Joachim Breitner's Homepage
Some friends and I are considering to set up something similar to Steve’s xen-hosting.org. One issue that came up was: “Who get’s to be the main admin and how can we trust him?” At first I found this an odd issue − I’ve never heard anyone considering this when using one of those anonymous virtual server hosting offers.
After all, when you have something valuable to store somewhere, e.g. your family store of gold coins, you’d rather ask your good friends instead of some random stranger. But it seems to be different for information: Imagine you have some valuable piece of information (e.g. your dirty secret from ten years ago) and you had to share it with someone − suddenly the completely anonymous stranger seems to be a better choice than the persons that know you...
I think this effect is also the reason why people are so little troubled by known and unknown facts such as
- E-mail-communication is open to any one having control over a server “inbetween” you and your recepient.
- Messages sent over AIM are (or were, it seems), according to the Terms of Services, legally owned by AOL.
- Google uses the contents of your gmail e-mails to do stuff.
This is just a small part of the list of situations where people give information to some “unknown stranger” that they would probably not give their friends.
Is this way of thought valid? If not, what are good arguments to convince people to be more careful? And under what circumstances would you trust your friend to manage the host machine for your Xen server instance?