Google, I’m Leaving You. Somewhere over five years ago, I gratefully accepted an invite to Gmail and rejoiced: it was a wonderful new paradigm in web-based email, and a huge improvement over Yahoo Mail. It’s still one of the best email services online, and still miles ahead of the nearest competition by number of users. At the time, it was a straightforward social contract; Google would host and provide a great email service, and in exchange, non-human agents (robots!) would scan email in real-time for keywords, and provide ads in real time based on their inferences.
I have just posted an email to the EFF asking a few questions about something that’s been on my mind. The US Government owns many or all of the primary DNS servers that rout internet traffic around the world. They are increasingly invading users’ privacy, regardless of the country of origin for the traffic. On top of this, the ISPs that provide internet service to users around the world are, at best, self-serving and unaccountable.