In Defense of Google
Yes, crazy, I know. The favorite go-to company to point the finger at and call out for advancing surveillance— am I seriously defending them? Despite (or, I prefer to think because of) my commitment to freedom and truth, I feel the need to play the devil's advocate when it comes to Google.
The tech giant is probably the easiest target for criticism of literally anything they do.
If it comes out with a new service: If it fails? (seriously, there are so many abandoned projects) “You guys are terrible!”
It succeeds? “Why is this evil company trying to wrestle its way into everything I own?”
Personalized ads aren't working properly? “Why do your ads suck so bad! I don't want to buy an inflating turtle toy!”
Personalized ads are working? “How intrusive! How did you know what I wanted to buy?”
It's a bit like being a banker. If you fail, people will get mad at you. If you succeed, people will get even more mad at you. It's really difficult to not be hated by people, despite a very important point:
Google has contributed more to humanity than almost any other company.
I can already hear the privacy maximalists tearing me to shreds. Let's ignore all the emotion and cut straight to the chase:
Q: Who made the best freely available Open Source mobile operating system? A: (AOSP, Android Open Source Project, created by Google.)
Q: Who made the best freely available Open Source browser? A: Chromium is open source, and it's so good that it's used by all the major browsers, with the exception of Firefox. Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera GX, Brave Browser, and many others.
Q: Who made a highly useful device for young learners: A simple laptop with no distractions, intended for learning through technology without clutter? A: How much schools and individual students have benefitted from the extremely cheap ($200-$300 USD) and practical Google Chromebooks is unquantifiable, but what's even better is.. you guessed it. Chromium OS is the open source barebones version of Chrome OS.
Q: Who made the most secure hardware phone chip on the planet, on an easily affordable phone with excellent overall security, and then proceeded to allow relocking the bootloader after flashing an alternate operating system, something previously impossible on all standard smartphones? A: The Google Pixel phones are basically the only viable option for flashing alternate de-googled mobile operating systems securely, such as the popular and excellent GrapheneOS and CalyxOS. For reference, Edward Snowden uses GrapheneOS. Yes, it's possible to flash a different OS on other phones, but the other phones won't allow relocking the bootloader, which is an extreme security risk. Ironically, Google themselves have made it easiest and most convenient to de-Google your phone!
As a last point, which you may not like, but is objectively true: Q: Who has given a platform to voices who wanted to speak the truth the most? A: Youtube. Now I'm obviously aware that they have censored some creators, but it would be dishonest to ignore the fact that for every controversial person they censor, there are 10 more that they ignore. Thus, despite their political disagreement with controversial views, they have platformed and allowed for dissenting voices to speak!
Reframing Unproductive Hatred
The reality is, Google is really good at making quality stuff, and often (but not always) open sources their applications. This is exactly what we support, so why are we demonizing them? If you don't like Google's intrusive spyware, I have an excellent solution for you.. just stop using it.
Otherwise, stop whining on your GrapheneOS (built on top of AOSP) (on a Google Pixel) on Brave Browser (build on Chromium), turn on your music on Soundcloud (created with Google's programing language, GoLang), driving home with your Google Maps...
and start building.
I encourage you to look through the long list of more open source Google projects, as there are many I didn't mention: https://opensource.google/projects
-Free Men Don’t Ask-