Let’s talk for a minute about privacy and online storage.
While America may be one of the centers of the Internet universe, it is hardly the optimal place for online storage, due to the aggressive erosion of personal liberties and privacy.
If you’re in the pro-Gonzales camp, you may want to stop reading now; you’re not going to be happy with what I have to say.
If you care about your privacy and freedoms and how they relate to the Zonbu, then read on…
The erosion of privacy...
Privacy in America is not what it once was. Some would even question why we’re “fighting over there” to bring democracy to a new land while we’re rapidly destroying some of the central tenets of it “over here”.
As the general public, we don’t even know what we don’t know about the snooping and eavesdropping that has been engaged in since 9/11. Any dscussion on the topic is immediately muzzled.
What we do know is that extensive, and potentially illegal, if not unethical, eavesdropping on average citizens, both domestically and internationally, has become commonplace.
We also know the government is engaged in a number of projects to compile massive databases on the calling, Internet use and credit habits of virtually all citizens and others residing in or passing through America.
Is this climate right for online data storage?
Given this invasive climate, is the S3 storage service the best option for the Zonbu? Probably not.
Storing your data in a country that has stronger protections for personal privacy is probably a better option. Although, as always, the fears of these options harbouring illegal material is valid and needs to be weighed against personal freedoms.
At the very least, I think Zonbu should offer alternate solutions, ideally creating an abstraction layer between the Zonbu OS and the on-line storage provider so that interfaces in to various platforms can be written without changing the user experience.
Two immediate options come to mind, Switzerland and Sweden. Both because of privacy laws and also because of network connectivity. Additional locations in the Caribbean or other locales may have benefits that could be explored.
In addition to offering alternate locations to the US based S3 servers, it would be nice if the Zonbu offered the ability to encrypt individual folders within the operating system and storage infrastructure.
Depending on the location and use of the PC, it may be necessary to keep documents and records separate from different end users or prying eyes.
As someone who had a fairly senior non-management employee uncover and distribute payroll tables around the company, I can tell you this can be a real issue.
A Global Conscience
In closing, I want to say that when it comes to not only privacy but also environmentalism and general community engagement, a global approach will serve the Zonbu better than an American centric approach.
Arguably, many of the selling features of the device/service play even better in countries other than America.
These challenges and opportunities should not be overlooked.