No reason to be on cloud 9

“The computer industry is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion industry” -Richard Stallman (founder of the GNU project and the Free Software Foundation).

I really don’t understand the hype behind cloud computing. Isn’t cloud computing simply a trap aimed at forcing more people to buy into locked, proprietary systems that would cost them more and more over time?

The concept of cloud computing was there since the times of mainframes. Having a central repository, and people working in their individual interfaces was how computing started in the first place. It forces people to store their data in the cloud on someone else’s server instead of their own devices which is fully under their control. We even lose legal rights if we store our data in a company’s machines instead of our own. The police need to present us with a search warrant to get our data from us; but if they are stored in a company’s server, the police can get it without showing us anything. They may not even have to give the company a search warrant.

According to rms, many people will continue moving towards careless (cloud) computing, because there’s a sucker born every minute. Governments may try to encourage people to place their data where governments can seize it without showing them a search warrant, rather than in their own property. However, as long as enough of us continue keeping our data under our own control, we can still do so. And we had better do so, or the options may disappear.


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