Back in December of 2005, a student at the University of Richmond contacted the campus help desk for help backing up his personal files, but they didn’t provide storage in those quantities, so they sent him to the campus computer store, who could.
With an astonishing degree of naivety, the student then requested that the technician take special care to back up the “kiddie porn” folder. No slouch, the tech called the police as soon as his would-be customer was out the door, and the now-ex student has now been indicted on 16 counts of possession of child pornography, which is a felony in Virginia.
Naturally, I’m glad the kid is getting put away. Child pornography is revolting. But many of us have things on our hard drives which we don’t necessarily want strangers to see, even if they aren’t illegal, immoral, or fattening. These are the files you should encrypt before putting your hard drive in someone else’s hands or backing your files up online.
Now if only all those banks who keep losing backup tapes with our financial information on them would do that…