While we’ve all known for years that pretty much everything we do on the internet is public and watched by someone, the Snowden revelations a few years ago offended me. I was offended that we had sunk that deeply. I was also offended that so few people seemed to care. “If you’re not doing anything wrong, why should you care?” I read over and over again. In my mind, this misses the point.
So I worked hard to try to do something about it. I wanted to maintain some modicum of privacy. I went so far as to transfer my domain, blogs, and email to Iceland, a country that I found after some research has some of the strongest privacy laws in the world.
But now? Today, I’m declaring that I think the task of maintaining some privacy online, for average people, is impossible.
While I’m not a coding or programming ninja or guru, I do OK in the tech skills department. I have no trouble maintaining websites, customizing them to do the things I need, and running and designing scripts and programs. I’ve fought hard to learn some of these skills. But in the end I think this is largely fruitless. If I want to use the “modern” web, which interacts between my desktop and online environments and if I want my phone to simply talk to my calendar, you need to give up your privacy. Data leaks between all of our environments and applications. If we aren’t prepared for each of them to be an isolated silo, the task of privacy is a dream.
I’ve been an advocate for privacy, for making informed decisions with kids for years. I’m a large fan of open source software as well. None of this changes. I still am a believer in privacy, but I simply don’t think it is possible right now with the hardware and the software that we have. I hope that some day it is. Until then, I need to make friends with the web as it is.
That starts with moving over here. I’m going to be leaving this webspace behind and move over there. If you’ve got this place bookmarked, it will need to be updated. Thanks.