Conversations about life & privacy in the digital age

Secure & private storage API on the horizon?

We wanted to share our announcement that just hit the wire today:

2013: The Year of Privacy

SpiderOak Bringing Privacy to the Cloud Through Open Source ‘Zero-Knowledge’ Application Framework

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwire – Jan 28, 2013)– SpiderOak, the ‘zero-knowledge’ privacy cloud technologies provider, revealed today that the company will release an open source ‘zero-knowledge’ application framework (ZKAF) to push privacy further into the web than previously possible. The official launch will come at the RSA Conference in San Francisco and will further signify the evolution from Internet security to cloud privacy.

The ZKAF open source code will be made available on February 25. Additional details leading up to the announcement will be available at the SpiderOak website: spideroak.com.

2013 – The Year Privacy was Found

As the cloud has gone mainstream, so too has the conversation around security. With more data being pushed to cloud servers throughout the world — the need to ensure the data is safe grows. Amidst this dialogue, the concept of ‘privacy’ has been drowned out as it was previously thought not possible to both preserve the privacy of data and also benefit from the advantages of the Internet. This is now all changing.

SpiderOak’s launch of its ZKAF will enable companies and/or developers to apply this framework on top of their application and enjoy all the benefits of ‘zero-knowledge’ privacy without having to understand the detailed specifics around cryptography and encryption. In practical terms, this means that any data generated by an application will never be readable on the server it is stored and, henceforth, remains private and in full control of the end user.

SpiderOak: Privacy Built Into the Technology

From the ground up, SpiderOak was designed with privacy at the core. The company’s industry-leading ‘zero-knowledge’ privacy standard protects user data by encrypting file backup, synchronization and storage throughout every stage. SpiderOak servers never store the plaintext version of a user’s encryption keys (or password). As a result, nobody can view any portion of a user’s content including filenames, file types, folder names, etc. Even the members of the SpiderOak staff with physical access to the servers can never view plaintext user information.

With SpiderOak Blue, the company brings the ‘zero-knowledge’ privacy environment to the enterprise. Through a virtual machine running behind a company’s firewall, SpiderOak Blue connects to LDAP / ActiveDirectory to provide consistent authentication procedures. IT departments have the flexibility and control to create and deploy specific end-device builds depending on the user — managing how and when individual files should be backed up and/or synced. A private cloud offering is also available such that the entire solution is contained behind the company’s firewall or within their server environments.

For more information on SpiderOak Private Cloud and other enterprise products, please visit: spideroak.com/business.

Media Contact:
Ethan Parker, BOCA Communications: (415) 377-0978

72 hours only: 28% off an annual plan for Data Privacy Day

Data Privacy Day (DPD) began in 2008 and is held every year on January 28th. As the big day approaches this Monday and buzz continues around Kim Dotcom’s Mega, we are excited to keep privacy front and center.

Embrace ‘Zero-Knowledge’ Privacy for Data Privacy Day with our 72 hour special promotion:

28% off ALL Yearly Storage Plans

For a limited time only, get 100GB for only $78 per year! (Regular pricing: $100/year.) Take advantage by visiting SpiderOak.com/signup and use the promo code “DataPrivacyDay” in your account settings.

Instructions for using the code:

  • Go to www.spideroak.com/signup if you are not a currently signed up.
  • You must first activate your account on your computer by opening the SpiderOak downloaded application and selecting “Activate First Device.”
  • If you have not yet downloaded SpiderOak, you may do so here: Download SpiderOak.
  • Once activated, go to our homepage.
  • At the top right side, you will see “Login.” Click here and enter your credentials.
  • When you are logged in, you will click “Account” in the top right corner.
  • You will then select the orange “Buy More Space” button.
  • Once on the Account Details page, you will select “Upgrade My Plan” to the right.
  • On this page, you will see a “Promotional Code” box.
  • Type “DataPrivacyDay” in this box and select “Update”
  • You should see the discount in the ‘Yearly Billing’ drop down. If so, click “Next.”
  • Your account is now updated. Enjoy!
  • DPD’s focus is on raising awareness about the importance of protecting privacy online. Many individuals, companies, organizations, and even government agencies are helping spread awareness about respecting privacy. If you’re on Twitter, join the conversation about safeguarding data with the hashtag #DPD13.

    Here are some of the people already talking about DPD:

    On Monday we’re making a big announcement about the future of privacy in the cloud, and we’ll also offer some privacy tips for everyday life. In the meantime, please ‘Like Us’ on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and help us spread the good privacy word.

    Privacy MadLibs Follow Up & Winners

    A big thank you to everyone who participated in our privacy MadLib. We not only enjoyed everyone’s submissions but also valuable comments and suggestions about how we can improve an activity like this in the future. We will definitely do so!

