April 6, 2015

.. being in the "Cloud" ...

Forums: 

I've been reading about the Snowden exposures and other internet breaches, the NSA's (and other countries security organizations) access to my data. I've decided to avoid Microsoft, Apple, Google, Oracle, IBM and any other large organization as much as I possibly can.
From what I understand, Google mail and google apps are right up there with all the back doors in place so that these clandestine organizationd can scan my email and my local files whenever it suits them.

I use Google Mail, because its free and I believe its 15GB storage, but I don't put anything into a message that I don't want third parties to get their hands on. I'm trying to find a secure way to manage email without worrying about this unwanted access to my stuff.

Unfortunately we have to go through some sort of ISP or other to gain access to the Internet. Again we run into the fact that these businesses are providing access to these security agencies, because if they don't they will be forced out of business by one means or another.

I've been a Unix/Linux user / sysadmin since 1980. All of my machines now are Linux based with heavy duty firewalls, encryption, and very limited access. It takes a while to get all these facilities configured and working the way I want them to. I only ever use MS Windows with virtual machine software, and configuring the VM to limit the Windows environment to only those applications that are actually needed.

I've built my own servers, both hardware and software, and keep everything pretty much up to date with a very restricted budget.

I do my own cloud thing, and can access my network externally so I can take my work with me wherever I go. I use laptops and netbooks for this, and have recently acquired an Android tablet. I'm trying to figure out if its possible to put another OS on it to get out of Google's reach.

I've been seeing a lot of articles recently about using Google apps everywhere - tablets, phones, and the Linux desktop. I don't think so. I don't use things like OneDrive or DropBox if I can get away with it. I'm wondering if I'm just paranoid (remember that its not paranoia if you really are being followed!) or there isn't as much access by these agencies as inticated. Is the media just sensationalizing these news items or is there really a major cause for concern?

Any thoughts?

Steve Dupuis

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