Phillip Smith

Re-thinking resistance in the age of the cloud

Activist organizations are getting bitten by storing their data in "the cloud" and there is a lot that can be done about it.  Over the years, I've seen this happen, more than a few times, to organizations that I've worked with. Heck, it's happened twice in the last year just to New Internationalist. But the question is: as Web services used by these organizations shut-down, or -- worse -- when they willingly hand out data to any repressive regime that asks for it, are there enough alternatives being developed to provide, well, alternatives? 

This concern was brought back to life for me recently with the news that the micro-blogging service Twitter allegedly assisted authorities in locating an activist during the G-20 Protest in Pittsburgh, resulting in his arrest.. The possible collusion of services like Twitter is a relatively new activist security concern, historically concerns focused on the all-too-frequent seizure of Internet servers and hardware used by activists and organizations like Indymedia. But now that people's data is moving "into the cloud," there are a lot more issues to be concerned about. 

About

Hi, I'm Phillip Smith, a veteran digital publishing consultant, online advocacy specialist, and strategic convener. If you enjoyed reading this, find me on Twitter and I'll keep you updated.

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