You can fall through them, fly through them, and even walk through them in certain circumstances. Clouds offer little or no resistance. Will cyber clouds be any different?
Presently, we have some privacy in what we do on our computers. We can restrict access to our own hard drives by encryption and passwords, and nobody can get in. The same assurances are being made for storing our stuff in cyber clouds, but how do we know that our data will always be secure?
We must all be aware by now that stuff we upload to social networking and personal websites is there for all to see, and that our e-mail can be intercepted while ‘en route’. How do we know that the same will not happen to stuff uploaded to a cloud base? I am not suggesting that it will be on public display, but the technology exists to intercept whatever we send.
We take it as read that countries around the world do it, so why not ours? Because they say they will not? You trust them that much? If you have cloud computing in your plans, have you thought it all out enough?
I don’t do anything subversive and I am not a member of any community whose agenda is to do harm to anybody or anything, but I still don’t like the idea of my stuff being read by people to whom it is not directly addressed. Western Governments are getting more paranoid about ‘national security’ all of the time, and what we do is fast becoming fair game in the eyes of the paranoids. They have the power to make cloud storage companies turn over everything to them, and there would be little that we could do to get it stopped. And that assumes that we are told in reasonable time that measures like this will be taken.
It would be like having your diary or little black book being read ‘just in case’. Is that ok with you? Look at how many private medical records, bank details, military service, military installation details etc go missing or fall into the wrong hands each year.
Companies could lose R&D stuff, payroll, pension, sales and purchasing information. Private individuals stand to lose anything they have created, written or developed. There may be no privacy at all.
The great aspect about the Personal Computer as we know it today is that it is exactly that.. personal. I can sit down in my little space here and play a round of cards, shoot my way to victory in Delta Force Xtreme, write a poem or compile the family secret recipes and nobody will get access to any of it unless I choose.
It will stay that way too for as long as the requisite computer parts are available. If you want my stuff, you will have to ask because it will not be appearing in a cloud anytime soon.