Storage Service Providers Live Again

In early 2000 I conceived of a company called “Digital Knox” which would provide secure encrypted storage. It fell into the SSP market (storage service providers). It was late in the Internet boom so raising VC funding was difficult. We (the DK team) watched as other SSP players like “Network Storage” (the only company to trade on NASDAQ) fall. There were several problems with the SSP model in the enterprise market and I think they will be difficult to overcome in the consumer market as well.

1) Trust.
Let’s face it. I don’t trust Microsoft. I don’t think of them as evil or out to get me. I just don’t think they have my best interests in mind. So let’s take their example they give in the marketing spiel:

“With Live Drive, all your information—movies, music, tax information, a high-definition videoconference you had with your grandmother, whatever—could be accessible from anywhere, on any device.”
Starting with the first two items, just how difficult do you think it would be for RIAA or MPAA to search through all those drives. Microsoft *loves* those organizations, or they appear to, because of the alliances they are forging. (think DRM) If I own a bunch of DVDs and decide to rip them to my hard drive and store them online via Live Drive am I suddenly liable?
This example is somewhat easy to pick apart but the next one really should strike fear into your heart. Tax information. Personal identifiable information. What about my digitized health records? If only 10% of adults stored their tax information with Microsoft then how long would it take before hackers mounted an attack to copy it?

2) Capacity.

Most of these companies use the same tag lines which sound great in marketing but have no basis in scientific reality. “Unlimited Space” and “Unlimited Bandwidth” is a fabrication at best. Obviously they wouldn’t offer this to a business for two reasons. Companies are capable of needing petabytes of storage and can handle massive amounts of upload (in the MB/s range). Consumers on the other hand can be lied to because it’s difficult to call the bluff. Most commercial broadband solutions don’t allow more then 45 KB/s and if one removes things like MP3 collections and such they probobly won’t have more then a 1/2 terabyte of personal data. Again the big question I would pose to any cyber lawyer is, “Could I legally upload and store my legally purchased music and movies?”
And at what point could industry groups such as RIAA and MPAA legally search those files to ensure compliance with Federal copyright law?

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