Storj.io, a Distributed, Encrypted File Storage Service Where Only You Have Access to Your Data

Storj.io logo

Storj.io (pronounced “Storage eye oh) is a proposed new service for storing data in the cloud. The data can be anything you wish. I suspect most users will use Storj.io as a file backup service, keeping copies of critical files off site and available at any time. Storj.io’s primary goal is to provide a cloud storage solution that is substantially faster and 50% less expensive than traditional data center-based cloud storage solutions provided by Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

Storj uses distributed peer-to-peer storage. That is, there are no centralized servers with huge disk drives. Instead, the Storj.io software breaks the file(s) to be stored into thousands of tiny segments, encrypts each segment, and then stores the segments in available disk space of other Storj.io customers. Each segment is stored in multiple locations. The result is that the information can be restored to the user’s system at any time, even if some or even many of the other Storj.io customers turn their computers off. There are so many segments saved in so many locations around the world that the possibility of any segment being unavailable at any time is mathematically almost impossible. The developers of Storj.io expect the system to provide 99.99999% availability, higher than most any competitive system in use today.

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BitPhone Shuts Down Service, Cites Regulatory Privacy Issues

BitPhone is, or soon will be “was,” an encrypted voice and video calling service. It offered services to anyone, never asking for any identifying information.

bitphoneNow the BitPhone web site at https://www.bitphone.net/ says:

Bitphone closing due to regulatory requirements
After 1.5 years in operation, bitphone.net is shutting down.

WE DIDN’T GET HACKED, NOT ONCE! – And believe me, they tried!
All customer funds are secure and accounted for!
(and we are happy to say that!)

Unfortunately we’ve had too many users abuse our phone service!

Our underlying carrier service now requires we collect your identification when placing calls. – We won’t do it… To quote Roger Ver:

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Chinese Consortium buys Opera browser for $600 Million

I wrote about the free Opera web browser three months ago at https://goo.gl/RRd8Dp. Opera says its light, quick browser is used by more than 350 million consumers worldwide. I praised the Norwegian company’s inclusion of a high-security VPN in the product at no charge. Norwegian laws offer strong protection of the privacy of individuals. However, a Chinese consortium now is purchasing the Opera internet browser for $600 million (543 million euros), its Norwegian developer said Monday, after a public share offer for the company failed. I now am not so certain that I would trust a VPN being offered by a Chinese company.

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Apple’s Privacy Policies Apply to the iPhone but not to iCloud

In a highly-publicized case, Apple is refusing to decrypt a customer’s iPhone to allow the FBI to go on a “legal fishing expedition” to see if maybe there is information on the iPhone of interest to law enforcement. Apple says it can’t provide information that’s stored on iPhones because it doesn’t have access to people’s passcodes. Opening the door to those phones for law enforcement could make your personal information vulnerable to others, Apple argues.

icloud-logoApple also encourages its customers to place backup copies of email messages, photos, personal notes, contacts and calendar events to Apple’s iCloud. The online service is a convenience that allows customers to track lost or stolen iPads and iPhones, restore damaged devices, and keep lots of music and photos that don’t fit on the device. There is an interesting twist to this, however: in contrast to information stored inside an iPhone, Apple already can access all the information stored in iCloud.

If you are storing information in iCloud, your information is already available to Apple and, with a court order, can be accessed by law enforcement agencies. Of course, if law enforcement agencies can gain access to the information, sooner-or-later hackers, thieves, and others will do the same even without a court order. Anyone who can hack into iCloud could access your personal information. We already have seen many examples where hackers have accessed the private photographs and other information of celebrities.

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