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Ask Slashdot: Where Are the Complete Hosting Providers?

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the all-in-one dept.

Businesses 178

Kludge writes "In 2000 there were thousands of email/web hosting businesses. In 2013 not much has changed. To get my email/web/webmail/domain/VOIP/public-key/XMPP/VPN hosting I have to deal with five different service providers. Where are the complete hosting providers? The absence of competition in this area drives many to Google, making data siphoning easy for the NSA. Why has hosting not advanced in the last 10 years? Where are the hosting providers that make end-to-end encrypted email/web/VOIP/XMPP easy and automatic for all my clients?"

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178 comments

WHAT? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256313)

Is my page loading wrong or are there really no answers yet?

Re:WHAT? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256349)

My experience is that my ISP are nice to supply me a phone and broadband, with .. tada! email. Then further down the line I have issues witht their email service, and get told it is "not a business priority". Nevermind, VPN, and more advanced services. Repeat this scenario x1000 acrosss the majority of ISPs. And if you find one offering all the goodies, they more than likely don't service your area.

I don't use providers HQ in the USA (4, Informative)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 9 months ago | (#45256911)

The absence of competition in this area drives many to Google, making data siphoning easy for the NSA.

For me, I do not use any provider that has their HQ inside the United States of America.

And ... in order to retard NSA's snooping in my traffic, I deploy SSL forward secrecy on my sites.

Anyone who wants to know about forward secrecy please visit https://community.qualys.com/blogs/securitylabs/2013/06/25/ssl-labs-deploying-forward-secrecy [qualys.com] to get more info

Re:I don't use providers HQ in the USA (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45257471)

For me, I do not use any provider that has their HQ inside the United States of America.

And ... in order to retard NSA's snooping in my traffic, I deploy SSL forward secrecy on my sites.

Ditto. We are not a shop with ultra-high security requirements (in that case we would roll own our servers), but in current world situation, it is too high risk for us to host anything in USA. We have pulled out our data infrastructure from there.

Re:I don't use providers HQ in the USA (3, Informative)

loxfinger (571135) | about 9 months ago | (#45257551)

Right, because the reach of US surveillance stops dead at the border.

Re:WHAT? (1)

Steve_Ussler (2941703) | about 9 months ago | (#45257537)

:) I was thinking the same thing...

Trololololo (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256315)

The absence of competition in this area drives many to Google, making data siphoning easy for the NSA.

The scroogling is strong in this one...

Ummm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256331)

All I can think of is wtf? There are plenty of hosting companies out there...

Re:Ummm (3, Informative)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 9 months ago | (#45256401)

I agree TFA has it wrong - there is a lot of competition going on all the time and the large amount of services that exists are good for most of us.

I can only guess that the writer of the TFA is lazy and not willing to search for the best suitable alternative. And if you want an all-in-one solution set up your own server.

Re:Ummm (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256571)

Or maybe they are asking the wrong question.

Any CPanel install has a lot of that stuff in it (I won't say all because I hate CPanel/WHM and it needs to die a horrible death for the amount of extra manual work needed to prevent it from shooting itself)

The real question is "why am I looking for someone else to provide this when I can just do it myself?", the passive aggressive version of "everyone who offers this is too expensive."

Re:Ummm (4, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | about 9 months ago | (#45257283)

I agree TFA has it wrong - there is a lot of competition going on all the time and the large amount of services that exists are good for most of us.

Plenty of competition in marginal profit realms leads to a string of failed startups. How do you know the provider you choose is going to last?

the cloud killed hosting providers (-1, Flamebait)

SethJohnson (112166) | about 9 months ago | (#45256337)

Consolidation has killed the hosting business that you describe.

The big players like hostgator and godaddy have snapped up the business that used to be distributed across thousands of web hosting businesses. The cost of providing support has made it impossible for the smaller players to compete with them.

And then there's the cloud. Companies like Digital Ocean and Ram Node are offering complete virtual server packages for the same price as a web host only used to provide (~$5.00 / month). Not only can you host an unlimited number of domains, you can run your own email, ftp, proxy, et. al. You can even host bittorrents or streaming radio stations.

More functionality at the same price. They have no way to compete other than to radically change their service offerings.

Re:the cloud killed hosting providers (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256553)

Hostgator... was purchased by EIG a while back (joining ranks with Bluehost, among others). It's just all that much worse now. While the support provided by Hostgator was generally adequate even in relatively recent history, forced migrations and a slew of bone-headed business decisions were made... and now their support staff is generally tied up coping with the after effects. They could have easily vanished into "The Cloud", but there is something to be said for dedicated hardware. When you sell support as a service (a full staff of dedicated support admins cost more money than one might think), you need to make sure your _product_ isn't being contaminated by the doings of the factory. Indeed, these hosting models are steadily approaching the brink of experiencing natural selection first hand.

Re:the cloud killed hosting providers (2)

pspahn (1175617) | about 9 months ago | (#45256585)

I think not just consolidation, but specialization as well.

I've plugged them before because they've been great, but the main reason I decided on hosting with a company called Nexcess is because they fine-tune their hardware to run the Magento platform. For those not aware, Magento in its infancy was known to be such a terrible resource hog. Horror stories of people trying to run it on cheap shared hosting. To an extent, those horror stories still happen, but there have been some niche hosting providers that saw an opportunity to differentiate themselves and did.

When I have to get in touch with their support, they not only know their own hardware, they know the platform I am using. Having that specialized knowledge available was a godsend before we had the resources of Stackoverflow or the Magento SO beta site (not to mention my own knowledge that has grown about developing on Magento in the last five years).

The specialization is great in so many ways, but I think one of the drawbacks is you have less broad-scoped knowledge, and it just ends up as a bunch of so-so quality services instead of getting high-quality services from seperate providers.

Re:the cloud killed hosting providers (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 9 months ago | (#45256743)

What actually is a complete hosting provider?

I don't get the question in the summary. It sounds like the guy is asking for a host he can pay that will automatically set up some arbitrary services that he's decided constitute "complete hosting"?

I don't really see how an ISP can cater to such an arbitrary definition when there's literally millions of different services an ISP could be expected to provide.

Isn't the solution just to get your own VPS or dedicated server and just install everything you want on it or am I missing something here?

Is there some defintion of "Complete Hosting Provider" whereby said provider to conform must provide the services the summary is asking for even though it's a rather obscure combination of things to provide on one host?

From what I can fathom the answer to the question is: "You are not the only person on the internet, different people have different use cases, no ISP could possibly cater to ever combination people may want, nor would they probably want to because it would require having experts in each of those millions of technologies to manage them all hence why they stick to their areas of expertise or provide you a blank server you can install whatever the hell you want to on". Unless there is some definition of "Complete Hosting" that encompasses only a fringe handful of available services then I can't see this changing.

Re:the cloud killed hosting providers (5, Insightful)

Squash (2258) | about 9 months ago | (#45257015)

As the owner of a hosting company, that's the same impression that i got. He's asking for a grouping of products that don't naturally group together. When people think of hosting, they think of web, mail, and dns. They generally don't think of VoIP, VPN, or XMPP, or whatever the submitter expects to receive when he asks for "public key" service. It's nonsense.

