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Finding ethical online service providers

From: Jorge P. de Morais Neto
Subject: Finding ethical online service providers
Date: Sat, 07 Mar 2020 15:22:27 -0300

Hi.  I need ethical online service providers that respect my privacy and
my four software freedoms.

Regarding email service, the FSF [recommends][] picking one "located in
a country that won't cooperate with governments that you're particularly
concerned about privacy from."  I think this recommendation also applies
to other online services such as social networks.  I also think that the
unethical governments in question include all members of the Fourteen
Eyes and their accomplices.


However, that same FSF article appears to send mixed signals because,
after that recommendation, it then recommends services such as Posteo
and Riseup -- respectively based in Germany and the USA, both members of
the Fourteen Eyes.  Does that mean the recommendation about avoiding
unethical governments is secondary to other issues such as an
organizational commitment to user privacy and software freedom rights?

I currently use multiple [Disroot][] services.  I am satisfied with
their quality, ethics and cost-effectiveness (they ask for modest
donations), but they are based on the Netherlands -- within the Nine
Eyes[1].  Should I change to [Kolab Now][] for email, addressbook,
calendar and Nextcloud services?  It is well recommended by the FSF, is
located on [Switzerland][] -- outside the Fourteen Eyes -- and charges a
reasonable price.

[Kolab Now]:

However, it would be a lot of work to tell all my contacts that my email
address changed again (as I recently migrated from Gmail to Disroot); to
change all my numerous mailing list subscriptions and online accounts to
the new email address; and reconfigure my email setup.  Besides, Disroot
provides more services for the same suggested price.  Furthermore,
should I believe Switzerland has no secret agreement with the Fourteen
Eyes?  After all, despite the *heroic* effort of Snowden, we only know
about a small part of our surveillance predicament.  And should I
believe that Switzerland privacy advantages will last?  I don't want to
change providers again next year.

Also for social networks (GNU Social, Mastodon and diaspora*) should I
insist that the provider is outside the Fourteen Eyes?


[1] The members of the Fourteen Eyes include the members of the Nine
    Eyes, which in turn include the members of the Five Eyes.

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