Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Warning about ChromeOS
Thread poster: Lesley Clarke

Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:57
Spanish to English
Dec 16, 2010

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2010/dec/14/chrome-os-richard-stallman-warning

I think this is particularly relevant to translators, with our need to maintain confidentiality, even when no confidentiality agreement has been signed.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
FarkasAndras
Local time: 01:57
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Fearmongering Dec 16, 2010

There isn't much realistic basis to whipping up this fear.
I believe in free software - I even develop free software myself and look up to people like Stallman who started the ball rolling. Still, even I can see that Stallman is a radical prophet of a somewhat weird religion.

Cloud computing wasn't designed to con you into giving up your data. It was designed to con you into eventually paying for more data storage and premium services and such like.
If you do shady/borderline illegal things and you don't want the government to seize your data, you probably shouldn't put it in the cloud. Anything else is going to be fine.
I've said it before, I'll say it again: email travels all over the place unencrypted. If you're sending your documents via email - and I suspect you are - then uploading them to a respectable cloud service doesn't add any measurable risk, as these services encrypt their traffic and data, and they take care of it. They don't want to ruin their reputation, which could put them out of business in short order. Email will always be an incomparably greater privacy risk than the cloud, and of course the risk of data leaking out via your error (weak passwords, viruses) or your hardware (lost/stolen computer or flash drive) is yet another order of magnitude higher.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:57
French to German
+ ...
I ***don't trust*** them! Dec 16, 2010

Clearly, I don't trust them - and this is enough said. There are 4 main and working OS as per today. We don't need one more OS, especially not if provided by the Greatest Data Harvester Ever Known.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Daniel Pestana  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 00:57
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Just talked about this Dec 16, 2010

Great topic Lesley. I just posted an article about it.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 01:57
Member (2004)
English to Polish
In a perfect world... Dec 17, 2010

FarkasAndras wrote:
Cloud computing wasn't designed to con you into giving up your data. It was designed to con you into eventually paying for more data storage and premium services and such like.
If you do shady/borderline illegal things and you don't want the government to seize your data, you probably shouldn't put it in the cloud. Anything else is going to be fine.


Just a few days ago I would say the same, but then something happened that changed my mind... It turns out that a very respectable media site, Gawker, has its security compromised in the most damaging way - hackers have released over a million usernames and passwords belonging to the portal users! It should not and could not happen, and yet it did. All the site offered was a weak apology:

http://gawker.com/5712615/commenting-accounts-compromised-%20%20-change-your-passwords

I don't need to mention that if someone did not get that message and has the same username/password on other sites, like Gmail, Yahoo or even their bank site (and before you say that nobody is that stupid, consider that hundreds of users had passwords such as "password" and "qwerty"!), then is in danger of losing a substantial chunk of their online life.

I do believe that the likelihood of someone breaching your particular data in an act of industrial espionage is very, very low... However, seeing my clients' confidential data floating on some torrent for everyone to view as a result of a prank or malicious attack against someone else might be even more embarassing!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
FarkasAndras
Local time: 01:57
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Re: Gawker password malarkey Dec 17, 2010

Well, that's a pretty nasty and worrying screwup.
Still, I did say "respectable (cloud) service". Gawker is big and somewhat respectable, but it's not Google or Microsoft. I really don't expect a hacker getting hold of all the Google account names and passwords in the world.
Of course many people do have identical userids/passwords in various sites, but that falls under the user error/weak password scenario I mentioned. If you think about it, this sort of breach is much more likely to happen with email. Everyone sends and receives work via email, and I'm pretty sure the crooks target email specifically via phishing and database cracking like the gawker incident. Once they're inside, they look around for stuff like banking data and other things they can sell... if they bump into a document labeled "super secret industrial data" or "classified military documents", they may try to sell it or just leak it for the hell of it. So again, I'd be more concerned about email than cloud storage.

Interesting tidbits about Stallman, the guy who warned about the dangers of Chrome OS:
- He browses the web by downloading pages with wget and viewing them in some html viewer. He doesn't trust web browsers.
- His only computer is a Lemote Yeeloong netbook (using the same company's Loongson processor) which he chose because it can run with 100% free software even at the BIOS level.

