Hack Liberty Writers


Read the latest posts from Hack Liberty Writers.

from xeleriac

Busy days fer me, but it is with increasing interest that I dive deeper into the world of cypherpunk subculture.

Amidst this ever changing landscape I find myself coming back to one metanarrative—the war between those who want to control the digital commons, and us, who may want to make it uncontrollable; ungovernable, if you will—unless you're a spook, in which case, kindly eat shit.

The fight to keep the web free is of course a microcosm in the larger fight for freedom. The stakes are getting higher and it will be telling to see how users and abusers respond to the squeeze.

I worry that many free people who use the web as a tool of liberation will immediately cease their online efforts in the face of eventual legislation that will lead to sweeping reforms, like an era of online prohibition. Soft, as far as I'm concerned. If we are to take our rights and freedoms seriously, I think we need to make legislation redundant, both offline and online. It must be made clear to the legislators and, more importantly, to those who employ them, their scripture or “statutes” is of no importance to us. Making the criminal class obsolete is what's important to us.

I do wonder how many cypherpunks exercise their liberties away from the keyboard. Do these men & women, girls & boys, live life like everyone else?

Are they mortgagors and debtors with credit cards, registered vehicles, and streaming subscriptions? Do they file income tax? Do they attend school? Vote in elections? Do they have bank accounts? Are they employees or employers? Are they npc bootlickers, or rebel guerilla motherfuckers?

My hope is the latter, but it takes all types. Don't it mate?

Whoever you are, I just hope you're doing something for the cause. This war going on right now, it's a dirty war, a proxy war, a war that belongs to the fifth generation. No one knows exactly what's going on. So many of us are still surveying the enemy, its territory, its manpower.

I suggest you hackers and crackers, bashers and culture-jammers and cyphermonks take the subversion as far as you can take it in your day-to-day life. Get your accounts out of your name. Ditch your ID. Better yet, abandon your given name and start using a different one. And I don't mean in your Matrix groups. I mean out in the world beyond, the places you frequent. Be around people and start talking. But bear in mind, you've got two ears and one mouth for a reason. I hope you have a heart with good aim, and the resolve of a tugboat.

Get your defenses up and be smart. The enemy is in combat with us, and he will only get more forceful and harder to strike the longer you wait. You can parry his blows for only so long. Soon, you will have to strike.

You're not submissive. So make it count ok!


from fmda

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


from fmda

If you're reading this, there's a good chance you're out of your teens, likely in your 20s, and possibly in your 30s or older.

You grew up on the internet. Maybe you grew up on AOL chatrooms, or Xbox parties, Minecraft, Steam, Pewdiepie's Happy Wheels, you name it. You remember hearing about Bitcoin waaaaaaay back. You remember Google Plus shutting down like it was yesterday (that was four years ago, by the way).

Some of you already have children, too. This makes what I'm about to tell you very relevant.

How Do You Do, Fellow Kids?

As someone on the younger side, allow me to explain the Gen Z perspective. We've never heard of the Snowden leaks. We don't know what http was like. We don't understand the slightest bit of internet infrastructure or privacy and security.

We just see our modern technology as a gateway to pleasure. This is (unfortunately) not an exaggeration: look through a 15 year old “e-girl”s phone. What will you find? Plenty of mindless cutesy phone games, social media apps (for your healthy dose of narcissism and dopamine rewiring), messaging applications, and a personal favorite, the app for romanticizing fantasy dreams, Pinterest.

But that's it. We see an app, we assume it's a magical tool which no downsides, and so, we install it without blinking an eye. We want to feel connected, so we make an Instagram account and connect with friends. All of our friends have snapchat, or Kik, or Whatsapp, let me install it too!

How do young people connect and socialize nowadays? If you are out of touch with reality and were fed too much trad Twitter, you might be inclined to believe modern teenagers are Weimar-style, sexually active, drug abusing, degenerate hedonists. This is partly true! But, reality is a bit more daunting.

You might be surprised to find out that overall, rates of sexual activity are down, not up, in modern times. Keep in mind this chart is from 2018, a whole 5 years ago. Could you imagine how much lower it is post pandemic lockdowns?

decline in sex among young males and females

How is this possible? Is this due to a rise in traditional values among young men and women?


No, of course not. Have you spoken to the average teenage male? The porn addict? The junk food glutton? The videogame obsessed loser with no ambitions?

