Monday, December 13, 2010

No Cloudbooks for Wikileakers

The assault on Wikileaks and the recent focus on content protection has shown how hard it is to delete digital information once it's out there.  The Internet, as a whole, seems more friendly to openness than keeping secrets.

That said, it seems unlikely that serious libertarians will embrace cloud services wholeheartedly just yet.  The Google cloudbook sample - CR-48 - is making the rounds of technology journalists and bloggers.  It's a neat piece of hardware and the network computer is an idea whose time is coming (again). - but if you're serious about disseminating other people's information or keeping your own private, it's probably not for you.

As COICA and ICE have shown in recent actions against alleged pirates, governments can cut off your Internet and your finding.  Having your own PC and the ability to move across network connections and distribute content may be the safest way to keep the flow of information free and open.

Open source encryption (Truecrypt) can protect your data while the next generation of BitTorrent services will make any form of centralized shut-down even harder.  Both are designed for use by individuals on their own hardware rather than in vulnerable cloud services.  Having your own fully functional hardware gives users more control and that's something that some users are not going to want to give up.

Google's Cloudbook sample unit - CR-48.  I'm guessing Julian Assange doesn't want one.  (Photo Mike Saechang on Flickr CC)

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