New way of looking at "cloud" and internet

Discussion in 'General Computing' started by Machin Shin, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. Machin Shin

    Machin Shin Member

    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I have been thinking about things lately and the state of the internet. I find myself having a huge internal conflict. I love technology and I love how it can improve our lives, but then I find myself hating the "fine print" that is coming with a lot of it these days. I am disgusted at the idea that my technology that I love so much is being used against me. That it is reporting every little thing I do to someone I don't know.

    The problem right now is that my options seem to be 1) accept that I'm going to be monitored by my tech every second of every day or 2) don't use the tech.

    This does not in any way seem acceptable to me. So I propose a new third option. I want to replace all the features that the big corporations offer with open source solutions. Not only that though. I want to take it a step past that. I want to replicate the kind of features that you get with google services but instead have it all handled my a local server.

    This to me seems like the most logical step. It has been proven that Governments and Corporations cannot be trusted with our data. So instead of giving it to them we instead need to build systems to replace those services with self hosted services.

    So what does everyone else out there think? Is this a good idea or just the ranting of a crazy man?

  2. slashedzero

    slashedzero New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Sounds like you need to visit prism-break.

    I think many people (both interested and not interested in technology) feel this way and a lot are actively doing something about it. It's a good idea to both make the switch yourself and advocate switching to others.

    It scares me that here in the US, we are so so quick to acknowledge and accept that companies like Facebook and Google provide us "free" services in exchange for taking our data. Google provides really great services, and I generally think they're still a good company (based on their interest in research and future tech still), but the truth of the matter is that everything comes down to money.

    I'm a bit of a pessimist in this realm, but I don't think anything will change until we see negative consequences from big data (lost job opportunities from a photo, incrimination based on online data, etc). And by that time, policy will be too far behind and we'll be too late.

    I think a alternative infrastructure is the future, there'll be the "commercial" internet (what we have now) and then a slew of other networks.
  3. Machin Shin

    Machin Shin Member

    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I agree that the best way to do something is to make the switch myself and then to encourage others to do so as well.

    I actually started thinking about this a few days ago when looking at "Google now" on my phone. Every time I look at this app I get hit with two thoughts 1) This is awesome and handy 2) This is damn creepy, why does it know the route I take to get home, and the web sites I visited lately, and ton of other things.

    What I kind of came to realize though is that really most people want our own "Jarvis" just like Tony Stark in Iron Man. That in a way is what Google is starting to offer. All our devices linked together and acting intelligently. They watch what we do and learn our habits. From that they are then able to give us what we need when we need it without us even asking. This is AWESOME. I love that, what I do not like is all that data going to Google.

    So the solution that comes to my mind is simple. Why do I need Google? How about making a personal system that does what Google's servers now do, but instead is your server in your house. It monitors all that you do and learns all your habits... but suddenly that is not so creepy when it is your own server that you control.

    I see no reason that it is not possible. In fact, over the last couple days I have found most of the parts already available. There are already open source mail servers with calendering, there are open source cloud file storage options as well.

    So I guess what I will be doing over the coming months is trying to build my own private "google services". My plans so far are to use a spare server to load Proxmox. Then build VMs to handle each service. If all goes well, then in a couple months I hope to be mostly free of google using privately operated systems.

    I will try and keep everyone updated on things if anyone is interested. If it works out as I hope it will, then in the future I will also be building tutorials showing what I did. My hopes are that eventually this could be something packaged up to the point that even someone that is not very familiar with computers or with setting up servers could still do it.

    I think that will be the key to changing things. It is not enough for me to go out and change what I do through some crazy complex system. If we are to really change things we need to make a system that anyone can start up and use.
  4. slashedzero

    slashedzero New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Sweet plan! Please please please contact the mods to put it in the tutorials section. There're many people seeking to do the same thing with linux and home servers. If you could add to the documentation, you're doing people a huge service!

    Additionally, have you thought about the underlying problems with contributing to some company's big data profile on you? What that information means to them (how will they profit), how that info can be mismanaged, and most importantly, who can possibly access that info. It's really chilling that people have no qualms with giving up every little bit about their lives on the internet.

    I don't know what part of the world you reside in, but look to see if there's a cryptoparty
    or some sort of security group in your area. These people are excellent resources for this kind of stuff and are a vehicle for getting out the basic message that it's not all milk and honey in the "information economy".
  5. Cyber-Berserker

    Cyber-Berserker Active Member

    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I like the cryptoparty link. After giving a spiel about encrypting data for the purpose of privacy, they encourage people to follow them on Twitter!o_O

    Interesting idea though.:)
  6. Machin Shin

    Machin Shin Member

    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    18

    I have been thinking about the problems of contributing to company's data profiles. That is one of the main reasons I started thinking about doing this. That is one of the big advantages though of setting up your own hosting for any service you can. I have found open source solutions to host my own calendar system, e-mail, and cloud file storage. I have also found open source peer to peer search I was thinking of using. Hosting those systems yourself will knock out a very large part of online tracking, but by no means does it stop all of it.

    I'm located in the US, I'm embarrassed to say (and really pissed off that I have to be embarrassed of my country, WTF happened to the principals this country was built on?). As a result though the first priority for me I think will be getting e-mail hosting working. By US law any e-mail that remains on a server 180 days is "abandoned" and does not require a warrant for the government to read.

    My end goal will be to have a kind of "total package", where I am in control of as much of my online life as absolutely possible. I know though that this is going to be a rather ambitious project and I'm going to have to just start with one part and figure it out, then move on to next block until I have built what I need.

    One of the problems that comes to mind though that I could use ideas on is how to handle domain names if this was to work out. For me I can just get a domain name and use it for my servers and e-mail. If I get all this working and start trying to help others setup a system... very quickly it becomes unpractical for everyone to have their own domain name. Admittedly though that is one of the very last problems in this project that will need a solution.
  7. Cyber-Berserker

    Cyber-Berserker Active Member

    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Trying to make cloud computing secure is a lost cause. Its purpose is convenience, not security.
  8. lobo

    lobo Active Member

    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    81
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Cloud computing is about making data mining and surveillance easier and more profitable. Adware mega corps like google know that if they can provide convenience along with toys and fashion eye candy, the masses will willingly sacrifice both privacy and security - the next stage is to get them to sacrifice ownership (that's just another matter of "fine print" and exploiting general naivety and complacency).

    You can at least try to secure your own local data, but you haven't a hope of securing cloud storage from the "trusted" corporations who own the servers. By using the cloud you are almost certainly sacrificing both privacy and ownership. And we have seen that occasionally these mega corps get hacked and millions of user accounts leaked - so the security aspect is debatable as well.

    tl;dr "all your zeros and ones are belong to us"
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  9. Cyber-Berserker

    Cyber-Berserker Active Member

    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    43
    That suggests someone got access to files on a computer's hard-drive and stole them. In that case, the files would be gone.

    Security is prevention. Nothing can be done after someone gets in.

Share This Page