EU Competition Commissioner: “Google And Facebook Are Sucking Up Data From Every Corner

This blog has always been a strong critic of the way Silicon Valley tech giants have been allowed by governments, in return for their collaboration in mass surveillance projects, to gain control of the internet and then to abuse that position.

Below is the full transcript of speech delivered by Margrethe Vestager pictured below), the European Union Antitrust Chief, held at the Business Forum of the German Ambassadors’ Conference, Berlin, 27 August 2019:

Ladies and gentlemen,

It’s a great pleasure, and an honour, to be here with you today. I want to thank Heiko Maas for those kind words, and for inviting me to join you.

I’m especially glad to have the chance to meet with you, who represent Germany’s 230 diplomatic missions around the world, as well as German industry. Because all of us here have an important role to play, to prepare Europe’s economy for the challenges of the future.

And in our working day, or just reading the news headlines, we are very often confronted with the scale of those challenges. Today’s threats to the system of global trade rules pose a serious risk to growth here in Europe, and throughout the world. Brexit remains a major source of uncertainty. We need to make enormous changes to the way we power the world’s economy, to avoid climate change running out of control. And all this is happening at a time when digitisation is transforming our markets – and Europe’s future depends on being, not just an industrial powerhouse, but a digital leader.

Europe’s advantages

Indeed all these challenges can seem daunting. But it is important to remember that Europe has already proved its capacity to take on big challenges. After all, we built the European Union on the ashes of two world wars. And we have just travelled through the biggest financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression.

And we have a good starting point to also face those challenges ahead of us.

Our Single Market gives the best European companies the room they need to grow and succeed. And by keeping that market open for competition, we support the drive for improvement that makes Europe a world leader in innovation. In fact, in the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Competitiveness Report, Germany came on top as the world’s most innovative economy, ahead of the United States and Switzerland.

Our international influence gives us the opportunity to shape the world around us in a way that helps to secure our future. As the biggest trading partner for some 80 countries, including the US and China, we have a powerful voice in international trade. And we can use that voice, not just to defend the system of global trade rules, but to make sure those rules provide a level playing field for European business.

Our improving public finances are making it possible for us to invest in the future of Europe – in research and innovation, in skills, in infrastructure.

And – no less importantly – our commitment to the values that built our Europe, to values like freedom and fairness and democracy, gives us the solid foundation we need to shape the digital world. So that digitisation supports people’s freedom and opportunities, instead of undermining them.

Platforms and competition

This is why, in recent years, we’ve been looking very closely at digital platforms. Because those platforms often provide the infrastructure that allows the digital world to work. And that can give them enormous power to affect our lives.

Take Google. Its main platform – the Google search engine – dominates the market for web searches in every country in the single market.

And that’s not the only area where Google is powerful. Some 80% of the world’s smartphones and tablets use Google’s Android operating system, which dominates the market for operating systems that other phone makers can use.

And Google is also an advertising broker in online search advertising. Any company with a search box on its website can turn to Google to find ads that are linked to the things those users search for. And Google dominated this market, too, with more than 70% of the European market between 2006 and 2016.

All these markets are vital to our digital economy. In all of these markets, Google used its power to undermine competition, and keep out innovation.

Tackling self-preferencing

And dealing with these markets has also brought us face to face with the most fundamental questions which digitisation raises.

For instance, many platform businesses act as both player and referee – they run a platform, and also compete with other companies that rely on that platform. There’s an obvious conflict of interest here, an obvious temptation to adjust the way the platform works, to favour their own services ahead of others.

That’s what Google did, when it used the power of its search engine to favour its own comparison shopping service. By doing that, it harmed competition and consumers – which is why we fined the company nearly two and a half billion euros, for breaking the competition rules. And we’re looking right now at whether the same thing may have happened with other parts of Google’s business – like the job search business known as Google for Jobs.

But this is about more than the competition rules. There’s also a broader issue for our societies, of whether we think it’s right for companies like Google and others to have such control over the success or failure of other companies, and be free to use that power in any way they like. If we don’t, then we may find that we need regulation, to make sure that these platforms use their power in a way that’s fair and doesn’t discriminate.

And in the end, the best way to protect our interests – as consumers and as citizens – may be a combination of competition policy and regulation.

The role of data

That also goes for the way that we deal with another fundamental issue in the digital world – the way platforms collect and use data.

Platforms like Google or Facebook collect data from consumers – not just the posts we like on Facebook or the searches we make on Google, but much more unexpected things. Like the Onavo VPN app, which users downloaded to hide their browsing from prying eyes – but which also sent information to Facebook about the apps they used, and the websites they visited.

