that work on Android as well as everything else under the sun.

Re:I don't need The Cloud, but I do need a service (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#36937852)

Have they fixed the problem yet where their system has trouble recognizing passwords previously set on the account, and fixed the rather silly limitation that the only help available is via their forums which require the same said passwords? Or the client's tendency to crash when trying to add a new sync, or the apparently random nature of deciding what to sync and when?

Start with the basics... (2)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 2 years ago | (#36935916)

How about we start with sustainable database connections?

Re:Start with the basics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36935992)

Database connections that only use renewable resources?

Re:Start with the basics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36939360)

They you're doing it wrong... having your database away from your web server is stupid. High latency is not good.

Pipedreams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36935976)

Dream all you want; your view of the way things should be would *not* work in a world that is about greed for money. We can get more money juicing you.

So "freedom" needs more laws. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#36936038)

For some values of "freedom". After all, the "Patriot Act" exists to protect our "freedom", right?

Re:So "freedom" needs more laws. (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36936452)

Yeah, and what's the deal with being illegal to punch you in the face? Damn laws, always restricting our freedom.

(using PA as an example of all laws is dishonest)

Re:So "freedom" needs more laws. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36938044)

Actually, all laws by their very nature MUST impinge upon some level of personal freedom to some extent.

Just because you idiots were willing to give up such a big piece of "essential liberty" for a small perception of "temporary safety" is your own fault.

Re:So "freedom" needs more laws. (1)

foolsama (2425790) | more than 2 years ago | (#36939364)

You can't guarantee Freedom by taking it away. It's just completely contradictory. 'Free' does not mean 'safe'. It means 'free'. The very act of making laws to to force a choice on to someone takes freedom away. If people don't value safety or security online, then they won't pay for it, therefore businesses won't provide it. You may have a different value judgement, but it's not your place to decide that it is the correct value judgement, and force at gunpoint on someone else. And if you want to punch him in the face because you can't make a valid counter-argument, well that's your problem. Being a dick in a free society is not likely to be rewarded positively.

Re:So "freedom" needs more laws. (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36939496)

Uh, not having the freedom to punch someone in the face was my counter-argument. I don't actually want to punch someone in the face.

You may have a different value judgement, but it's not your place to decide that it is the correct value judgement, and force at gunpoint on someone else.

You can't guarantee Freedom by taking away my freedom to force people at gunpoint! It's just completely contradictory!

Those are mere wishes (3, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | more than 2 years ago | (#36936128)

So I got to read the article, and the author lists a bunch of good, desirable things there. But none of them will happen until the businesses that provide those cloud services are forced to listen to wishes of the clients.

However majority of clients are not very wise in terms of network security (or anything else, as matter of fact.) So those companies will always have plentiful harvest of suckers, and that's who they will focus on. If you are a green-skinned geek in glasses you are not their audience, and your whimpering that "their service is not perfect" will be summarily ignored.

Geeks can't use the cloud, basically. Anyone who does that surrenders a bit of his|her|its privacy, and on top of that has to obey the arbitrary rules that are imposed by those companies. The only solution is not to play.

I did just that last night. I needed to change the email on Yahoo to something else. I type the name in, and I get in return "#604,E4 This email address is blocked by owner." No help anywhere; other people report this error too, with no resolution. I was able to resolve that. Want to know how? I deleted the whole Yahoo profile. Google profile will be next.

Re:Those are mere wishes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36936688)

It will happen when the business listed to the wishes of their clients?

I postulate the exact opposite:

Commercial clients don't care about "freedom" of their platform. They care about price, stability, performance, and quite possibly security, but that's about it.

If there was a large pool of clients out there, pining for a "free" cloud offering and slaving away under the brutish oligarchy of the current providers, you can bet somebody else would open up a cloud provider that stressed "freedom" and poached all those paying customers, thus making the clients happy and the new business wealthy.

Cloud police, obvously! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36936136)

Just like our email needs email police to be free, obviously we need cloud police to free us!

You cannot fix technological problems with the law (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#36936160)

And if you try, you will fail. The problem here is the data location. The only thing that will ensure privacy is to not give your data to "the cloud".

Re:You cannot fix technological problems with the (1)

RamblinWreck33 (2425478) | more than 2 years ago | (#36936282)

So much of data is already given to the cloud, at least of the set of data that the cloud would be interested in. The cloud doesn't care about your diaries and personal documents, not enough to attempt to decrypt them. The most valuable data you possess is your profile to advertisers, which is available now unless you take measure to prevent it from being so.