Well, if young people aren't doing the dirty, and they're simultaneously the opposite of abstinent Christians, then what is happening?

So what is this Discord thing?

Discord has not existed for very long. Its only real competitor, Skype, is very popular for professional use, but rarely used by young people.

For teens, Discord is “the thing”. If you ever match up with a cool random teammate in a game and you want to keep in touch, you say “What's your Discord tag?”. Originally marketed as “the social messaging app for gamers”, it has now expanded its brand to target “communities”, which typically include younger people (but not always).

Time to get to the point. Discord is one of the main places young people have to find a connection with eachother. Other alternatives are dating apps like Tinder, or social media like Instagram. But Discord is very popular, especially if you're under 18.

how are young people meeting eachother

Why? Well, it's easy to express yourself. You can have a profile picture of anything you like. If you're a female and want to attract males, setting a cute anime profile picture will immediately boost your desirability. Oh, and if you do find an online boyfriend? You get the feeling of connection from something called: matching pfps. Yes, it's corny, and the idea is you show your love for eachother by matching profile pictures. It's a bit like getting a matching bracelet or shirts, but more affectionate.

matching pfps This is common for online couples.

There are also communities in Discord, called “servers”. They're basically massive (or small) open (or closed) groupchats. You can make an official server for Monero, or you can make a little server for your group of 30 friends who play DnD. It's common for people to make a server for their online friend group and add people they meet who they think might play games or hang out with them.

There are also popular servers created solely for people to meet eachother, with hundreds of open voice channels with people constantly moving around, talking to new people and having usually stupid, but sometimes, very interesting conversations.

You thought your OPSEC was bad?

These hubs are the hotspot for young people to engage relationships. You might think: What kind of relationship can a young teenager enter through an online app? You're in for a surprise. Let me tell you a fictional (but very accurate) story of one such person. Let's name the girl: Alicia.

Alicia is a pretty normal teenager compared to her peers. She's 16, and is conventionally attractive, but has only had a couple nonserious relationships in real life. They didn't end well, and one of the boys cheated on her. Her relationship with her parents is quite shaky. Her mom and dad got a divorce when she was 10, and she's had to move back and forth throughout her life. Her dad is an alcoholic. Her mother is a toxic manipulator, diagnosed with bipolar. Pretty shaky foundations. She doesn't really enjoy highschool, and though she was really excited about college and adulthood when she was in her late years of elementary, she sees her future rapidly shriveling up. Alicia smokes weed and vapes, gets off to wattpad fanmade erotica, and enjoys cozying up to hot chocolate and anime or netflix when she's sad.

She also plays Valorant, a modern FPS shooter. That's where she met a new friend, another girl, which asked her if she wanted to join her Discord server. That way, she and her friends could queue up together to play! Playing with friends is always more fun than alone, so Alicia says yes.

Alicia makes a few friends, but there are also boys in the server. One particular user, Dan, has a deep voice and charming personality. Alicia develops a crush on him and starts flirting with him. Over the next few days, she tries to pull him away for herself. She sends him funny memes, asks him if he wants to play without telling the others... eventually, she admits her crush, and he reciprocates.

Boom. You now have an e-couple.

Things develop further. Dan asks Alicia to show a picture of her face, and in return he sends his. They both find eachother attractive. The flirting and hanging around continues. They play games together and start watching movies and anime together, privately, away from the group. They change their profile pictures to matching ones. The rest of the group tease them but are secretly jealous of their chemistry.

You can probably see where this is going.

The details don't matter: eventually, after much sexual flirtation, Alicia sends a photo of herself naked, and Dan sends a picture of his penis. But things don't end there. Ever heard of phone sex? Yeah, they do that too. And Discord allows you to share video.

So now, you have 2 minors on video masturbating with eachother.


If you have a daughter, you should be terrified right now (if you weren't already). Discord's atrocious track record with CP supporting furry admins doesn't help either.

But if you're reading this, then you probably already know that every single digital interaction, picture, metadata and all, are stored permanently by the NSA without your consent. Discord has become a cesspool for child pornography, and the worst part of it is that the kids on it don't realize how big of a privacy risk what they're doing is.

I don't have a grand solution or conclusion to make. It's terrible. But I hope parents will feel motivated to build healthier environments for children. Not by restricting access to modern technology, but by being around and being a good teacher. Remember, most of the young degenerates (no offense) come from broken households.

Awareness is key. I don't see this being talked about enough.