The answer is in the post. (4, Interesting)

Kludge (13653) | about 9 months ago | (#45257343)

What actually is a complete hosting provider?

A close example is Google. Google provides email, web, webmail, domain, XMPP, VOIP, all available from a single gmail login and manageable from a web interface.
No, I do not want to just rent a server from someone else, and set up and manage all this stuff myself. I want to pay for it, but I would like some competition, I do not like to send everyone to Google.
I realize that not every client will need or want all these services when I first set them up. Some clients will only use half the services ever. But having them easily accessible to the customer from a single provider if/when they need them has real value.

Re:the cloud killed hosting providers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256969)

The race to the bottom killed hosting providers long before Cloud got in on the act. Any yahoo with a co-located machine and the ability to configure LAMP and CPanel could claim to be a hosting provider; many did.

Managed servers (4, Insightful)

NormalVisual (565491) | about 9 months ago | (#45256341)

I think probably what's happening is that it's cost-prohibitive for a provider to train their staff to maintain all of the different packages that would be required to offer such a service, and a provider that offers VoIP generally has to have more quite a bit more infrastructure in place to offer any kind of reasonable service. The closest thing to what the submitter is asking for is probably a managed server provider, and there's no shortage of those out there, at varying quality/price points.

Re:Managed servers (4, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | about 9 months ago | (#45256397)

The closest thing to what the submitter is asking for is probably a managed server provider, and there's no shortage of those out there, at varying quality/price points.

Yes..... I think the poster is asking Where's the place I can get all those things together in high quality at a commodity price?

In other words.... Where can I purchase a car with all the amenities of the high end Rolls-Royce, for the price of a Civic?

Re:Managed servers (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 9 months ago | (#45256543)

In other words.... Where can I purchase a car with all the amenities of the high end Rolls-Royce, for the price of a Civic?

You steal the Rolls-Royce. Hundreds of millions of computers right now are part of one kind of botnet or another because botnets offer everything the poster is looking for. There are websites out there where you can purchase the resources of the botnet for cheap; Just gotta know where to look. As a bonus, they also offer a degree of anonymity and resistance to the kind of tracking the author is apparently worried about. If you want to be resistant to a search and seizure by a government, I can think of few things better than a massively decentralized, worldwide network with millions of potential servers to shift your data around within.

Re:Managed servers (1)

rvw (755107) | about 9 months ago | (#45256935)

In other words.... Where can I purchase a car with all the amenities of the high end Rolls-Royce, for the price of a Civic?

At the Mercedes Benz dealer?

Re:Managed servers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256643)

I think probably what's happening is that it's cost-prohibitive for a provider to train their staff to maintain all of the different packages that would be required to offer such a service, and a provider that offers VoIP generally has to have more quite a bit more infrastructure in place to offer any kind of reasonable service. The closest thing to what the submitter is asking for is probably a managed server provider, and there's no shortage of those out there, at varying quality/price points.

Uh, no, not quite. What the poster is truly asking for is a service provider who is willing and capable of providing end-to-end encryption capability for multiple services.

And I believe those companies were called "Lavabit" and "Silent Circle".

Sorry, it was honestly a stupid question. The poster should be smart enough to realize that there were companies out there that offered such services, and know why they are no longer in business.

(CAPTCHA = seized. Irony at its finest)

Re:Managed servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45257331)

What the poster is truly asking for is a service provider who is willing and capable of providing end-to-end encryption capability for multiple services.

There's no such thing. Want end-to-end encrypted mail? You need to get everyone to use GPG or write your own mail client that does it for you, and get *everyone* to use it. Want end-to-end encrypted VoIP? Again, you'll need a specialized client/phone for everyone - regular SIP phones don't meet that need, and if you're calling a POTS line you have to decrypt before delivery as well. Lavabit didn't do end-to-end encryption, and neither did Silent Circle - if you want to email/call someone that's doesn't use the service themselves, it's not end-to-end and the data will be in the clear at some point.

Shameless plug. (4, Informative)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 9 months ago | (#45256343)

I'm a senior engineer at FireHost [firehost.com] , and we can provide managed infrastructure and installation assistance for the things you've listed, complete with managed SSL VPN access for all your employees.

Again, this is an admittedly shameless plug, but it does answer the question.

Re:Shameless plug. (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 9 months ago | (#45256359)

Replying to my own post for one bit of clarification: the VOIP and XMPP aspects may not qualify as completely managed services depending on what you have in mind, but there's nothing stopping you from operating them on otherwise managed infrastructure.

Re:Shameless plug. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256459)

The submitter implied Google was not suitable with the remark "making data siphoning easy for the NSA".

How is FireHost significantly less vulnerable to the NSA when "The Letter" arrives? From what I see FireHost has significant infrastructure in USA, a CEO with US ties, many employees living in the USA.

If the NSA is not a worry to the asker, then there are many solutions, FireHost possibly being one of them. If the NSA is an issue then it becomes trickier...

Re:Shameless plug. (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#45256547)

it's not.

what the submitter would actually need would be a service that would make people encrypt the mail coming to him using his public key and that the private key wouldn't be anywhere except his system. which of course makes any totally hosted solutions frankly useless and I don't see how his host could force his contacts to encrypt by using his private key BEFORE they send the mail to the service provider.

Re:Shameless plug. (2)

beaverdownunder (1822050) | about 9 months ago | (#45256791)

The submitter implied Google was not suitable with the remark "making data siphoning easy for the NSA".

How is FireHost significantly less vulnerable to the NSA when "The Letter" arrives? From what I see FireHost has significant infrastructure in USA, a CEO with US ties, many employees living in the USA.

If the NSA is not a worry to the asker, then there are many solutions, FireHost possibly being one of them. If the NSA is an issue then it becomes trickier...

Yeah, exactly. I'm not sure why this was modded troll, or offtopic, or whatever -- it's on topic and not trolling (unless you work for the FireHost mob, then you'd probably think it is...)

Re:Shameless plug. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45257223)

It's the FBI that shows up with the NSL in the US. In every other country the same thing happens. IOW, you're all fucking retards for thinking an offshore hosting provider is going to be any different.

Re:Shameless plug. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45257005)

lol tech support lacky

Re:Shameless plug. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45257033)

I used Pagely (specialized WordPress hosting) for about 6 months - they are based on Firehost, and had huge downtime problems, so I had to switch to WP-Engine, who run their own hardware. Some of the uptime problems seemed to be due to Firehost issues, from what I could make out.

So it's important to really understand the uptime performance of a service before you jump, and this is one reason not to go for a single provider for everything - it may be simpler, but also more vulnerable to downtime, and DDoSes.

Get a server. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256351)

Go to any one of many providers that offer general purpose computers, and get one, virtual or physical. Then go to what ever software provider provides the OS and packages you need and get that. Then combine their powers for a remote arbitrary computing system.

Alan Turing came up with the great idea of a universal computer that could to what ever you need. Its a pretty good approach to this problem.

