Unless you are living under a rock (no offense to my rock-dwelling friends) you have heard at least some of the news surrounding the NSA and their broad spying programs in the US and abroad. The fallout has not been small either, companies like Groklaw have had to shut down because email can no longer be considered even the least bit secure. Companies that did offer some great encrypted services, such as Lavabit or Silent Circle, have either had to shut down or preemptively shut down because the NSA is now requiring them to hand over encryption keys (although this might not have been explicitly stated in the news outlets, anyone with a brain can figure out this is the reason). Companies like Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, and other cloud providers are keeping their collective mouths shuts (because they have to) about how much of your data is accessible to the NSA … here’s a hint, all of it.
This sucks balls, because lets face it, cloud services make our lives so much easier (and better). This is a world of multiple devices and computers, a world where data is seriously important to us now, and we need to keep things somewhere besides a single personal computer. But is it worth it to have your personal lives completely viewable to whatever or whoever has the access keys. If the NSA has access to it, who else has access to it? Its no secret that the government uses tons of contractors that may (or do) have access to these same services, since god knows the government can’t afford to hire and train all these people.
Ranting aside, this leads me to the content of this submission, private clouds. I have been thinking a lot about them lately, and though you can’t perfectly replicate everything they do, you can get damn close. Lets go down the list:
- Email -> Any decent mail server can give you IMAP access across devices, install roundcube and you have webmail now too
- File Sharing / Storage -> OwnCloud, which is essentially a drop-box replacement
- Calendar -> I am thinking of using OwnCloud for this, simply because its already installed and provides syncing
- Photo Sharing -> Again, OwnCloud
- Code / Config sharing -> GitLab, which is a drop in replacement for GitHub (helps I already have it installed
- Secure Browsing -> Easy enough to setup an OpenVPN server, for those pesky airport hotspots
- Music Streaming -> Apparently OwnCloud also does this, we shall see
Really for me those are the main services that I use. Over the next few weeks I am going to be setting up each one of these services and do a separate write-up on each one. Most of them I have done before, so it should be fairly quick. Let the private cloud journey begin!