Where can I store my files?
February 19, 2009 10:31 PM   Subscribe

Would online storage sites (livedrive, adrive, humyo, JungleDisk) monitor uploaded content and delete illegal or pornographic files? Which site is most stable and likely to last long term?

After a catastrophic external hard drive failure, I am looking for a reliable online storage site for my (mainly media) files. Data backup would be a bonus feature, but is not necessary.

The problem is that some of the files I will be uploading have been downloaded illegally, and some are pornographic. I do not wish to distribute or share these files with anyone - this is purely for my own storage. Currently I am looking at livedrive, adrive, humyo, and JungleDisk.

My fears are:

a.) The RIAA will sue the site for a list of people with illegal content (as suggested in this thread about humyo),

b.) The site will see that I uploaded illegal content and delete the files or my entire account without notice. (Livedrive's Terms of Service scares me: "You may use Livedrive for lawful purposes only. Livedrive may remove any material for which you are not an authorised user of the material's copyright without notice.")

c.) The site will see the pornography and delete it (obscene content? I don't know, would they even care about this?).

d.) The site will close, taking all my files with it.

In terms of the main sites I'm comparing (livedrive, adrive, humyo, and JungleDisk), does anyone know anything about the content allowed on these sites, and how apt the sites are to delete illegal or pornographic files? Do you know how stable they are and which is most likely to last, well, forever?
posted by Nickel to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I wouldn't want to trust my files to such a service in clear even if none of it was nominally embarrassing.

Encrypt everything before you upload it, and then they can't see what it is. (Put your files inside one or more encrypted zips, for example.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:10 PM on February 19, 2009

Best answer: I don't know about the other services you list, but JungleDisk is just a wrapper around Amazon's S3 storage service. You first create an AWS account before signing up with JungleDisk.

Unless Amazon goes out of business, which seems unlikely, even if JungleDisk goes up, you have signed up for an AWS account with Amazon and can use any other S3 client to access data from your S3 "buckets".

JungleDisk's filesystem structure details are available to other developers, and JD uses a filesystem encoding convention that most non-JD S3 clients (example) can parse. So, again, if JD goes under, if you encrypt your data yourself, you can still retrieve your data directly, using your AWS account.

It is straightforward to apply strong and fast private key encryption to your files before uploading them. With Blowfish or similar, it is reasonable to assume that, correctly used, no one, not JD, not Amazon, nor the RIAA should be able to determine the contents of your data.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:58 AM on February 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Most of these are backed by Amazon S3. This means they're taking your file and created a database entry that points to the container/bucket where your stuff is stored on S3.

They also don't have the time, resources, bandwidth or technology to scan every file being uploaded for pornography. Granted, they could probably infer that it's porn if the title "looks" pornographic and it's a 150MB movie file, but realistically, they just don't care that much.

Livedrive and the others include that in their ToS because if they're issued a takedown notice by someone with a valid copyright claim, ala DCMA, they have to comply. Not because they're actively monitoring for copyright violations.

The site closing is a potential consideration, if only because companies sometimes close. Granted, they'd give you warning in the best of cases, but it's still a concern. If you're really worried about that, you should just configure an Amazon AWS account and use S3 directly with something like the Firefox extension S3Fox, which basically lets you treat your S3 as an FTP client. (JungleDisk is an application that interfaces with S3 and passes the storage and bandwidth costs directly to you; it's convenient to integrate S3 into Explorer, but I just use S3Fox for free.)

So as long as you're not publishing or sharing the files outright, I don't think you have anything to worry about with regards to "illegal" or "pornographic" content. They're certainly not monitoring everything that goes in—the sheer volume of content keeps that from being realistic. They'd only have an issue if it became obvious you were using the site to host your own child porn and favorite as-of-yet-to-be-released movies, and someone issued a complaint or takedown notice.

Otherwise, use it as a backup and enjoy it.
posted by disillusioned at 1:03 AM on February 20, 2009

Mozy is cheap (unlimited storage for $4.95 a month) and now owned by a massive company. Your files are stored encrypted and they state they don't read your data.
posted by JonB at 12:02 PM on February 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Hard drives are cheap. Have you considered keeping multiple local backups? There are ways to automate it so your data is always kept mirrored on other disks.

I also use a pair of small portable drives and I rotate those as a small offsite encrypted backup (of more irreplaceable (eg. not rerippable/re-dl-able) files)..
posted by jockc at 1:59 PM on February 20, 2009

Along with Mozy, try Backblaze. Note the distinction in their privacy policy:
"Certain information will be available to Backblaze such as type of operating system, file types, or sizes to enable Backblaze to provide the service or help support you. Backblaze will never look at your actual files."

I'm not sure that Mozy's privacy policy precludes them from reading your filetypes, either. Dunno.

POST SCRIPT: Mozy's service says the same:
"We may view your file system information (file extensions, sizes etc. but not your file contents) to provide technical support."
posted by IAmBroom at 2:34 PM on February 20, 2009

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