Guest Post: Did the Feds Just Kill the Cloud Storage Model?

By Washington’s Blog

Megaupload Type Shutdowns and Patriot Act Are Killing Cloud Storage

The government’s takedown of the 800 pound gorilla online storage site Megaupload may have killed the cloud storage model.

Many innocent users have had their data taken away from them.

As PC World notes:

The MegaUpload seizure shows how personal files hosted on remote servers operated by a third party can easily be caught up in a government raid targeted at digital pirates.


Before its closure MegaUpload had 180 million registered users and an average of 50 million daily visits, claimed a total visitor history of more than one billion, and accounted for about four percent of all global Internet traffic….


Take, for example,, a site that appears to be similar to Megavideo. Videobb bills itself as an ideal place to share videos without ever having to worry about “disk space or bandwidth again.” Videobb is “safe, secure and easy” the company says, and that’s probably true; at least unless the FBI and the Department of Justice decide that videobb is ripe for a takedown. Behind the scenes, videobb is rife with pirated content just as Megavideo was.

A quick check of sites that index pirated content shows you can find recent episodes of The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, and the recent movie Contagion available for free streaming on Videobb.

Videobb isn’t alone, either; services such as Novamov, ZShare, and VidXDen all offer file-sharing services similar to Megavideo and all of them are being used (or at least have been used) to distribute pirated content. The trick is that you won’t see the pirated content on these sites’ front pages; you have to know how to access it through third-party sites that contain links to the secret files.

If you use any of these sites to store or distribute your own non-infringing files, you are wise to have backups elsewhere, because they may be next on the DOJ’s copyright hit list.


Keep in mind that when you use these services you also make it easier for the government, and possibly hackers, to peer into your files without your knowledge — but that’s a discussion for another day.

Bottom line: if your cloud service offers file storage on the front end and shows pirated video out the back, don’t be surprised if your files vanish one day.

In other words, the government is exercising the power to seize all of the legal property held in a storage facility because a handful of crooks have illegal property in theirs.

And if that’s not enough to kill your enthusiasm for cloud storage, CIO points out:

Worries have been steadily growing among European IT leaders that the USA Patriot Act would give the U.S. government unfettered access to their data if stored on the cloud servers of American providers—so much so that Obama administration officials this week held a press conference to quell international concern over the protection of data stored on U.S. soil.


Anxiety was heightened last year when a Microsoft UK managing director admitted that he could not guarantee that data stored on the company’s servers, even those outside the U.S., would not be seized by the U.S. government.


Escaping the grasp of the Patriot Act, however, may be more difficult than the marketing suggests. “You have to fence yourself off and make sure that neither you or your cloud service provider has any operations in the United States,” explains [Alex Lakatos, a partner and cross-border litigation expert in the Washington, D.C. office of Mayer Brown], “otherwise you’re vulnerable to U.S. jurisdiction.” Few large IT customers or cloud providers fit that description in today’s global business environment. And the cloud computing model is built on the argument data can and should reside anywhere around the world, freely passing between borders.


So, what’s a European cloud customer to do—or, for that matter, a U.S. customer anxious about how their cloud provider might respond to a government request for data under the Patriot Act? Cloud and other technology service providers have a mixed record when it comes to keeping customer data out of government hands. “For the cloud service providers, their life may be easier if they give the government whatever it’s asking for,” Lakatos says.

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About George Washington

George Washington is the head writer at Washington’s Blog. A busy professional and former adjunct professor, George’s insatiable curiousity causes him to write on a wide variety of topics, including economics, finance, the environment and politics. For further details, ask Keith Alexander…


  1. Curmudgeon

    The US has a very long history of giving law enforcement a free hand to destroy third party property whenever they feel like it. Don’t expect that to change ever.

    It’d be very amusing, however, to see what excuses the USSC would invent to deny redress should someone who lost legitimate content on Megaupload launch a 4th amendment suit.

    Anyone who stores irreplaceable vital information on a cloud service needs their head examined. Sooner or later, it will come back to bite you either due to the provider going bankrupt, extortionately raising their prices, or from law enforcement simply taking the entire data center–with or without a warrant.

