Google Docs Drama Reminds Us How Vulnerable We Are In The Cloud

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beayn

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Why is the content of your document of any relevance to the service? I don't care if they scan your shit for targeted advertising, but if they start censoring you, that's a whole different ball game. Google is a monopoly with a political agenda who contributes millions to particular presidential campaigns. This should be a red flag that it's basically an extension of the government using a "private company" loophole to get around the constitution.
 

Icehearted

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Among the many MANY reason why I do not use the cloud or services dependent on that without local storage. My one exception being Steam. My creative work is all kept locally, backed up regularly, and all online access is blocked via firewall. This isn't just a Google issue, and this is why I prefer Windows 7 and programs like OpenOffice and GIMP over subscription software with heavy cloud dependency. Surrendering any of my material to them to exchange personal control and privacy for convenience is asking for trouble.
 

manleysteele

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"This morning, we made a code push that incorrectly flagged a small percentage of Google Docs as abusive, which caused those documents to be automatically blocked. A fix is in place and all users should have full access to their docs. Protecting users from viruses, malware, and other abusive content is central to user safety. We apologize for the disruption and will put processes in place to prevent this from happening again."

Translation: We floated a new filter in our scanning software and it worked as designed. We didn't actually expect you to go on social media and complain. How rude. We'll back off for now, but this is the future Google wants. Get used to it.
 

devil.demente

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If you'll remove the tinfoil hat for a second, it's simple. Drive is used to host malicious content as well, so there have to be mechanisms to flag documents as malicious and not serve them to visitors.
 

thesaucymugwump

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Google forced my somewhat non-PC blog off Blogger -- I'm now on Weebly -- yet I was never informed of any policy violations (I was locked out of my Gmail account too). Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media corporations should be regulated as the monopolies they have become, but neither Democrats nor Republicans will do so, albeit for completely different reasons.
 

LORD_ORION

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I do not understand why anyone anywhere uses any US based cloud service.
You SHOULD know the NSA / CIA / FBI has complete access to any thing you put there, and you SHOULD know the US has no problem spying on businesses for political friends.
 

InvalidError

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Never knowing when or why stuff goes down and having absolutely no control over when or how they'll come back up (if ever) is why I refuse to rely on online services and hosted applications for anything I can do locally.
 

TJ Hooker

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No, Google does not have a monopoly on cloud storage services. If they decide you've violated their TOS and remove your content, that is not censorship. I mean, it's certainly very obnoxious if they start removing content without telling you why, as is discussed in this article, but if they do you have alternatives.
 

Ilya__

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Why use cloud services? Maybe you want to simply upload your resume for sharing. Or send schoolwork to your friend. It's convenience really. For anything sensitive, you can use encryption, that's the only sure way.
 

leoscott

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So Google should ignore terrorist organizations using their services to proliferate or plan attacks on innocent civilians?
 

Simon Anderson

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mm i dunno, i'd still say the chance of your local files screwing up (broken hard drive, user error, your flatmate, your cat etc) is a lot higher than the chance of Google screwing up... As for "spying": google algorithm's that "spy" on your data is a far different thing from some dude manually having access and reading over your data... Kinda like putting something through a photocopier and getting upset because the copier is "spying" on your document.
 

Simon Anderson

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As for google algorithm "spying" on your documents... it's not as if it's some dude in a google office manually reading over your documents... It's like putting something through a photocopier and being paranoid that your photocopier is "spying" on your document... The photocopier doesn't give a crap.
 

beayn

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I didn't say anything about malicious content assuming you're referring to virus related stuff, so your point is moot. I'm talking about the point the article mentions about "hate speech" and "violence" being listed as TOS violation. Those are extremely vague terms these days. Making a joke at someone's expense can be considered "hate speech" and some crazies are even saying things like "fat phobia is violence" or "not using my gender pronoun is violence".

Google has demonstrated they agree, at least in part with some of this ideology as is evidenced when they fired James Damore for daring to say men and women have different interests.

 

beayn

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Many people use cloud storage with the understanding it's more safe than local storage. Often people have just a single copy of their document in the cloud, especially people who use only mobile devices. If someone says the wrong thing that falls in the "hate speech" category and the only copy of their document is deleted, how is that not censorship? Sure, you can go somewhere else and rewrite the document, but google deleting your shit because they don't agree with you is most certainly censorship. The content of your document should not be a consideration for Google's service at all. This is the point.

 

manleysteele

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How in the world did you ever come up with the idea that cloud storage is safer than local storage? The cloud storage providers can't even protect their own files and I'm supposed to believe they can protect my files better than I can. If you insist on going cheap on your local storage subsystem, that's on you; not the technology. There is no way that cloud storage is safer than well designed and maintained local storage.
 

beayn

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I didn't say that it was. If you re-read my post, I said people generally believe it. You'd be surprised how many regular people actually believe cloud storage is safer. People who know nothing about technology are afraid of cloud storage, people who know lots about tech know better than to use the cloud exclusively, and people in the middle seem to be obsessed with it and think it's the best thing since sliced bread thinking it's more reliable than local storage. They usually think this after their laptop had been thrown around too much and the hard drive died with no backups.

I certainly agree that it isn't safer, and I don't use cloud storage at all. I especially won't use google cloud storage after this article.



 

What makes you think that cloud services located in any other country will be any more secure? Maybe it will be the same organizations, maybe it will be others, but you shouldn't expect that anything you upload anywhere won't be getting put in a searchable database, just as you shouldn't expect files deleted from such services to ever actually be deleted.
 

TJ Hooker

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You brought up the constitution in your first post, so it seemed you were alluding to the 1st amendment when talked about censorship. In that context, no, it is not censorship. In a broader sense, I don't see how google has an obligation to host everyone's content without distinction. Finally, do you have any evidence that google is selectively deleting content as to further a political agenda?
 
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