Feel like I'm feeding a troll, but johnjones's ID is so low that I feel this silliness may be taken seriously:
how do you get the data out of gmail to switch providers ?
Same way you would do any remote hosted email migration. POP and IMAP. Additional tools are provided for Google Apps (their for-pay version).
ever serviced a discovery litigation from google ? (you know where they judge you guilty of you dont come up with the data)
sorry but there is a good reason to keep this stuff on site and working...
Umm, an hour of downtime doesn't mean your data is gone. I'll also echo earlier comments -- locally hosted email generally has more problems, as no company but the largest enterprise has the same magnitude of IT equipment and experience as Google.
I've never really understood why so many Slashdotters have this attitude about hosted services. Perhaps they are local IT folks for smaller companies, and fear for their jobs?
Abolish national security exemptions entirely. Open everything wide up...
Too dangerous. Best to strike a balance, and fix it like capitalism.
Assign a heavy cost on secrecy. First, all documents tagged secret must have a responsible party's name attached. All documents marked this way are reviewed every few years by an independent oversight group (congress, press, industry, whatever). Accidental errors and omissions carry a monetary penalty to the responsible party. Malicious intent carries charges of treason.
It then becomes a simple cost/benefit analysis for those making these things secret. All we (the people) have to do is make sure that the penalties are appropriate.
The difference is that those 40 web browsers are _supposed_ to work identically via standards and APIs. 40 platforms, by definition, have different APIs.
Of course in the real world those browsers will be different, but at least the goal is there.
If God had a beard, he'd be a UNIX programmer.