September 16, 2018 · Linux Google Apple Twitter

Moving to Linux

2016 opened Americans eyes to election interference and the power of social media companies in a profound way: Someone who probably would have not been elected to office was elected to office. Democrats are rightfully upset. It also opened my eyes to the inordinate Trust we have placed in some very large centralized players: Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter and Amazon and the fact that the future is trustless.

My life is saturated with these tech companies. Here is a list of the products I use:

I think it’s safe to say Google has surpassed Microsoft in its ability to be totally evil but it isn’t alone. Google is cooperating with China to build a search engine specifically designed to censor information. Apple is also desperate to maintain its presence in the Chinese market. So Apple, complying with Chinese Law is moving data centers to mainland China, handing the private keys to the Chinese Government so authorities can decrypt iCloud data. Twitter, Google and Apple have used their monopoly positions to deny the right-wing nut case Alex Jones the ability to use their networks. While Alex Jones is crazy (And shouldn’t be defended), other less publicized incidents of censorship by Social Media companies has occurred (related to picking winners between Israel and Palestine) [1]. Liberals are beginning to take notice of the importance of this issue when Facebook suppressed a story on Brett Kavanaughs opposition to Roe v Wade last week. While I am a Democrat who has been elected in the past, I agree with the conservative argument that: Corporate censorship dampens the spirit of free speech.

Trump Maintains that Social Networks are shadow-banning conservatives. Vice has reported that to some degree this has happened. Generally, this is an impossible accusation to prove because I do not have access to internal data; but my intuition tells me its true when Liberal topics frequently trend, and knowing that these products are designed in San Francisco.

There are so many more reasons to be outraged and disappointed at the way the Internet has become. So I’m beginning to peel these products and companies away from my life. I’ll follow up with more information on each topic but this is the list of changes I’ve made:

  1. Migrated off of Gmail - I pay for my email
  2. Replaced Google Nest Cam with a raspberry Pi, running a Go Server and a camera
  3. Deleted Facebook (this was easy)
  4. Deleted Instagram and rejoined Instagram (this was hard)
  5. Sold Mac computer and moved to Linux (Ubuntu)
  6. Canceled my Prime membership
  7. Deleted Medium and started this Blog
  8. Installed Adblock Plus, Privacy Badger, Canvas defender and Ghostery to fight tracking.
  9. Directly blocked facebook domains on my system
  10. Joined the EFF

These companies have centralized too much power, and are acting in unethical ways. Its time to take the internet back to a more optimistic place, the free internet.

[1] Facebook Says It Is Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the U.S. and Israeli Governments