    Find our answer key below and the top three submissions. Before we do…

    Here is our key

    We think individuals and companies don’t have to {compromise} their {privacy} online. Companies who can’t offer privacy are forced to sell security alone. However, we believe the cloud can be a perfectly safe place as well.

    Privacy has been and will always be a priority for SpiderOak. Everything we {plan} for meets our ‘Zero-Knowledge Privacy Standard’, which means no one at SpiderOak can see your {private} plaintext data.

    SpiderOak is often referred to as “the secure alternative to Dropbox”. Our founders {created} SpiderOak in 2007 with the ultimate idea to create an environment where they didn’t even have to trust the people that work at SpiderOak. It was {carefully} built in to the product.

    We are very proud of how SpiderOak has evolved over the past several years. Once you download our {flexible} {product}, you can use our software online to back up, share, sync, access and privately store data for only $10/month. You can {access} your data from anywhere, from any device: Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora & openSUSE). We also offer SpiderOak Blue, which provides the same security and privacy you know and love to businesses. The financial, healthcare, legal, and accounting sectors with sensitive data are especially keen on the {flexibility} SpiderOak Blue provides.

    Thanks for making the web a safe place with us! We predict 2013 will be ‘The {year} of {privacy}. What do you think?

    The winners are…

    • First Place: Alexkorff
    • Second Place: Happybeing
    • Third Place: Mscarborough

    Congrats and stay tuned for some more games and opportunities to win free GBs.

    Introducing Privacy MadLibs: Win Free Storage

    Some of us here at SpiderOak loved the game MadLibs when we were younger. If you remember, MadLibs are silly word games that create a new story by changing a few selected words. That is what we want you to do to the text below…

    HOW TO PLAY

    All you have to do is submit your answers/words in the order they appear, in the comments section below (with your username). We will publish our key tomorrow, along with the top three submissions that get closest to the right answers.

    • First Place: 7 GBs
    • Second Place: 5 GBS
    • Third Place: 3 GBs

    We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    SpiderOak MadLib

    We think individuals and companies don’t have to {Verb} their {Noun} online. Companies who can’t offer privacy are forced to sell security alone. However, we believe the cloud can be a perfectly safe place as well.

    Privacy has been and will always be a priority for SpiderOak. Everything we {Verb} for meets our ‘Zero-Knowledge Privacy Standard’, which means no one at SpiderOak can see your {Adjective} plaintext data.

    SpiderOak is often referred to as “the secure alternative to Dropbox”. Our founders {Verb – Past Tense} SpiderOak in 2007 with the ultimate idea to create an environment where they didn’t even have to trust the people that work at SpiderOak. It was {Adverb} built in to the product.

    We are very proud of how SpiderOak has evolved over the past several years. Once you download our {Adjective} {Noun}, you can use our software online to back up, share, sync, access and privately store data for only $10/month. You can {Verb} your data from anywhere, from any device: Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora & openSUSE). We also offer SpiderOak Blue, which provides the same security and privacy you know and love to businesses. The financial, healthcare, legal, and accounting sectors with sensitive data are especially keen on the {Noun} SpiderOak Blue provides.

    Thanks for making the web a safe place with us! We predict 2013 will be ‘The {Noun} of {Noun}. What do you think?

    Mayan Prediction 12-21-12: Just the end of their calendar? End of the world? Or merely a blizzard?

    Before I even put my head on the pillow, the screaming wind was banging without pause against my windows. It probably wasn’t a valid fear, but throughout the night I’d wake up wondering if it was going to break the glass and throw a wave of snow and paralyzing cold onto my bed, all over my room. It was an ear-plugs-in kind of night.

    I currently live in the literal country in Kansas. Hay bales and cows are scattered about within eye-sight and beyond. I get to see the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets each week. Four happy farm dogs greet me as I come and go. The nearest store is 20 minutes away. I can see two houses in the distance. It is so peaceful here.

    As I floated in and out of sleep all night, I’d be sure to look out and catch glances of the eerie-gray scene unfolding outside. It struck me as funny that tomorrow is the end of the Mayan calendar and one of many speculations is an apocalypse (and where to get a better picture of this than on Wikipedia). You can’t blame me for where my mind went with the brutal weather rip-roaring before my very eyes, accosting my ears.

    I woke up this morning to a lighter sky, letting me finally see the blizzard in action. The wind and snow tore forcefully across the plains (the photo doesn’t do it justice). It is the kind of power and grace that makes you pause…

    All over the area and into Missouri and Iowa, traffic is at a standstill for hours, schools are cancelled, and people can’t go into work. The news is eating the chaos up, describing the “painful” wind in their fluffy parkas, and following with excitement the night-work of the snow plows and salt-layers.

    No matter what you think or believe may happen tomorrow, I believe it is never a bad thing to be reminded that all we ever truly have is today. So this all reminds me: enjoy this day. Each person, each moment. Do things you love with people you care about, while you can.

