With all the talk about cloud computing I finally decided to build my own cloud. I’m rocking in the cloud without relying on third-party solutions and absolutely loving it. What finally coaxed me into moving everything onto my own infrastructure was the ever increasing powers government officials have been claiming in the realm of data acquisition. The federal government can send a letter out to a company and demand information about a customer be turned over. While the government has been able to exercise similar powers in the past through acquisition of a warrant they weren’t able to force the target company to keep the request for information secret like they can today. Well it seems Google and Sonic were targets of a recent federal fishing expedition:
The U.S. government has obtained a controversial type of secret court order to force Google Inc. and small Internet provider Sonic.net Inc. to turn over information from the email accounts of WikiLeaks volunteer Jacob Appelbaum, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Both Google and Sonic pressed for the right to inform Mr. Appelbaum of the secret court orders, according to people familiar with the investigation. Google declined to comment. Mr. Appelbaum, 28 years old, hasn’t been charged with wrongdoing.
As we’re hearing about this story it seems that Google and Sonic were successful in fighting the government demand of secrecy, this isn’t always the case though. The government very well could have obtained information about you from a company and you’ll never know unless they decided to move in and arrest you. If the government wants my data they’re going to have to send me one of those secret letters thus ensuring I know they’re spying on me.
The only way you can guarantee your data remains under your control is if you exercise complete control over it. If you store your data on a third-party service there is no way you can know other people don’t have access to it.