Let's end digital colonialism

We are colonized. The Tech Giants control the digital world with the complicity of the United States. Most computers (those using AMD or Intel processors) can be spied on and remotely controlled thanks to a universal backdoor1, with the legal backing of the USA PATRIOT Act2. We are also spied on through mobile phones3, surveillance cameras, through the banking system, etc.

We are the enemy

WikiLeaks4 and Edward Snowden5 showed the world the spying and other atrocities committed, especially by publishing confidential files. The creator of WikiLeaks is in prison for reporting the situation, and Snowden is in exile in Russia. But you don't have to commit a crime to be imprisoned or persecuted, as free software programmer and privacy advocate Ola Bini knows well6.

If you are reading this article, you are probably considered an extremist by the US National Security Agency, as happened to the readers of Linux Journal7. Fortunately there are more GNU/Linux and privacy extremists today. Companies like Microsoft used to say GNU/Linux was a cancer8; now they “love Linux”9. Free software and privacy have gained popularity and followers, but most of the problems mentioned above are still present.


Although most people live colonized by proprietary and spying technologies, there are free alternatives that allow us to have more privacy and control, there are free hardware and free software projects that give us the freedoms that big companies and governments deny us. These technologies should be supported and adopted, but for that we need to make the problem visible and convince the population of their advantages.

If we want to achieve more privacy and freedom, we must also put an end to companies like Google, Meta, Apple and Microsoft, which only pay lip service to privacy and free software. To do this we must replace their spyware and proprietary programs with free and decentralized alternatives. We must also support free hardware projects.

However, the system is against us. In most countries, tax money is used to pay for spyware licenses and to create a digital surveillance system. One way to fight against that is to pay as little taxes as possible (paying in cash and using anonymous cryptocurrencies like Monero10, for instance) and to expose this issue.

The Roman Empire did not fall in two days. Neither will China's nor the U.S. digital empire. It is in our hands to create and foster liberating options.

  1. The Hated One (2019, April 7). How Intel wants to backdoor every computer in the world | Intel Management Engine explained. https://yewtu.be/watch?v=Lr-9aCMUXzI

  2. Leiva A. (2021, November 26). 26 de octubre de 2001: George W. Bush firma la ley USA Patriot, o Patriot Act. https://elordenmundial.com/hoy-en-la-historia/26-octubre/26-de-octubre-de-2001-george-w-bush-firma-la-ley-usa-patriot-o-patriot-act/

  3. Rosenzweig, A. (2017, October 18). No Cellphones Beyond This Point. https://freakspot.net/no-m%C3%A1s-celulares-a-partir-de-ahora/

  4. Wikipedia authors (2013, May 15). List of material published by WikiLeaks. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_material_published_by_WikiLeaks

  5. BBC News Mundo (2022, September 26). Snowden: Putin otorga la nacionalidad rusa al exagente estadounidense. https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-internacional-63039060

  6. Wikipedia authors (2023, February 1). Ola Bini. https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ola_Bini

  7. Rankin, K. (2014, July 3). NSA: Linux Journal is an "extremist forum" and its readers get flagged for extra surveillance. https://www.linuxjournal.com/content/nsa-linux-journal-extremist-forum-and-its-readers-get-flagged-extra-surveillance

  8. Greene, T. C. (2001, June 2). Ballmer: 'Linux is a cancer'. https://www.theregister.com/2001/06/02/ballmer_linux_is_a_cancer/

  9. Wikipedia authors (2023, April 7). Microsoft and open source. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_and_open_source

  10. Maldonado Ventura, J. (2023, February 20). Criptomonedas, anonimato, economía descentralizada. https://freakspot.net/dinero-an%C3%B3nimo-digital-monero/

Block websites: hosts file

To block websites you can use a browser extension (such as Block Site), a proxy server (such as Squid), but there is also the option of editing the hosts file, a method that consumes very little RAM and, unlike the browser extension, will work for any browser or program Keep reading Block websites: hosts file

Privacy is a collective issue

Many people give a personal explanation as to why they do or do not protect their privacy. Those who don't care much are heard to say that they have nothing to hide. Those who do care do so to protect themselves from unscrupulous companies, repressive states, etc. In both positions it is often wrongly assumed that privacy is a personal matter, and it is not.

