[HacktionLab] Take action, with Google?!

Charlie Harvey charlie at newint.org
Thu May 29 11:11:42 UTC 2014

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I use some google services sometimes too -- especially youtube. They can
be quite convenient. But mostly I try and avoid using because:

* They apparently colluded with the NSA on spying on their customers; not OK
* I value privacy more than convenience in general
* I value owning my own data and being able to maintain some control
over who can access it
* I don't value targetted advertising very much at all
* Ditto search bubbling http://dontbubble.us/
* Relying on corporate infrastructure is the wrong choice for building a
resilient or democratic web; I'd rather hang out in a village or a messy
city centre than in a shopping mall
* Stuff like gmail or plus betrays my friends and contacts to the
authorities to greater or lesser extents. For example knowing what
"circle" a contact is or how frequently we interact gives spooks (or
advertisers) quite a lot of data to mine
* Monopolies generally behave badly
* Pervasive spying changes the character of our human relationships. For
the worse.
* Monocultures tend to collapse horrifically when they collapse
* I don't have any control over what google does with its services --
witness google reader. They'd do that with gmail if they started losing
money on it.
* I'm more interested in putting energy into building alternatives that
are democratically controlled, distributed and so on

The campaigning page you link looks to me like a desperate attempt to
offset the damage to (especially US) Google customer relationships done
by Google's collusion with NSA in spying on Google users. Most of the
large techs (with the exception of M$) are making the same noises. They
are shitting it because they rely on people thinking that they care
about their privacy.

Here's some videos that are slightly on topic.


On 29/05/14 10:00, Andy S wrote:
> Now if these guys weren't the very people best suited to abuse the
> information they have access to, this 'campaign' would read quite well,
> however I imagine many of us would/should be more than a tad
> suspicious/dismissive of this. But would we be right to shun them or are
> we just being paranoid/jaded?
> https://www.google.com/takeaction/
> Be interesting to hear where people stand with regards to Google and any
> reasons for/against using their products & services. I make no secret of
> using Google services since Gmail beta 10 years ago, use an Android
> phone (albeit running CycnogenMod) and numerous other of their products.
> I'm not paranoid. 1000's of highly intelligent and well respected tech
> people use Google/Android, do I know soemthing they don't?
> If I need secure to make communications anonymously, I wouldn't use
> their services. But with the spread of Android, the chances of Google
> knowing about you are increasing all the time, whether you use them or not. 
> So I ask, why/why not use Google?
> A
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- -- 
Charlie Harvey
IT Director
New Internationalist

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