Cory Doctorow is a very smart man! (as is John Scalzi)

Saturday, December 18, 2010
This has to be the quote of the week:
A cloud computer is just like a regular computer, except you have to ask permission from the phone company every time you use it - Cory Doctorow via Twitter
John Scalzi also makes an interesting point regarding cloud computing: the United States, the 4th Amendment status of content saved “in the cloud” still appears to be ambiguous, notwithstanding this week’s 6th Circuit Court ruling regarding e-mail on service provider servers. I’m not fomenting treason or such, but even so, I’d still like my government to need a warrant if it suspects I am, rather than going to my cloud service provider and leaning on them to use its Terms of Service to short-circuit those rights.
My own concern is that content providers are slowly but surely creating a 'walled internet' with the glorious world of apps. Much like the DMCA circumvents fair use with encryption, apps are being created by content providers to provide a 'seamless' customer experience at the cost of your control of the data. This control is not just how you get the data, but also what data the app providers receive from you.

Long ago the early internet denizens scoffed at AOL and their vision of a tiered and walled internet where they would provide 'premium' services to their subscribers. We fretted (and still do) over the DMCA and what it meant to fair use. We have argued for net neutrality, saying that without it, the net would become a wasteland controlled by the media conglomerates, Google, Microsoft and Apple.

Today an iPad user can get all their information from their Fox App, subscribe to their Dr. Laura, Bill O' Reilly and Glenn Beck podcasts and never, ever see the rest of the internet. You can safely live in your 'walled' internet without the fuss and muss of conflicting opinions.

It's probably just a matter of time before some content provider stops allowing access via the web and only via their app. Which will be free and convenient. The internet will be the lesser for it.

Hat Tip to John Scalzi @ Whatever 
Cory Doctorow can be found at the great BoingBoing and at his own blog Craphound


  1. Agrees: that our government is now saying we have no expectation of privacy in the cloud is very disturbing.

    Sorta like the requirement that all encryption tech for internet communication needs to be tapable - a la phone.

    Our Gov can still bug our homes, so why do they need to build exploits into our communication? Do they not realize that anything that can be exploited will be?

    Or maybe they haven't heard of WikiLeaks?

  2. What really concerns me is the tremendous loopholes for wireless carriers in the new Net Neutrality bill.


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