Benefits of the cloud

ITWorld reported yesterday that a New York judge  granted a warrant on June 11th that allowed the police to seize an entire GMail account, including the address book and drafts and sift though that to find what they were looking through.

While this is no where near as bad as the NSA hoovering entire fiber optic pipes into their data centers, it does point to a lack of privacy.

Lets say you were discussing things you wanted to be private, but were not illegal.  Maybe they were embarrassing or personal (view my post from yesterday on the NSA).  Or maybe they should be part of your freedom of speech.

Should you choose to store that stuff in the cloud, then I would say you should consider your privacy options limited.  One option would be to store it in the cloud, but encrypt it first.  This limits your ability to view it in the cloud, of course, but it does make it difficult for the feds to trample on your roses, so to speak.  Is it possible that they could decrypt it – sure – but that would be a lot of work.  A few courts have even said that you have to turn over your encryption keys, although none of those decisions have ever made it to the Supremes, so it is not clear if that would be upheld on appeal.  I don’t think the feds are keen to have that precedent established at the Supreme Court level, because if that decision goes against them, that would be a big problem.  Now they can try and strong-arm people into giving up their encryption keys.

Maybe you don’t care if the feds get the pictures of your dogs – I don’t – but there are many things that I do care about.  Those I don’t store in the cloud unencrypted.

Just a word of advice.