Like water and electricity

It’s as if we lost our hands past Tuesday, those couple of hours without Twitter.
People joked about it, the Twitter outage was grist to the mill of the cloud-opposition.
However, what if we made access to the cloud a basic right, such as water and electricity?
“It’s bound to happen”, according to connoisseurs, “due to the importance of information, those services will eventually become government issued.”

The clock showed 9:30h, when Twitter briefly vanished from the face of the earth. Not only Europe suffered from the outage, the Middle-East, Africa and North-America couldn’t access the portal for hours. A brief moment without Twitter, please don’t spin that in to a big drama, that’s probably what you’re thinking. But, it shows the ever increasing importance internet services.

Even though you might not always realize it, you too use them, the so called cloud-services: sending messages in to the world wide web, through Twitter and Facebook; saving your e-mails in Gmail or storing documents in Google Drive & Evernote. Your employer is trusting important & expansive internal systems to perform in the cloud. It’s presumably safer because the data is no longer stored locally on hard drives or laptops, but it’s being harbored in secure datacenters where the cloud servers are installed. No more server crashing with data-loss as a consequence, one of a company’s worst nightmares.

According to Professor Philip Dutré, computer scientist at the KU Leuven, it’s now up to political governing bodies to research how they can guarantee access to the cloud-services. “It sounds like science fiction, but you could wonder if cloud access shouldn’t become a basic right, comparable to water or electricity. I can imagine that those services will at some point in time, wind up in the hands of the government, due to the essential role they play in the modern day, functioning society.”

Jan de Jong