Is Privacy a Myth?
Photo by Tobias Tullius from Unsplash

Is Privacy a Myth?

By utkarshg6e | Utkarsh Gupta | 30 Jan 2021


Have you ever wondered, "Why the regime of North Korea was so successful in fooling its people despite their brutality?"

Thae Young Ho who is the highest-ranking North Korean defector ever explained that the secret is free stuff, The government gave away free health care, free education, free housing, and guaranteed jobs as a way to gain popularity. Of course, none of these things were really free. In other terms, people paid for free stuff with their freedom.

Well, we aren't living under that regime. Then, let's think again that under whose regime are we living? Is it the government of our countries? You may wonder. Think again. The ex-president of the most powerful country, no one's favorite "Donald Trump" was banned across all the major social networking platforms. Definitely, there is someone who holds more power than the most powerful person.

"The one who silents the King is the King."

We are living in technocracy, not Democracy. Our freedom is defined by the leaders of tech companies. If tech companies want to shut down the mouth of the most powerful person, then they can. How can anyone trust that they'll provide Free Speech to the Common Citizen? In fact, the speech would only be allowed to those who comply with the new King.

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

"If it's free. You're the product."

These tech companies acquired the power exponentially by creating a monopoly, which they achieved by selling their product at an ultra-competitive price of free. Realistically it was never free and we were forced to pay with our privacy and free speech. There is no business that can profit by selling free stuff. The sooner we realize it, the better off we'll be.

In case you're not conveyed with the Idea that our free speech is at risk then please have a look at this tweet by Lincoln Cannon.

The above example is a glimpse of what we can expect in the future what these social networking websites will look like. In fact to actually understand the true power these giants hold can be seen by the example of "What happened to the Parler". Parler was the only social networking website that didn't block anyone's favorite Donald Trump. These tech giants then co-ordinated to shut down Parler from not just Google Play Store and App Store but it was also kicked off from AWS. So, not only free speech is blocked but any platform which will make the mistake of providing free speech will be blocked too. You can read this amazing blog written by Jimmy Song on this topic. In case you want to know what exactly happened you can read the whole case here.

The one important reason behind Why I want you to notice these problems is that it is personal to me. In fact, my account also got blocked from all the Facebook Family products. I used them for almost a decade and they contained important memories, photos, and connections. Facebook and Instagram were the backup of all my family photos(before the launch of Google Photos) and now I can't see them anymore, even some people in those photos aren't even alive anymore.

What is the solution then?

The one possible solution is subverting the Technocracy. Is it even possible? Yes, it is. All we have to do is adopt the new privacy-focused alternatives. Some of them are even open-source and decentralized. They provide us with privacy, anonymity, free speech as well as transparency. In some cases, you'll have to pay for the services. You may ask "Why should I pay when there's already a free product?" The answer is that "We pay for our privacy". The security must scale with a price. This should be the new motto for the internet of the future.

People say that "Privacy is a myth." They claim the argument that the amount of digital footprint we are leaving over the internet makes it impossible to hide our identity. I don't completely agree with the argument. Let's consider facts over feeling. The creator of the most important invention of the 21st century, Bitcoin is anonymous. Almost, no one alive on this planet exactly knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is.

"Privacy is a choice and not a myth."

There's a list of services that are trustworthy on the basis of security, privacy, and transparency. Some of them are even decentralized.

Note: I am not affiliated with any products and if you install any of them by clicking the following links I will not make any revenue. This list is only a mere result of my personal research, experiment, and years spent using these services.

1) Currency - Bitcoin

2) Email - ProtonMail

3) Search Engine - DuckDuckGo

4) Browser - Brave/Tor

5) Messenger - Signal/Telegram/iMessage

6) File Sharing - OnionShare

7) Cloud Service - Sync.com/Sia

8) Maps - OsmAnd

9) Social Media Platform - Reddit/Mastodon/Diaspora

10) Calendar - Lightning Calendar

11) VPN - ExpressVPN/ProtonVPN

12) Two Factor Authentication - Authy

13) Blogging Platform - Publish0x/Steemit

14) Video Calling & Collaboration - Element/Wire

15) Photos Hosting - Piwigo/Lychee

16) Note Taking - Standard Notes

17) Photos, Docs, Notes Manager - CryptPad/Cryptee

18) Analytics - Clicky/Matomo

19) Domain Provider - PeerName/Namecheap

20) Video Streaming - DTube/Vimeo

21) Mobile App Store - F-Droid

22) Operating System - Qubes/Tails

23) Mobile OS - LineageOS/Ubuntu Touch

Please don't pressurize yourself to completely abandoning all your platforms and start using these products. The message that I intend to convey is that Privacy is possible and you may start with a simple step of installing any application you want to. Personally, I started with using Signal. It provides privacy similar to talking face to face where no creep is able to bypass your privacy. Also, restoreprivacy.com is the website that I visit often to discover the newer privacy-focused alternatives.

Privacy is our human right yet most of us including me are unaccustomed to it. I understand it sucks to pay money if the same service is freely available but we need to tell ourselves again and again that "no product is actually free" and "we pay for our own privacy".

We all live in the age of information. Every bit of knowledge is now at our fingertips. When the Internet and world wide web was created, it was made with an intention that the products over the internet must be available free of cost and affordable to everyone. The tech giants were successful in making it affordable but failed to provide the privacy we deeply needed. Now, our free speech is at risk too. It took us some time to realize that Privacy, Anonymity, Transparency, Democracy, and Free Speech are interlinked to each other. Privacy is the next step forward. You can do it!

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utkarshg6e
utkarshg6e

Blockchain Developer


Utkarsh Gupta
Utkarsh Gupta

Making complex things simple.

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