    1. Richard Kline

      So Curmudgeon, your third paragraph summarizes with admirable succinctness exactly why I’ve always seen cloud storage as a ‘cloud cukooland’ non-starter. It is simply ridiculous to store primary data on and only on transient, third-party servers—or on any servers. Double back-up, and don’t be shy about hard copy burns for anything that really matters. Anyone who has years worth of essential work or mission critical data on device is just waiting for the footprint of some god to find their ass with all due force.

      Cloud storage has value only for ephemera or junk—or to ‘share [some third party’s] files.’ And think about it: if the material is really of such a trivial nature, is there a point to wasting power and server space parking the digital equivalents of lost socks and half-sucked lollipops for 9.5 years until the provider goes out of business?

      1. K Ackermann

        It doesn’t always work that way.

        I’ve moved to the cloud because I need scale. It’s not practical for me to buy and administer a building full of servers when I can leverage Amazon’s cloud services which scale automatically.

        If I didn’t use their services, I couldn’t offer the prices I offer.

    2. Daniel Pennell

      Megaupload was performing EXACTLY the iCloud model. Which, in turn is not THAT different from the days we used to set up FTP sites to transfer large files between users.

      It is easily compared to the iTunes iCloud. Files (apps, tunes, movies, shows) are stored on servers owned by someone else under an account protected by a password and they call it a library(sounds like a locker to me). I can easily share my files by giving anyone my password or by copying my library to someone elses.

      In my household I do not allow my kids to have iTunes accounts rather I hold the account and all downloads go to it. I then copy all the files I want them to have to a seperate library and sync their iPods and iPads to those. HOWEVER, because of the iTunes/iCloud structure, every time I buy a new file it automatically syncs it to their devices as a purchase. So..I have to clean off what I do not want them to have.

      What is to stop a group of friends from doing the same sort of thing, particularly now that iTunes syncs via the cloud in addition to syncing from the PC? You could, in theory have an account for a group of students with a single account that they share to 100 or more different devices.

      As someone who has worked in the IT industry for almost 20 years as a consultant to Fortune 500 firms and the Federal Government, it is my humble opinion that cloud computing is about the dumbest thing I have ever seen. But then I also think Facebook is stupid.

      It is one thing for a corporation to set up a cloud model network for its own internal use, it is quite another for an individual or a business to use an alien cloud for storage.

      It amazes me that in an age where people and businesses are so concerned about PII and data security and given what I know, that people will blithely trust their sensative information and data to any company with a professional looking web site.

      1. Up the Ante

        “It amazes me that in an age where people and businesses are so concerned about PII and data security and given what I know, that people will blithely trust their sensative information and data to any company with a professional looking web site.”

        Like clicking on emails from addresses you don’t recognize, repeatedly.

        And more frequently, like watching your computer notify you that “Adobe” has a flash player update, you refuse it, and several days later your computer installs it without your permission.
        Ditto for Windows updates, which ‘curiously’ coincide with criticisms of govt. bodies.

  2. Ken from Canada

    With that logic, the US government should take down any bit torrent sharing site as a significant amount is pirated. The behaviour shows a lack of imagination and a want of control. Technology is like a variation of Natrural selection – there is a natural progression based on what humans want or value. Like prohibition, it won’t work but government is never against spitting or peeing into the wind since we’re the ones who lose out twice – paying them to spend our money to screw us over.

  3. Cap'n Magic

    Today the name of the game is sousveillance-and an isolated network using a data diode. Pretty soon, it’ll make sense to resurrect architectures and network topologies based on long-dead standards than on current technology-after all, the creators of many 2nd and 3rd generation computer hardware have been dead and buried, with their knowledge “almost” lost (I’m looking at you,…)

    Then throw some serious encryption on top of that….

  4. Brian

    There’s good reasons why authorities are being pressured to operate this way, and it shouldn’t be surprising when the great majority of internet users and those that employ online storage devices take a blind eye to infringed copyrights.

