<< spelk.online

Compromise and Compromised

by spelk on May 3, 2020


I have spent the best part of the past year and a half, possibly more, trying to change my entire digital life.

(ridding myself of all the trappings of surveillance capitalism and reliance on paid for, lock-in ransoming proprietary services)

Shoshanazuboff’s Surveillance Capitalism

I have changed my primary operating system completely.

(Windows 10 spyfest to MX Linux)

MX Linux

I have de-googled as much as I possibly could.

(mail, calendar and contacts to Posteo.de, cloud storage to owndrive, personal organiser to emacs+orgmode, syncing things to syncthing)

Posteo mail

I have attempted to compartmentalise my entire web browsing life.

(firefox + uBlock Origin + HTTPSEverywhere + Decentraleyes + CookieAutodelete for PERSONAL sites, waterfox + some security for WORK sites, palemoon + uBlock Origin + ScriptBlock + Secret Agent + Decentraleyes + CookieExterminator + AdBlock Latitude for SOCIAL MEDIA sites)

The Hated One - Compartmentalise

I have made the change to a non-smart phone.

(Accepted the nokia “dumbphone” 216 into my life, joined a co-operative pay-as-you-go phone service. My smartphone turned into a Sim-less offline media device. Imagine listening to music and audiobooks, awaiting the vibration of the nokia in the other pocket, only to unplug headphones from media device to plug into the Nokia to be able to answer a call and perform the reverse when the call was over to resume media consumption)


(After several months my patience wore very thin with both the sub-standard support by the co-operative PAYG and the panicked swapping of media device to candybar phone. So I have retired the “dumb phone” and now sport an FDroid FOSS app populated PAYG smart phone once again.)

FDroid FOSS App

I have digested as much information as I could about Privacy and Security and minimising my exposure of risk

(books, podcasts, sites, videos, extensive research, almost excessive cautious paranoia and inconvenience to preserve what I deem as sacred, choice and control of my own digital destiny)

Paul Mason

My compromise is to interact digitally with this world through a shield of my own making.

(all the inconvenience of getting sites to work with Captcha’s, various javascript libraries, ad servers, social media intrusions and trackers - remembering exactly where to compartmentalise - what to use - what to do and what not to do. This is my compromise, to have some level of control in my digital future.)


A Global Pandemic

(My nurtured principles have been tempered by the physical risks of this Global Pandemic. When weighed against my own mortality or the risk to others, my privacy and security concerns seem to pale in comparison. My mind resides on higher levels of existential risk and societal breakdown.)

Working from Home

(In order to function alongside my colleagues and in an environment of mainly Microsoft tech (Teams, Office 365, OneDrive, Sharepoint), remote management and Zoom meetings - I have had to open my privacy borders, break down some of the barriers I spent many hours setting up. I have had to choke down technology I totally disagree with on an ethical level, in order to participate in work, from within the confines of my own home, using my tech, using my connection. The Inside. Turned out.)

I am thoroughly Compromised.

(all of my FOSS alternatives come to naught when dealing with work, my security, my privacy, my ethics, are totally meaningless when I have to operate in some professional capacity within the current online situation. An emergency across the globe. Through fiscal necessity, the opening up of the inner sanctum of a protected digital life. When will it stop? How many blatant incursions will be legislated through as necessary and will never be revoked?)