Everyone in the online education and LMS community read about Google’s agreement to censor search results on Google.cn, and Yahoo!’s cooperation with the Chinese government to track down political bloggers. Do LMS users really want to support the movement of entrusting these big companies with the world’s data?
Bill Thompson poses: “What [about]…the companies that sell cloud-based services rather than operating systems, routers or hardware? What happens when Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google and IBM are actually running programs and storing data on behalf of their customers? We may criticize Google for censoring search results in China, but what happens when Microsoft data centers are being used to store data on political prisoners or transcripts of torture sessions?”
Using provisions of the Patriot Act, the US government may be able to access confidential records, taking advantage of the fact that main cloud platforms are run by US companies. It’s worth consideration on the part of all LMS users and cloud computing dreamers.
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