    However, more importantly is how to solve two problems: (1) cyber attacks (especially from China and Russia; and (2) enforcement of intellectual property right laws. Besides issuing complaints which will fall on deaf ears, real alternative solutions need to be presented as counter proposals.

    One such proposal would be to sanction and tariff violating countries of US laws. I can agree that SOPA and such are ineffective ways of addressing these problems and that authorities could handle the situation better, but they wont when all you have to offer are complaints and not solutions; and the two above points are valid concerns and threats. The Internet poses nothing new for intellectual property rights, the only thing that has changed is the medium it’s done in.

    Those who complain about the shoddy and suspect enforcement of intellectual property right laws on the Internet have actually taken the time to report a violator? Too many times I find that many people adopt the attitude that if it’s online than it’s ok to violate the intellectual rights of others.

  5. addicted

    “In other words, the government is exercising the power to seize all of the legal property held in a storage facility because a handful of crooks have illegal property in theirs.”

    This is just outright false. The Fed killed MegaUpload not because there was some illegal stuff being hosted. They killed MegaUpload because the company knew illegaly stuff was hosted. The company encouraged the hosting of illegal stuff. And the company made it difficult to remove the illegal stuff. And all this was done consciously, as is evident from the released internal emails.

    The DMCA (which, despite its flaws, is the only reason websites like Youtube can exist since it protects websites from illegal activities on their sites as long as they take reasonable measures to prevent and end them, when made aware of them) explicitly allows this.

    However, the problem with SOPA/PIPA (and which is why we need to fight them as much as possible) is that it weakens website owners’ protections substantially, even if they (unlike Megaupload) make a good faith effort to reduce illegal activity on their websites (like Youtube does).

    1. Parvaneh Ferhadi

      Still no reason to expropriate all the legal users of their content they created themselves, on their time with their money. It’s kind of like the police blowing up a bank and all people inside with it, just to end the robbery and get the bank-robber. The approach is rather excessive and smacks of government overreach and abuse of power.

    2. Yves Smith

      We don’t have telepaths working for the police. The NZ case may seem cut and dried, but you can’t determine intent from e-mails taken in isolation. Go read up on the prosecution of the two Bear Stearns hedge fund managers. It bombed precisely because the government thought it had a slam dunk case based on some e-mail, and it fell apart when other evidence that complicated the picture was introduced.

  6. Chris Rogers

    I have long been of the opinion that ‘cloud storage’, a new name applied to old outdated centralised storage mentality, was effectively like giving crooks the keys to your safe box – a big no no me thinks!!!

    Basically, what we are witnessing is a battle between the big corporate donors and small start-ups that show ‘two fingers’ to any and all authority.

    Add a huge dose of ‘Big Brother’ to the equation and you give both Government, its agencies and donor sponsors the total means of controlling your life, i.e., they know everything about you, including all your personal details, books you read, movies and shows you watch and websites visited/ downloaded from.

    Whilst I’m aware copyright infringement is a issue, its a little crass this late in the day to try and close the gate after the horse has bolted.

    Still, by scalping a few violators and hoisting their heads on pikes, the authorities and their corporate sponsors are hoping to put the rabbit back in the hole.

    Personally, I trust they will fail – as for copyright, I give my own online publication away free of charge and no registration necessary – obviously, I’ll never become a millionaire, but, on a positive note, I’ll never become a whore of our masters either!!!!!!

    1. MontanaMaven

      I’m with you. Imagine if we didn’t have to hide anything or worry about our stuff being stolen. Graeber writes about the Northwestern Native American tribes that tried to outdo each other in giving away stuff or taking stuff on to barges and sinking them. The opposite of hoarding. Free Exchange is freeing. Didn’t copywrights used to be for about 23 years? Then Mickey Mouse’s creator said “No way that works for me.”

    2. LifelongLib

      Properly regulated, cloud storage (and cloud computing services generally) could be the equivalent of having banks with FDIC insurance, as opposed to just keeping your money under a mattress. Unfortunately today’s cloud computing is more like banking pre-FDR — maybe better than the mattress for some people, but still vulnerable to various problems.

