Jan. 12th, 2017

owlmoose: (quote - B5 avalanche)
Lo these many years ago, when LiveJournal was bought by SUP, a Russian company, I wasn't too worried, because the staff and servers were staying in the United States (specifically California) for the foreseeable future.

Fast forward nine years. Although no announcement has been made as far as I know, there are strong indications that the servers have recently been moved to Russia. [personal profile] lynnenne explains why this is a problem; the short version is that international courts generally hold that, when legal issues arise around Internet content (privacy, copyright, freedom of expression, etc.), the laws that apply are the laws of the country where the servers reside. Therefore, when the LJ servers were in California, if SUP did something sketchy like sell your personal data or resell your content without permission, you could sue them in California court. Assuming these reports are correct, that's no longer true. And while I don't know specific details about Russian law regarding privacy, copyright, and free expression, I think it's a pretty safe guess that they aren't nearly as strong as those in the USA, much less California.

So... how worried are we about this? I backed up all my LJ content to Dreamwidth years ago, and have been crossposting even longer, so I won't lose any content if my LJ suddenly goes dark. But that fact doesn't assuage the other concerns: loss of privacy, the selling of personal data, copyright infringement, Russia deciding that my political opinions are suspect and someone needs to come after me. (I understand I'm a pretty tiny fish in a very large ocean as far as that last issue is concerned. Still, the fear is there.) Therefore, a few thoughts and questions:

1. Those of you who are cross-posting DW to LJ: are you going to keep doing it? Any thoughts of deleting?

2. Those of you who are still posting and/or reading on the LJ side: are you concerned? Thinking about deleting and/or moving to DW? If I stopped cross-posting, any chance that you'd keep reading me on Dreamwidth, or do I risk losing touch with you?

3. I am deeply reluctant to delete the old content from my LJ. The librarian in me abhors the idea of contributing to the link rot that has caused so much fandom history to be lost (I'm still sad about the abrupt disappearance of Journalfen, for one example). I wish there was some way to redirect links to the archived DW content. On the other hand, link rot is just a part of life on the Internet, and shouldn't my personal safety come first? Any thoughts welcome.

A year ago, even three months ago, this development would not have worried me nearly as much. But with the mounting evidence of Russia and Putin meddling in internal US politics, it's pretty hard to see this move as benign. And that fact that I'm a little nervous even typing that last sentence in an entry that's going to be crossposted to LJ? Maybe that's my answer right there. Still, I'm not making any decisions yet. But I want to put my concerns out there.

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