    But for those doom-and-gloomers out there who will be spending their ‘last day’ kissing and hugging loved ones goodbye, partying like it is 1999, or spending the last drops of money in their bank accounts, tomorrow, we at SpiderOak will be developing new features, running our servers, maintaining our beloved Zero-Knowledge privacy, and arguing with each other about who’s working on New Years (or something like that).

    For those of you who don’t buy any of it and will carry about as normal, here are two awesome things you can do with your time:

    1. Until Monday night, you can send a friend or loved one a ‘Secret Santa’ gift ON US. Gifts are handed out randomly and include an iPod Touch (1 prize available), a pair of socks (5 prizes available), a 100 GB plan (10 prizes available), a 5 GB plan (1000 prizes available), and 30% discount on all SpiderOak yearly premium data plans (unlimited prizes available). Spread the word! Be generous – it’s fun to give.
    2. Make sure all your documents, files, photos, videos, and data are safely backed up. If you’re new, sign up here and check out the pricing. (There is nothing like going into the New Year with peace of mind. Be sure to share with your friends and family so they can do the same!)

    As for me, I’ll spend the day working, listening to the wind howling and banging on every window, and wondering when I’ll be able to get out (I have a holiday party to attend tonight after all!)…

    Wishing you a truly rich, wonderful day,

    Erin & the SpiderOak Team

    SpiderOak IAmA/AUA on reddit.com

    We at Spideroak.com are mid-development of a new HTML5 mobile client, have grown quite fast in the last year and feel that it’s once again time for us to chat with people about our dreams, aspirations, plans, technology and service.

    Based on this a few of us in the team behind SpiderOak will be answering questions in a AUA post on /r/IAmA on the social news site Reddit.com.

    For those unfamiliar IAmA is short for “I Am A” and AUA is short for “Ask Us Anything” and describes a post where someone or a group of people answers questions from the reddit community.

    We at SpiderOak are doing this as a way of connecting with the community, spread awareness around online privacy, security and cloud storage in general.

    We are also happy to hand out 5GB of free storage for life to new signups through code ‘reddit5‘. For the next 48 hours, just sign-up as usual, install the client, set up your first device, click ‘buy more space’ and the code will give you 5GB of free cloud storage for life.

    We hope you will take the time to show up and say hello and maybe ask us a question or two! You can find the IAmA post right here.

    SpiderOak Black Friday Deal

    EXPIRED: This offer is now closed.

    Some consumers dream of Black Friday all year long, enjoying the predawn moment when they can run the door-buster gauntlet. Here at SpiderOak – being the sort of people that like to dive into the spirit of any holiday, we thought we’d share our enthusiasm by offering you a great deal this weekend.

    No standing in line!

    For the next 3 days, you will be able to upgrade your account and get a wonderful 35% discount off all yearly plans.

    Use this promotion code to upgrade your free account: BlackFriday

    (If you aren’t yet a SpiderOak user, but want to take advantage of this deal: Sign up here, download and install the software, go to your account and click ‘Buy More Space’ and use the promo code above.)

    Our deal will start at midnight on Thanksgiving, November 22nd through midnight Monday, November 26th.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Looking For A Few Good Ambassadors…

    This might not exactly qualify for a top secret mission though you can bet privacy is at the core of this operation.

    SpiderOak is launching a ‘Zero-Knowledge’ Privacy Ambassador program & We Want You!

    The ‘Zero-Knowledge’ Privacy Ambassador (or ZKPA) will help inform and educate people on the importance of preserving privacy in everyday online life. From communicating with individuals to talking in front of groups, a ZKPA understands that certain lines must be drawn and we must have a better balance between what 3rd parties have access to, what they can do with collected data, and understanding our rights as individual users.

    Requirements include:

    • Must have working knowledge of SpiderOak
    • Must have passion for understanding what privacy means and how it may be preserved online

    Expectations:

    • Wear & display the ZK Image
    • Distribute ZK materials as appropriate
    • Offer information about SpiderOak and ZK to those interested
    • Participate in online conversations where data privacy is being discussed
    • Identify potential other ZKPAs
    • Offer free GBs to those interested in SpiderOak and ZK
    • Provide & collect user testimonials around ZK and Privacy
    • Be a resource for perspective SpiderOak customers

    Ultimately – as a ZKPA – “you get out of it what you put into it.” – SpiderOak will look to you to set the level of involvement you will have with this position

    Benefits Include:

    • Work closely with the awesome & fun SpiderOak Team
    • Represent SpiderOak and our passionate stance on ZK
    • Play a key role in helping us shape and grow the ZKPA program
    • Interact and gain leadership experience
    • Help spread awareness about ZK and the importance of control as it relates to personal data online
    • Develop a ZK Seal Certification process used to award other companies and organizations who maintain the high levels of privacy standards

    Training Training:

    ZKPAs are greatly encouraged to participate in monthly conference calls. ‘Training’ dates will be provided in advance. Given that the program is new, the full amount of time required is yet to be determined. Our first goal will be to gauge interest and understanding around ZK.