And those platforms also collect large amounts of data from their business customers, through services like Google Analytics, which track how visitors use their site – but at the same time, those trackers pass data to Google.

So these companies are a bit like one of those robot vacuum cleaners, working their way into every corner of the digital world, and sucking up data. Except, of course, that what they’re collecting isn’t rubbish – it can be a vital way for these companies to outdo their rivals.

The way that these companies collect and use data can undermine competition – and if it does, then we may need to take action, to enforce the competition rules. But once again, we shouldn’t assume that we can deal with all the challenges that digital technology creates for our way of life, just by thinking about how it affects competition. The way companies collect data, the way they use it, the decisions they make about who they share it with – these are all things that can affect competition; but as our world becomes more digital, they’re also choices about how our society works. And making sure that these choices don’t do us harm will have to be a team effort.

International cooperation

Because we do have the power to shape digitisation, in a way that meets the needs of Europe’s economy, and our society. But to do that, we need to work together. And that also means using our influence to build an international environment that helps us reach our goals.

For instance, Europe’s governments need fair international tax rules, so that digitisation doesn’t allow companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

The OECD is leading work to reach an international agreement on taxing digital companies. But we need to help to keep the pressure up, to reach a quick conclusion. That’s why Ursula von der Leyen has made very clear that if there’s no global solution by the end of 2020, the EU should be willing to act alone.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that Europe has the influence that we need to help us reach our goals. The real issue is whether we can use that influence effectively, to get the best results for Europeans.

That’s why Ursula von der Leyen, in her Political Guidelines, has committed to a coordinated approach to Europe’s external action. And it’s also why Europeans need to work together, at national as well as European level. Because our strength as a Union is multiplied many times over, when we make use of the influence of both Europe and its nations.

In other words, we do have the power to make a difference. We do have the power to make sure that digitisation works for Europe’s people, not against them.

There’s just one condition. We need to work together.

Thank you.

*  *  *

thanks to Sara Carter for putting this into the public domain

 

SaraACarter.com

 

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US Democrat Presidential Hopeful Attacks Big Tech Censorship

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has released a new video calling for Americans from both sides of the aisle to unite and fight political censorship by the Big Tech monopolies.

Rep. Gabbard recently filed a $50 million lawsuit against Google for censoring her campaign’s ability to buy ads following the first Democratic primary debate when she was the most searched candidate.

“Join me in this fight to end big tech monopolies power to censor & undermine Americans’ freedom of speech—because whether we are progressives or conservatives, left or right, if we do not stand united to protect our freedoms, we all lose,” Rep. Gabbard tweeted.

READ ALL at Gateway Pundit

Dr. Robert Epstein: Google’s Ephemeral Experiences Manipulate People on a ‘Massive Scale’

Dr. Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and wel known critic of Google’s use of psychologial techniques to manipulate users decision making process by heavily censoring the information search users are fed, appeared on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily to discuss Google’s latest tactics in election manipulation ahead on the us 2020 presidenyial election, and how voters and political campaign managers can combat them with host Alex Marlow.


Robert Epstein – warning us about Google’s evil ambitions

Epstein and Breitbart News editor-in-chief  Marlow discussed the current state of Google’s business and political activities and how the company could use its technology to influence voters.

Host Alex Marlow examined Epstein’s research saying: “I think you put out some pretty hard data on how many votes you think were moved in the 2016 election and I think you estimated it was over two million or so, is that not the case?”

Epstein responded: “Well it was at least 2.6 million and it could have been as many as 10.4 million depending on how aggressive google was in using the various tools they have available to them to shift votes. I can’t pin it down exactly but I know it’s in that range.”

Discussing the need for a system capable of analysing Google search results and suggestions to detect political and commercial bias, Epstein stated: “We need big monitoring systems in place, I’m so far the only person that’s created monitoring systems, I did one in 2016 and one in 2018. I’m trying now to raise funds to build a very big monitoring system for 2020 and to monitor a lot more than Google search results, to monitor newsfeeds, answers that people are getting from their personal assistants.”

Epstein explained that monitoring search results and auto-suggest terms are so important when monitoring election interference, stating: “If you don’t monitor, you can’t go back in time and figure out what these companies were showing people because what they’re showing people is ephemeral. That’s the term that Google’s own employees use internally, they’re showing ephemeral experiences, those really short-lived experiences that kind of appear before your eyes and then disappear, like search results for example.”

Google have openly acknowledged that their algorithms are set up to skew search results against content or sites favouring conservative or libertarian politics, while raising the visibility of liberal or progressive supporting content.