As a final note, this blog by Session on love + privacy is a pretty good read: https://getsession.org/blog/find-true-love-on-session


from fmda

Peterson has taken a rigid moral stance against internet anonymity in his tweets in the last few months. He also recently appeared on Joe Rogan Experience to explain his views.

According to him, “virtualization” (online anonymity) is:

  1. A vehicle which increases Dark Triad/Tetrad behaviours (psychopathy, narcissism, Machiavellianism, sadism).

  2. Hiding as an excuse to justify the lack of your personal responsibility (You should proudly and bravely stand behind your opinions despite the consequences. You should rearrange your life to be on better social standing in order to resist the hits you will get).

Before we begin, I will state that I believe Jordan Peterson is one of the most positively influential men of the 21st century. He has done incomparable work in articulating the social problems of our ages, made incredible progress in bridging the gap between spirituality and science, and is never a disappointment to listen to. I hope he realizes how dangerous his opinion is, because I genuinely believe it to be a mistake of ignorance, rather than a malevolent take.

Let’s start with point 1. The idea that Dark Triad/Tetrad types are more likely to be anonymous online is 100% fact. The idea that their voices, and by extension, their influence is boosted by social media is also obvious.

This is irrelevant. There is a joke as old as the concept of cyberbullying itself: “Cyberbullying is not real, just close your laptop.” This is a cold and unsympathetic statement, but it’s 100% true. Not only can you immediately terminate your entire presence without any consequences, but on most social platforms there are softer measures, such as word filters, muting, or blocking, which lots of people use! You are entirely in control of your presence online. In this manner, the internet has become a haven of highly purified free speech. Egos are completely separate from opinions and you face no physical consequences for free thought.

There is something to be said about this bizarre lens that Peterson has chosen to look through in order to come to the conclusion that “bad people are using it, so it must be bad, therefore we must do something about it”. Does that ring any bells? Is this not the same exact argument authoritarians have been using in order to control people for millennia?

The danger of hate speech —> restrict free speech. The danger of gun violence —> restrict firearms. The dangers of abuse of workers —> restrict markets. The dangers of fraud —> government regulation. The dangers of “hoarding” —> Fiat. The dangers of “wrongthink” —> Read 1984 if you haven’t already.

Anyone that is in favor of individual freedom knows that the overprotectionist narcissistic mother (as Peterson himself puts it, but I am referring to centralized power as a whole) leads to more destruction, more chaos in the long run, because the child (Man) has isolated from the true conditions of existence. Like shielding a baby from any harmful bacteria, its body becomes extremely fragile to anything bad. A setup for a premature death.

Therefore by narrowing his view of internet anonymity, Peterson is blinding himself to the good it has provided, such as protection from abusers, governments, corporations, or the shielding of one’s personal reputation while being able to freely express ideas with others, publicly, but anonymously. Damaged reputation, saved money, saved lives, saved time, etc are also much harder to track in a study because they didn’t happen, compared to negative things that did happen with someone’s anonymous troll comments. How many lives were not destroyed because the person decided to protect their identity? Evidently, it is a waste of time to try to measure this accurately.

As a side note, I think Peterson has totally miscalculated and demonized his core fanbase by naming anonymity supporters as “anonymous troll demons”. Sure, there used to be some people that were skeptical of him, believing him to be controlled opposition (I find this view too paranoid for my taste), but most people that were ignored and demonized by society (primarily men that saw themselves as husks of their great ancestors, desperately in search of meaning, sitting behind a computer), found him as a great inspiration against the tide of modern authoritarianism. Personal responsibility and individualism over collectivism! Young men almost saw him as a replacement father. Well, he has now damned those men to be anonymous troll demons, just because they’ve seen the pitchforks of cancel culture and chose to play the game smart.

This brings us into point #2. To summarize, Peterson argues that life’s meaning comes in part from standing against the mob, holding what’s true above all else, and being proud of your beliefs in truth in the face of evil. Basically, triumph over evil adversity with pride rather than shame and cowardice. By extension, this makes the act of anonymising your identity an act of shame, an admission of guilt, and a cynical act that admits your enemy has power over you.

Fair point. Some of you may already be thinking of the countless situations in which someone may face repercussions as a consequence of their publicity (such as getting fired, going to jail, losing reputation) but Peterson argues that you should work to position yourself in a manner so that you have a strong foundation. Perhaps if you work in an environment that is hostile to your political opinions, consider getting at least prepared to explore other options.