    About Compensation:

    ZKPAs are not paid. In exchange for ambassadorship, ZKPAs will gain valuable experience as well as a decent amount of swag to be worn, given away, presented, etc…

    Application Details:

    We would like you to send us an email to ZKPA@spideroak.com detailing why you think you would make a good ZKPA.

    Some questions to consider are the following -

    • Why are you interested?
    • What does ZK mean to you?
    • What qualities do you possess that would make you a good ZKPA?
    • What experience have you had around SpiderOak?
    • Are you bilingual? And if so – what languages do you speak?
    • What sites do you frequently visit and enjoy? News outlets? Social Media?
    • Anything else you would like to share.

    We are very excited to launch the ZKPA program and even more excited to hear from all of you. Don’t hesitate to send thoughts, questions, ideas, etc…

     

    Now Hiring –> JavaScript / HTML5 Engineer

    We’re looking for an excited JavaScript hacker to join us and help us
    advance state-of-the-art technology implementation in
    JavaScript. We’re looking to do some Cool New Things on the web that
    have been traditionally limited to our desktop client, and need
    someone who can help us push that along.

    Do you enjoy trying to push the bounds of browser-boxed computing?
    Have you experience with cryptography? Enjoy getting that last little
    bit of performance out of V8 as Chrome makes your computer levitate
    with the cooling fans spinning up? We want you! You’ll be working with
    our existing team of web engineers to bring out new technology and
    products allowing people to use SpiderOak in a private fashion no
    matter where they are or what kind of device they are on. You’ll be
    working on HTML5 webapps with more and more JavaScript getting pushed
    further and further beyond the competition.

    To hop on board and immediately get rolling, we expect that you
    have a grasp of or can very rapidly come up to speed on a wide variety
    of technologies around HTML5, including but not limited to:

    You’ll have to be comfortable dealing with SQL for data, as well as a
    Unix platform for deployment (Ubuntu, specifically). We have an
    emphasis on test-driven development that you will be jumping in
    to. Finally, our backend software is all in Python, and knowing that
    is a major plus but not immediately necessary- if you already know
    the above, chances are you can learn a new language if it comes to
    that.

    If you want to join in on our merry adventure, you will need a
    functional grasp of English (don’t worry, we have several staff
    on-board already for whom it’s a second or third language). You will
    also be expected to occasionally travel (at company expense) to have
    some quality face-to-face time. Important cities in the SpiderOakVerse
    are San Francisco, CA, Kansas City, MO, and Chicago, IL (for
    reference, these three cities make up about half of SpiderOak). A
    sense of humor is always appreciated and welcome.

    Still interested? Send an email to
    jobs@spideroak.com including “web engineer” in
    the subject with a little about yourself and your experience to date
    (a ‘cover letter’ if you will). NOTE: Resumes are not required as who
    you are is more important than what your resume may or may not say. If
    we enjoy your thoughts and feel like you will be a good fit, we will
    send you a small task to complete. Please do be sure to tell us a bit
    about yourself, what you can do, and why you’d like to work for
    us. English only, please.

    We know there’s talent in everyone regardless of what little papers
    might say, so we have no “minimum” requirements for degrees. We’re
    also super-equal-opportunity: quality hacking knows no bounds for
    race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, species[1], or
    religion. If you can meet what we need, we’ll do amazing things
    together, no matter who, what, or where you are.

    Footnotes:

    1: The Management would prefer llamas with experience in piloting
    luxury yachts.

    Our first-ever, special offer for free users: 25GB for $30/yr

    EXPIRED: This offer is now closed, as of Friday 11/16 @ midnight CT.

    We heard you!

    Normally, the smallest amount of storage you can buy with SpiderOak is 100GB for $100 a year. But a lot of our free users have said they would upgrade to an annual plan if they could get only 25GB because that is all they need, opposed to buying 100GB.

    SO, this will be our first time to try it out. For only the next 3 days, you can upgrade to a 25GB plan from a free account for only $30/year.

    Use this promotion code to upgrade your free account: TWENTYFIVE

    (If you aren’t yet a SpiderOak user, but want to take advantage of this deal: sign up here, download and install the software, click ‘Buy More Space’ and use the promo code above.)

    We’re excited to give it a try and see what the reception is like, so be sure to nab this deal and please help us spread the word until then. The offer ends on Friday Nov. 16 @ midnight CT.

    Let us know what you think!

    Sincerely,

    The SpiderOak Team