The Cloud Is a Lie


| Devil's Advocate

Page 3 – Poof Goes Your World and Your Security, and Digital Serfs

Poof’d goes your world

This software-as-a-service-backend category is really a big deal. Software developers use such platforms to manage their app and user data. If all the above is not bad enough, what happens when a cloud service development platform shuts down? Those support thousands of apps/devices/services/sites and uncounted users.

Worshipping the Cloud

Worshipping the Cloud

Well, potentially, it could brick thousands of apps/services/devices. Think it can’t happen? You think that software-as-a-service-backend platforms developers use to manage their own apps/devices/services/sites will be around forever? Services like Amazon web services? Think again. it’s already happened with Cisco’s Intercloud and Facebook’s Parse. The demise of those platforms sent a lot of app developers scrambling for a new back end; and not all of those reliant apps/services were updated, and many are now dead.

Look at all those services, all that user data in all the above cloud categories. It’s all gone. In many cases gone with no notification or chance for you to get your data back or delete it. But don’t worry, although you couldn’t get to that data, in many cases that data was resold. The new owners—still not you—will get to control and exploit that data any way they like. Who knows, maybe some of their hacker friends will have a good laugh exploiting all your most intimate data details.

Poof’d goes your security

With regard to security, take a look at the idiocy of people using Dashlane, LastPass and other online password managers.

If the Chinese, Russian mob, or some other uber hacker group want your information, they’ll get it. There is almost nothing you can do against a committed hacker’s attack other than having no online presence. And, if they really want your information, they can always find you, club you over the head, and get what they want.

No one cares about you or your individual information, and the odds of you personally being targeted are very low.  Dashlane, LastPass and others, however, are treasure trove motherloads for hackers.

Hackers are continuously trying to hack these big cloud services. And I guarantee they’ll eventually succeed—again. As such, your data and passwords are much more likely to be sucked up in a service breach than to have a hacker specifically target you and your local 1Password manager.

Worse, those services aren’t likely to immediately tell you of a breach. So you won’t even know you’ve been compromised.  Dropbox, Lastpass, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google, have all taken a long time before telling you about their breaches.

Hackers are minor league in compromising user data when compared to the companies themselves.  As they shut down services, go bankrupt, and/or get bought out, companies broker your data—and you—like so much chattel. When transitioning data from a failed venture, maintaining security of user data is not exactly the top-most concern.

Most of their user agreements basically amount to letting you know WE OWN YOU. But even if they don’t fully say that, once the service is shuttered and/or sold, the next owner will own you even more. With most cloud services, the ultimate product is you.

Digital serfs and the cloud is a lie

Yet, Silicon Valley and most idiot tech pundits want you to be a 2nd class citizen. They shovel cloud garbage down your throat because they know you’re too stupid to care or understand. They’re teaching your kids to be the silicon peasant class by educating them on Google docs. Because it’s OK to give up all your data, and your kids data, to save a few hundred bucks on software in exchange for owning you and your kids for life.

You’re too busy to fight for your kids and school district. It’s fine that all your kids’ thoughts and Google Docs assignments are in the cloud, and that they get hooked on using free crap software, brainwashed into not questioning it. Not only will Google and Facebook own them (knowing more about your kids than you), but once those cloud services are hacked, so will the hackers.

But what do you care, you saved $300 buying some piece of crap Chromebook instead of a laptop where they own their own data, selling out your own kids because you’re both cheap and stupid. They know you’re stupid, they’re counting on it, and frankly, they don’t have to worry about it. You’re that predictable.

Do as we say, not as we do

And yet, in the richest schools, you won’t see Google docs. You’ll see real computers and parents who don’t sell their kids out to the cloud.  And if you go to the elites in Silicon Valley, you’ll find “personal clouds” where people run their own servers (e.g., Synology) maintaining their own data.

The best lawyers and law firms will not put client data in the cloud. They know getting a subpoena to make a third party turn over client data is easier than getting a law firm to turn it over.  Those people are not dopes. Not like you.