The issue is that he looks through it one dimensionally. First of all, I completely agree: Everyone should position themselves to be as strong and uncensorable as possible. And why should that be seperate from anonymity? Why can’t we have our cake and eat it too? And that assumes that while you are not positioned comfortably, you aren’t allowed to speak your opinion. Why should truth wait it’s turn?

Besides, if we follow Peterson’s logic, that means that there are clearly defined social boundaries and rules to abide by, and we are meant to follow predictable and stable rules of behaviour. Maybe keep quiet on certain topics for a few years until you’re set, then go out there and speak!

But that is not how the world actually works; something completely popular becomes wrongthink in the span of a few years, while other things go from crimes to popular opinion (think of the vaccine mandates or BLM protests and how quickly public opinion of them swayed) in a matter of months.

BLM and police support graph

Vaccine regrets graph Vaccine regrets in France, 2021

The world around us is in constant, chaotic flux, and most of us are not in a position in which we can afford to take the risk of our livelihoods for the sake of public virtue. We don’t even know what is draw attention to us because it isn’t even illegal yet, but then all of a sudden, you are sent to jail.

  • Alexey Pertsev is still in Dutch jail for having broken no law. His mistake? He worked on an open source project, Tornado Cash. Without warning or charges, he suddenly found himself in jail, with no possibility for explaining himself.

  • Then there are the bigger cases, such as Julian Assange, who, should we mention, has spent over 3 years in Belmarsh Prison, known as the “Guantanamo Bay of Britain”? Assange has faced no legitimate charges (“hacking” now means sharing of confidential documents obtained by a source, which is by definition, most of journalism), and his 3 fabricated rape charges were dropped right before they could become a full case, for the sake of prolonging his torture and because the cases would never stand in a higher court of law. Is this a worthwhile price to pay for virtue? Rotting in solitary confinement for 3 years, for 23 hours a day?

  • Andrew Tate was recently arrested in Romania. Ironically, he is the perfect guinea pig test subject for Peterson’s view: He told people his opinions shamelessly, and very intentionally positioned his life in such a way as to not be susceptible to abuse, and did so better than almost anyone else in the world could have. His net worth is in the tens or hundreds of millions. So, did it work? Or is he rotting away in Romanian jail without any evidence of his crimes?

In short, yes, one should absolutely work to position their life to be as resistant to censorship as possible. But that doesn’t mean sacrificing your personal safety or the safety of your loved ones.

There is also something to be said about separating the art from the artist. In this metaphor, the art can be anything created by the artist, such as visual art, music or comedy, but it can also extend to anything, such as technology, code, political beliefs, or how good they can cook a steak. Anonymity allows for the art to be separated from the artist.

Artists like:

  • Satoshi Nakamoto, innovator of one of the most important inventions of human history? What if he published Bitcoin with his full name? His public identity would have been linked to all of his mined coins; in fact, they (and his online presence) would have likely been a target of CIA or NSA and co-opted by them, or who knows what other horrors they could have done to try to control Bitcoin. They would probably spread an anti-privacy motto and how KYC is necessary and good for adoption ;)

  • “Publuis”, a pseudonym used by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay to publish The Federalist Papers, a crucial document in the founding of America, arguably, the most important country for guaranteeing personal freedoms in human history.

  • Nicolaus Copernicus, who first put forward his theory of heliocentrism anonymously, in the form of a manuscript now known as the Commentariolus.

  • Many authors throughout history who have written under a pseudonym, including many women writing under male names, hoping to separate their art from themselves as the artist (such as J.K. Rowling, the Brontë sisters, Marry Ann Evans, Amantine Aurore Lucile Dupin, Alice Bradley Sheldon and many others)

As a final note, I will clarify that Jordan Peterson is not in favor of actually removing all anonymous accounts; rather, he wants anonymous accounts and public accounts to be separated. This already happens to an extent (“verified” accounts on various platforms already have a high trust score and are more likely to show up on your feed than anonymous accounts, as the latter have a higher chance of being spam), but it seems he wants it pushed further.

To hell with that. We have had enough of the surveillance state monitoring our every action, controlling our thoughts and actions, and reshaping society behind closed doors. It is time for us to fight back and regain our personal freedoms. NORMALIZE ANONYMITY.

