Developer. Gamer. Yo-Yo Thrower.

Stallman: Cloud computing is careless computing

Stallman: “Cloud computing is ‘careless computing'” When you put your data into the cloud you lose full control of it. When I read the headline at first I was like “Oh RMS, you’re always so outlandish”. Then I read what he had to say:

I think that marketers like “cloud computing” because it is devoid of substantive meaning. The term’s meaning is not substance, it’s an attitude: ‘Let any Tom, Dick and Harry hold your data, let any Tom, Dick and Harry do your computing for you (and control it).’

In the US, you even lose legal rights if you store your data in a company’s machines instead of your own. The police need to present you with a search warrant to get your data from you; but if they are stored in a company’s server, the police can get it without showing you anything..”

I don’t know what the laws are in Canada, although I don’t imagine they’re much different. If you trust Amazon, Rackspace, Google, or any of these big cloud service providers with sensitive data, you’re taking a risk, an unnecessary (albeit quite small) risk.

The article ends with this quote, reassuring me that RMS might be a little crazy, but there’s a reason why his wisdom is still revered by geeks world wide:
“If users can’t recompile it, users should not trust it.”

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