“Mozy” The Vote

The need for anyone using a computer to backup their data, like documents and photos, from their computer to some other place for safekeeping, has been around as long as personal computers have. I remember saving my files to the old 5 inch floppy disks on my first computer.

I then moved on to the 3 inch diskettes, which were around for awhile. But they only held 1.4 Megabytes of information, which quickly became too small. I then went to tape drives, then CD burners, then thumb drives, which are in use today, and are a great way to save data.

The thing that all these methods had in common, however, are that they all stored data “locally”. You had to attach the device to your computer and then, after copying data to the device, physically move the device to another location to be sure you didn’t lose all your data in case of fire, etc.

Even when many of us first started using the Internet, it did not change how we backed up our data, because access to the internet was way too slow. We remember dialing in to our Internet connection, and simply browsing the Internet was slow enough. Backing up online was unthinkable.

Broadband changed all that. And about ten years ago it began to change our entire world. I often tell people that, as much as the computer has changed our lives, broadband (or high speed Internet connection) has changed it even more.

A few years ago I began using Mozy, an online data backup service which you can use to store your data online, rather than just to a thumbdrive, CD, or memory card. Other services similar to Mozy have appeared. Amazon now has an online backup “drive” available for free to all Amazon users. They call it a “cloud drive”. You simply save your files to the cloud drive like you would any drive on your computer.

But can you trust these online backup services to keep your precious data, and keep it secure? What if they have a problem and lose your data? What if their systems are “hacked” and your files are manipulated?

Lo and behold, none of the issues I mention above occur on any of the online backup sites. My data is stored and redundently saved across multiple servers. And the systems are obviously secure.

You know where I’m going with this. The entire industry around online security and backup has exploded along with the world’s use of broadband over the last decade. The anti-internet voting crowd is using the exact same arguments against online voting that it did a decade ago, as if nothing has changed.

The anti-internet voting interests are using dial-up arguments in a broadband world. The arguments are becoming more and more laughable.

I would be laughing if I didn’t find the issue of our disfunctional voting system to be such a serious one.

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2 Responses to “Mozy” The Vote

  1. The anti-Internet voting paradigm has become a religion, believed in despite the new technological developments you mention, and regardless of the fact that the use of Internet voting is increasing all over the world, w/o security problems. (Elections Canada wants it for all national elections.) Interested in the social psychology of USENIX computer scientists? They are the leaders of the opposition pack. Watch the video of their recent meeting, after reading this dialogue —


  2. Georgianna says:

    Thanks a bunch for trying to describe the terminlogy for the learners!

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