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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

In the digital age, your files and memories are not truly yours any more. They belong to the cloud

KYLE GOODWIN wants his stuff back. One day, he decided to set up a company in Ohio to film local sports events. For a while, business was good, but then he got a shock.

To keep his valuable footage safe, Goodwin had placed it in a popular storage facility. On 19 January last year, all those assets disappeared without warning. As did everything put there by more than 150 million others. When he asked for his livelihood back, he was refused. So he decided to go to court.

Goodwin's experience represents a much deeper problem – and it is at the heart of the way we use technology today. "This is about internet users and the future of internet usage," says Corynne McSherry of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which is providing Goodwin with legal help. Why? Goodwin's video footage was digital, and stored on a computer server in "the cloud". The US government, who confiscated his material, is essentially claiming that he forfeited his rights to his property the minute he uploaded it.

What's at stake affects you because almost everybody online now uses cloud computing in some way, whether it is for webmail, social media or reading ebooks. Clusters of servers thousands of miles away now hold our favourite music, photo memories and vital correspondence. We are headed for a world in which we will live our entire digital lives in the cloud, but these developments are poised to change our basic assumptions about ownership in surprising ways. Are we ready?

Read the full article at New Scientist

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Replies to This Discussion

Interesting. Part of proving ownership for copyrights is the publishing of what is your intellectual property. I don't think the government can claim ownership of that property.

He forfeited his rights to his property the minute he uploaded it.

The cloud is like a bank with a network of ATMs.
Here's my data, please keep it (safe) for me.

When I deposit my cash, I'm not fucking publishing it!

I don't use the cloud, and not understanding the comment. =(

Google docs (now Google Drive) is a good example the cloud. So is our GMail mailboxes. This website is technically on the cloud. 

I have a DropBox folder, it is on the cloud. Some of my videogames are on the cloud and so are my YouTube playlists, and more than a few images on Picasa. Protected from local system failures (painful - trust me), easily shared for distributed work and accessible from anywhere, what's not to like about the cloud?

That's if I retain ownership of what I deposit.

If it's not that, then it's everything you store there becomes their property to do with as they wish. Probably the best solution to off site storage is to install an internet accessible drive at someone's house that you trust.

I guess this can become tricky;  suppose a song or an article that already have ownership's rights is on the net, is there a battle between the goverment and the individual (s) ?

It would probably be easier for the government to get access to your information that's stored on a commercial site than to get it off your computer. All the govt has to do is ask and I understand that most companies just hand over the key to them. At least with the information on your hard drive in your house the govt is supposed to get a warrant to get to it.

In the U.S. congress keeps relaxing privacy rights. I have no idea what's legal anymore. You can rest assured that everything that is downloaded, uploaded, looked at, posted, or emailed via computers or texted, and talked about on cell phones is recorded and stored for ? amount of time in case it's helpful in the future.

The Eagle is fouling its own nest just as the Dragon is stirring and the bear is looking back in time!

Also by putting in that back door also works both ways!

Email is part of the cloud until it's downloaded from the ISP and deleted from their servers.  After reading the article below I looked at the privacy agreement for my ISP. My ISP uses Yahoo email which says: "Yahoo's automated systems scan and analyze all email..." The embedded link is broken and I was unable to find anything about what they are scanning for and how the contents of email is being analyzed. Anything left on the cloud is considered discarded and is fair game like the contents of your garbage can.  It appeared to me that I was receiving advertisements based on the contents of email I was sending and receiving. Now I know why.

Since congress assisted the big telco's establish the market there are very few if any (depending on where you live) small ISP's who might have policies where they don't scour the contents of your email. As it is you put up with it, or don't use email. Imagine marketers reading your letters and using that information to market goods and services to you. Unfucking believable.

Of course now we know the NSA doesn't follow the 180 day (discarded) rule and they capture what they will.

Destroying the Right to Be Left Alone: Government Agencies Exploit ...

For at least the last six years, government agents have been exploiting an AT&T database filled with the records of billions of American phone calls from as far back as 1987. The rationale behind this dragnet intrusion, codenamed Hemisphere, is to find suspicious links between people with “burner” phones (prepaid mobile phones easy to buy, use, and quickly dispose of), which are popular with drug dealers. The secret information gleaned from this relationship with the telecommunications giant has been used to convict Americans of various crimes, all without the defendants or the courts having any idea how the feds stumbled upon them in the first place. The program is so secret, so powerful, and so alarming that agents “are instructed to never refer to Hemisphere in any official document,” according to a recently released government PowerPoint slide.

More here

As I have said before you lot bomb the hell out of totalitarian states only to become one yourself. When the citizens of a democracy have no idea what their government agencies are doing then you have a totalitarian state! Actually you are worse than Communist Russia because the people knew what the government agency were doing, only they didn't have the protest option you lot have!

This also goes for any Democracy that is following your lead and not really telling the people what their Secret agencies are really doing!

"American Exceptionalism" is broadcast through every mass media outlet. Peoples opinions are based on which propaganda they receive. Most are too lazy, or busy to seek information more complex than sound bites. Even more complex information available such as from the The NYT's for example isn't reporting some critical information about the NSA. They also promoted the war in Iraq - even got rid of Chris Hedges who tried to report information that was counter to the war movement.

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