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US Government: You Don't Own Your Cloud Data So We Can Access It At Any Time 531

New submitter jest3r writes "On Tuesday the EFF 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 access to their property. Many businesses used Megaupload's cloud service to store and share files not related to piracy. The government is calling for a long, drawn-out process that would require individuals or small companies to travel to courts far away and engage in multiple hearings just to get their own property back. Additionally, the government's argument that you lose all your property rights by storing your data on the cloud could apply to Amazon's S3 or Google Apps or Apple iCloud services as well (see page 4 of their filing)."
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US Government: You Don't Own Your Cloud Data So We Can Access It At Any Time

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  • Flipside (Score:5, Interesting)

    by areusche ( 1297613 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @01:45PM (#41855173)
    Does this mean that all of those copyrighted works I am hosting "in the cloud" are no longer the property of their respected copyright holders? I can see this being argued in all sorts of funny ways.
  • What about money? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2012 @01:47PM (#41855211)

    Most of my money is "stored" by my bank, backed by promissory notes which in turn are notionally backed by gold deposits stored in some other location that my bank doesn't know about. It's all in the cloud, and has been my entire life. Do I still have property rights over that?

  • Safe Deposit Boxes? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mveloso ( 325617 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @01:51PM (#41855251)

    Shouldn't the EFF argue that a cloud service is the equivalent of a bank's safe deposit box? Someone else holds your property on your behalf. For SDBs, the government needs a warrant...just like if your stuff was in the cloud.

  • Re:Bullshit. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oh_my_080980980 ( 773867 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @01:55PM (#41855321)
    Actually you do for cloud services. Read the contracts that Google has....so the government can argue you don't have any expectation of property rights if you waive them with the cloud carrier. Then again, you could argue, the contract is between you and google and not the government. Therefore the government cannot assume it gets the same rights, as set force in the contract, as the cloud carrier.

    Oooo the arguments....
  • Re:Bullshit. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scsirob ( 246572 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @01:56PM (#41855327)

    This is like the government saying that your car no longer belongs to you when you park it on a public road. Bullshit indeed.

  • Re:Bullshit. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2012 @01:57PM (#41855349)

    Maybe the government is more like a jackass friend. You still "own" that nice suede jacket with the candy stripe lining, but you're never getting it back.

  • GovCloud (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bWareiWare.co.uk ( 660144 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @02:04PM (#41855501) Homepage

    Dose it apply to http://aws.amazon.com/govcloud-us/ [amazon.com]

  • Re:Flipside (Score:4, Interesting)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @02:04PM (#41855511)
    You are an individual. Your rights are irrelevant if a corporation might lose money when your rights an enforced. Well, only those corporations that have friends in high places, like movie studios. Actually, it's just turtles all the way down, by which I mean corrupt major party politicians all the way up.
  • Re:What about money? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rob the Bold ( 788862 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @02:04PM (#41855513)

    which in turn are notionally backed by gold deposits stored in some other location that my bank doesn't know about

    We abandoned the gold standard years ago, old man. No currency on Earth is backed by gold right now.

    Interestingly, that makes his fundamental argument/question about "cloud money" even better, since money is really data now.

  • by SteffenM ( 166724 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @02:31PM (#41856013)

    Given our debt-based and loan-centric society, one could argue that the money you keep in the bank isn't even money.

  • Re:So.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @02:33PM (#41856055) Journal

    Or the entire contents of bank safebox room

    This actually happened in the UK. based on some very dubious statistics about the likely contents of the safeboxes.

  • Re:So.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2012 @03:02PM (#41856487)

    The implication here is that Obama is better.

    I'll take this opportunity to point out the naivety of that point of view.

    Not only has Obama maintained the terrorist stance of the previous regime, he's one-upped it by signing the NDAA while it contained indefinite detention provisions.

    By allowing this to be codified into law he has directly undermined the Bill of Rights and pretty much the basis of all the other stances taken in the founding of this country - that there should be no king who is outside the law.

  • Re:So.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sakshale ( 598643 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @03:46PM (#41857279) Homepage Journal

    Here is an analogy;

    I rent a locker at a local storage locker company.
    The guy with the locker next to mine, fills his with drugs ... and gets caught.
    Police put a crime scene tape around the entire facility and block my access to my stuff.
    Police want to verify that there isn't any drugs in my locker.

    What happens next?

  • by DeadCatX2 ( 950953 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @04:10PM (#41857681) Journal

    There's more to it than Kelo. Mr. Romney has come out saying he wants to stack SCOTUS with people who would overturn Roe vs Wade at the first opportunity. His choice would also most likely do everything they could to fight equal rights for gay Americans. For example Lawrence vs Texas; even though it was a 6-3 decision, former Justice O'Connor was in the 6, and she was replaced by Justice Alito who almost certainly would have voted with the Court's conservative bloc to make that a 5-4 decision if argued today.

    And forgive me for labeling hyperbole the idea that Kelo was the "most significant civil liberty decision in the last 15-20 years". In my opinion there are greater civil liberties than just the right to property.

    For example, Hamdan vs Rumsfeld and Hamdi vs Rumsfeld. Those cases were about locking people in cages without any kind of due process, which is without a doubt far more significant than merely losing some property. In both cases, Justice Ginsburg was on the side of protecting civil liberties, and our friends on the right wing of the court like Justices Scalia and Thomas (and Alito in Hamdan) decided that they were okay with the denial of basic due process rights.

    I see the examples of Hamdan and Hamdi, among others I'm sure, as evidence that civil liberties barely dodged a bullet. And if Justice Ginsburg is replaced by someone like Justices Scalia or Alito, you can kiss those civil liberties goodbye.

  • Re:So.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TooMuchToDo ( 882796 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @04:17PM (#41857787)

    Own the hardware and host it outside of the US.

    We already had the majority of our equipment in Europe. We're moving the last of our data and processes over the next 60 days from Chicago to Amsterdam.

  • Re:So.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Shoten ( 260439 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @04:51PM (#41858259)

    Totally irrelevant. But just the same, also factually wrong, so I'll reply:

    Actually, no he didn't...not even close. You can go back a couple of decades to the Black Chamber, or even further back by centuries to Sir Walsingham. You could argue that Sun Tzu was a forerunner, but if I had to pick a single person to actually start the surveillance of citizens by government, I'd choose Walsingham. And you know what? He stopped a number of plots against Queen Elizabeth I that way, and it's really hard to argue that his methods were unnecessary or heavy-handed.

  • Re:So.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jcr ( 53032 ) <.moc.cam. .ta. .rcj.> on Friday November 02, 2012 @05:01PM (#41858433) Journal

    >Ah, but they were spying on a self-declared "foreign nation",

    They didn't limit these activities to the south.


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