You want all your eggs in one basket? (2, Insightful)

toygeek (473120) | about 9 months ago | (#45256371)

I don't. Few hosts have the brains and manpower to handle that many services at once. Pick the best for each one, and be glad that they're the best. Besides, if their data center is DDOS'd, you want all your services going down at once? Likely not.

Re:You want all your eggs in one basket? (2)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 9 months ago | (#45256393)

Why would you host your critical infrastructure on any hosting provider that has only one datacenter? If your stuff can't go down, you need to have it designed to work in a distributed manner and hosted in more than one physical facility. This costs more money, though.

Re:You want all your eggs in one basket? (0)

mishehu (712452) | about 9 months ago | (#45256539)

...and not as many do this sort of hosting as a turnkey solutions either.

Re:You want all your eggs in one basket? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 months ago | (#45256595)

If it is that critical, maybe the way to go is to host it at two different hosting providers.

Re:You want all your eggs in one basket? (1)

Bronster (13157) | about 9 months ago | (#45256815)

Distributed fuckup very possible. Any one hosting provider can roll out a breaking change to their entire system, or have a handy single point of failure, or be 0wned on a central command host with acces to everything...

NSA? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256407)

If you're so worried about the NSA (you mentioned it) why would you:
1) use hosting
2) have everything provided by one hosting provider.
3) not specify "non-US" hosting in your question?

Re:NSA? (4, Insightful)

MerlynEmrys67 (583469) | about 9 months ago | (#45256433)

Why do you think the NSA snoops on Non-US traffic more than it snoops on US traffic?
Really?
Frankly, if you are sending e-mail in the clear (and, unless YOU encrypt it - you are) - it is like mailing post cards from your holiday trips and expecting no one to look at the back of them.

Re:NSA? (2)

duke_cheetah2003 (862933) | about 9 months ago | (#45256483)

At this point, I think -any- thing surging over the internet is unsafe unless encrypted (and at this point, excessively). I don't trust ANYONE, US or non-US to keep their hands off my packets.

They are around (1)

purnima (243606) | about 9 months ago | (#45256447)

and "complete" solutions have been around for more than a decade.

The question that may be interesting, is why have people not adopted niche complete hosting providers. I don't know, but to tell the truth I need to wake up each morning knowing that my information is reliably accessible _me_, my credit card numbers haven't been sold, and that if my provider goes down I can read about it in the NYTIMES, that's all slightly more important to me than my worry that the US/German/French governments can read my crap.

 

Moar tin foil! (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 9 months ago | (#45256461)

...making data siphoning easy for the NSA.

I have gotten incredibly sick of the tin foil hat brigade putting the NSA into every one of their conspiracy theories, and equally tired of the idiot replacement editors from Dice rubber-stamping submissions like this that even most bloggers wouldn't post. You wanna talk about hosting providers? Okay, let's talk. Obviously you are concerned about your data being intercepted and stolen.

Do you guys honestly think, for one second, that you can hide from these guys if they really want you? Any of you? This is the largest, most powerful government on the planet, with resources you could only dream of. Even businesses the size of Google can't keep them out; And if you believe any press releases to the contrary, you're an idiot.

The only way you're keeping your data safe is in a physically secured facility, with the computer locked in a faraday cage and with no access to the internet. Just about anything else and the data will be vulnerable at some point to a legal intercept of it. You can manage those risks, limit them, but ultimately, if they want it they're gonna get it.

So please guys, stop asking for NSA-proof [insert thing here]. There are only two defenses when your opponent has a half trillion dollar budget and you got twenty bucks and a cracker; Anonymity (ie, don't get on the radar), or don't do anything that would be interesting to them... or if you must, for the love of fuck, minimize your electronic footprint. Forget the credit card, the cell phone, the wifi-enabled anything. Go off grid, stand in the woods in the middle of nowhere, and then do whatever it is you're keen on doing without the government being aware of it.

There are no high tech solutions to this that are within your budget, ok? Just... deal with it already guys.

Re:Moar tin foil! (1, Troll)

duke_cheetah2003 (862933) | about 9 months ago | (#45256513)

There are no high tech solutions to this that are within your budget, ok? Just... deal with it already guys.

Fortunately, there's low-tech solutions. Fight them in court, destroy them legally, from the inside out. It's happening, it takes time, but people like Ladar Levinson are fighting the good fight and more will come along. It won't persist, it cannot persist, our country cannot operate like this for long and not face a real revolution again.

So no.. I will not just 'deal with it', that is completely the wrong attitude. We DO NOT have to deal with it, we will not deal with it. It will be stopped, eventually.

Re:Moar tin foil! (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 9 months ago | (#45256525)

So no.. I will not just 'deal with it', that is completely the wrong attitude. We DO NOT have to deal with it, we will not deal with it. It will be stopped, eventually.

Excuse me... I didn't say just roll over and take it. But trying to solve a social problem like this with technology is the very height of stupidity. It's like saying if we take away everyone's guns, we'll solve that pesky violence problem. The gun is just the tool. Just like the internet. Just like a cell phone, a camera, a packet sniffer, a data center... all of these things that the NSA uses are not the problem! It's the people that are the problem, and the people alone.

People problems can only be solved by people. I know that seems like a stupidly obvious thing to say, but it's clear to me that when article after article posted is variations of the question "What technology can I use to stop the NSA from spying on me?" There isn't any! You stop the NSA by getting off your ass and participating in the democratic process. You cannot fix this by keyboard warrioring.

Re:Moar tin foil! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256625)

"It's the people that are the problem, and the people alone...People problems can only be solved by people. "
Nah, end to end encryption, your fluffy nonsense is meaningless.

You're trying to convince a lot of IT professionals, who know damn well that its technically possible to secure communications end to end, that they are powerless to do what they know they can do.

It's just short notice, we thought we lived in a system of rules that protected our privacy, we thought TLS worked and so on, stupidly thinking there were warrants and judicial courts and so on. Silly us! No matter, it's a bug. We need to switch to end to end encryption to fix it.

"You cannot fix this by keyboard warrioring."
Well I bow to your superior knowledge and will immediately stop writing this Thunderbird OTR add on and step away from my keyboard.

Re:Moar tin foil! (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 9 months ago | (#45256675)

You're trying to convince a lot of IT professionals, who know damn well that its technically possible to secure communications end to end, that they are powerless to do what they know they can do.

No, I'm merely suggesting that locking those IT professionals in a room and beating them with a metal pipe, is an effective method of "unsecuring" those communications. It's only in the imagination of Anonymous Cowards and hollywood screen-writers that the police kick in the door, seize the computer, and then say "Oh shit! He's using a 8192 bit encryption key. We'll never recover the data! I guess we better just leave then, defeated."

It's just short notice, we thought we lived in a system of rules that protected our privacy, we thought TLS worked and so on, stupidly thinking there were warrants and judicial courts and so on. Silly us! No matter, it's a bug. We need to switch to end to end encryption to fix it.

The people who designed these systems, those venerated IT professionals you mentioned earlier? Yeah, they knew from day one that TLS, SSL, certificate authorities, etc., were not truly secure. They were a compromise that provided "reasonable" security -- and it still does do that. Millions of internet-based financial transactions are secured using SSL, TLS, etc., every day and are not compromised. Is it a perfect solution? Of course not. Is it a decent one? Sortof.

