New Code42 backup service aims to skirt fed data scrutiny [Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.]
(Saint Paul Pioneer Press (MN) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 03--Code42 often gets top marks for its CrashPlan online data-backup service, routinely besting the likes of Carbonite and Mozy in tech-magazine and tech-blog comparisons.
Now the Minneapolis-based company is gunning for a new set of competitors, including Dropbox and Box, as it debuts a file-sharing service it is christening SharePlan.
The service, initially aimed at big businesses, places files in a centralized repository, and allows employees to access and share those files via Code42 software on their computers and mobile devices.
This is how Dropbox and Box operate, but Code42's offering is different in one notable way: Its customers will typically store their files internally, using their own centralized hardware, instead of entrusting it to servers operated elsewhere and beyond their full control.
This ensures the privacy of customers' information -- even from the prying eyes of the National Security Agency, said Code42 CEO Matthew Dornquast.
"You would not believe the kind of subpoenas we see" from the federal government, demanding Code42 customers' data, Dornquast, also the firm co-founder, said. "Whatever your worst nightmare, it is probably worse. And usually they put gag language preventing us from talking about this."
SharePlan data, fully controlled by its owners, is encrypted in such a way that even Code42 can't gain access to it, Dornquast noted. So, if the feds come calling, all Code42 can provide is scrambled information, he said.
This approach isn't new. About half of CrashPlan's consumer users back up their data to their own computers or the hardware of friends or relatives instead of using Code42's servers. The same robust encryption applies in such situations, Dornquast said.
A consumer version of SharePlan is in the works. This is intended to mimic the famed Dropbox, which exists as a consumer service as well as Dropbox for Business variation.
CrashPlan exists in distinct versions for consumers, small businesses and enterprise clientele, too.
Companies that sign up for SharePlan can use it with server hardware they already own, or buy storage "appliances" in various capacities -- from 12 terabytes to a petabyte, which is just over 1,000 terabytes -- from Code42.
SharePlan and CrashPlan can be operated in tandem on the same hardware.
SharePlan for businesses has been about three years in development, and the consumer version is at least a year away, Dornquast said.
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