My privacy is not up to your opinion.


from xeleriac

About fifteen years ago I was blindsided by a new media phenomenon the likes of which would set my young self on a course of discovery I consider both empowering and harrowing.

Outlets such as globalresearch, zerohedge, bibliotecapleyades, therealnewsnetwork, humansarefree, wakingtimes, activistpost, collectiveevolution, and a number of other random ones that I can't at the moment recall helped to shed light on fringe issues that, for me, served to broaden my understanding of the world while testing my gullibility.

For the first time I came to see the significance of investigative journalism, and ultimately, the prolific schism that exists between uncensored independent reporting and the corporate media industrial complex overseen by the state.

Groups of hardworking thinkers, researchers, and reporters came out of the gate strong, many of whom are dissenters and nonconformists themselves, many of whom have been going strong for well over a decade now without a tenth of the financial support received by the corporate press conglomerates of the world.

All things considered, the new media landscape is certainly not immune to criticism—mainstream media has crucified it for years, characterizing its reporting as nothing more than conspiracy theory, misinformation, falsehoods, and other hegemonic watchwords.

To thinking individuals it should be clear by now that the barons of the corporate press have a vested interest in maintaining its monopoly on public perception, done through a tightly-controlled, uniform press establishment. It follows that any challenge to the carefully staged status quo of mass media would be subject to tense ridicule, as has been case with so many excellent journalists, outlier reporting agencies, and dissenters.

That concludes my tender intro.

If I see one more op-ed about the fucking World Economic Forum I swear to gawd I'm going to donate all my dogecoin to the Council on Foreign Relations!

For a fair amount of time now I have been a reader of an assortment of apolitical indy media.

I try to avoid sectarian reporting, notably the political theatre of statism and its trappings. It's trivial to me, so I steer clear. But only within the last five years have I come to notice a disappointing trend in the reporting and commentary of apolitical indy media: It's becoming an echo chamber.

Operation Pandemic showed us how much traffic alternative content creators could drive through their websites, resulting in a wealth of clickbait, as well as a wealth of high-quality investigative journalism too (a part I loved).

That said, I suppose I'm just tired of reading about corruption. And I'm tired of having my attention throttled by parties that stand to gain from my attention.

So I suppose the problem is me, not grassroots media.

I don't want to read about the struggle in Rojava, or the next UFO “leak,” Ukraine or Syria or Russia, new pollution, more debt, economic freefall, scientism, culture wars, privacy violations, germaphobia, and so on, ad nauseum. I know. I get it.

But tbh, I don't think I need more of this knowledge right now in my life. What I need is wisdom.

Wisdom is the intercourse of information and understanding.

Wisdom is knowledge applied.

It is not about the endless consumption of media, no matter how vanguard it appears to be. What are you going to do with it anyway, with this habitual indulgence to stay up to speed? What's yer motivation to consume?

I don't give a fuck about what the plutocrats of the world are doing—I already know what they're doing and it bores me. It bores me because it is losing relevance in my life. It's losing relevance to me because I am trying to create a parallel structure, not enable the dying beast before us. Isn't life about going out there and addressing your concerns in real-time?

Taking chances?

Adapting to challenges?

Disrupting patterns of thought and behaviour?

Building community?

Do it now, you fucking boob!


from xeleriac

Alphabet Inc. is the holding company for google and several other of its subsidiaries. TBH I don't give a shit enough about this conglomerate to furnish the reader with a history, so you can wikiless on yer own time.

As a degoogler, I confess this was a difficult leech to remove. Yahoo: simple. Facebook: easy enuff. But ditchin' the googlebeast was a challenge. The basterds don't make it easy.

So pervasive is this company that hundreds of millions of people's lives would be thrown into disarray if its services were suddenly made unavailable. That's downright pathetic and also indicative of how much influence the Geelzebub has grown to exercise over modern man.

Anyway, I don't have any sort of inspirational tale to tell about this foul company. It is but one of the “Big Five” IT companies that dominate the digital landscape today.

With help from intelligence firms, think tanks, academia, and the state, these silicon valley companies all work together.

Why? To make the world a more connected place, of course!

To protect children!

To create jobs!

To save the world!

Blah, blah, blah, and a bunch of other asinine tropes to conceal the ultimate aim to implement a system of slavery that an unthinking public cannot detect let alone combat. Think, Plato's Cave—but with really fast wifi and an array of computer monitors instead of walls.

If you're the type of person that treasures all the redeeming qualities of being a human person, I strongly encourage you to divorce google now now now.

