Another nail in the coffin for those continuing their misguided but vigorous efforts to make the assertion that a shared pool of computing is inherently riskier than some a mythical “private” computing resources.
Much like believeing the world is flat (literally, not in the Tom Friedman sense), an obvious observation is actually not just wrong, but profoundly, deeply misguided.
Here’s the latest example. The NYT times reported this past Sunday on the efforts by the Russian government to use piracy charges concerning
Microsoft software to confiscate computers from dissidents and use the data on those computers to suppress their efforts.
As Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith addresses in a blog post, “it
suggested that there had been cases when our own counsel at law firms
had failed to help clear things up and had made matters worse instead.”
So much for “private” computers being more secure. Or harder to get data from. Or that local install software licenses are fully vetted, and present no business risks. Or that Microsoft outside counsel – lawyers – are able to manage the privacy implications of local install software.
As we’ve always maintained, locally installed data on portable computers and devices is inherently riskiest possible way to store data.
But what’s so novel about this news from Russia is a new theory I’d never heard — that once
you’ve installed the software — any software — on hardware, that the
hardware could be confiscated as a result of anti-piracy efforts.
Your hardware, if not properly licensed, is subject to being confiscated
by federal or state authorities in order to enforce anti-piracy
protection. It’s self evident.
The next logical conclusion is that in order to evaluate the contractual issues with cloud computing, one should look at the contractual issues around local install models in order to do a full and complete comparison to cloud computing models on an “apples to apples” basis.
For those naysayers who pronounce the contractual issues around cloud computing are too new or untested or that the unwillingness of the cloud computing providers to provide exceptions and indemnities, how many of you gave your Microsoft EULA or any local install software license an equal scrubbing?
How many of the cloud computing critics have clicked “I Agree” through their local install software licensing agreements without requesting any modification to the terms?
All of them.
I know I’ve got a new interest in what my actual contractual rights are with local installed software. My guess is that it doesn’t contain a blanket guarantee that the data is in my control regardless of the circumstance.