  7. /L

    Big entertainment companies don’t want to take the proper measures to protect their stuff, they want that service free from the taxpayer. Everybody else have to take proper measures them self prevent theft. It’s if like people didn’t locked their bikes and demanded the taxpayers to create a whole new branch of government to prevent and punish theft of unlocked bikes.

    The question is if this is proportional that the taxpayers should spend to protect an individual business sector, few others have this kind of privilege and have to take costly measures to protect their stuff.

    The Europeans is right to worry, that US use the power of government to supply US companies with secret data about overseas companies and government have happened before. European IT leaders shouldn’t “worry” about U.S. government “might” use its power to support US big corporations; it’s a fact that U.S. government will do anything if it’s in the interest of US big corporations.

    It should be common sense that you store important and sensitive data on your own devices, only stuff that you are willing to take a risk with and is useful to have cloud access to should be store in the cloud.

    1. ajax

      It’s not clear to me how to put a lid on
      illicit and/or abusive file-sharing, for example
      using bit torrent files.

      The DVD encryption mechanism was broken, resulting
      in DeCSS (or something); hard drives with
      2 Terabytes of storage are now available at
      affordable prices. New DVD releases of the
      same movie occur in lots of countries around the
      same time.

      In the end, with the right codecs and file-sharing,
      we have bits and pieces of movies circuiting
      the globe.

      And before executing a search warrant on a home,
      some non-trivial standard of proof
      (higher than mere suspicion) has to be satisfied,
      with a judge signing-off.

  8. Nichol

    Funny to see how some perfectly democratic countries like the USA, the UK and France can be the leaders in developing a surveillance state, and laws that control data and internet. And subsequently those same countries pretend anger when they see that the same technology is used for even more repressive action in undemocratic countries.

  9. ODNC

    The US has a very long history of giving law enforcement a free hand to destroy third party property whenever they feel like it. Don’t expect that to change ever.

    Hoghwash. Give an example of this. It is the left that attacks private property, both here and abroad.

    the Democrats are in the pockets of Hollywood. Period.

    It has nothing to do with American History.
    (And your odd thesis that America, as opposed to other nations, is fast and loose with property rights is wildly out of line with real history, but, of course, a lefty like you would not know anything of the real world whatoever.)

    Stop blaming “america” for the crookedness of the Democrats.

    They care about one thing: money and power.

    And fools like you folks keep electing them.

  10. ODNC

    that US use the power of government to supply US companies with secret data about overseas companies and government have happened before.

    More hogwash. Can we have an exampple of this? Pure slander. In fact, there would scarely be a EU IT industry if the US government did not insist on giving technology away. Just look at TCP/IP.

    You lefties really cannot help yourselves, can you? You really must insist on rewriting history so you can exercise your childish hatred of this nation. It is really yourselves you hate, BTW, you just project it on the USA.

    1. Stephen Nightingale

      >ODNC: “In fact, there would scarely be a EU IT industry if the US government did not insist on giving technology away. Just look at TCP/IP.”

      I was privileged to work for a time at the UK National Physical Laboratory, around 1979-80. The (world’s first) packet switching network had been in operation there for several years subsequent to its invention in 1965 by Donald Davies. When I was there we were working on Transport protocols and File Transfer Protocols. This was prior to the publication of RFCs for these technologies.

      There is no shortage of the know how in Europe for developing leading edge technology. The thing that really led to the rise of the Internet was Judge Harold Green’s breakup of AT&T, allowing commercial uptake from the mid late 80s, while Europe was still locked in the grip of the PTTs and their rent seeking activities that stifled the expansion of a popular Wide Area Network.

      Email was the first ‘killer app’, but the application that really put the Internet on its sustained exponential growth was the World Wide Web. You will recall that this was invented in 1990 by Tim Berners Lee (a Brit) at CERN (a European research center). He gave it away and ensured it would be available forever free. This is in contrast to the current corporate beneficiaries of Timbl’s gift, who seek to lock in an exclusive income stream while standing on the back of these giants who make their mega-profits possible.

      Europe might be a victim of financial scleroticization, but do not make the mistake of thinking that nothing good can be invented and popularized there.

      All this is without discussing Alan Turing, the Colossus, and the foundation of 20th Century computing that was all given away for the direct benefit of American Corporations.

      1. Anon

        All hail, Sir Tim, of course, but don’t forget TBL’s partner-in-www-forming, Robert Caillau (he always gets short shrift imho):

        This year is the centenary of Turing’s birth, loads of events planned worldwide:

        and for all you philatelists out there, Bletchley Park is putting out some first-day covers of the set of Royal Mail stamps being issued in his honor in Feburary:

        And where there is Colossus, there is also Tommy Flowers:

        1. Lambert Strether

          Also don’t forget ISO and the editors of ISO 8879, “Standard Generalized Markup Language.” HTML is an SGML application, and without HTML, web pages would not be interchangeable, and we would be trapped in a world of proprietary browsers and stovepiped data stores.

      2. MontanaMaven

        Thank you. Freedom for some means getting 100 cereal choices. Freedom for others means to be able to choose virtue over vice; to lead a good life instead of having to be a weasel in the service of bigger weasels. Inventors who gave freely are truly collossal. Don’t forget Tom Paine who gave “Common Sense” to the cause. Only later did when he was broke did he petition the gov’t for a little pension.

      3. Jack Parsons

        Colossus, Schmolossus! Go checkout Konrad Zuse if you want to know about the wonders of German technology.

    2. casin

      Your comments say more about you than about those whom you attempt to insult…..

      How about coherently addressing the facts being discussed? Otherwise, no matter how “brilliant” your comments are, no one will ever read them….

    3. Lambert Strether

      ODNC conflates open standards for networks with data moving on those networks. The first are indeed given away. Not so the second!

      I can’t tell if ODNC’s sleight of hand is witting or not, so I won’t hurl his own trope back at him: “He hates lefties so much that he falls into elementary technical errors when seeking to trash them.”

    4. Cap'n Magic

      My my, ODNC-have you forgotten how 30 NSA technicians teamed up with Australia’s Secret Intelligence Agency to bug the Chinese Embassy in Canberra-only for the cover to be blown in a Time Magazine article-which gave cover to the fact that the US delayed the translation of the conversations to give a leg up to US businesses bidding against Autstralian business for Chinese contracts?

      The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife.

  11. Seamus

    I happily use cloud storage (Amazon’s S3) for my private files. Why? Not because I trust Amazon, but because I trust open source, peer-reviewed cryptography.

    I have no doubts that Amazon would hand over my files if requested by nearly any government, but I am confident that the effort required to break the encryption of the files vastly outweighs the value of the contained within them.

    Sure the files may completely disappear one day, but the S3 copy is only one of several.

    1. taxpayer

      Certainly, one proper use of the cloud is for encrypted backup of your local files. Another is for distribution of files that you can legally distribute. I can’t think of any others.

      1. aikanae

        “one proper use of the cloud is for encrypted backup of your local files. Another is for distribution of files that you can legally distribute. I can’t think of any others.”

        Anyone in video, graphics, printing, publishing needs to transfer files larger than practical through emails. Work groups developing apps do too particularly if they are located in different parts of the country.

        I’ve also become aware that one of the reasons for payouts was to independent artists and developers. Either through payment and then released a link to the file or with so many downloads, MegaUpload / Deposit File would pay them. I also know of a couple of video production sites that offerred “viewer supported” independent shows that anyone can download. VODO productions was one (I watched their Pioneer One show).

        Dotcom (founder) was replaced as CEO to someone in the music business who had a solid model for turning “the conspiracy” (as the indictment calls Mega) into a legit service for independents. He happened to get a lot of UMG’s “A list” stars do support the service by issuing a series of ads for Mega. This angered UMG and they issued takedown requests – and Mega sued UMG (still in civil court).