Epstein continued: “They’re using ephemeral experiences to manipulate people on a massive scale, people don’t know they’re being manipulated, and there’s no record kept of those experiences, they’re just generated for you on the fly and then they disappear.”

Listen to the full interview on Breitbart News Daily here.

To us the only question here is why are people still using Google as a search engine? Any pretence to neutrality in raking search relults was abandoned long ago, now search results are ranked in whether they serve Google’s political or financial interests.

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Research Shows Google’s Search Manipulations Tried To Rig Election For Hillary

Hillary Clinton was narrowly beaten by Trump, in fact her supporters still claim she won by virtue of gaining te larger number of votes, although they cannot possibly be unaware that the U.S. system is not quite that simple. Trump won under the rules as they have stood for many decades. Now in depth analysis of new media and internet content during the campaign shows Clinton would likely have lost by a much larger margin had Google, and other internet corporations including Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft not manipulated the search results and news feeds in her favor.

Even trending negative searches about the corrupt democrat were suppressed. According to an exclusive report from conservative news site Breitbart, the results are based on a 16 months long experiment involving a total of 1,800 people from across 50 U.S. states.

Participants were selected from diverse ideological and social backgrounds, including liberal, conservative, and moderate, professional, skilled and manual workers and various religious commitments. In order to account for prior biases, participants were required to judge political candidates that they were unfamiliar with.

The research showed clearly that the manipulation of search results pages in search engines can shift voting preferences of undecideds by anywhere between 20 and 80 percent, depending on the demographic –showing beyond reasonable doubt that Google’s algorithmic manipulation of results was attempting to rig the 2016 election for Hillary Clinton.

The voting preferences of participants who saw no search suggestions shifted toward the favored candidate by 37.1%. The voting preferences of participants in the search suggestion groups who saw only positive search suggestions shifted similarly (35.6%). However, the voting preferences of participants who saw three positive search suggestions and one negative search suggestion barely shifted (1.8%); this occurred because the negative search suggestion attracted more than 40% of the clicks (negativity bias). In other words, a single negative search suggestion can impact opinions dramatically. Participants who were shown four negative suggestions (and no positives) shifted away from the candidate shown in the search bar (-43.4%). -Epstein, Mohr, & Martinez, The Search Suggestion Effect, 2018

Led by Dr. Robert Epstein, the researchers concluded that by using this method of manipulation, search engines can shift a “50/50 split among people who are undecided on an issue to a 90/10 split without people’s awareness and without leaving a paper trail for authorities to follow.”  Therefore the Russian collusion meme pushed by the Democrats and mainstream media was always a hoax, probably created to divert attention from the scandals relating to various scandals Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, the real collusion during the 2016 election was not between Trump and the Russians, but between tech giants and their propaganda scheme and the Hillary Clinton campaign. This news page had reported many times on the unhealthily close relationships between The Obama Administration and Google, along with other tech companies.

It is no longer a conspiracy theory that Google is manipulating people who use its services. The company acknowledges it employes techniques recommended by psychologists and sociologists with the intention of influencing public opinion and personal decisions. Look at the amount of manipulation in Google’s “suggested” searches in comparison to those of Bing, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo. The researchers showed that the search suggestion manipulation used against Trump during the 2016 election when the tech giant, as it has now admitted, suppresed negative search suggestions for Hillary Clinton while promoting through search suggestions, negative stories relating to Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, remain in place and are being used to promote commercial products as well as political campaigns.

This is not a coincidence, especially when considering Google was the Clinton campaign’s largest corporate contributor. Google employees, including at least six high-ranking executives, donated more than $1.3 million to Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

Call it censorship or manipulation, but the truth is…Google attempted to rig the election for Hillary Clinton by manipulating searches and suggestions, and therefore, voters minds.

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A List Of Alternatives To Google Products

This blog is no fan of Google as our readers know.Not only do we believe Google’s origins as the brainchild of a couple of dysfunctional nerds whose ‘idiot-savant’ abilities did not include an ethical compass is a myth and that Google was spawned by the US government’ s DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) for military and civil surveillance projects, we are also quite sure the who Alphabet conglomerate of which the search advertising giant is now part, has fallen under the control of a bunch of Silicon Valley weirdos, who want to covertly control the world while remaining totally unaccountable for their actions.

Therefore we feel it is our duty to help readers avoid all Google products by bringing you this comprehensive list of alternatives. Google will still track you of course, they track all of us and collect data on our online activity, but the less detail they have the less value the information on us that they steal will have. And rival companies are getting better at shutting them out of the most revealing activities.

