Stallman is reported in the Guardian as saying that Google’s new cloud computing ChromeOS looks like a plan “to push people into careless computing” by forcing them to store their data in the cloud rather than on machines directly under their control.
Stallman has been banging on about the perils of Cloud computing for nearly two years now. He has dubbed the concept as “worse than stupidity” because it means a loss of control of data.
Now he says he is increasingly concerned about the ChromeOS operating system, which is based on GNU/Linux and which relies on a data connection to link to Google’s “cloud” of servers.
Such system risks include loss of legal rights to data if it is stored on a company’s machine’s rather than your own, particularly in the US, Stallman points out.
In the Land of the Free, coppers need to present you with a search warrant to get your data from you; but if they are stored in a company’s server, the police can get it without showing you anything. They may not even have to give the company a search warrant.
Stallman said that marketers like “cloud computing” because it is devoid of substantive meaning. He said that the attitude ‘Let any Tom, Dick and Harry hold your data’ is ‘careless computing’.
Many will continue moving towards careless computing, because there’s a sucker born every minute and the US government may try to encourage people to place their data where the US government can seize it without a search warrant, Stallman said.
The only thing Stallman likes about ChromeOS is that it is GNU/Linux, even if it is delivered without the usual applications, and rigged up to impede and discourage installing applications.