28 May 2019 - 6 minute read

Yeah so there goes my attempt to keep this entire site void of swear words. Never mind, guess I'll just fucking use them from now on eh?

So - as the title suggests - the internet is absolutely fucked. It's this horrible catch 22 that just pulls everything into it and destroys it - humanity included. No, I'm not talking about the children being addicted to phones, I mean how all of us are stuck in this horrific beast's belly and it doesn't look like we'll be shat out of it for a very long time. Nowadays, everything is on the internet. It's where we get all our information and entertainment, how we communicate, a bunch of idiots even thought it would be a good idea to write applications that run over it. Having a realistically infinite amount of information and entertainment and direct communication with just about everyone sounds great and in many ways it is, but there's a dark side that's dark because it's the bit of the iceberg that's underwater (i.e. fucking massive). I've talked about tracking and how terrible it is already in my post on social media, but the problem goes deeper than that. I can break it down into a few bits.


It's honestly just ridiculous. Go to any website you might normally visit, open up uMatrix, and oh look this website has Google analytics and tag manager in it and it's calling off to Google's ajax domain too. Go to a website with a login and oh look there's a captcha to help train Google's NNs and track you even more. The mass surveillance is a cancer that's relentlessly infecting anything and everything that it touches. What makes it even worse is that finding a website that doesn't require 50GiB of bullshit JavaScript to make a button work is even harder than finding a site that doesn't track you like some van hidden behind a shell of cameras and microphones following you everywhere. JavaScript was like the medium for the cancer to spread. Where there's no JavaScript, you're actually pretty safe, but JavaScript is used so excessively and needlessly so much that it's reduced the internet from this fast means of finding information and connecting with people to this slow, bloated cancerous mass that eats up RAM like it comes by the tebibyte and all you as a user get in return is being spied on. The definition of "spyware" are "programs that monitor and report the actions of a computer user". The internet is spyware

and we all seem fine with that.

Why not just not use it then? Delete your browser, use Lynx or something for the few times you need to, and use native programs for everything else. Not that simple.


If you get rid of websites, you get rid of just about everything. Almost everything ceases to function. You can no longer get almost all the information you might need, almost all entertainment is lost, and communication becomes a serious challenge. The salt into the wound though is Electron. Now, you get the bloat and cancer of the web right on your desktop! Tracking and everything, only now it has file system access! Now your whole system is in peril - and not just because your RAM is already tying itself a noose.


At this point, the infection is beyond curable. Our dependency on websites is so strong that we can't just up and leave, but the telemetry hell is so powerful that we really should not be staying. Creating change and uprising within the uneducated masses isn't a feasible option - they don't even seem phased by Facebook's "days since a privacy crisis" board having said '0' for a decade. So what do we do? Go full nihilism and just give up and start making new Gmail accounts? No. Carry on taking measures to protect privacy like using tab containers, uMatrix, Decentraleyes, and other browser extensions. Keep trying to block trackers as you go, but always take an actual real program over some shitty "web app". The whole idea of web apps is just remote code execution only people don't seem to be screaming about the security issue that it's doing a great job of demonstrating itself to be.

This madness has to stop. It's genuinely really depressing being unable to realistically avoid this surveillance hell we've let be created, and where avoiding all of it requires essentially going offline and staying in your home forever.

All of this has kind of left me in this weird limbo, where on the one hand I want to see how far I can go into the privacy protection and see if it really is possible to achieve absolute privacy, but on the other hand, I get this sort of defeatist feeling and almost want to just relax it all. Keep some measures there of course like uMatrix and what not though. The only problem with that is then I'm just back in the hell that we're all so desperate to get out of.

All that said, as horrific as it all is, it makes more sense to focus efforts into raising awareness of the issues and fighting to create change than to use up all the effort erasing yourself from the internet. I'll be "lowering my guard" so to speak. I'll still be staying miles from anything Google and such, but being more active in the internet means I can do more to help improve it - as little as I may do so.


Ethics - Internet - Thoughts


Copyright Oliver Ayre 2019. Site licensed under the GNU Affero General Public Licence version 3 (AGPLv3).