Zittrainâ€™s op-ed is thought-provoking as it discusses a range of issues that are very much in the news at the moment, from the theft of Twitter documents from their locations in the cloud to Amazon remote-deleting e-books directly from peopleâ€™s Kindles.
In focusing on the Twitter case in particular, Zittrain echoes what just about every reporter, commentator and pundit has been saying â€“ the major issue concerns security of access to your content when its â€˜out thereâ€™ in the cloud.
[â€¦] Data stored online has less privacy protection both in practice and under the law. A hacker recently guessed the password to the personal e-mail account of a Twitter employee, and was thus able to extract the employeeâ€™s Google password. That in turn compromised a trove of Twitterâ€™s corporate documents stored too conveniently in the cloud. Before, the bad guys usually needed to get their hands on peopleâ€™s computers to see their secrets; in todayâ€™s cloud all you need is a password.
The bold text in the last sentence is my emphasis.
But is that really all you need?
In commenting on the Amazon Kindle kerfuffle, one thing the FTâ€™s Richard Waters says especially caught my eye:
With no local storage, nothing can ever be owned, only rented.
No, what you need is a copy of everything, a backup, away from the cloud. At least, until you can trust anyone whose service you use for storing or sharing things that are important to you.
And even then, Iâ€™d want a copy of everything.
Meanwhile, make sure you have a strong password for the cloud.