Privacy is both an individual and a public matter. Data collected by large companies and governments is rarely used on an individual basis. We can understand privacy as a right of the individual in relation to the community, as Edward Snowden says:

Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say.

Your data can be used for good or bad. Data collected unnecessarily and without permission is often used for bad.

States and big tech companies blatantly violate our privacy. Many people tacitly acquiesce by arguing that nothing can be done to change it: companies have too much power and governments won't do anything to change things. And, certainly, those people are used to giving power to companies that make money from their data and are thus telling states that they are not going to be a thorn in their side when they want to implement mass surveillance policies. In the end, it harms the privacy of those who care.

Collective action starts with the individual. Each person should reflect on whether they are giving out data about themselves that they should not, whether they are encouraging the growth of anti-privacy companies and, most importantly, whether they are compromising the privacy of those close to them. The best way to protect private information is not to give it out. With an awareness of the problem, privacy projects can be supported.

Personal data is very valuable — so much so that some call it the “new oil” — not only because it can be sold to third parties, but also because it gives power to those who hold it. When we give it to governments, we give them the power to control us. When we give them to companies, we are giving them power to influence our behaviour. Ultimately, privacy matters because it helps us preserve the power we have over our lives that they are so intent on taking away. I'm not going to give away or sell my data, are you?

How to destroy Google

The Google business model is based on collecting personal data from users, selling it to third parties and serving ads. The company also enganges in surveillance programs, develops artificial intelligence programs for military purposes and exploits its users, among other things.

It is one of the most powerful companies on the planet. However, Google is a giant with feet of clay that can be annihilated.

Finish off its ad revenue

Google makes money by serving personalised ads based on the information it collects from its users. If people don't see ads, Google doesn't make money. Blocking ads is a way to prevent tracking and make Google lose money, but if you visit Google's pages, Google will still get information it can sell to advertisers. So the easiest thing to do is to block ads and avoid Google sites.

Another idea is to click on all ads with the AdNauseam extension, which also hides them from us so that we don't find them annoying. This method means that Google makes less money from ad clicks and that Google's servers have a little more workload (minimal, but it does add to their costs).

Filling Google's servers with crap

Google lets you upload almost anything to their servers (videos, files, etc.). If the content uploaded to its servers takes up a lot of space and is junk that scares people away from its services (videos with robot voices speaking nonsense, hundreds of videos with noise that take up gigabytes upon gigabytes), the cost of maintaining the servers increases and the company's profit is reduced.

If this is a globally coordinated effort by multiple users, Google would have to start restricting uploads, hiring people to find junk videos, blocking people and IP addresses, etc., which would increase its losses and reduce its profits.

For example, I can create 15-minute videos every hour and upload them to YouTube automatically or semi-automatically. The videos should take up a lot of space. The more resolution, the more colours, the more sound variety, the more frames per second, the more money YouTube will spend to keep those videos on its servers.

The video I show below was generated automatically with ffmpeg. It is only two seconds long, but it takes up 136 MB. A similar 15-minute video would take 61.2 GB.

Keep reading How to destroy Google

DuckDuckGo censors “Russian disinformation”

DuckDuckGo’s CEO said on Twitter:

Like so many others I am sickened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the gigantic humanitarian crisis it continues to create. #StandWithUkraine️

At DuckDuckGo, we've been rolling out search updates that down-rank sites associated with Russian disinformation.

This decision is problematic for many users who want to decide by themselves what is misinformation and what is not. That’s the reason why many people unhappy with DuckDuckGo’s decision who are also privacy and free software advocates now recommend using search engines like Brave Seach and Searx.