        This was widely known among hip-hop or rap artists as a way to make money off their work without signing to a label. i.e. Mega had plans to compete against the RIAA and it was gaining traction. I didn’t know this scene even existed. Dan Bull recently put out a song, video and there have been others complaining that this is stealing their method of income. The list is significant enough to realize there was potential.

        This was anti-competive. The DOJ had their reasons to go along sing wikileaks files were distributed through cyberlockers as well as other software sharing for getting around proxy’s and censorship, DDOS like what anonymous used, and so on.

        I don’t doubt their are some in Washington are aware of the divide between them and the average person, which could make them nervous about the orgainizing potential of the internet after the arab spring – most of the dictators taken down were longtime alies of U.S. corporations and many were in active negotiations with the U.S. at the same time (including Libya). They don’t like being caught off guard.

        This serves the purpose of keeping the US public divided and unorganized. And the chance that foriegn websites are blocking US ip addresses and we also don’t have access to information or entertainment that isn’t supplied to the US through corporate control.

        It’s hard to count the ways this helps corporations and government keep the satus quo. The armed services also has a service similar to MegaUpload for servicemen and their families. It’s not under fire. Packet sniffing / hashing for illegal content was developed for China (originally to stem piracy) by U.S. corporations. I guess the only way to expand on a developing technology anymore is to have a government contract.

        Sure, cloud had disadvantages, but what new system doesn’t in the beginning? Over time those short falls would have been overcome into … whatever the next generation was, which we may never know.

  12. Jessica

    Both piracy and the willingness to do anything to stop it have such deep roots that both will continue to breed and strengthen.
    The knowledge economy that is trying to emerge has two primary needs: information needs to be able to disseminate without restriction and knowledge producers, maintainers, and distributors need to be compensated. These both need to happen at the same time. No one knows how to do both at the same time. That is why the knowledge economy can not emerge. This is the indirect, root cause of all the economic problems of the past 4 decades or so.
    Information wants to be free. But only in the sense that it wants to be able to spread. Information is indifferent to whether or not compensation is provided to knowledge workers. For example, information would not try to fight against a system in which society as a whole paid information workers because then individual and group knowledge consumers would get all they wanted.
    One could express “information wants to be free” as “people want free information and tend to feel entitled to it”. Same effect. Because no society is yet able to address this functional need of the not-yet economy, it takes the form of a powerful osmotic force, like a flood trying to overcome all seawalls and other barriers.
    On the other hand, the desire of the knowledge workers to be compensated is also quite strong. Some of the claims made by owners of intellectual property in our current economic systems are just rent collection, i.e. highway robbery with legal backing and higher social status. But still highway robbery. But much of the claims are on behalf of people doing real work who want and need real compensation. And that fact is also the moral justification that rent seeking can hide behind. If movies or knowledge of new drugs or a new Lady Gaga album or the moment-to-moment information required to run a smart power grid just appeared out of nowhere, the claims of the movie industry etc. would be all but ignored. And again, because we have not yet developed social arrangements capable of addressing this need either, it takes the form of a tide, striving always to overcome or penetrate any barriers in its way.
    As long as these forces, which are the expression of the core drives of the trying-to-emerge economy, are not both openly and honestly addressed by society, then these forces will act immaturely and irresponsibly. Pirates (which is most of the population probably) will try to get information for free, regardless of the damage they may do to those who produce the information they desire. Knowledge producers, especially the large corporations who under our current system have the legal right to the fruits of knowledge production labor, will do whatever they can to receive the compensation they desire. They will often make demands that amount to excess compensation and they will not care how much damage they do to social transparency, human rights, and the flows of information that they themselves are also dependent on.
    This immaturity, this irresponsibility ,on both sides will continue until we see that addressing both these two needs is actually the core task of the global economy now and for the foreseeable future.

      1. Jessica

        Thank you
        I do not know how to get there. I don’t think any “I” could know. Because it will be “we” that gets there. And we will figure out how to get there as we go.
        What is important right now is to be able to see to the root of problems, because that is the level from which we can see and create solutions.

    1. LifelongLib

      Agree. Awesome comment.

