Paul Marks, senior technology correspondent
Amazon today beat Google and Apple to the punch by launching a service that stores all your music, videos and documents in the cloud.
Displaying a high level of faith in cloud uptime, Amazon Cloud Drive promises to help people forget the loss of data they’ve had from past hard drive crashes and give them an easy way to move files between different platforms – without venturing into the bullying hegemony of the iTunes archipelago. The opportunity to evade iTunes will tempt many to try this.
You can read all about Amazon’s offering here.
But the launch raises one huge question for me: since Amazon chose to quit hosting the Wikileaks site what kind of media will Amazon allow customers to store? The Wikileaks Collateral Murder video? Leaked docs downloaded from the site and the many other leak engines that are springing up? Amazon has already sidestepped the issue of whether the content it is hosting is legally downloaded or not by saying its service is simply the equivalent of an external hard drive for content.
When it dumped WikiLeaks after it began leaking its seismically disruptive diplomatic cable tranche, Amazon said the site (which was only on Amazon to evade a DDOS attack) had violated the terms of its EC2 hosting service.
WikiLeaks’ response was to seriously question the online bookseller’s commitment to freedom of speech. Now, can what has become a megacorporation – with vast government internet hosting contracts – offer a service that doesn’t inspect what users store in it?
How Amazon deals with this issue with its new service will be fascinating to watch.