U.S. piracy crackdown fuels cloud security concerns

In a recent U.S. government crackdown on intellectual property abuse, more than 70,000 blogs were shut down. Could cloud giants like Amazon suffer a similar fate?

The Daily Cloud

Did the Feds knock out thousands of blogs?
The U.S. government's recent crackdown on intellectual property theft has had serious consequences for one blog platform provider whose free platform is the engine for more than 70,000 blogs. A government sweep identified 73,000 blogs in Blogetery's network of sites with a purported history of IP abuse.

After complying with a secret order from U.S. authorities, hosting provider BurstNet shut down Blogetery.com with no warning and no way to get the blog provider's servers back up and running. According to Blogetery, BurstNet is under a gag order, so Blogetery has no way of knowing the specifics of the complaint, the basis for legal action, or even whether the order was legal.

On a blog forum, Blogetery further complained that BurstNet would not even specify which agency or government authority ordered the shutdown.

Shutdown's impact for cloud providers
Not only did the investigation bring down thousands of sites, but it also highlighted true security concerns surrounding cloud computing. Some of the penalized sites were simply link farms to copyrighted content, begging the question of whether even a giant like Amazon could avoid service interruption if its users post illegal content.

The operator of Blogetery said that he has always obeyed copyright law and removed illegal material within 24 hours.

Other countries -- such as China and Iran -- have strict controls on Internet content and have drawn harsh international criticism. The U.S. has been more circumspect, but it does have the legal authority to seize or examine digital content, sometimes without a warrant, in U.S. data centers.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement denied that the government was involved in this action, adding that other Internet piracy enforcement investigations remain ongoing.

Cloud security provider adds email security
Attention cloud computing users: have no fear, all your security fears have been answered in one consolidated package … maybe. Zscaler, a leader in providing cloud security, has integrated email security into its cloud-delivered Web security service.

The newly integrated offering, which claims to be the "industry's first fully integrated email and Web security service," will filter out spam, block phishing and all the other fun, aggravation-saving things that email security services do. Available immediately, the service will range from $1-$5 per user per month, based on the size of the enterprise. One can only wonder how Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! have managed to run hundreds of millions of email inboxes for years and years safely without this service.

Ranking the top cloud players … again
As if one top cloud computing provider list was not enough, the IT consulting firm BTC Logic has released a quarterly report that offers its take on the best cloud computing companies.

BTC Logic ranked the companies based on seven categories: cloud foundations, infrastructure, network services, platforms, applications, security and management. Amazon was nominated as one of two "cloud champions," a reasonable selection to say the least. IBM was named the other champion, while Google, Microsoft, VMware and Oracle -- IT giants that they may be -- were given the less prestigious "cloud heavyweights" moniker.

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