Is there a secure online filing cabinet application?
June 11, 2012 12:01 PM   Subscribe

Is there a filing cabinet app that is: secure, online, stable, metasearchable, user-friendly, and cross-platform?

1. Secure. Not like DropBox secure where the employees maintain the keys and can unencrypt documents by accident or design, but user-supplied keys.

1.5. Secure, corollary: Encryption/decryption must therefore happen on the client side. If it reaches the server side unencrypted, it's too late.

2. Online. I want the data to be available where ever I am.

3. Stable. Whatever cloud it is, it can't be some rinky-dink outfit that popped up last month and might not be here next year. Anything leveraging off Amazon S3 or Google's Cloud would be ideal, or even a solution which lets you use your own servers.

4. Metadata Search. I don't want to search inside documents; I just want to tag documents with keywords and be able to pull up those documents later. For example, documents about "pets" would pull up all pet-related documents, and documents about "cat" and "pets" would pull up all documents about my pet cats.

5. Cross-platform. I have both OSX and Windows machines that need to access the documents.

6. User-friendly: I need other people to be able to upload, search, and download my documents, which means it needs an interface good enough for non-geeks.

Why? Because I have tons of paper documents from my life which includes financial documents that I want to scan, upload to a cloud, and be able to pull down when I need to, without having to worry about whether my disks will crash or a security breach releases my docs.

After having searched for over a year for anything like this, I've come up empty. None of the cloud file storage companies fit all the criteria. SpiderOak comes the closest, but does not have metadata search (and my request for that feature resulted in a resounding silence).

Solutions which add a second layer to an insecure solution are fine, but the ones I've seen are generally either not cross-platform, not user-friendly, don't encrypt at a file level, or still wouldn't support metadata.

I've written a program which uses the Amazon S3 cloud to do what I need, but I'm really not happy with it since I suck at GUI.

Any suggestions? Am I looking for the wrong thing? Is there an alternative that is just as good?
posted by babbageboole to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't satisfy the metadata criteria, but consider using GnuPG, OpenSSL or similar cross-platform tools to encrypt files client-side, sending encrypted data over SSL to Amazon S3 with whatever cross-platform S3 client you choose (of which there are many).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:21 PM on June 11, 2012

At my last job we wrote a custom solution for a client that *as I recall* meets all of your criteria except the encryption part. It's possible that my old boss would consider reusing the code base and adding encryption (or selling you a license or whatever and letting you roll your own).
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:33 PM on June 11, 2012

Have you checked out microsoft Groove? Or whatever they call it these days.
posted by fingerbang at 1:04 PM on June 11, 2012

Best answer: I want to say Evernote. It fulfills all but #1 and #4 of your criteria. Actually I think it may even do tags, I just don't use them.

But it's not encrypted and it sounds like NOBODY UNAUTHORIZED SEEING YOUR DATA is a major criteria here.

You might be able to hack something on top of/around EN to provide encryption, I dunno.
posted by egypturnash at 12:24 AM on June 12, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for all your answers. I think I'm going to try Evernote, and just maintain my own "cloud", since I can't condone putting financial and personal data in the cloud unencrypted. I'm pretty sure it does tagging, too.

I just have to autobackup the Evernote database and hope nobody ever steals my filing cabinet!
posted by babbageboole at 12:42 PM on June 12, 2012

Response by poster: OK, that was pretty incoherent. What I meant to say is, pre-encrypt the files, send them to Evernote, and maintain backups at home in case Evernote goes away.
posted by babbageboole at 12:44 PM on June 12, 2012

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