EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.14.13

In This Age of Fog/Cloud (Surveillance-Friendly) Computing, Can OwnCloud Be Trusted?

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 6:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Spooks love the fog as it lets them spy on people without the people knowing about it

Fog

Summary: Looking at the problems with “cloud” (fog) computing, even when it is driven by Free software and is self-hosted

Fog Computing is one of the most disturbing emerging trends. It’s often proprietary by design (no access to source code) and it is a lot worse because it’s remotely controlled (no control over the binaries, either). Red Hat's embrace of OpenStack represents a strategic shift wherein Red Hat facilitates the deployment of Fog Computing by other companies [1]. It’s not Red Hat which does the violations, but oftentimes the companies which Red Hat helps will go on violating people’s privacy and dignity (Amazon for instance).

OpenStack is one of those cases where one has access to source code, but one cannot verify that this code is actually what’s executed as there is no access to the binaries (for the client side). Microsoft partners like Citrix are also embracing OpenStack [2], which sure enjoys growing influence [3]. It’s better to use something that’s Free/Open Source than something that’s proprietary, but when the code runs remotely, it is still far from freedom-respecting, unless of course it’s self-hosted, in which case NSA surveillance of OpenStack instances (possible [4]) is getting hard.

There is only one project that I know fulfills the above needs. It is the Germany-based OwnCloud [5,6,7], which has roots in SUSE (the key staff). The problem is, this project’s code has had a lot of vulnerabilities which basically would be easy for the NSA to exploit and gain access to servers. MEGA is said to be privacy-respecting, but it is proprietary and Flash-based. This option too has been found to have security vulnerabilities.

So the bottom line is this: keep your sensitive data on the local disk, stored by a reliable system like GNU/Linux. This data should not shipped without encryption (e.g. SSH) down a wire unless it only moved locally (within local network or hub). In this age of personal targeting, politically-motivated smears, espionage, etc. we need to protect our personal data. If we didn’t have anything to hide, we wouldn’t mind uploading our entire hard drives to be made publicly accessible by all, right? Well, not really. Apparently, even if you’re doing nothing wrong, you still need privacy. The NSA doesn’t give a damn about that.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Red Hat Delivers More Tools, Services for Enterprise OpenStack

    Red Hat has a sterling reputation for advancing and supporting Linux in the enterprise, but the company is structuring much of its future growth around cloud computing, and OpenStack in particular. The company has recently announced the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service certification program for OpenStack, a deepening partnership with Canonical and Ubuntu surrounding the new Havana release of OpenStack, and more.

  2. Citrix Embraces ‘Anyness’ and the OpenStack Cloud

    VIDEO: The general manager of Citrix’s cloud efforts explains how his firm both supports and competes against the open-source OpenStack cloud.

  3. OpenStack Summit Highlights Cloud’s Global Influence

    The open-source OpenStack Foundation held its semiannual Design Summit here Nov. 5-8, discussing all manner of topics related to the cloud. As the first OpenStack Summit held outside of the United States, the event had a strong emphasis throughout on the global nature of the OpenStack cloud platform and, more specifically, the high levels of interest, participation and deployment of the platform in China. According to data released at the Hong Kong event, China is now home to more OpenStack developers than anywhere else in the world. China is also home to some of the largest OpenStack deployments on Earth, including one with Qihoo 360, a Beijing-based online security and mobile vendor. Qihoo 360 is using OpenStack to provide cloud-based security for 450 million user

  4. OpenStack Cloud Vendors Vigilant in the Face of NSA Snooping

    The Edward Snowden revelations about NSA snooping in the cloud are not having an impact on OpenStack cloud vendors, including Rackspace and Dreamhost.

  5. Why I love OwnCloud: answer to Dropbox lock-in

    I recently covered the release of Dropbox platform and my thoughts on the impending cloud storage lock-in. I was also fortunate enough to run across what the guys over at NimbusBase are doing over the weekend. They seem to be the answer to the open API for mobile and web applications, providing a cross-cloud storage layer and a GPL reference implementation while they do it. I also penned a few thoughts on their model.

  6. Own Your Data with OwnCloud
  7. Pure open source, open standard based Google Docs, iWork, Office 365 competitor arrives
Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 27/2/2017: GNU Linux-libre 4.10, Weston 2.0.0, Git 2.12.0, Linux From Scratch 8.0

    Links for the day



  2. Top Officials in French Government Are Growing Tired of Battistelli's Abuses at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    An automated translation of a recent debate about the EPO in the French government, culminating in intervention by Richard Yung



  3. A US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Which is Hostile Towards Patent Maximalists May Closely Examine More Patents That Apple Uses Against Android

    A company which often takes pride in designers rather than developers (art, not technical merit) may lose that leverage over the competition if its questionable patents are taken away by the Supremes



  4. As Long as Software Patents Are Granted and Microsoft Equips Trolls With Them, “Azure IP Advantage” is an Attack on Free/Libre Software

    Microsoft is feeding enemies of GNU/Linux and Free/libre Open Source software (FLOSS) in order to sell its 'protection', which it names "IP Advantage" in a rather Orwellian fashion (same naming as back in the Novell days)



  5. Patent Trolls on Their Way Out in the United States and Their Way Into China, No Thanks to the Open Invention Network (OIN)

    An update on patent trolls and the role played by supposed allies of Free/libre software, who in practice do everything to exacerbate the problem rather than resolve it



  6. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part VIII: When Governed by Criminals, Truth-Tellers Are Cast as Criminals and Criminals as Justice Deliverers

