Private Browser, Search Engine, Email & Messaging Tools

by | Jan 25, 2021

Surveillance online can catch you off guard

Its now becoming common knowledge our every moves online are surveilled by default, without our explicit consent, when we use the Google browser and search engine, then Google Docs, then surf over to YouTube or Google Maps. Or when we’re on Facebook, or its subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp. In order for the average Jane and Joe to avoid being tracked and traded like pork bellies on a global human data market, as Shoshanna Zuboff explains in The Social Dilemma movie, we’re bringing you these recommendations for a private browser, search engine, email, and messaging service, vetted by PrivacyTools.io.

Privacy Tools is a non profit initiative by individuals who, like us, care about privacy, human rights and democracy as the end game. They provide names of online tools, from browsers to web hosting companies, to keep you protected from prying eyes, whether from private companies or institutions.

Private Online Email Providers: ProtonMail ( Switzerland), MailBox.org (Germany) and Posteo.de (Germany). This of course, as an alternative to an email address linked to a domain name you own and host, like whoever@techforgoodcanada.org.

Private Browsers: Firefox is the most accessible one. Other, geekier options are proposed. They don’t mention Brave browser, which has emerged during 2020.

Private Search Engines include Qwant ( from France), Duck Duck Go ( US), and StartPage (Netherlands).

Private Messaging Service: As an excellent alternative to WhatsApp which, despite offering “encrypted” communications, is still quite nosy about who its users are, use the free, US foundation-suppported Signal app.

PrivacyTools.io doesn’t mention another app, Telegram, often presented as an alternative, which is hosted in various countries as its team of mostly Russian developpers move around . It is more widely used for general interest discussion groups.

Good digital online hygiene means leave Google

Be safe and keep your clothes on! 😉

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The WSJ “Facebook Files” Revelations Impose Government Action in Canada

In September 2021, the Wall Street Journal published a series of internal Facebook reports, now known as The Facebook Files, that show Facebook knew its negative impact on teenagers’ mental health, societal polarization, misinformation, and more.

The revelations from a woman employee put in even greater light the larger, systemic harms that Facebook — and other persuasive technology giants — are able to have on society. Canadian governement must now urgently tax, legislate and regulate Facebook (and its WhatsApp and Instagram properties) and Tech giants like TikTok, Google, and YouTube.