Hi, I disagree about the 24x7 availability, my ISP went through some upgrades and here were about 5 hours a day for a week (during the wee hours) when I could get email and yet because I pull all emails down onto my server I could still go through and check the emails from earlier in the day and write all of my emails ready to send. If it was cloud based it would be unavailable for those 5 hours. It's why I keep frequently used data sheets on my server as well, so that I can still work no matter what.
I think the fine the lawyer is making is that if it is in the cloud then the cloud operator has all day to sift through it to see whether they think it's LEGAL and can be asked by the government to do so without your knowledge where as if it's on your computer then they need a warrant or else literally break in.
"Irrelevant?" You're too hard on yourself, Bert. I'm with you on this one. It seems like a distinction without a difference, in other words a marketing term. There is information out there, and when I want it, I connect via the same ol' CAT-5 or WiFi and then go get it. Call it what you will.
But maybe I'm stuck in old-school-ville. Perhaps CEO with the funny glasses can get my head right on this one?
I agree with DMcCunney. It depends on the data. The cloud service is more like mailing paper documents to a 3rd party who is to store it somewhere for you, promising that they can find it when you want it. That is OK for many documents, but would you send off bearer bonds to be stored in this way? Paper money? A fantastic new design for which the patent application has not yet been filed? Yes, "cloud" is a new name for an existing thing, but it still has not been around long enough to be fully trusted. There are still too many gray areas, particularly legal issues.
<shrug> Like lots of other people, I make use of the cloud. I'm putting an increasing amount of material up under Google Docs and on Google Drive.
It has three advantages:
1 I can get to it from wherever I happen to have a broadband connection and a browser
2 I don't have to worry about backups and losing data because anything stored on Google's servers is stored in multiple geographically seperate locations for redundancy. Google can (and has) lost entire data centers without loss of data.
3 easy access to that data to others, with control over who has access. Since a lot of it is collaborative in nature to begin with, this is a win.
I could do those things before, by setting up a server of my own and making it visible to the Internet, or by renting capacity on a hosting provider's server who would do it for me. The main practical difference is that in cloud storage, I don't necessarily know precisely where my data is located. But I don't have to: all I need to know is how to access it.
Privacy and security are obviously concerns, but they always were. If my data is business or personal critical, where unauthorized access could be a major problem, I'll think hard about whether I want to place it on the cloud, and what cloud provider I'll use if I do. And if it's that critical, it won't be on the cloud "in clear" - it will be encrypted, probably with a form of public key encryption, before it ever gets uploaded, and I'll be enormously fussy about who gets not only cloud access to the hosted storqage, but the private keys required to decrypt and read it.
I'll take the anonymous lawyer's word about "you lose attorney-client privilege on communications conducted in the cloud" I'm not sure that point has been clarified in case law. Part of the question will be the definition of "control". What I fail to see is why I might be conducting such communications on the cloud to begin with, unless the suggestion is that I shouldn't use cloud based email like GMail for correspondence that might be privileged.
The bottom line is that whether it's a hosting service providing space on a server in their data center, or a cloud provider where the actual location of the data is less easy to discover, illegal material is illegal material. If you put it out where others can find it and they do, well, that's what you get for being stupid. The cloud is really irrelevant to the underlying issue.
The cloud can be just as secure or insecure as your PC. It really comes down the efforts you take to protect the data. This is no different than having paper files locked away in a storage facility. However, I do agree that it may take non-technical people, including lawyers, time before they fully grasp this concept.
What are you talking about? They scan for ILLEGAL MATERIAL. If your code happened to look like something that was illegal it would get reviewed. This isn't Brazil where a machine is going to misfile you into prison.
Besides, that illegal material is still illegal if it is on your personal computer and not in the cloud.