      As you suggest in passing, perhaps a system where (in the U.S.) the federal government buys technical patents would serve to compensate the original inventors but also make knowledge freely available. I’m less interested in artistic copyrights (Disney can have Mickey Mouse forever as far as I’m concerned…). Obviously there’s a lot of room for discussion here.

      1. aikanae

        “I’m less interested in artistic copyrights (Disney can have Mickey Mouse forever as far as I’m concerned…).”

        I have to point out that kind of apathy has lead us to where we are today – largely reacting, always on the defense and shocked to discovered that an average person can’t do average things or that research & development for an anti-virus now only has 10% of the researchers because of prohibitive fees involved with getting an authorized strain – or a new virilant strain was released in the wide due to a poor country experimenting with a black market strain.

        ACTA affects generic drugs and access to seeds. I think the entertainment industry issues has been a cover to slip in all sorts of other issues that are far more troubling.

        Originally all information was to be shared. Copyrights was the EXCEPTION to encourage “new works” by giving the creator a limited license to their work.

        Explain to me why this has been extended to fund future generations with royalties so they don’t have to work?

    2. Fiver

      Have to disagree. The “knowledge economy” is not some primal force. It does not “want” to emerge. It is in fact the project of a relatively small slice of the overall population who are, without any critical analysis whatever, creating THEIR vision of the future – one which ignores the fact that most of the population domestically and globally was in fact better served and more secure all around pre-Web.

  13. Hugh Akston

    In classic American fashion, you missed one word from the title of this post…it should have been, “did the Feds just kill the AMERICAN cloud storage model?” Outside of Amerika in many places around the world, freedom is still accessible to the 99%.

  14. Birch

    Seems like a good place for this link:

    The businesses that now pressure governments to take down copyright abusers originally became powerful themselves by totally abusing copyrights of others. Sickening hypocrasy. Oh well, in the grand scheme of things they don’t stand a chance.

    Copyright no longer serves creative people and innovators, rather the companies that own, wrangle and steal the rights of those people. Time to move on…

  15. i

    “Your data is safe and secure. Trust me.” :)

    I’d like to have more sympathy, but if you trust *anything* to “the cloud” or any other server you don’t directly control, you will, one day, pay the gullibility tax, just like the folks with files on megaupload did. The only way you can trust a “cloud” based anything is by being willfully stupid.

  16. Eric

    comparing megaupload with legit cloud services is comparing apples with oranges. Any insider knew that the megaupload business model was based upon piracy. That’s how they made the bulk of their money.
    If you want to protect unsuspecting customers who choose the wrong filehost from loosing their data, than it’s actually a good step they shut down megaupload.

  17. Praedor

    I hate “cloud storage”. It really is the old dumb terminal, central server model of computing that IBM once really really wanted. I like to have MY data safe with ME on MY storage devices in MY home or office. Sure, for work-related stuff, the company/university storage servers are proper and fine (though I still back up to my own personal hardware). That said, if you really want secure “cloud” storage, the model to follow is that of Freenet. All data would be stored on an amorphous, uncentralized/de-centralized web of computers, all running the cloud storage software. The data would be password protected by each individual, there would be no central authority who held onto your password/storage information, and the data would be encrypted. Totally impervious to government meddling and virtually immune to government spying.

    Freenet is rife with extreme porn. Much of that porn is virtually universally illegal but it cannot be eliminated or shutdown. That is an unfortunate side-effect of Freenet being unassailable by dictatorial governments who might wish to shut down undesireable (and legit) voices of dissent. If Wikileaks had been on Freenet, it would be immune to shutdown/attack by government(s) as well. With the bad (nasty, extreme porn) comes to the good: absolute uncensorabilty, absolute no ability for government to shut it down or seize it.

  18. Web developer tools

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  19. Frank Speaking

    if the fed did kill the cloud storage model that would be a good thing.

    cloud sourcing is counter to the very nature and intent of the internet which has driven mass adoption of personal computers.

    the internet is dispersed and autonomous as are “personal” computers.

    the cloud is centralized and dependent and subject to the control of others and will turn today’s powerful personal computers into nothing more than control terminals for software in the “cloud” behind many potential gate keepers.

    want to encrypt your data…no problem…for now

    “the cloud” is not virtual or ethereal “the cloud’ is very real brick and mortar wearhoused server farms drawing huge amounts of electricity much of it generated by dirty coal.