But fundamentally, you're asking for the impossible with your "end to end" encryption non-sense. The very first in a long list of problems is: How do you securely exchange keys with an entity you have no prior relationship with? How does Alice know she's talking to Bob, if she has never met Bob before? The solution that TLS/SSL used was certificate authorities; A trusted third party that both Bob and Alice trust. Unfortunately, like any trust model, it is only as strong as the weakest link, and as certificate authorities proliferated... rogue CAs and stolen keys became a very real threat.

But simply switching the protocols around won't solve the very first problem: How do you securely exchange keys over what is, inherently, an insecure medium? You can't.

Well I bow to your superior knowledge and will immediately stop writing this Thunderbird OTR add on and step away from my keyboard.

First, yes, I do have superior knowledge (obviously). And I'm willing to put my reputation on the line by not posting anonymously. This frequently comes back to bite me in the ass, especially when dealing with Anonymous Cowards, but karma is not as important to me as getting as accurate of information as possible in front of as many eyeballs as possible. If a few -1, Troll mods is the price I pay, I do so gladly. Second, Thunderbird has an OpenPGP addon... developing another addon is silly, and frankly, you and I both know you lack the chops to actually program.

But regardless, if I'm going to get serious about personal privacy, I'm not going to do it by sitting down to write my own crypto addon. For one, it would almost certainly be more buggy than the ones that have been reviewed and certified as correctly implimented by crytologists... and crypto is amazingly easy to get wrong, and devilishly difficult for someone without loads of experience to detect the failure. For two... why would I spend hundreds of hours doing that, when I can spend dozens of hours making phone calls and writing letters to the people who have far, far more power than I do, and convince others to do the same?

I'm sorry, but looking at my large list of tools available to me, the one labelled "Democracy" seems far more likely to get me what I want than one labelled "Amateur Crypto".

Re:Moar tin foil! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256889)

"Thunderbird has an OpenPGP addon... developing another addon is silly,"
Not at all. Open PGP tries to do too much and ends up being ridiculously complex. The built in encryption is certificate based. CA's are NSA compromised these days. An OTR approach is a better approach for encrypted email.

"you and I both know you lack the chops to actually program"
Sticks and stones...

"rogue CAs and stolen keys became a very real threat."
We learned the biggest threat is the NSA fake certs (they MITM'd Google FFS).

"I'm sorry, but looking at my large list of tools available to me, the one labelled "Democracy" seems far more likely to get me what I want than one labelled "Amateur Crypto"."

Yeh Snowden had faith in Obama too. Pity about that. I still can't believe Obama did the talking points General Alexander fed him. Was he so far out of the loop?
Still, fixable.

I can see the agenda you're on, the "give up, lay down for your NSA overlords" agenda. It's kinda transparent and you keep contradicting yourself.

Re:Moar tin foil! (2)

Pav (4298) | about 9 months ago | (#45256985)

Rubbish...

ALL avenues should be persued. Yes... Go democracy! BUT the crypto experts should still sharpen their toolkits, the average I.T peon should sharpen their crypto knowledge and the average citizen should engage in some crypto arse covering even if it's 98% ineffective (and I hardly think it would be as bad as that). This NSA bruhaha is as good a motivation as any. . Also I think it's good practice to assume a very well funded and skilled adversary who is everywhere. Don't call them the NSA if that disturbs you... perhaps you might prefer to call this adversary "Chaos" (the name of the evil organisation from Get Smart).

Re:Moar tin foil! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45257573)

perhaps you might prefer to call this adversary "Chaos"

And that is why I am working on my cone of silence.

drew

Re: Moar tin foil! (1)

Deron White (3003173) | about 9 months ago | (#45257531)

You're right about the tin foil, but wrong about the pipes and beatings. Only a subpoena is needed. There's really no point in pretending like the trick is keeping the NSA out when a subpoena is all they require to get in.

Re:Moar tin foil! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256689)

Sure, end-to-end encryption might work for those technically literate enough to use it. But it only takes one tech-deficient secretary or a high school dropout working in the warehouse to click on a malware and compromise all of your security. Once inside a domain, all it takes is social engineering. Especially at very large institutions.

I can't tell you how many times the director of our dept. (non-tech field) blamed the server for losing his email password. The truth was, he had just forgotten it. I can't even imagine teaching him and forcing him to use one of those security token for your keychain that changes every minute.

Re:Moar tin foil! (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 9 months ago | (#45256783)

It's like saying if we take away everyone's guns, we'll solve that pesky violence problem. The gun is just the tool.

Taking away (or sabotaging) the tools can make doing things a lot harder or less efficient.

A fist fight rarely results in people dying. A gun fight routinely leaves people dead. Take away the gun and while the violence may continue, it will become a lot less deadly.

Re:Moar tin foil! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45257539)

Fight them in Court ha ha ha ? wow didn't you forget that very same Court is THEIR invention so people have feeling of freedom. You can't win in their own game, it is just impossible. Yes They can give you impression that it is possible, same as with 649 , millions believe they can win, but what are the chances 1:14000000?

Yeh, it's not like the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256555)

"Do you guys honestly think, for one second, that you can hide from these guys if they really want you? Any of you?"
I agree, he shouldn't be collecting our private comms. And the most politically active of us, should be the best protected of all. So why *does* the NSA do that?

"The only way you're keeping your data safe is in a physically secured facility, with the computer locked in a faraday cage and with no access to the internet."
Nah, just arrest every hacker you find and don't give hackers 0 day exploits and you'll fix a lot of problems. Also don't let hackers put backdoors into encryption and into network systems, and tap networks, and whatever you do don't give them the keys to the web security. By hackers I mean NSA.

"So please guys, stop asking for NSA-proof [insert thing here]."

Don't you think we shouldn't *have* to ask? It's written into the constitution and the EU privacy right.

What do we need to do to get the NSA to read the constitution, send it in an encrypted email to our kids?

"There are no high tech solutions to this that are within your budget, ok? Just... deal with it already guys."
Hah! you wish.

Re:Yeh, it's not like the NSA (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 9 months ago | (#45256637)

So why *does* the NSA do that?

Because it's easier to store all the data now, and only access and analyze it when traditional investigative techniques identify a potential threat. It also eliminates the time wasted once a potential threat is identified going back and trying to reconstruct/recover/access data from many different sources. In other words, it saves time and resources; A counter-intuitive conclusion, given that most people look only at the costs and implications of gathering and storing all that data, but not very much on what happens after.

Nah, just arrest every hacker you find and don't give hackers 0 day exploits and you'll fix a lot of problems.

I'd prefer a world where people were only arrested when they've actually committed a crime, or there's strong evidence that they intend to. Mere capability is not sufficient to justify an arrest. At best, a knock on the door and "Can we come in and ask a few questions?" At best.

Don't you think we shouldn't *have* to ask? It's written into the constitution and the EU privacy right.