Not convinced? How about this excerpt from a 2020 article by cupwire:

“Google has been constantly embroiled in some kind of controversy for almost two decades. Between changing user settings remotely, manipulating search results, censoring their search results, exposing the private information of its users, dealing with constant antitrust investigations, acquiring businesses to further its data collection and analytics, obstructing investigations against them, and a slew of other matters, there's a lot going against them.

But this post isn't about any of that. It's also not about the things that could have negative privacy implications, such as Google Glass (featuring, the Glassholes) nor is it a bland read through of their privacy policy while making up hypothetical scenarios in which they collect the data they say.

What you'll find here are 13 years worth of scandals, mishaps, and borderline malicious decisions regarding privacy with Google at the center.”

You can read the full exposé here.

EDIT: the writer behind fmda, another instance of agorism.blog, does a devil's advocate of google here.


from xeleriac

Just this morning I finished reading Psychiatry: The Science of Lies by the late, great Thomas Szasz.

No, my dainty copyright enthusiasts, I did not purchase this book from a retailer. Sorry to disappoint yews. It was shared to me by some unknown peer who wanted to make it available for others to read and enjoy. Thank you, whoever you are.

Besides Szasz's work being pretty fuckn explosive, it is a publication I discovered through what is known as a shadow library.

enter the shadow

I wish I thought of it, to be honest—a colossal web archive of literature open to everybody with access to a web-connection and a machine. No strings attached. This idea of an open-source global literary commons, a liberated library, is nothing less than revolutionary. According to the eminent pirate archivist, Anna, like all things revolutionary, it's not exactly a walk in the park.

I've been using shadow libraries for three years now and boy, let me tell you: boners and bookmarks are aplenty. Readers, let us rejoice. I remember how amazed I was when I discovered that these archives maintain such an extensive collection of material. Really current publications, too.

I don't see how it is not a service to humanity. Making literature—a cultural treasure and perennial source of knowledge and inspiration—as accessible as possible sounds like a spankn good idea to me.

Alternatively, if, like so many well-groomed individuals, I am hoodwinked by the idea that art mustn't be freely shared, then I suppose I would cry theft! O' how the bleeding heart of the indignant author, the corporate publishing house, and the public relations hack vie for your sympathy.

intellectual property: just another rich man's trick

As I've chosen to educate myself about IP/copyright and its controversies, it has become clear to me that it's a confidence trick, albeit, a deplorable one meant to further extend the dogma of capital outward and into the mind of the human race. Slavers! up to their usual tricks again, eh ...

Because I am hungry and in need of a snack, I can't wax too philosophically about how contemptible it is to me that some assholes in a legislature want to prevent us from reading what is available to read. Fuck those guys!

  1. Anna's Archive

  2. Library Genesis

  3. z-library

(If there's any way to verify book downloads from these sh_libraries, it might be wise to do so. Checksums or hashes, whatever there is available. I can see this being a delicious opportunities for threat actors to insert various spyware/malware etc. into the freeware-copyleft community.)

The teams behind these archives really deserve a cookie. I have so much respect for them. There's still a lotta fasci dirtbags out there that wanna burn books, or at least, prevent you from reading the “wrong ones”. It's obvious to me that they've failed. So let's seize the day by learning, unlearning, and relearning all the things that matter to us.

I don't know about you, but I'm down to honor the work done by those who encourage us to read and read radically.


from xeleriac

All the steps I'm now taking to secure my privacy and reclaim control over my data makes me reflect on the days when my digital practices revolved around porn, torrents, google, and routinely ignored software and OS updates.

How careless of me.

I used the web like a stooge from age 12 to age 30. That's a lot of frivolous internet use with practically no thought given to security, anonymity, or threat modelling. Big data thanks me. And I get Five Big Winks from the Five Eyes.

For so long I had waived my privacy without thinking hey maybe I should be smarter about this. Maybe I oughta learn more about this revolutionary tool I use on the daily. Maybe, just maybe, who I am, and what I do, has value—both online and offline.

I do wonder if the poor digital opsec of my past has compromised my efforts going forward. Perhaps only time will tell.

All things considered I take heart knowing that if my digital efforts to anonymize and agorize are in vain, at least I am cultivating a tactical mindset, a useful mentality as we plunge deeper into a “guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation,” as Marshall McLuhan so aptly put it in Culture is Our Business (1970).