Once again, American companies are facing a huge disadvantage against foreign competitors in an explosive growth industry that they invented and excel in. Laws that have infringed on constitutional rights like the Patriot Act, DMCA, Protect IP and more are also blocking US based cloud services companies from competing on the world market. Add to that seizure of hosted property plus non-existant enforcement of the right to privacy and it’s a wonder US cloud businesses can survive at all.
Unfortunately, whether inspired by polemics, protectionism or genuine privacy concerns, some European officials are speaking up against cloud computing because of unwarranted fears about the data-protection practices of U.S. companies. For example, in September, the Dutch minister of safety and justice cited the USA Patriot Act to exclude U.S. providers of cloud computing services from bidding on Dutch government contracts, and a member of the Dutch parliament proclaimed that “data from Dutch citizens that is managed by the government should exclusively be stored within Dutch borders using Dutch companies” in order to guarantee the privacy of Dutch citizens. (Washington Times)
In fairness, as far as Europeans are concerned our new IP and privacy laws aren’t much worse their own. That leads to a lot of political infighting and a likely cloud trade war. If the US Constitution were obeyed by pols, the US cloud would be the international gold standard of security and privacy. Adding insult to injury, existing and new laws do nothing to eliminate safe havens and no amount of enforcement can close them. Opportunistic countries will provide them and American companies who want an competitive advantage will set up shop there. A good many already have.
Present policy not only leaves American consumers with something less than they might have had, it steals a giant opportunity for the next generation of entrepreneurs and IT workers. The next time you hear a pol or beaureaucrat proclaim that these laws do not harm to law abiding Americans, think again.
I’ve mentioned more than once that elitists have traditionally derived most of their power from the control of information. The balance has been derived from the brute force of the military and law enforcement. The Internet continues to democratize information at light speed. Knowledge has gained its own right of freedom, and the seeker of knowledge is fining it at will with increasing ease. That spells big trouble for the ruling class. It also reveals the the true class warfare that is underway, but unreported. That is a war against the freedom of knowledge. Government agencies has been quick to criminalize activities of common citizens that pose little or no threat to anything other than the unchecked power of the status quo.
Cries that we are not ready for a Cyber War have been growing among pols and fed contractors over the last couple of years. For anyone who was been paying attention, so called Cyber Wars have been underway for some time. Potential for foreign based assaults plague the realm of every single Internet user, as they have for decades. This has grown largely thanks to rogue nations sponsoring these activities to others simply ignoring them. Private citizens and most businesses effected by them have found very little sympathy of aid from the feds. A entire industry has grown to protect against and mitigate these threats. That industry has largely kept threats in check, even with abundant interference from our very own feds. (more…)
In a new lawsuit, RightHaven has lost another countersuit against it to the tune of $119k for costs, legal fees and attorney’s costs. What is significant about this ruling is that RightHaven is already having trouble paying for a ~$35k lawsuit it just lost a couple of months ago. They had actually filed appeal papers that were dismissed by the 9th Circuit.
This new outcome will probably put them over the edge and into insolvency. The once the veil of the corporation is broken, and it will, Mr. Gibson, RighHaven’s CEO will see his entire assests seized.
IBM names it’s new CEO. Virginia Rometty is a 30 year IBM’er who came up through the ranks. The press is making a big deal out of the fact Ginny’s a woman, missing equally important information. While she’s IBM’s first female CEO, Rometty is also singularly qualified to drive the company’s continued success because she knows it’s business and it’s customers. HP’s board and Meg Whitman must be even more green with envy.
Meanwhile back at HP’s product development center, ARM based servers are being readied. Boardroom IBM envy aside, the engineers at HP can still do cutting edge. Dell and IBM are certain to follow their lead.
Spam style lawsuits may be history for copyright trolls. When you stop feeding trolls, they usually go foraging elsewhere.
Padded resumes that land big, important IT Jobs: New US CIO wants to run the feds’ systems like a startup. OH well, if he doesn’t work out, I hear Leo Apothecar is available.
Senate gone wild: Protect IP act keeps on moving forward, and keeps looking scarier. Never mind individual rights, Reid, McConnel and their pampered bubble dwelling minions take care of cronies first. What’s at risk? An open Internet.
Junk research at it’s worst: Forrester declares the end of Linux. What’s next? A documentary by Al Gore?
… as it was not for lack of trying.
The FTC had alleged that Google misrepresented its privacy claims because it led Gmail users to believe they could choose to join Buzz. Instead, Google Buzz, Google’s first attempt at a social network, was integrated into Gmail. This resulted in Buzz users’ e-mail contacts being made public. That didn’t go over well.
By the end of March, Google has apologized for its blunder. Alma Whitten, Google’s Director of Privacy, wrote, “User trust really matters to Google. That’s why we try to be clear about what data we collect and how we use it-and to give people real control over the information they share with us.”
She continued, “That said, we don’t always get everything right. The launch of Google Buzz fell short of our usual standards for transparency and user control-letting our users and Google down. While we worked quickly to make improvements, regulators-including the U.S. Federal Trade Commission-unsurprisingly wanted more detail about what went wrong and how we could prevent it from happening again. Today, we’ve reached an agreement with the FTC to address their concerns. We’ll receive an independent review of our privacy procedures once every two years, and we’ll ask users to give us affirmative consent before we change how we share their personal information.”
If you read the order, FTC has a 20 year whip against Google. Google blew it and now they pay the piper. What’s worse is now, you got a beef with Google, write a letter to the FTC. Google must now respond. It might end up better than filling in one of their silly online forms.