Actually, it isn't. There is no right to privacy in the US Constitution. And as far as the EU; They are a sovereign foreign power. The NSA has not just the mandate, but an obligation, to monitor foreign threats; Allies can become enemies, and when surveillance is pervasive and shared, it keeps everyone a bit more honest. And when it comes to international politics... dishonesty and rhetoric are pretty much the order of the day for everyone, allies or enemies.

What do we need to do to get the NSA to read the constitution, send it in an encrypted email to our kids?

There was an article not very long ago about a book published by someone who spent a considerable period of time investigating the culture of the NSA. His takeaway was that they do respect the Constitution. They also want to ensure as few Americans as possible become a part of some terrorist's political statement. Balancing these two goals is not so easy or cut and dry as internet pundits say.

"There are no high tech solutions to this that are within your budget, ok? Just... deal with it already guys."

Hah! you wish.

Actually, I do. I am not overly concerned with the NSA reading my e-mail or even keeping a file on me. It will not adversely impact my life in any meaningful way. As long as it continues to not affect me, surveil away. I am far, far more concerned with commercial interests accessing and misusing my data; There is little legal recourse to such activities, and it is readily apparent to me that no matter how unethical people claim the NSA to be, corporations are several orders of magnitude worse in almost every measure.

But unlike the NSA, I believe we can, with the budget and resources available to the average person, mount effective defenses against those corporations. And I would rather people start taking the threat corporations pose seriously, instead of pointing to the NSA like (a) they're the biggest problem and/or (b) we can honestly hope to accomplish anything against them.

Ultimately, it's a question of practicality. I simply don't believe that I can defend against an organization with half a trillion dollars in assets and an operating budget bigger than that of the majority of the countries on the planet. But by happy coincidence, I do not feel they are a threat to me in any meaningful way.

Re:Yeh, it's not like the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256781)

"Because it's easier to store all the data now, and only access and analyze it when traditional investigative techniques identify a potential threat."

Good! So we've gone from "the NSA's not interested in you" to "they store your stuff because you're a potential threat". Acceptance of the problem if the first step to fixing it. Why are we a potential threat BTW?

"Actually, it isn't. There is no right to privacy in the US Constitution. And as far as the EU; They are a sovereign foreign power. The NSA has not just the mandate, but an obligation, to monitor foreign threats; "

a) 4th Amendment, and b) GCHQ is under EU law too. One of NSA partners is violating the laws of its own lands here and needs to stop.

"There was an article not very long ago about a book published "
And now there's a comment about an article about a book, and there's a reply to that comment about an article about a book. Did Dr Seuss write the book? Did it mention trufula trees?

"Actually, I do. I am not overly concerned with the NSA reading my e-mail or even keeping a file on me. It will not adversely impact my life in any meaningful way. "

Your life sounds boring! I'm sure you're a good citizen and not "a potential threat" and you won't do anything that upsets anyone in the NSA either now or in the future. I'm sure you'll even dig your own grave so you don't leave a mess. I too will do that, promise. Double plus good!
It's not always about you. Your kids might want to be President someday and your file may be an embarrassment to them. Make sure its an *EXTRA* double plus shiny patriotic file for them!

"And I would rather people start taking the threat corporations pose seriously, instead of pointing to the NSA like (a) they're the biggest problem and/or (b) we can honestly hope to accomplish anything against them."

You climb Mount Everest because its there. If you climb Mount Everest, that walk up the hill to work in the morning is a lot easier.

" I simply don't believe that I can defend against an organization with half a trillion dollars in assets and an operating budget bigger than that of the majority of the countries on the planet."

Math don't care how much money you have. Mount Everest has a long queue.

Re:Yeh, it's not like the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45257013)

Awaiting the half-assed reply from girlintraining, need a good chuckle.

Re:Moar tin foil! (4, Interesting)

istartedi (132515) | about 9 months ago | (#45256575)

Yep. When I was a kid nobody* had a computer. Then for a while people had computers but little or no connectivity. Then everybody had a computer and fast connectivity.

During the sneakernet era you had computing ability, but if they wanted your data they'd have to get a warrant or ransack your office illegally.

If keeping things away from the NSA is that important, go all 1980s on your selves. It really wasn't such a bad time for most of us. Swapping floppies in person was actually kind of fun. There were no government agents at swap meets.... that I know of, LOL.

*The term "nobody" means no ordinary middle class household or small business. Yes, I know NASA and big companies had computers when I was a kid. "Nobody" is being used in the loose, colloquial sense here. The standard disclaimer about not inferring the ridiculous also applies. This includes casting a loose net over the definition of computer so as to include devices such as the abacus, or employees with "computer" as their job title and mocking me for implying that I'm older than written history. The standard disclaimer also applies to the text of the standard disclaimer.

Re:Moar tin foil! (5, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 9 months ago | (#45256597)

During the sneakernet era you had computing ability, but if they wanted your data they'd have to get a warrant or ransack your office illegally.

Neither of which you'd necessarily be informed of. There's two ways to approach security; tamper-evident, and tamper-resistant. Everyone is focusing on tamper-resistant right now to deal with the NSA; "How do we stop them?" ... Have you noticed nobody is asking the question; How do we detect them? Sneakernet also had the benefit of being tamper-evident... if they broke down your door, you'd come home to a broken door. It'd be pretty obvious that something was up. Legal or illegal, when you physically search a property, you leave evidence behind that you did so. However, much of the technology the NSA is using doesn't leave any proverbial fingerprints behind.

Re:Moar tin foil! (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 9 months ago | (#45256819)

You don't need to stop them, you just need to make their life too difficult for it to be worth chasing you when you've got nothing worth chasing for.

The more people that do this the more it eats into NSA resources, if you force a real person into the loop to decide if you're worth chasing then you really cause a massively disproportionate impact on the NSA's resources compared to if you just let them farm your data automatically from unencrypted services they have a tap on like Google.

Then eventually when things like the Boston bombings keep happening despite the NSA has a mass of financing from the US government behind it and taps on most the world someone in congress is finally going to have to ask "What the fuck is the point in all this expenditure?" and the plug is going to get pulled.

If the NSA ends up chasing, expensively, because of the cost of intervention of human resources, people who are entirely irrelevant and innocent of everything, then eventually they're going to have to change tact. Eventually they're going to have to realise that universal snooping is ineffective and just makes it even harder to tell who really is and isn't a threat. They'll have to go back to what they should be doing in the first place - focusing on the hard work of identifying real actual threats rather than hoping a mass computer network will somehow figure that out for them, something the Boston case showed it absolutely can't.

Re:Moar tin foil! (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 9 months ago | (#45256765)

Do you guys honestly think, for one second, that you can hide from these guys if they really want you?

(...)

Just about anything else and the data will be vulnerable at some point to a legal intercept of it.

.

What the NSA is doing, is outside the scope of the judiciary. Whether legal or not I don't want to discuss here, they do not use the judiciary to get warrants and all the proper stuff.

Yes if they REALLY target YOU, there is not much hiding going on. But face it, they don't really target many people specifically. They try to get as much data as they can get their hands on, and there are plenty of often simple ways for us to make it a lot harder and more expensive for them. There is no reason to not use those options.

