GBH in the Cloud?

11:10am 17 September 2010

Rick Shera
Rick Shera MNZCS

Partner, Lowndes Jordan

We are moving our lives to the cloud, whether we choose to or not or even whether we realise it or not. Increasingly, this is not as an adjunct to proprietary desktop controlled systems but as a replacement for them. It’s like a return to the old centralised mainframe – dumb client model with the internet as the mainframe and someone else controlling it.

Ubiquitous connectivity and mobile access will accelerate this.

The internet becomes the place in which we have vested our personality; a place where that personality is more pervasive and far reaching than that which we possess offline.

If that is right then we will inevitably see calls for that personality to be protected just as we are protected in an offline world. We are already starting to see aspects of this with increasing concerns around privacy and security and, on the flip side, calls for ISPs and law enforcement to take a greater role in policing the internet.

This has significant ramifications not just for individuals but also for businesses that provide connectivity or services. If your online personality suffers Grievous Bodily Harm in the cloud, who ya gunna call?

About Rick Shera

Rick Shera (twitter: @lawgeeknz) is a partner at niche corporate, business and Information & Communication Technology law firm, Lowndes Jordan, based in Auckland (

He has a Masters degree in copyright and internet law and heads up Lowndes Jordan’s IP/ICT team which acts for telcos, ISPs, web and media firms, software, SaaS and cloud providers, as well as providing IP and ICT advice to business and corporate clients.

Rick is a past vice president of InternetNZ and is current non-executive chair of NetSafe and Hector’s World Limited, innovative digital citizenship not-for-profits.