[ExI] Backing up the Cloud

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 2 00:03:14 UTC 2008

On Wed, Oct 1, 2008 at 10:23 AM, Jef Allbright <jef at jefallbright.net> wrote:
> Moral:  Virtualization of computation is a very general, highly
> applicable good for its increasing synergies at decreasing cost, BUT
> NOT with a net LOSS of ownership of one's data or its usability.
> We're moving in a good direction, but can expect some painful learning
> experiences along the way.

I have a friend who spent years aggregating RSS to his google reader
and had started shifting the authoritative version of excel documents
to googledocs.  As an early adopter of new tech, he was perhaps a bit
too cavalier to try new greasemonkey scripts or perhaps installed some
unfriendly browser add-on.  One day he was unable to log in to his
gmail account.  His friends were receiving gtalks to URLs with
uncharacteristic content.  His account had been usurped.  The hijacker
changed the "password reminder email address" so he was without
recourse.  To say nothing further about the loss of accumulated RSS
feeds, our major concern was the security impact of the documents that
had been uploaded.  That information had to be treated as compromised.
 Fortunately there was little critical exposure, but not everyone is
so lucky.  Corporate IT needs to firmly explain the policy regarding
the casual induction of proprietary information into "the Cloud";
because once it leaves the corporate network there is no guarantee of
either backup or (perhaps more importantly) destruction of that
information.  What mid-level management considers 'not that important'
may be a trove of clues to those with nefarious intent.  Painful
learning experiences indeed.

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