While appearing on the Dan Patrick Show, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that NSA spying is part of “the world we’re living in” and claimed that young Americans are bothered by NSA spying because their memories of the 9/11 attacks have faded.
“It’s just the way we live. It is something you’ve got to accept. I don’t particularly like it, but it is what it is.”
He admitted to Patrick that “there have been abuses” and “we’ve got to be more transparent”. However, McCain concluded that “we’re all grown people, and we have to realize we live in the 21st century. I’ve said things in the past that I wish I hadn’t said and… it just is what it is.”
Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that the senator is correct (hey, it could happen) and that all of the majority's calls for stopping the wholesale hoovering of our personal and business lives are in vain, that the all-seeing, all-knowing, unblinking eye is "just the way it is."
How, if our lemon crop is that bitter and bounteous, can we ever hope to make palatable lemonade from it?
One of the tech industry's fastest-growing sectors is cloud/data backup services. Americans, it seems, just can't keep track of its flash drives and is more than willing to shell out for companies like Carbonite to do their data storage for them.
How willing? Personal service starts at 60 bucks a year. Business customers can expect to spend about four times that--per workstation. Server backups are upwards of $800.
All for a service already provided, round the clock, every day, by our government. Using equipment we paid for.
The NSA's Utah Data Center alone cost $1.5 billion of your hard-earned bucks, and other facilities, from Fort Meade to anonymous buildings in Crystal City and Yourtown, USA, add up to a serious investment, all to make sure nothing we say or write can ever be lost.
So why in the name of (insert deity) should we ever have to pay a private company when we need a quick data backlook?
This week, I was in great need of a document, a bit of my mom's medical history that I'd had on my old laptop that crashed last year (piece of crap from a company I'll never use again; I won't name names, but their initials are HP). I spent an hour searching cloud emails in vain. Thankfully, my brother had a copy on his phone.
But why the heck did I have to go through that when the original email and attachment, cross-referenced from here to Judgment Day, are available in nanoseconds, ready to retrieve at the mumble of a keyword?
Senator Hasbeen is likely right when he says this nonsense is never going to stop, so let's make the best of it.
I know nearly everything I say sound half-cocked, but this is a serious proposal: let us have access to our own data. It will improve productivity and boost the GDP, plus relieve stress and freshen up quality of life (reducing health care costs there, 'Pubs).
The time has come for a public cloud. Best of all, I doubt these guys will be much bothered if you forget your password. They'll know it's you before you tell 'em.