Thinking of storing data in the cloud? The feds are arguing in court that once you’ve done so, you’ve lost all rights to it

No search or seizure without a warrant?

The feds say that doesn’t apply to your data in the cloud.

Due process, for instance for getting your data back?

That doesn’t apply either. The feds will comb your data before you travel to remote jurisdictions for hearings to plead for its return.

But you can get it back, right?


In an Earth-shaking threat to the cloud industry, the federal government is arguing exactly all of the above in its shutdown of Megaupload and seizure of all users’ data. If you were thinking about moving data to the cloud, watch this case closely.

Megaupload and the Government’s Attack on Cloud Computing

Yesterday, EFF, on behalf of its client Kyle Goodwin, filed a brief proposing a process for the Court in the Megaupload case to hold the government accountable for the actions it took (and failed to take) when it shut down Megaupload’s service and denied third parties like Mr. Goodwin access to their property. The government also filed a brief of its own, calling for a long, drawn-out process that would require third partiesoften individuals or small companies—to travel to courts far away and engage in multiple hearings, just to get their own property back.

Note to all my private cloud-using clients:

Stop right there. Make backups of everything. Take hashes of those backups. Because your data is at risk, and so are you, in far more ways than one.

Unfortunately, because we are not trusted, we must not trust. It is shameful that we’ve reached this place.