• Joe Biden, Democratic presidential candidate, kicks off his campaign with a fundraiser hosted by Comcast’s chief lobbyist. Comcast is a regional monopoly for broadband Internet access (including where I live) and is largely hated by its own customers. If Biden is elected, and remembers which side of his bread is buttered, will put consumers, the privacy of American citizens, and the democratic nature of the Internet in danger. Please don’t vote for Biden.
  • Cory Doctorow writing for boing boing reminds us that “Facebook never delivered its ‘Clear History’ feature” following its Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook does not care about your privacy, because you are its product, not its customer. Delete your account and write to your representatives to leverage antitrust laws against Facebook’s current existence. Also, make sure to check out the article by Philip Michaels writing for Tom’s Guide linked from the boing boing article enumerating many of Facebook’s sins.
  • Bruce Schneier’s blog post: “G7 Comes Out in Favor of Encryption Backdoors”. As a reminder, strong encryption keeps much of what you do with your computing safe, and what business do safe, not just criminals. Law enforcement work should be hard and we shouldn’t sacrifice liberty for security. Furthermore, encryption backdoors are like a shed in which you have a key and the police have a key. If you lose the key to your shed, you probably will know this and be able to take steps to address that. Even if the police are trustworthy, upstanding models of morality and ethics, if they lose that key, will they notice and, if so, are they under any obligation to tell you?
  • Apple continues its fight against the Right to Repair movement. As a former Apple employee I wholly believe that Apple is doing a much better job at protecting its customer’s privacy than other big corporations, however if you are not able to legally repair your own property, is it your property at all?
  • Sigal Samuel writing for Vox: “The growing backlash against facial recognition tech”. There will be no better tool for the control of the population by an authoritarian state than quality facial recognition biometrics. Existing CCTV equipment is already getting to the point where fidelity is high enough to be fed into modern image recognition softwares. It’s here now - fight against it.
  • Micah Lee writing for The Intercept: Avoid Surveillance With Helm, a Home Server Anyone Can Use to Keep Emails Truly Private. The only good news on this list is the article covering this product. A primary issue with returning the Internet to the distributed or federated models is through people taking back their own data into their hands as much as possible. This home email server is $500 and takes the headaches that come with maintaining a mail server away. It’s a deal. Home cloud products have been around for a while, but maintaining an email server is the hardest part of it. I maintain a mail server for a user of one (me) and it’s a regular headache.