    The bizarre state of affairs at the European Patent Office, where being an honest and transparent person makes one incredibly vulnerable and subjected to constant harassment from the management



  7. The Sickness of the EPO – Part V: Shedding Light on Institutional Abuse Against Ill and/or Disabled Individuals

    The seriousness of the situation at the EPO and a call for action, which requires greater transparency, even if imposed transparency



  8. The EPO's Race to the Bottom in Recruitment and Early Retirements Explained by an Insider

    The European Patent Office under Battistelli is failing to attract -- and certainly failing to retain -- talented examiners



  9. Wouter Pors and Other UPC Boosters Believe That Repeating the Lies Will Potentially Make Them Truths

    The lobbying campaign for UPC, or hopeful lies (sometimes mere rumours) disguised as "news", continues to rely on false perceptions that the UPC is just a matter of time and may actually materialise this year



  10. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is Utilised in Fixing the US Patent System and the Patent Microcosm Loses Its Mind

    A roundup of PTAB news, ranging from attacks on the legitimacy of PTAB to progress which is made by PTAB, undoing decades of overpatenting



  11. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Federal Circuit (CAFC) Take on Patents Pertaining to Business Methods

    Patents on tasks that can be performed using pen and paper (so-called 'business methods', just like algorithms) and oughtn't be patent-eligible may be the next casualty of the America Invents Act (AIA)



  12. Google's Stewardship of GNU/Linux (Android, Chromebooks and More) in Doubt After Company Resorts to Patent 'First Strikes'

    Google has just turned a little more evil, by essentially using patents as a weapon against the competition (by no means a defensive move)



  13. Links 24/2/2017: Ubuntu 17.04 Beta, OpenBSD Foundation Nets $573,000 in Donations

    Links for the day



  14. IAM, Greased up by the EPO, Continues Lobbying by Shaming Tactics for the UPC, Under the Guise of 'News'

    The shrill and well-paid writers of IAM are still at it, promoting the Unitary Patent (UPC) at every opportunity and every turn



  15. Patent Scope Gone Awry: European Vegetable Patents Office?

    In its misguided race to raise so-called 'production', the EPO lost sight of its original goals and now facilitates patent royalty payments/taxation for naturally-recurring items of nature



  16. Yes, There is Definitely Brain Drain (Experience Deficit) at the European Patent Office and Stakeholders Feel It

    The direction that the European Patent Office has taken under Battistelli undoes many decades (almost half a century) of reputation-building and progress and naturally this repels existing staff, not to mention hampers recruitment efforts



  17. The Sickness of the EPO – Part IV: Cruel Management That Deliberately Attacks the Sick and the Weak

    The dysphoric reality at the European Patent Office, which is becoming like a large cell (with bolted-down windows) where people are controlled by fear and scapegoats are selected to perpetuate this atmosphere of terror and maintain demand (or workload) for the Investigative Stasi



  18. Links 23/2/2017: Qt 5.9 Alpha, First SHA1 Collision

    Links for the day



  19. UPC Roundup: War on the Appeal Boards, British Motion Against the UPC, Fröhlinger Recalled, and Fake News About Spain

    Taking stock of some of the latest attempts to shove the Unitary Patent (UPC) down Europe's throat, courtesy of Team Battistelli and Team UPC



  20. The Sickness of the EPO – Part III: Invalidity and Suicides

    An explanation of what drives a lot of EPO veterans to depression and sometimes even suicide



  21. The Appeal Board (PTAB) and Federal Circuit (CAFC) Maintain Good Pace of Patent Elimination Where Scope Was Exceeded

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues to accept about 4 out of 5 decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) refuses to intervene



  22. Software Patents Are Ebbing Away, But the “Swamp” Fights Back and Hijacks the Word “Fix”

    The club of patent maximalists, or those who profit from excess prosecution and legal chaos, isn't liking what has happened in the United States and it wants everything reversed



  23. Report From Yesterday's Debate About the European Patent Office (EPO) at the Bavarian Landtag

    A report of the EPO debate which took place at the Bavarian Landtag yesterday (21/2/2017)



  24. Links 22/2/2017: Wine-Staging 2.2, Nautilus 3.24

    Links for the day



  25. French Politician Richard Yung Tells the Government About Abuses at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The subject of EPO scandals has once again landed in French politics, just a couple of months since it last happened



  26. The Sickness of the EPO – Part II: Background Information and Insights

    With a privatised, in-house (sometimes outsourced and for-profit) force for surveillance, policing, justice, public relations and now medical assessment (mere vassals or marionettes of the management) the EPO serves to show that it has become indistinguishable from North Korea, where the Supreme Leader gets to control every single aspect (absolutely no separation of powers)



  27. EPO Cartoon/Caricature by KrewinkelKrijst

    A new rendition by Dutch cartoonist and illustrator KrewinkelKrijst



  28. Inverting Narratives: IAM 'Magazine' Paints Massive Patent Bully Microsoft (Preying on the Weak) as a Defender of the Powerless

    Selective coverage and deliberate misinterpretation of Microsoft's tactics (patent settlement under threat, disguised as "pre-installation of some of the US company’s software products") as seen in IAM almost every week these days



  29. The Sickness of the EPO – Part I: Motivation for New Series of Articles

    An introduction or prelude to a long series of upcoming posts, whose purpose is to show governance by coercion, pressure, retribution and tribalism rather than professional relationship between human beings at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  30. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part VII: EPO Hypocrisy on Cancer and Lack of Feedback to and From ECPC

    The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC), which calls itself "the largest European cancer patients' umbrella organisation," fails to fulfill its duties, says a source of ours, and the EPO makes things even worse


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts