Re: get out of NSA and PRISM spying for mail and cloud services
Just for the heck of it I tried setting up a "personal cloud" over the weekend. I wasn't planning to actually use it since I like Google's, Dropbox's, and Evernote's solutions quite a lot, but I figured it'd be educational and it certainly was. I did get ownCloud installed as well as Postfix, Dovecot, and RoundCubeMail for email. It worked fine even though using a self-signed SSL certificate is not ideal. It didn't work nearly as well as the hosted solutions I already used, though, and dealing with a secure backup of that data was anything but trivial. It also was undoubtedly less secure than hosted solutions (one machine doing too many functions and no dedicated firewall machine). Reduced functionality with reduced security and vastly increased chances of data loss are not good trade offs for an increase in perceived privacy, in my opinion.
Google may mine your data to serve you ads, but they have entire teams dedicated to keeping your data secure. After all, if they had a reputation for not keeping your data safe they'd lose market share pretty quickly. I highly doubt that these companies have some secret government backdoor since that'd be a huge security risk for them. However, I have absolutely no doubt that they are also complying with all legal requests for users' data and may even have a streamlined process for it. You are not immune to legal requests for your data if you run your own personal cloud or even if you bow out of the whole cloud thing and keep your data on your own personal computers. I'm no fan of the idea that multiple governments are trying to spy on internet activity. I'm just far less worried about that than the idea of hackers (script-kiddies, really) or identity thieves gaining access to my personal information.
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