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Re: Finding ethical online service providers

From: Roberto Beltran
Subject: Re: Finding ethical online service providers
Date: Sun, 08 Mar 2020 21:24:11 +0000

> 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?

It may not be secondary but it's a separate concern. Perhaps you're not 
concerned with surveillance from the United States but you are of some other 
country, like China.

> 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.
> [Disroot]:
> [Kolab Now]:
> [Switzerland]:
> 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.

I would say, unless you have some actual concerns about Nine Eyes (like you 
have a specific reason to stay off their radar), stick with what you have. And 
if that were the case, your email provider choice isn't really going to save 
you anyway. Presumably, you're going to contact someone that has a provider 
that gets spied on by Nine Eyes at some point. You would also need much more 
secure communication than email to even stand and underdog's chance in 2020. 
Life is too short to stress about something like that just because.

> 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?

I would say don't stress it too much. Again, even if you were to do all that, 
I'm guessing you spend a considerable amount of time around people with cell 

On the other hand, I think it would be cool to see more services out of Brazil.

Kind Regards,
Roberto Beltran

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