Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Internet's Voltaire Moment

Simon Phipps from ComputerWorldUK gives us some interesting food for thought in his latest blog post.  Now, I don't agree with him that WikiLeaks and The Pirate Bay are tarred with the same brush, nor that what WikiLeaks are doing is inherently wrong (I think we need some journalists somewhere who've got big enough balls to do what a lot of journalists did years ago - report what's ACTUALLY happening, not just what someone else reported), but I think that his points on how easily some Cloud providers terminated WikiLeaks' access is something that needs to be carefully weighed up when we're looking at hosting information in The Cloud.

If Amazon and Tableau software are so willing to remove access by WikiLeaks to their services, then we all need to have a long hard think about what would happen to our business if for some reason we had our access to our data blocked for a period of time.  I've already blogged here, here and here about Microsoft BPOS and Office 365 outages, here about the many times LiveMeeting is, well, not "Live" and here about Quicken Online going offline permanently (without any *real* way of converting your data to their new online offering), and there's a lot more well known instances of failed Cloud services causing major headaches for their paying clientele (such as when online backup vendor Carbonite lost the data for a large number of their clients).

Ultimately, if you lose access to your data because your Internet connection fails, there's generally always some other option - even if it means going home (or to the beach) to work.  This is one of the good sellign points of the Cloud.  But what happens if the hosting provider decides, for whatever reason, to limit access to your data.  What happens to your business then?


The Outspoken Wookie


Hilton Travis said...

This blog post adds some more relevant information to my blog post...

Hilton Travis said...

Not only PayPal, but also VISA has suspended all payments to WikiLeaks.

Why can a hatred-based organization such as the KKK (or even a mind-fuck organization like Scientology) be allowed to continue operations unheeded, yet a journalistic outlet releasing factual documentation is stymied at every turn?

What's wrong with this picture, our world, our world leaders and our ability to vote real, honest people into positions of power? :(