[Edited at 2010-12-17 11:26 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:57
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Interesting point Farkas Dec 17, 2010

I see your point about the insecurity of emails, but we, as translators, have the defense that the client sent us the work via email, it was not our choice. I still think we should not heighten the risk by using online translation programmes, other than the clients', or online storage. Don't underestimate industrial espionage, it is a multi-million dollar business.

I can't agree that only people involved in criminal activities should worry about privacy. Privacy is a human necessity.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Romeo Mlinar  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 00:57
Member (2009)
English to Serbian
+ ...
I see no threats Dec 17, 2010

Chrome OS is "nothing but web", as they pointed out recently on their presentation. Chrome OS is, for most users, just a very convenient OS for consuming web content.

On the same event Google spoke about enterprises interested for their OS. Businesses see it as reliable, secure and affordable option for some of their workers.

For us freelancers translators, Google OS is very limited in options. Well, almost useless.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
opolt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:57
English to German
+ ...
He's spot on Dec 17, 2010

Thanks Lesley for drawing attention to the subject.

As much as I have been wary sometimes of Stallman's freedom touting rhetoric, I think he's basically right here.

IMHO there's way too much hype about the whole cloud computing thing. Last time I checked, both the cost and physical size of storage (and consequently its power consumption) have been falling for decades. And translators usually don't handle terabyte-sized files. So why the rush to give up what little independence you have as a computer user?

Sending your communications as (alas, mostly unencrypted) emails is one thing; they are communications after all. But "virtualizing" the location of almost all your (or your client's) data is quite another. To me, there's absolutely no reason to do so.

As the current embroglio over Wikileaks shows, access to those data or to other net facilities can be shut down at the mere hint of a disgruntled US senator from some unknown Mid West state or something -- there doesn't even have to be the façade of any legal process of any kind. It should be remembered that most of those big companies are located in one single country.

So why outsource your data if they can be deleted, as it were, with one big, red button located in a single location anyway?

As this article aptly states: "The cloud isn't ours. It's theirs."
http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/after-wikileaks-what-will-amazon-remove-next--916067

So, apart from your having to guarantee 105% connectivity just to start up to daily computer session, a third party in a faraway country can close you down at will, at any time, with no chance (in many cases) of any legal action against them. Also, your NDA's are basically toast. That's already three reasons not to rely on clouds. Plus, the cost of entry to "local computing" is lower than ever and continues to fall. And, mere assurance from the cloud providers that they are moving around data in encrycpted form is no guarantee whatsoever that certain parties won't have access to them.

And I haven't even entered the topic of "Google" being a particularly bad choice among those data outsourcers :-]





[Edited at 2010-12-17 23:39 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-12-18 00:33 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:57
French to English
+ ...
Security is relative Dec 17, 2010

Remember that in general, security is relative, not absolute. You have to weigh up the threats vs benefits of the different alternatives, and decide which provides the best tradeoff.

From one point of view, what Stallman says is completely true: if your data is on some remote server, then you obviously have less control over it than if it was on a local machine. On the other hand, do you rate your ability to secure your own machine higher than Google's abilities to secure its servers? And whilst Google will probably hand over any data to law enforcement when a warrant is presented to them to do so, are you saying that you wouldn't, or that your clients expect you not to?

On the other hand, if you expressly store your clients' data on somebody else's machines except where implicit in e.g. e-mail infrastructure, then they have a right to know about it and agree or not to that arrangement.

Incidentally, this isn't per se the same issue as using Google Translate: in the latter case, I understand that part of the terms and conditions now are that you expressly permit Google to share the text you submit with third parties in general, not just law enforcement agencies acting under warrant, and you have not entered into any confidentiality agreement with Google (whereas you might do with a cloud storage service).

O.T.: I've only had the chance to hear Stallman in person once, but there was indeed a fair amount of beardy ritualistic chanting involved as I recall. Make of that what you will


Direct link Reply with quote
 
opolt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:57
English to German
+ ...
It's also about the paradigm Dec 18, 2010

I think one should also remember the paradigm shift brought about by the introduction of personal computing here. I could be wrong but I think that's part of the historical background against which Stallman is making these statements, given that he experienced that shift first hand.

