Nov 29, 2014

What are cyberlockers?

Senator Patrick Leahy recently issued a statement asking that credit card companies stop processing transactions for “cyberlocker” websites, implying that their only purposes are illegitimate. It really just sounded like he was describing cloud storage companies to me. Could anyone enlighten me as to what a cyberlocker is, and why they are the target of congressional ire?
Leahy is doing Microsoft’s bidding. The Senator based his statements on a report by the so-called “Digital Citizen Alliance” that named websites they claimed have no legitimate purpose. This Digital Citizen Alliance is astroturf group backed by Microsoft that pretends to be a grassroots organization. It is really a lobbying/PR organization set up by a PR firm, 463 Communications. The staff of Digital Citizens Alliance is made up of employees of 463 Communications, not a bunch of concerned citizens. Their main purpose seems to be to lobby for restrictions on Microsoft’s competitors, particularly Google.
It’s reprehensible that companies like Microsoft do this. Open lobbying is bad enough, but to hide it behind a fake group while pretending to represent concerned citizens is far, far worse. If you want more details about Microsoft’s Digital Citizens Alliance astroturf group, see here:

"A cyberlocker is a third-party online service that provides file-storing and file-sharing services for various types of media files and data.

Cyberlockers are online data hosting services that provide remote storage space within a secure storage architecture. They can be accessed globally over the Internet.

Cyberlockers can also be called online storage or cloud storage."
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