Vikshepa Blog

Mental Distractions

08 Mar 2022

2022-03-08 - Photos | Big Tech | Registration Walls | Telegram

anemones

I posted a new photo album from our walk last Saturday.

Channel 11 ran an article on the Big Tech companies that focused on several aspects: that they don't pay taxes in this country; that they are virtually unreachable if they happen to close your account; that they invade privacy; that they are anticompetitive; that they manipulate the government and the legal system to insure their monopolies are not threatened, etc. It managed to get through all this material pretty well.

I'm beginning to think website "registration walls" are almost as bad as paywalls. They are just as effective at locking me out anyhow, because I usually refuse to register. I just tried to read an article on The Intercept and hit one of these. I'm more and more convinced that piracy is the way for those of us who value our privacy and are too poor to subscribe to umpteen journals. It feels scrappy, and it deprives journals of their incomes, but if they can't honour our privacy and set up a sensible system for donations or occasional payments, I think it isn't our problem.

The EFF has posted information (in English) intended to help Ukrainians and Russians use Telegram more safely: Telegram Harm Reduction for Users in Russia and Ukraine . It is kind of a shame that Telegram itself doesn't do more to make this information available to its users. Telegram is not private by default and does not do enough to make its privacy features easily available. Durov, on his own Telegram channel, just wrote a long post describing his tribulations with the Russian government and his family connections with Ukraine:

Some people wondered if Telegram is somehow less secure for Ukrainians, because I once lived in Russia. Let me tell these people how my career in Russia ended.

It could have been an opportunity to address users in Ukraine and Russia in a similar way that the EFF has just done.

US accused of hypocrisy for supporting sanctions against Russia but not Israel https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/07/us-sanctions-against-russia-but-not-israel The war invites many such comparisons and exposes double-standards like this.

Tags: photos capitalism web
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