AeroFS now open to the masses

Cunningham writes that AeroFS,

If you want access to the best features of Dropbox or one of its many competitors—automated file syncing between computers, a way to automatically keep old versions of your synced files, etc.—but you don’t want to keep your stuff in someone else’s cloud, AeroFS is a promising service. It can provide file syncing for many clients using your own local server (or, for businesses, Amazon S3 storage that you have more direct control over).

These are the kinds of projects that are really interesting to see come to fruition. In British Columbia there is pretty intense law that largely precludes public institutions from storing BC residents’ information outside of the province. The law has created a lot of consternation, especially amongst educators, who believe they can’t use ‘next generation’ tools in their classrooms.

Solutions like AeroFS start to bridge that divide, insofar as more and more ‘cloud’ services can be localized within the province and, as a result, be used by teachers and their students. In effect, such products can satisfy users’ demands while also complying with provincial law. Everyone wins.


EU citizen warned not to use US cloud services over spying fears


What the title says, basically. I had missed this.

The warning should be heard by non-EU citizen too, with the Cloud, privacy is fucking dead. And what’s sadder is that 90% of people simply don’t care.
Unless it makes more probable for your significant other to see your transsexual porn browser history…

The EU Report is well worth a full read (available here in .pdf). Things to keep in mind that aren’t all that being well discussed:

  • you know about this report – media is covering it – because of the tireless efforts of Caspar Bowden, one of the authors and a noted global privacy advocate. It was out for months before it hit the media.
  • everyone is focused on US intelligence (good) but missing the significance of the FISAAA amendments: it’s not just that you can be spied on. It’s that the spying does not have to happen for national security reasons. No, it’s sufficient to conduct surveillance for political (read: espionage) reasons.
  • a huge aspect of the report – which isn’t touched on, even in the European media that much – is its call for the European Parliament to given EUROPOL and ENISA a direct mandate.

The second point is particularly important for non-Europeans. While it’s a lesser spoken about part of the intelligence world, spooks are routinely engaged in industrial espionage on the grounds that such acts assist the nation-state’s finances. This can include the theft of foreign corporations’ information, or (in extreme cases) the deletion of the same information. It seems that FISAAA’s amendments would only permit the former, and not the latter. However, as a result of these amendments corporations should be more wary of outsourcing their document storage to US-based cloud services, content creation to US hosts and online services, or communications systems to (you guessed it!) American firms. Placing such data in the hands of the Americans is rife with potential economic harms and, no matter how much you like Dropbox, Google, or other cloud provider, they’re all likely to turn on you if the NSA comes knocking.

Source: EU citizen warned not to use US cloud services over spying fears