So what will you do?  Not a damned thing. You don’t have the brain capacity to figure anything out yourself. They own you with every like, and you’re just fine with it. And they get you to do what you’re told because they know how. So go and sign up for another cloud service, you know you want to. They buy you for just the cost of a few clickbait clicks. You’re a digital serf. Bought and sold, cheap. You’ll believe what you’re told. And you believe in the cloud.

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John Kheitwab95awhConstable Odogeoduck Recent comment authors

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wab95
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wab95

John:

I think you’re right. We’re agreeing past each other.

I had not appreciated the important distinction in your argument of ‘reasonable expectation’, and concur with that; thus my examples with a binary expectation of ‘dead’ or ‘alive’ was not apt.

Thanks for the clarification.

wab95
Member
wab95

John: At the risk of starting a flame war, which I am not attempting, and which I think you’re above in any case, let me use the Apple Notes deleted data recovery piece, which you cite, as an illustration of why the cloud is not a lie in my view; merely a very human, and therefore imperfect, creation. I pose this as food for thought in the wider context the process by which technology, and life writ large, improves. I do this because I think you’ve raised an important topic with broader relevance beyond that of the cloud. To argue… Read more »

wab95
Member
wab95

You’re welcome, John.

This is a good discussion.

We do agree on personal cloud solutions.

wab95
Member
wab95

John: You’ve made an excellent argument about two things, that: 1) one should not become complacent about any single data storage or backup option, particularly one that is proprietary and subject to competitive market forces, but that we should regularly, proactively manage those options, and; 2) given the current state of technology and law, companies (cloud services or otherwise) can abuse your privacy, compromise your security and do you untold harm. Agreed. Neither of these excellent and well-aimed arguments, however, prove or even suggest that the cloud is a lie. Indeed, the cloud is a clear, present and future reality.… Read more »

awh
Member
awh

That was kind of my point – what would be the equivalent of FDIC insurance for the cloud? Mandatory local backups of data? A Bill of Data Rights? Because we can rely on legislators to side with the little people, right?

It’s no wonder people are reverting to analogue.

awh
Member
awh

Thank you for such a well-researched piece – timely and necessary. But think for a moment – how is this any different from other ‘cloud’ services you’ve been using all your life? You work, you exchange your time and labour for some imaginary entity called ‘money’, which (unless you’re Captain Fantastic) you then keep it in a bank, or invest wherever. All the time it is nothing more than a string of bits held on some server somewhere or an entry in a ledger. And up until 2007/8 you never gave it a second thought. Why? Because trust in the… Read more »

Constable Odo
Member
Constable Odo

Wall Street has a different opinion of the cloud. It’s like any company that has cloud services has unlimited revenue potential. All Wall Street ever talks about is AWS. AWS this and AWS that. Amazon has hitched on to bottled lightning. It seems the only major tech company that isn’t going after cloud services is Apple. I’m really surprised Apple hasn’t tried to go after some cloud services if there’s so much unlimited revenue in that business. Listening to Wall Street, I honestly thought there was so much low-hanging fruit that was easily picked by any company with cloud services.… Read more »

geoduck
Member
geoduck

There is some truth in this. But you’ve gone too far the other way. Yes music and software as service through the cloud is a bad deal. But using the cloud as ONE PART of your data strategy is a good thing. I use the cloud for backing up and sharing data, but also keep local copies of things. Also not all cloud services are prone to disappearing in the dark of night. I have no qualms about using iCloud because Apple is not likely to vanish. Apple also has the toughest security for their services of anyone. They are… Read more »

Jamie
Member
Jamie

I can’t argue with any if this and have felt this way ever since cloud services were first announced. I don’t rely on them for anything but trivial, non-sensitive backups. I would further argue that an awful lot of, if not most of what tech companies are offering/planning/working on these days is similar hoodwinkery. They can pry my backup drives out of my cold, dead, fingers, and my personal files and data will never reside soley on their servers, if at all. Thanks for having the cojones to write this, John – exposing the emperor’s nakedness is not a popular… Read more »