Back in time, system administrators handed out time shares on mainframes and other weird iron connected to a single printer. They were in complete control, with the users at their mercy wrt every aspect. With the advent of the personal computer, the whole pattern changed dramatically.

IMHO there's the possibility that it could be changed back to others having control over your computing again. That goes a bit deeper maybe than visible at first sight.

The philosopher M. Foucault stated somewhere that the introduction of computers into people's private life was comparable to people starting to use notebooks for private matters in ancient Greece. It created a whole now pattern of "self-techniques", possibilities of self-relationships, mostly beneficial ones (such as keeping a diary). Basically, the notebooks started out as "devices of power" and were turned into devices of "self-government", as Foucault called it.

Now, personally I'm not sure about this. And neither Foucault nor Stallmann are/were concerned with the needs of business users, of course I'll readily admit that those fears may be exaggerated. But I think cloud computing, as envisaged by Google, could be a serious setback, a step back into the darker past, especially if it gets established as a paradigm, as a general way of doing things, when there's so little to be gained in technical terms.


[Edited at 2010-12-18 00:32 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:57
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everyone Dec 18, 2010

Thanks for all this input.

I'm glad I started this topic because of your well-informed contributions.
And I think it is something that we need to weigh up carefully.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 20:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
Our best defence … Dec 18, 2010

… against ‘prying eyes’, at least as far as our clients’ documents are concerned, resides in the fact that those documents are, for the most part, of no interest whatsoever to intruders.

Indeed, if the truth be told, much of what we are called upon to translate barely merits the consumption of the authors’ own resources to write it, let alone the resources we consume in regurgitating their meandering drivel in other languages.

If the use of certain web tools – Chrome, for the sake of argument, since it triggered this thread – causes, directly or indirectly, an increase in the quantity of worthless drivel from anonymous sources stored in the cloud, hence potentially accessible to a wider ‘audience’ than intended, then it could be argued that that is a good thing: it makes the haystack that much bigger (or the cesspit that much deeper), hence it will be that much more difficult for prying eyes to find something of interest to themselves.

MediaMatrix


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:57
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
I disagree, Mediamatrix Dec 19, 2010

I personally feel that way about my own personal documents but I do think we have to take the client's implicit guarantee of confidentiality seriously, even though, as you say, it's hard to see what is special about even the jobs I am asked to sign loads of confidentiality agreements for.
Moreover, there are excellent trolling programmes out there that can sort through all the dross. Industrial espionage is a serious problem.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michal Glowacki  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 01:57
Member (2010)
English to Polish
+ ...
Not so crazy about Cloud Dec 20, 2010

I'm personally not so crazy about cloud computing for many of the reasons mentioned earlier. I don't feel the need to have everything everywhere. And if I need my data somewhere, I can use a laptop, netbook, sometimes a mobile phone or a portable HDD. I'm really not sure why should I be using a cloud since I will need a computer anyway? If it's my computer, then why not store things on it. If it's not mine, then why should I trust there's no keyloggers or trojan horses on it?

As for some arguments:

On the other hand, do you rate your ability to secure your own machine higher than Google's abilities to secure its servers? And whilst Google will probably hand over any data to law enforcement when a warrant is presented to them to do so, are you saying that you wouldn't, or that your clients expect you not to?


I don't rate my ability to secure my machine better than Google. What I do rate higher is my low-key profile. Of course, everyone can be a victim of a hacker, let it be a 13-year-old kid who's just bored or a professional hacker looking for something to sell. But let's face it, what are the odds of you personally being a victim of a seriously motivated hacker? And what are the odds of Google being that victim? Just by being Google they are prone to being attacked 10000 more often.

Also, another argument: of course servers now are getting better and better. But what if someone really switches off the servers for having a bad hair day and you urgently need access to your cloud? I don't think I'd like to give up that remaining control (or illusion of it) I have.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Warning about ChromeOS

Advanced search






Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search