It is critical to have secure backups (that you can control) of all your data stored on hosted servers

Last month the federal government took unprecedented efforts to shut down selected hosts on intellectual property infringement and national security grounds. One such action took a blogging site offline, leaving 73,000 bloggers without access to years of accumulated data. If they haven't backed up their work, they aren't going to see it for a while: http://torrentfreak.com/u-s-authorities-shut-down-wordpress-host-with-73...

The implications are that if authorities want your servers shut down, your ISPs will shut them down and will legally not have to, or be able to, give you access to your own data. This will take years to resolve through the courts, with no guarantees on how it will all play out. This has a few practical implications for people and businesses who maintain data on remote servers.

1) Most blog platforms don't have an easy way for you to backup your blog entries. If you're blogging, you might want to check your host to find out how you can do this on a routine basis. If no mechanism exists to make this happen, you should seriously consider changing hosts, or figuring out how to backup your stuff once it's posted.

2) Organizations must maintain local copies of all server data so that their business doesn't die if their ISP shuts off their data. Can you imagine the damage that would be caused if the FBI chose to shut down Amazon's hosting services because some user(s) posted prohibited materials (i.e. bombmaking instructions or downloadable copies of "Caddyshack II")? The only reasonable option to maintain your line of business in the possible event that your hosts are forced to shut down your remote servers is by having a local backup of your hosted data.

It may make sense to backup your data to yet another vendor, but considering all the reasons why you might not be able to get to your remote hosts, it probably makes more sense in the long run for you to maintain physical control of your data -- at least until the law is more clear and the authorities demonstrate reasonable adherence to those laws.

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