SOPA, PIPA, and the Cloud: We Have Mega Issues

SOPA, PIPA, and the Cloud

SOPA and PIPA, two of the most infamous and polemical pieces of governmental legislation aimed squarely at the Internet’s copyright violators in modern history, have produced ripples of interest that should not go unnoticed by the cloud computing community.

After days of heated protest both online and away from the Web, both the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act have been postponed by Congress. The former bill sought to enlarge the authority of American law enforcement to combat web-based trafficking of counterfeit products and intellectual property, while PIPA would have armed the government with additional power to restrict the activities of websites involved with such activity.

Although a maelstrom of dismay on Twitter and virtual discussion forums successfully curbed the power of SOPA/PIPA, some websites did not survive the crossfire. Before closing up shop, Congress nabbed and eliminated Megaupload, a well-known fire sharing site, brandying it as their scapegoat of copyright violation. The indictment against Megaupload noted how many users employed the site as their own personal cloud, storing video files, pictures, and work documents on the site. Many Megaupload fans mourned how conveniently it functioned as a backup service.

Internet users en masse have begun to question the cloud’s benefit as safe and secure storage of their information as a result of the SOPA/PIPA debacle. And rightfully so: this incident has ignited an open discussion for the relevance of the cloud in the current status of the Internet in society.

The whiffs of a cloud backlash in the wake of SOPA/PIPA are not unfounded. But cloud computing skeptics should thoroughly evaluate the entirety of the dilemma before completely writing off the cloud’s positive capacities.

To be sure, actual copyright violators and pirates of intellectual property did flourish on the liberal, expansive nature of Megaupload and its subsidiary sites (such as the extremely popular Megavideo). Yet virtual wrongdoers were not the site’s sole constituents. Many Megaupload users merely regarded the site as a useful repository for their online data. Others backed up their files there, employing Megaupload for its auxiliary function.

Understandably, many would-be cloud users might be warded off by fear of a federal shakedown. Businesses should also be concerned, since their employees might choose to store important information in cloud sites that might be dismantled and rid of their data.

The SOPA/PIPA affair has not concluded by any means. Both Craigslist and Wikipedia warn their users that the bills will continue to lurk in Congress’ shadows, perhaps to eventually resurface in a revamped and less easily overpowered form. But for the interim, the sum of these events should be considered as a cautionary tale.

Both professional companies and private users should thoroughly vet their providers of online data storage, backup, and information hosting well in advance of uploading critical information there. Only vigilance against sites with a history of hosting pirated information can preempt users from being pipped by SOPA/PIPA in the future.

By Jeff Norman

About Jeff Norman

Jeff Norman is a freelance writer currently based in New York City. He's moved into writing about cloud computing from substantial work in culture and the arts. He earned his undergraduate degree in English at Stanford and has studied at Oxford and Cambridge.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises: It’s About More Than Just Dollars

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises: It’s About More Than Just Dollars

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises The surface costs might give you pause, but the cost of diminishing your differentiators is far greater. Will a shift to the cloud save you money? Potential savings are historically the main business driver cited when companies move to the cloud, but it shouldn’t be viewed as a cost-saving exercise. There…

Cloud Security: The Top 8 Risks According To ENISA

Cloud Security: The Top 8 Risks According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks Does security in the cloud ever bother you? It would be weird if it didn’t. Cloud computing has a lot of benefits, but also a lot of risks if done in the wrong way. So what are the most important risks? The European Network Information Security Agency did extensive research on that,…

How IRM Makes Cloud-Based File Collaboration “Security-Aware”

How IRM Makes Cloud-Based File Collaboration “Security-Aware”

IRM Cloud-Based File Collaboration  Data breaches and data loss due to insider threats, including malicious insiders stealing, manipulating or destroying data, are the fastest-growing risks that keep managers up at night, according to new research by Ernst & Young. How can we ensure that the right people in an organization have the right access to…

The Rise Of The iPro: How Cloudware Has Helped To Develop A Responsive Business Generation

The Rise Of The iPro: How Cloudware Has Helped To Develop A Responsive Business Generation

The Rise Of The iPro Overview: Independent professionals are playing a more important role in business by the day, but how much has the introduction and adoption of cloudware helped to develop a generation of workers that are working more flexibly and efficiently than ever before? iPros, or ‘independent professionals’, are becoming increasingly common in…

The Four C’s – Cloud, Culture, Clash, Change

The Four C’s – Cloud, Culture, Clash, Change

The Cloud, Culture, Clash, Change “I told the new CTO that this cloud stuff was BS. He came charging in with this ‘cloud first policy’ and look what happened. Previously rock solid systems that had worked for years slowed down and had outages as we tried to run them on the cloud. I doubt that…

New Smartphones From Apple, Samsung and HTC Promise To Light Up 2016

New Smartphones From Apple, Samsung and HTC Promise To Light Up 2016

New Smartphones from Apple, Samsung and HTC (Sponsored post courtesy of Verizon Wireless) The launch of the Galaxy S7 Edge at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona during February was the first shot in a vintage year for mobile phones. The S7 is an incredible piece of hardware, but launches from HTC and Apple later in the…

Featured Sponsored Articles
How Successful Businesses Ensure Quality Team Communication

How Successful Businesses Ensure Quality Team Communication

Quality Team Communication  (Sponsored post courtesy of Hubgets) Successful team communication and collaboration are as vital to project and overall business success as the quality of products and services an organization develops. We rely on a host of business tools to ensure appropriate customer interactions, sound product manufacturing, and smooth back-end operations. However, the interpersonal relationships…

Featured Sponsored Articles
How To Develop A Business Continuity Plan Using Internet Performance Management

How To Develop A Business Continuity Plan Using Internet Performance Management

Internet Performance Management Planning CDN Performance Series Provided By Dyn In our previous post, we laid out the problems of business continuity and Internet Performance Management in today’s online environment.  In this article, we will take a look at some of the ways you can use traffic steering capabilities to execute business continuity planning and…

Featured Sponsored Articles

CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, infosec, big data and the internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Sponsor