Fuck the cloud! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36936296)

just saying

Wrong solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36936526)

Freedom is needed for freedom in the cloud.

As long as you are relying on a company with a datacenter to hold onto your data, you giving up freedom for convenience. If you want freedom without storing the data directly on your own computer, then look into a peer-to-peer (possibly just friend-to-friend) network to store the data. That is, store it on your own computer and your friends' computers, with the assumption that one of them will be up any time you need to use it and the p2p network will prevent you from needing to care where exactly it is.

Competition (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 2 years ago | (#36937328)

Obviously if you can not easily move your data to a competing cloud - or back to your own computers - if dissatisfied, you have no freedom. Your are stuck with what one particular company is offering.

Cloud is for Idiots (1)

BrendaEM (871664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36937832)

Sarcasm follows...

Wow! I can do exactly what I had been doing on my old local machine, on a underpowered machine, and I can pay someone for it!
I can pay money the same functionality I could otherwise get free in Libreoffice.
Together we can make a centralization of data, creating single points of failure, making sure that we create monopolies along the way, and do you know what else?
We'll slow the internet down to a crawl with traffic from processing that should be locally, until the day comes when we get hacked by some government that wants to finish us off before taking us over.

clouds are private and for-profit, what freedom? (1)

gmyuriy (1441755) | more than 2 years ago | (#36937950)

This is ridiculous - clouds are private for-profit run companies. To ask "what's needed for freedom in the cloud" is almost the same as to ask "why can't I set up my tent in a mall". The short answer - don't use the cloud - that just about summarizes it all. Someone set up the cloud for you, you want to play in it, so you WILL abide by THEIR rules. What freedom???

What's needed for freedom in the cloud? (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 2 years ago | (#36938438)

A competitor for the internet. Preferably competitors of the kind that appear and disappear before the corporate giants and their wholly-owned governments can sink their claws into them.

Anonymity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36939288)

...is all you need for freedom in the [insert realm].

Good article (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36939632)

Article lays out a good set of rules for freedom in cloud computing, looks well thought-out.

Needed: Cloud 2.0 - Stratus (2)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 2 years ago | (#36941128)

For freedom, the cloud needs to become just a layer in the protocol, as it were.

Some rules of the global cloud layer's operation:

1. Hosters must have no rights pertaining to hosted content (except to remove it, but see 3.)

2. Hosters should have no responsibility for content.

3. Hosters should be prevented technically (e.g. by strong encryption not under their control) from knowing what content they host.

4. No hoster should host more than an unintelligible (bit-wise randomly interleaved) fragment of any content document.

5. Hosting should be provided on a mix of consolidated data-centre stores (for performance) and a massively distributed and decentralized peer network, and costs of hosting should be shared by a combination of storage markets and storage-service trading (peering) arrangements, involving the edge players as well as the large-scale players.

6. Content fragments, in co-operation with simple, standard, uniform software on each storage host, should ensure the content's own long-term survival in the cloud, via a process of periodically checking across the globally distributed storage cloud to ensure that enough copies exist and are sufficiently well distributed on reachable hosts and are stored on a mix of old reliable and newly commissioned storage hosts.

7. Access to coalesced and decrypted content should only be possible for possessors of the encryption key for the content.

What do you think all those datacenters are for? (1)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | more than 2 years ago | (#36941600)

I don't understand this knee-jerk rejection of anything to do with cloud computing services. As far as I can tell, cloud computing is the mainstay of the IT industry right now, at least outside of desktop support and support for legacy applications.

Re:What do you think all those datacenters are for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36944686)

I don't know if you can say it's the mainstay of the IT industry because there is a difference between handing over your data, trusting an outside company to secure your information, and how IT solves computer issues. First of all, most companies have IT departments, so they do not handle IT issues with a vendor or 3rd party. Also, companies usually have their own servers, they don't hand over their personal and secure data to an outside company to store on their servers.

Little "plug in" Server with display (1)

Casandro (751346) | more than 2 years ago | (#36943870)

Essentially you'd need a little plug-in server which gets an IPv6 address and displays an URL/QR-code on the display. This little server should then do your part of the social network for you by staying in contact with your friends servers and only handing out data to them.

That way no social network operator can just get _all_ the data to datamine it. They have to go through the slow process of tricking you into befriending them.

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