A Secure, Undisclosed Location for my Stuff

I take a bunch of pictures. Each image is many megabytes. It adds up. I have a big-ass hard drive or two, but each image should be on multiple hard drives, and not all in one room.

Then there’s DropBox. That’s a service that makes one folder on your computer also exist out there in what the kids are calling the cloud. Which is cool from a redundancy standpoint, but what I’d really like is to not have to keep the files locally at all. I want something that looks to my computer exactly like a hard drive, but is really some gee-whiz redundant storage solution out there somewhere.

There are a couple of requirements:

  • It really does act just like a hard drive
  • It is encrypted with a key that I generate; the provider does not have that key. No one has that key but me.
  • There is a plan and escrowed funds so that if the host goes belly-up, I get my data back.

I don’t even know where to start looking. Suggestions?

4 thoughts on “A Secure, Undisclosed Location for my Stuff

    • Amazon actually gives you unlimited picture storage, but only if you DON’T encrypt them. Humph. However, it would be pretty easy to write an application that super-encrypted your stuff and saved it somewhere like Amazon S3, and with only a tiny markup over S3 rates you could probably make a nice living.

      I can’t take advantage of that opportunity, as it would compete with my employer.

      There are several other major companies that will host your data, but one of the major value propositions they offer is that it is easy for you to share your stuff. Sharing and privacy are tricky to reconcile. I’d be happy to click a “no-share” checkbox in my setup to make my stuff private.

      A couple of companies (one based in Switzerland, which means it’s less vulnerable to legal shenanigans) are making progress on the sharing+privacy front, but they are mirroring data on your local drive, rather than acting as a local drive themselves. So you still have to have room for the stuff locally.

      At this moment, if I had to make a bet on who would get to this private-cloud-storage nirvana first, I’d have to give a surprise nod to Apple. (Not sure why I was surprised; Apple is my employer, we are differentiating ourselves on a platform of respect for our customers (privacy is part of respect), and the FBI is already bitching that we respect privacy too much — but still I was surprised.) iCloud is one small step away from being all that I asked for above. Will it get there? Shit, I don’t know. But I did file a bug report asking for it.

  1. Maybe OwnCloud has something to offer? You and your best mate each have each other’s server in their house with OwnCloud running… https://owncloud.org/
    I’m either not geeky enough to sort this or I have no best mates ((

    But I do use a hosted version of OwnCloud for pictures, mail and address book at https://www.openmailbox.org/

    Or SpiderOak https://spideroak.com/ – I use them for some things – book backups…

    But never trust someone else’s cloud. The business decisions of others will always act against your own best interests…

    P.S. – And I really miss Jers Novel Writer since I changed over entirely to Linux Mint.

    • That’s an interesting idea. I actually already use the free level of CrashPlan to back up stuff, and I share my backup storage with a couple of friends. And indeed, that allows one to set a very secure encryption key so stuff is kept private. It falls short of being an internet drive. I’ll take a look at OwnCloud and see if they have a non-mirrored (data not kept locally) option.

      Not likely to be a Jer’s Novel Writer port to Linux — last I checked the things the cocoa ports lacked was the sophisticated text management I use heavily. But if someone out there wants to make a go of it…

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