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04.03.14

Ubuntu is Becoming More Privacy-respecting With Ubuntu One Shutdown

Posted in GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 5:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Canonical is abandoning a Fog Computing service which was a bad idea all along and has become even worse in the age of NSA espionage

CANONICAL is on a roll. The company is improving its stance on privacy not just by cutting some Amazon links (Amazon works very closely with the CIA now) but also by fighting against ACPI (which NSA likes to exploit for back doors) and now dropping Fog Computing. Ubuntu servers can still be set up to power Fog Computing services, but users of Ubuntu will not be pushed to upload their personal files to remote servers, and that’s a fantastic development!

A few days ago FOSS Force appropriately wrote [1] that “Richard Stallman has been trying to warn us for years that when it come to “free” online services such as cloud hosted email accounts, we’re not customers. From the moment we signup we become inventory.”

More people should have listened to Stallman. He just got some much-deserved credit in [2] and Snowden’s leaks (for which Stallman is thankful) proved him correct rather than “paranoid”. Perhaps more people will stop using ‘customer’-hostile hosted E-mail services such as GMail, Yahoo, and Hotmail, which on the face of it does not even support Windows users anymore [3] (not so well anyway). It’s all just a datagrab and people should reject it. The business model is based on privacy infringement.

So, the latest news says that Ubuntu One will soon be history [4-16]. Users should immediately get their files out of there and we strongly urge nobody to use DropBox or other such ‘alternatives’ (don’t spread personal files to yet more servers). DropBox wasn’t just on the PRISM timeline; it also changed its terms and conditions recently, supposedly to rid itself from liability for snooping. We shared dozens of links about it earlier this year and last year. A lot of the corporate press did not pay attention or even cover these serious matters, which had mostly gone under the radar while people clicked “I agree” without reviewing the changes. We don’t need an “alternative” to Ubuntu One just as we don’t need an “alternative” to Facebook. These are fundamentally bad ideas. Media hype (propaganda by repetition) somehow convinced people — even some rational people — that Fog Computing (surveillance-friendly) is a good idea and those who reject it are “Luddites”. Now we know better and we have leaked documents to prove it.

Canonical is a British company, which means that it shares space with GCHQ (the NSA’s other big brother, which helps the NSA spy on US citizens and even Europeans). It’s nothing to do with terrorism! Data on Ubuntu One should never have been assumed “private” or “secure”. Based on one of Snowden’s most recent leaks, the NSA systematically goes through files of sysadmins (news links were posted here last month), looking to harvest their passwords which they sometimes store outside work (in plain text) in order to crack networks in many countries. It’s about espionage. Many Ubuntu users are technical people who are also sysadmins, so hopefully they never got lured into Ubuntu One.

Store locally, encrypt, use only Free software, and avoid all blobs (including drivers) where possible. That’s the only way to stay secure these days. If you are a sysadmin, then you are already an “enemy” because in the NSA’s mind you help ‘guard’ the “Bad Guys” (people like Merkel) on your network.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. ATMs Might Go Linux, MS DOS Source Released & More…

    Remember, Richard Stallman has been trying to warn us for years that when it come to “free” online services such as cloud hosted email accounts, we’re not customers. From the moment we signup we become inventory.

  2. Widows XP DOA on Apr 8th: FREE THIS ORPHAN !!!!

    Richard Stallman is the guru of computing freedom –and a great source. He started the “hack” movement as an outsider inside MIT during the Vietnam protesting era, and founded both the GNU software movement and the Free S/W Foundation.

  3. The Hotmail Runaround

    People who complain that “there’s no tech support for Linux” should discover that there’s even less support for Microsoft products.

  4. Shutting down Ubuntu One file services
  5. Canonical kills Ubuntu One cloud file storage service
  6. Canonical to close Ubuntu One file services, says competing in ‘free storage wars’ was unsustainable
  7. Canonical shutters Ubuntu One cloud services
  8. Canonical: we can’t afford to keep Ubuntu One
  9. Canonical Shuts Down Cloud Storage Service Ubuntu One
  10. Canonical admits failure — shuttering Ubuntu One cloud services
  11. Canonical closes down Ubuntu One cloud file services
  12. Canonical to close Ubuntu One cloud-storage service
  13. Canonical Shutters Ubuntu One
  14. Canonical shutting down Ubuntu One file services
  15. Canonical to Shut Down Ubuntu One, Start Saving Your Data Now
  16. Ubuntu to shut down Dropbox competitor Ubuntu One as storage wars heat up

    Aside from being a distraction, Canonical says the service is being shut down because “free storage wars aren’t a sustainable place for us to be, particularly with other services now regularly offering 25GB – 50GB free storage.” Interestingly, this departure also marks Canonical’s departure from music streaming services; One offered a music streaming feature for songs stored on the service.

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