Encrypting data is one. Then a simple wiretap doesn't do the job any more, they need to get direct access to a server that stores your data unencrypted. Make sure such a server is out of the USA, and not managed by a US company (i.e. not the Japanese-based servers of Amazon). Those two make it a lot harder for the NSA to get their hands on your data.

That should help keeping a lot of your data out of their dragnet. If they really want to target you, and put dedicated manpower to hack your server or go via the judiciary (hte latter of course unlikely) then of course you don't stand too much of a chance. But that doesn't mean you should just let them do what they want to do. Strong encryption is cheap and easy nowadays, and not too hard to set up securely.

Re:Moar tin foil! (1)

Xest (935314) | about 9 months ago | (#45256803)

You're missing the point completely.

No one here is paranoid about being explicitly targetted by the NSA and I think everyone agrees if they were then the NSA could get what they want.

What people want to stop is arbitrary interception of their data as part of some dragnet operation that human eyes do not explicitly see unless it's flagged up as part of some data mining algorithm.

If the NSA were really after me I could care less, they'd get what they wanted. They're not, but that doesn't mean I want them sweeping up my data. I want to make it as cost prohibitive as possible for them to do so as I've neither done anything wrong, nor am I a US citizen under their jurisdiction and as such they have no right to infringe my legally protected right to privacy as a near universally accepted human right enshrined in numerous global treaties. If they're going to do that anyway I want to leave them with a choice of it either costing them much more to deal with as a human has to enter the loop and figure out if it's worthwhile to chase me or not, or just accept that I'm irrelevant to them and not bother to access my data.

These are the only two outcomes from me enforcing protection on my data that they do not have easy access to bypass, and I'm happy with either of them. So are many people, and that is why they're going out of their way to protect their data - not because they think it gives them some theoretical immunity from the NSA, but that it either inconveniences the NSA, or makes the NSA's job too cost prohibitive to pursue.

It's about not wanting to have your data mined by an automated dragnet operation as much as anything and if you make sure your data isn't low hanging unencrypted fruit passing through a fully wiretapped service then unless you are a specific key target of the NSA then you can fairly trivially make sure you're not a target of exactly that.

Re:Moar tin foil! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256957)

"No one here is paranoid about being explicitly targetted by the NSA and I think everyone agrees if they were then the NSA could get what they want."

No one? I'd think if you had political aspirations you should pretty much assume you're explicitly targeted. Low level politician Merkel wasn't chosen at random, her family and friends weren't added to the list at random, they were added because she'd called them from her number.

Now that domestic stuff (i.e. Americans) are included in the list, you should probably not mix with that Bob guy who keeps ranting about the Tea Party and Occupy Wallstreet.

"I think everyone agrees if they were then the NSA could get what they want"
Snowden is still free, the Guardian is still reporting leaks. The Washington Post hasn't been shut down despite General 'censor the press's requests.

Re:Moar tin foil! (1)

Xest (935314) | about 9 months ago | (#45257101)

"No one? I'd think if you had political aspirations you should pretty much assume you're explicitly targeted. Low level politician Merkel wasn't chosen at random, her family and friends weren't added to the list at random, they were added because she'd called them from her number."

I'm pretty sure Merkel doesn't post on Slashdot.

"Snowden is still free, the Guardian is still reporting leaks. The Washington Post hasn't been shut down despite General 'censor the press's requests."

I don't think any of these post on Slashdot either.

The group I was talking about is the group of Slashdot posters the GP referred to - people on Slashdot who want to take efforts to make NSA monitoring more difficult. These are also people who are not likely to be able to evade the NSA.

Re:Moar tin foil! (1)

NoMaster (142776) | about 9 months ago | (#45256843)

... and equally tired of the idiot replacement editors from Dice rubber-stamping submissions like this that even most bloggers wouldn't post.

Now that's just not fair.

Slashdot's 'editors' were crap and happily rubber-stamped stupid submissions like this well before Dice took over...

Re:Moar tin foil! (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 9 months ago | (#45256867)

Why do you make such a fuss about this? Just don't read those comments if you're fed up with them. I assume you don't read Slashdot at -1 and rail against every troll that exists down there, especially since some of them have been repeating for years. So why do it with NSA comments?

It's not harmful to discuss ways to limit the NSA's reach, and it's actually good to keep the outrage alive. The worst thing for democracy is what you propose. Saying "yadda yadda, here's the solution, move on" hides the problem away and lets people forget that they should demand change at every election. The result is that the public discussion window is moved into a space where people who disagree with surveillance are now considered radicals or tinfoil hatted, just for talking about it in public.

BTW, how do you think the radical republicans win so many elections? They stay on message relentlessly. It's mindnumbing, totally braindead, AND IT WORKS.

IMHO, you can just let people discuss the NSA, and filter it out if you don't like it.

Re:Moar tin foil! (4, Interesting)

Tom (822) | about 9 months ago | (#45256901)

Do you guys honestly think, for one second, that you can hide from these guys if they really want you? Any of you?

The qualifier is "if they really want you".

You can't hide from the NSA unless you're a government entity yourself. If I were to head the Iran nuclear program, I'd give it a try.

However, you can hide from the NSA dragnet, because it's not targetting you specifically.
So if you use any of the big e-mail providers, you can be 100% certain that a backup copy of all your e-mails exists somewhere in an NSA database. But if you run your own mailserver, the mails that you exchange over encrypted channels with someone else who also does that have a chance of not being caught by the net, not because they couldn't, but because the world is huge and even the vast NSA resources are limited.

The problem with the submitters concept is that as long as you roll your own, you can slip through the net (but never count on it, it's a probability like all things in IT security). But as soon as someone sets up a "secure hosting provider", he'll become a target. And the bigger it gets, the higher the chance that the NSA will expand some resources to penetrate it.

So it's not a viable business concept, and thus it doesn't exist. Of course, someone will make the claims, because scam is always a viable business concept.

Re:Moar tin foil! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256937)

> This is the largest, most powerful government on the planet

How is the size of the government relevant here?

Re:Moar tin foil! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45257051)

>> has a half trillion dollar budget

Citation please?

Your post had some credibility and meaning until you started just making shit up.

Re:Moar tin foil! (1)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | about 9 months ago | (#45257145)

The NSA isn't the only threat. Bots, viruses, sniffers, wardriving script kiddies, there's a long list. The fact that email transmissions weren't routinely end-to-end encrypted from the start is completely ridiculous. People were sending credit card purchase info over email at one time, maybe still are. No doubt the reason encryption wasn't used is companies like Google couldn't use it for targeted advertising. So yes, even if the NSA can get the info no matter what, there's less-powerful entities it can block and in any case there's no need to make it easy for any of them. The problem with encryption has been that it's not easy for users to work with, but that could be improved and we should get on it.

Re:Moar tin foil! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45257183)

The point isn't to be completely NSA-proof. The purpose of efforts like this are twofold:

1.) Avoid automatic siphoning. Yes the NSA probably has the ability to get almost any kind of information, but by targeting the major providers (Apple, Google, Microsoft) they can automatically grab 90% of information. They could still get mine if they wanted but there's a chance it won't be automatically added to thir database.

2.) At this point the NSA has set up a wide surveillance net and they're grabbing everything by reflex. Because so much is unencrypted and easy. But, in the words of Bruce Schneier [theguardian.com] , "They're limited by the same economic realities as the rest of us, and our best defense is to make surveillance of us as expensive as possible."

Knuth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45257185)

Roll the insecure dot org here.

Re:Moar tin foil! (2)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | about 9 months ago | (#45257221)

I have gotten incredibly sick of the tin foil hat brigade putting the NSA into every one of their conspiracy theories

If at this point, you still believe the NSA collecting private data is tin foil hat territory, I'm not sure exactly how to proceed. However, I'll assume you didn't actually mean that for purposes of the rest of the post.

Obviously you are concerned about your data being intercepted and stolen. Do you guys honestly think, for one second, that you can hide from these guys if they really want you?

OK, this statement really points that you aren't involved in information security (at least in a serious capacity anyway). Do you really guarantee you can hide from Anonymous or even script kiddies 100% of the time if they really want you? If you answer yes, then again we know you aren't involved in information security. So since the answer is no, what is your solution? Do you simply throw your hands in the air and say screw it? I cannot guarantee to stop them anyway, so lets just toss our firewall and anti-virus in the trash? No of course not. Heck even your sarcastic comment about a physically secured facility, in a faraday cage, with no internet access cannot promise the information will be secure. A simple warrant, guys with guns, breaking down your door and taking the server easily gets around that.

Information security is about risk mitigation. What can you reasonably and responsibly do to ensure the security of your client information? It isn't about guaranteeing 100% security as that is simply not possible (NSA or not). So there standard industry best practices to mitigate against risks even though that doesn't completely remove all risks. Such things include encryption, firewalls, anti-virus, IPS, DLP, etc, etc. Even if you do all of those things and more, that cannot promise 100% safety, but it does represent you doing your best to protect your clients data and not just tossing your hands in the air and saying screw it.

This NSA (I use that as they are the largest, but mean it to encompass every alphabet agency from every country) threat isn't new obviously, but the scope and visibility of it is obviously much more obvious than ever. Thus responsible IT professionals will be talking about how best to responsibly do their jobs in this regard for quite some time. I'm sorry you don't like it, but it is a good thing. New best practices on how to combat and mitigate these risks will come from such discussions. There will never be a 100% fix, but these discussions will lead to solutions that help. Those of us who take our clients information security serious obviously love these discussions. I'm sorry for you (really more for your clients) if you don't want to hear about this, but it isn't going anywhere.

Thank you for the strawman, however... (1)

Kludge (13653) | about 9 months ago | (#45257585)

The point of the question was not to find an "NSA-proof" (as you said) hosting provider. The question should have asked for a provider that is not on the PRISM list, a provider that does not funnel data to the NSA by default.

DH, FTW (1)

Epicaxia (2773451) | about 9 months ago | (#45256479)

DreamHost [dreamhost.com] has a diverse array of services, geek-oriented tech support, and a community oriented around tech-friendly features. I've been very satisfied for many years. If they don't support it, I guarantee one of the in-house developers has an unofficial install working somewhere that they'd be happy to copy over.

Re:DH, FTW (1)

Epicaxia (2773451) | about 9 months ago | (#45256537)

Oh, yeah: .NINJA domain advocacy. Enough said.

Re:DH, FTW (1)

LodCrappo (705968) | about 9 months ago | (#45256649)

Sorry, but one of my biggest clients has had nothing but problems with DreamHost. Given such different experiences, I recommend some serious research to anyone considering them.

Re:DH, FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256695)

Sadly, no. It may certainly have been true during the golden age OP refers to, but dreamhost is no longer a solution. In addition to their well-known service interruptions (down sometimes for days for reasons never fully explained) and their deep infrastructure issues (their servers are configured to throw your mail away without any notice or recourse during periods of heavy loads), their once-legendary customer service has collapsed to offshore-like levels.

I still have a few sites lingering on DH servers. But like most people, I'm mostly migrated away. In my case, to the amazon cloud. Which also sucks because I really did not expect that this far into the 21st century I would *still* be maintaining my own mail server. But that's where it stands.

Close... (1)

Kludge (13653) | about 9 months ago | (#45257475)

Dreamhost was the closest thing I found so far. However, no VOIP, and no public-key server that I know of.

You are not paying attention (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256487)

Anyone who believes that "Not much has changed" in webhosting the past 13 years is not paying attention. There has been *massive* consolidation and times are so rough for the small providers that we've gotten real good at having multiple legs to stand on.

Where I work, we now provide a number of different services as the age-old web+email+etc stuff is rapidly going the way of the dodo. Most people who want "the full package" also tend to have very specific needs and are better served with a VPS or dedicated server and even this market is strongly consolidating.

Try Godaddy! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256529)

Godaddy offer every service that you might require, at a low, low, price!

Come to Youtube and see me shooting some elephants!

NSA? Don't kid yourself... (1)

mishehu (712452) | about 9 months ago | (#45256533)

...that only using Google will make it easier for the NSA to track you. You do realize that EVEN if you are using SIPs with ZRTP on a pure VoIP call, there will always be some sort of meta-data that can potentially be tracked by the NSA or other domestic or foreign intelligence agencies. And if you wish to call to the PSTN, well, you can forget it, because then you are sending your calls to yet another centralized point of transit (VoIP to PSTN), and you can be easily tracked there too.

Yeh, its needs to be more Skype like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256589)

Yeh, we need to tweak the protocols to be more Skype/Tor like.

Good point, but still a solvable problem.

Re:NSA? Don't kid yourself... (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 9 months ago | (#45256661)

And then there's the NSA Fox Acid system by which they purchase exploits from the black market, automatically attach payloads, then deploy them via skiddies reading a flow-chart to determine intelligence cost/benefit analysis; No amount of constitutional rights or encryption will prevent infection from our "cyber army" and its Ferret Cannon: Metasploit + unlimited funds + black-market 0-day exploits + wanna be hackers.

It's basically the ultimate computer nerd version of the school yard bully. Big, brainless, and dangerous. I mean... Just listen to the code names they use. It's like they're actually proud to be thuggish dipshits.

NSA.NET !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256563)

Will cover your bases !!

It's called a VPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45256667)

Typically anyone with your set of requirements has the tech chops to DIY with a VPS for sub $20/mo. Simpy - the market doesn't exist and/or is not commercially viable.

No Worries (1)

b4upoo (166390) | about 9 months ago | (#45256701)

My feeling is that the NSA will study your email no matter what service you use. Being that they are a very well funded spy agency with some high dollar talent you can bet they crack into just about everything they want to. With the recent revelations that NSA has broken into 35 different governments and studied their data for years that should tell us that they have a very strong cracking ability. After all, all of the governments that NSA penetrated had security services in place and probably set up by experts who had just a bit less training or less dollars to work with. So no worries, you'll be spied upon just like everyone else.

Get a VPS and relax (1)

water-and-sewer (612923) | about 9 months ago | (#45256885)

I'm not sure there's an issue here. There are ton of VPS providers out there that you can build anything you want on. Odds are, anyone who wants specialized services (or the broad range of services) you do needs to build his own server anyway, since you have to set up and config each service.

I wanted something unusual - a news server delivering NNTP - plus some other stuff. I got it at http://www.rockvps.com/ [rockvps.com] . They offered me a network address, a bunch of monthly bandwidth, and a bare FreeBSD server I could do (almost) anything with.

How is what I wanted different from what you want? Sounds like if you want to build out a server with some special demands, you need to search for a good VPS (there are dozens, if not hundreds out there) and go for it!

Not sure there's a crisis here. Unless YOU are working for the NSA and this is actually a devious scheme to get us to help flesh out your database, ha ha ha.

there are solutions op hasnt considered. (2)

nimbius (983462) | about 9 months ago | (#45256961)

to break this down:
email/web/webmail/domain/:dreamhost.com does all this, as do most hosting providers, already. shared, VPS and dedicated hosting packages have existed for a decade or more.

VOIP: is available as an asterisk appliance or a product you can buy and have serviced locally. why? because 75% of VoIP is the network. where to place PBX's, gateways, and how they interface with things like fax and voicemail are all critical things that cant just be boxed up and sold off a website like wordpress.
public-key: ssh-keygen i guess? do you mean SSL certificates? because thats covered by every major hosting provider. GoDaddy runs an authority, the rest just outsource it as part of their panel offerings.
XMPP: Dreamhost.
VPN: slashdot resurrects VPN as a feature of cryptography on the regular, and if you check some of the articles we're all greatly in favour of creating our own keys for this, salting them appropriately, and generally keeping pretty strict control over them. that having been said, if the idea of running your own open source router is a bit too much to handle there are probably 50 companies that will sell you a product like fortigate or juniper which are more than capable of VPN tunnels. outsource your 2-factor auth to yubikey.

full disclosure: I was a dreamhost admin for a while. they offer great service and products, and generally resist any request for information without a warrant. they fought back against SOPA, continue to fight against PIPA and generally run a pretty tight ship.

The NSA ... (0)

Skapare (16644) | about 9 months ago | (#45257029)

... is not interested in you ... unless you have done, or are doing, something that interests them. Now what might that be?

Re:The NSA ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45257123)

If they're not interested, then maybe they should stop spying on everyone.

Eggs in one basket (1)

DaMattster (977781) | about 9 months ago | (#45257069)

I don't think complete hosting providers are a very good idea at all. I can see doing web/email in one place but putting all of your eggs in one basket with a single provider is never a good idea. You trade convenience for a single point of failure and that is just no bueno.

race to bottom vs. sustainable business models (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45257081)

If this was a viable business model, someone would be doing it. Today, the extremes seem to be either a race to the bottom where everything is free or has zero margins, versus things so esoteric that it's hard to make a viable business out of them. Google has made a few things on this person's wish list a race to the bottom where no one could compete (e-mail, docs), and the others would take specialized skills (such as telephony). Businesses reward the providers who do things free or cheap, locking out other businesses who might provide a reasonably priced solution - but if no one is willing to pay for something Google gives them for free, it's not viable. As long as the business world rewards the race to the bottom, sustainable businesses aren't going to be viable.

You're looking in the wrong place (1)

stickystyle (799509) | about 9 months ago | (#45257127)

Lot's of companies exist that do exactly that, but I think you're looking for a big nationwide (or worldwide) company. Look for local managed IT providers, lot's of them exist that do nearly all that you want (don't see many offering XMPP, as much as I would like it), heck in my small circle if IT friends, two of the guys own such companies. These guys exist to provide turnkey IT solutions to companies that don't have the abilities to do it themselves and I'll bet if you can drive enough business they would probably let you setup some kind of whitebox rebranding deal if you want your name on it.

Freeshell/SDF (0)

harduser (1451499) | about 9 months ago | (#45257137)

Try sdf.org - they offer different memberships for very cheap prices. Perhaps you'll find what you're looking for, because they offer accounts with SSH, webmail, FTP, HTTP and they run a SIP service too.

Azure (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45257261)

Microsoft does domain (Active directory), voice (Lync online), VPN (private site-to-site for your company network to your cloud servers, not sure about net access or client to server), web mail (Outlook online/hosted exchange), and some other stuff, like office and sharepoint online.

Lync can federate to XMPP servers I think. Not sure about private key, normal AD can do some of that, but I haven't tried the online version.

Now, I know people don't like MS around here, but if you want these services for your clients you might just go with them, especially if they run windows desktops anyway (Granted, I'd add a local DC in case their net goes down, but that's up to you)

In the open source world you usually have to put puzzles of packages together. I'd say start with the more difficult one and check if the hosts can provide the others. For example, I notice Zimbra has a list of hosts all over the world that provide their mail infrastructure already set up for you. If one of them also provides the rest you'd be set.

I'll tell ya where they are... (2)

jafiwam (310805) | about 9 months ago | (#45257351)

"In 2000 there were thousands of email/web hosting businesses. In 2013 not much has changed. To get my email/web/webmail/domain/VOIP/public-key/XMPP/VPN hosting I have to deal with five different service providers. Where are the complete hosting providers? The absence of competition in this area drives many to Google, making data siphoning easy for the NSA. Why has hosting not advanced in the last 10 years? Where are the hosting providers that make end-to-end encrypted email/web/VOIP/XMPP easy and automatic for all my clients?"

I'll tell ya where they are.

They got out competed by companies that could afford good spam filtering. Hand holding the spam filter is a full time job for a small email host.

Then, you get the idiots that jump ship for fifteen cents less per box per month, that drives the price down well below what it's worth doing unless the whole mess is completely automated. Or, the customers that said they would set it up themselves whine about how much work entering forty email addresses really is.

And, as things got more sophisticated, now you have to host PHP full of security holes, be an expert at every goddamn widget in WordPress, teach the web tard that a fourteen meg background bitmap image won't be a good choice for his web page, and troubleshoot a borked database... all on three operating systems.

Now, a small group "doing hosting" needs to have deep expertise in about 100 different subjects when they have time to learn five of them, and each "customer" will leave when they stumble upon one of those non expert areas. All the while not lifting a finger to help themselves.

Oh, and the customers don't want to pay more than $5 per month for it.

The days of sticking up a server, setting up an account and knowing the guy buying services knows what he is doing is LOOOONG gone. And, that in turn caused the market to collapse into the big players that can gain from having an expert in every subject around and still make a profit.

I'll tell ya what the issue is, that your assumption that in TEN YEARS the industry didn't change drastically didn't set off alarm bells in your head when you typed it out for the summary. THAT's the problem. Thinking that in TEN YEARS the market won't change. In the COMPUTER industry no less.

One VPS can do all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45257493)

To get my email/web/webmail/domain/VOIP/public-key/XMPP/VPN hosting I have to deal with five different service providers.

Or one provider from among the tons of VPSes out there. Linode (for example, not saying they're special) can trivially do all of the above.

Hosting automation packages (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 9 months ago | (#45257497)

They have homogenized the offering to a great exent. The packages are being dragged kicking and screaming away from the single box stack forget adding in anything besides web/email/database. Organic growth favors that single silo to start but then it's nearly impossible to move away from as you grow.

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