Personal PRISM-free Dropbox

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Thomas Jeffrey
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Personal PRISM-free Dropbox

Post by Thomas Jeffrey » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:57 pm

This was an unexpected find. Apparently a company that is raising funds through Kickstarter is launching a new device called “Plug”. It's a small device that connects to your home network and acts as a private cloud storage that you own. It connects to all of your devices via encrypted transmissions that can be accessed from anywhere.

It may be worth a look...

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/clo ... ur-devices
Thomas
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Re: Personal PRISM-free Dropbox

Post by editor » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:47 am

Thanks for this post, Thomas.

Technologically, they're making some very impressive claims. And I can't miss the fact they already have ten times their target funding, with 42 days still left.

Some points I might worry about:

* Can we rely on their owners to not be compromised by NSA threats or bribes?
* Users who use the Plug to connect to inherently insecure devices, such as iPhones, AndroidOS, Mac, and Windows devices, are still leaving open a gaping security hole, regardless of how good Plug's security might be.

Still, I want one. What an amazing piece of marketing that web-page is, huh?

I'd like to point out that as a Linux user, I already have most of the capability the device describes. The difference being that the Plug is plug and play, with little or not technical savvy necessary.

Linux users who don't know about it already, should look into sshfs. It is a wonderful way of securely mounting remote filesystems.

I wonder how they solve the problem of dynamic IP addresses, which is the first technical stumbling block stopping many people from having these types of servers available from home?
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Re: Personal PRISM-free Dropbox

Post by editor » Thu May 15, 2014 9:31 am

Anyone still interested in this topic should check out Owncloud. We installed Owncloud out of curiosity, and it quickly became one of my very favorite new things for the year.

I've personally used it to help me almost completely eliminate Google from my life-- all my contacts, calendar, and task list are now synced to my computer and phone without Google, thanks to Owncloud. But that's not even the best part.

I can start a shared folder with anyone, without having to give them an account on the system. Owncloud generates a link, made up of a long string of random characters, which serves as a link to the folder (or a single file if I choose). The other party needs only to bookmark the link. I can password protect the access, or not, as I choose. I can share the folder with multiple parties; set the link to expire on a given date, and control whether or not the other party can upload files to the same folder. Sending them the folder is as easy as entering their email address into a box, and pressing Send. All connections to the server are encrypted, and the files themselves are encrypted on the server.

Owncloud requires a running webserver, php5, and either mysql, or sqlite. This setup is commonly known as a LAMP server (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP5). Once you have this server all ready set up, which is really not hard, installing Owncloud isn't much more than copying files into a folder.

It should go without saying... If you're not running Linux, you should be. If you have broadband, this setup is easy to run from home on an old PC, or even a Raspberry Pi.
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