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Cloud-based data could dissolve into thin air

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Last week, popular file sharing site Megaupload was taken down after the FBI arrested 4 of its employees, including its founder, on conspiracy to commit racketeering. This came on the heels of the SOPA/PIPA blackout protests. In an editorial, Techcrunch editor Matt Burns was none too pleased, saying:

The United States Department of Justice seized and shut down MegaUpload yesterday in an impressive (and scary) show of force. The site is effectively nuked, which is bad news bears for its zillions of users. Sure, the site was infamous for hosting illegal files, but it was also one of the best ways to share large files online. The closure leaves users unable to access their files. Those using MegaUpload for legitimate reasons are the real victims.

The closure of megaupload should call into doubt all cloud-based systems, which may arbitrarily be taken down at gunpoint if the government decides to flex its muscle (and if a single user is shown to be violating law). The closure sets a dangerous precedent for all companies that store users’ information on their servers- information they may never see again.

Pirates are a crafty sort. They by no means need services like megaupload to do their work. They’re going to do it however they can, as they always have. Closing these sites doesn’t stop piracy, it merely makes them circumvent; and they’re great at circumvention. It also creates problems for people using these services legitimately. The federal government has, essentially, denied millions of users access to files they entrusted a company to safeguard (a service they paid for, too).

This is not the way to combat piracy. The only way to combat piracy is to create viable and affordable market solutions. This entails a complete overhaul of the business models of old guard media companies, including the record labels and motion picture studios. In the meantime, the feds need to think before they act, and realize that their actions affect people across the globe. Because until they do, everyone who utilizes cloud storage will have to seriously reconsider their choice, and possibly stock up on portable hard drives.


Written by kolchak

January 23, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , ,

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