I started writing this as notes for my own use, and wasn’t really planning to post it publicly. However, I didn’t find any comprehensive google exit plans that were suitable for people in my position, and it seemed like an interesting area for discussion, so up it goes.
While making my regular Google backups (detailed below in “Backup ALL the Things”) over the weekend, I decided it was time to update my plans for bailing out of google’s services if necessary, and discovered that there may be superior alternatives to some of the services I’ve been depending on. Google’s vast infrastructure, development resources, ubiquity and integration have tended to make them better than self hosted options. The fact that they are a single party who has thus far been generally responsible with user data makes them more attractive than other hosted solutions. Both of those situations are subject to change.
Why the hell did Google just force me to link my YouTube account to a Google account? Do not want.
It’s popping up all over the place, but to repost, Julian Assange, Wikileaks’ human lightningrod/figurehead, on Facebook:
” Facebook in particular is the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented. Here we have the world’s most comprehensive database about people, their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations and the communications with each other, their relatives, all sitting within the United States, all accessible to US intelligence. Facebook, Google, Yahoo – all these major US organizations have built-in interfaces for US intelligence. It’s not a matter of serving a subpoena. They have an interface that they have developed for US intelligence to use.
Now, is it the case that Facebook is actually run by US intelligence? No, it’s not like that. It’s simply that US intelligence is able to bring to bear legal and political pressure on them. And it’s costly for them to hand out records one by one, so they have automated the process. Everyone should understand that when they add their friends to Facebook, they are doing free work for United States intelligence agencies in building this database for them.”
Admittedly, [Citation Needed], but Assange has an amazingly good track record about having information to back up his claims, and this sounds entirely plausible. The terrible thing is, I’m less concerned about unscrupulous world governments having access to that sort of thing than I am about various unaccountable corporate entities having the same (and really, generally, less concerned about unscrupulous world governments than I am about various unaccountable corporate entities). I’m sure most people don’t care, but this kind of shit is why I don’t have a facebook account, and am careful to only deal with social websites in contexts where I want everything they know about me shared with everyone (With the semi-reluctant exception of Google, who knows everything about everyone anyway, opt-in or not, and provides excellent services for opting in).