    “the cloud” is vulnerable to every weakness every networked hard drive is vulnerable to.

    “The Dark Side of the Cloud”
    By: Grier Hudspeth, December 14, 2011

  20. Cap'n Magic

    Gizmodo is reporting that two other cloud storage sites (fileSonic, have shut down file sharing and gone to only accessing your own files. Will Mediafire and RapidShare be far behind? If that happens, that’ll put a huge crimp on xda-devlopers (the nexus of smartphone hacking and ROM-flashers Anonymous)

    You really want to see a collective freakout of Big Media? Insist on original copyright terms before it became the purview of Disney to constantly amend the laws that prevented Mickey Mouse from entering the public domain. And with the recent SCOTUS ruling that public domain works can be re-copyrighted….

  21. Christopher Aquilino

    You strawman cloud apps. You can do it more safely. Check the OwnCloud project.

    You store you data on trusted computers and give access to Gnu/Open AGPL web apps. And I forget the name, but there’s a MegaUpload open alternative too.

  22. Fiver

    We have already over just the past 15 years put our entire “post-industrial” economy at great risk by hopping so fulsomely onto an Internet that can, and doubtless will, be the object of a massive outage be it accidental or deliberate. We do not need to multiply that already-huge risk by orders of magnitude through this ‘cloud’ stupidity. As noted by others, it may be OK for trivial purposes, but for anything of import it’s lunacy. Keep this up and we could all wake up one day and everything we “know” is gone.

  23. Dr. Brian Oblivion

    Man is by his nature a social creature and the Internet, as networks tend to be is a collaborative storage medium. Despite decades of consumerist propaganda people tend to share with others even with strangers anonymously that which they enjoy especially as the cost of doing so approaches zero.

    The public relations industry born shortly before the last major economic depression due to the refinement of marketing (propaganda) techniques developed in the 1920s by Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud has worked hard since its inception to drum the natural desire to share, collaborate and even find common cause with others of our own species.

    Jealously depriving others of what we might freely share and insisting on fixing a market price to things which cost us little or nothing to obtain is aberrant behavior, antisocial and sociopathic tendencies are claimed to be the norm.

    Only as atomized individuals reduced to an endless and hopeless quest for achieving individual maximum utility by purchasing the latest marketed junk destined for deposit at an overflowing landfill asap are individuals able to function adequately as mindless consumers of trivia and debris at the highest possible cost returning the propagandist his obscene monopoly profits. As long as we think only of ourselves and view everyone else as potential competitors (market paranoia) the docile and compliant public is successfully divided and conquered and resources plundered from it easily.

    Sociopathic middlemen (“content providers”) was hoping the Internet would be hobbled and tamed early on as a marketing (propaganda) either as some form of interactive tv (pay as you go as in the old CompuServe model) or dumbed down to a mostly e-commerce strip mall.

    An open and collaborative network being used by the bewildered herd (the public) as intended is something that intellectual property pimps abhor and will not be tolerated without plenty of interference. An open network appeals to the natural impulse to share and reveals as empty and counterproductive the artifical marketplace contstraints where infinite goods are marketed as scarce goods.

    The cloud was always doomed… Facebook and Myspace already exist and hosting is cheap for those so inclined.

    The sooner the RIAA and MPAA and SPA are gelded and exiled the better for those of us who have not been fully conditioned into [non-]functional sociopaths.

    Obama delenda est.

  24. aikanae

    This has left little wonder as to why the U.S. has become second rate when it comes to technological advances including poor but expensive high speed internet availablity.

    I have no doubt Hollywood would like the world to step backwards in time 20 years when they only had 3 tv shows to compete with.

    Instead, they are loosing a second generation to video games, user generated entertainment and all sorts of competition they refuse to admit exists.

    Since when is the customer always wrong?

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