Alternatives To Google Products

from Techspot

With growing concerns over online privacy and securing personal data, more people than ever are considering alternatives to Google products. After all, Google’s business model essentially revolves around data collection and advertisements, both of which infringe on your privacy. More data means better (targeted) ads and more revenue. The company pulled in over $116 billion in ad revenue last year alone – and that number continues to grow.

Editor’s Note:
Guest author Sven Taylor is the editor behind Restore Privacy, a blog dedicated to inform about best online privacy practices, secure your electronic devices, unblock restricted content and defeat censorship.

But the word is getting out. A growing number of people are seeking alternatives to Google products that respect their privacy and data. This guide aims to be the most exhaustive resource available for documenting alternatives to Google product. So let’s get started (in no particular order or preference)…

Google search alternatives

When it comes to privacy, using Google search is not a good idea. When you use their search engine, Google is recording your IP address, search terms, user agent, and often a unique identifier, which is stored in cookies.

Here are ten alternatives to Google search:

  • StartPage – StartPage gives you Google search results, but without the tracking (based in the Netherlands).
  • Searx – A privacy-friendly and versatile metasearch engine that’s also open source.
  • MetaGer – An open source metasearch engine with good features, based in Germany.
  • SwissCows – A zero-tracking private search engine based in Switzerland, hosted on secure Swiss infrastructure.
  • Qwant – A private search engine based in France.
  • DuckDuckGo – A private search engine based in the US.
  • Mojeek – The only true search engine (rather than metasearch engine) that has its own crawler and index (based in the UK).
  • YaCy – A decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer search engine.
  • Givero – Based in Denmark, Givero offers more privacy than Google and combines search with charitable donations.
  • Ecosia – Ecosia is based in Germany and donates a part of revenues to planting trees.

Note: With the exception of Mojeek, all of the private search engines above are technically metasearch engines, since they source their results from other search engines, such as Bing and Google.

Gmail alternatives

Gmail may be convenient and popular, but there are three major problems:

  • Your inbox is used as a data collection tool. (Did you know Google is tracking your purchasing history from the receipts in your inbox?)
  • Rather than seeing just emails, your email inbox is also used for ads and marketing.
  • The contents of your inbox are being shared with Google and other random third parties.

When you remain logged in to your Gmail account, Google can easily track your activities online as you browse different websites, which may be hosting Google Analytics or Google ads (Adsense).

Here are ten alternatives to Gmail that do well in terms of privacy:

  • Tutanota – based in Germany; very secure and private; free accounts up to 1 GB
  • Mailfence – based in Belgium; lots of features; free accounts up to 500 MB
  • Posteo – based in Germany; €1/mo with 14 day refund window
  • StartMail – based in Netherlands; $5.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  • Runbox – based in Norway; lots of storage and features; $1.66/mo with 30 day free trial
  • Mailbox.org – based in Germany; €1/mo with 30 day free trial
  • CounterMail – based in Sweden; $4.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  • Kolab Now – based in Switzerland; €4.41/mo with 30 day money-back guarantee
  • ProtonMail – based in Switzerland; free accounts up to 500 MB
  • Thexyz – based in Canada; $1.95/mo with 30 day refund window

More information on these providers is available in the secure and private email services guide.

Chrome alternatives

Google Chrome is a popular browser, but it’s also a data collection tool – and many people are taking notice. Just a few days ago, the Washington Post asserted that “Google’s web browser has become spy software,” with 11,000 tracker cookies observed in a single week. Here are seven alternatives for more privacy:

  • Firefox browser – Firefox is a very customizable, open-source browser that is popular in privacy circles. There are also many different Firefox modifications and tweaks that will give you more privacy and security. (Also check out Firefox Focus, a privacy-focused version for mobile users.)
  • Iridium – Based on open source Chromium, Iridium offers numerous privacy and security enhancements over Chrome, source code here.
  • GNU IceCat – A fork of Firefox from the Free Software Foundation.
  • Tor browser – A hardened and secured version of Firefox that runs on the Tor network by default. (It also does a good job against browser fingerprinting.)
  • Ungoogled Chromium – Just as the name says, this is an open source version of Chromium that has been “ungoogled” and modified for more privacy.
  • Brave – Brave is another Chromium-based browser that is rather popular. It blocks trackers and ads by default (except for “approved” ads that are part of the “Brave Ads” network).
  • Waterfox – This is a fork of Firefox that is configured for more privacy by default, with Mozilla telemetry stripped out of the code.

Of course, there are other alternatives to Chrome, such as Safari (from Apple), Microsoft Internet Explorer/Edge, Opera, and Vivaldi – but these also come with some privacy drawbacks.

Google Drive alternatives

If you’re looking for a secure cloud storage option, you can check out these Google Drive alternatives:

  • Tresorit – A user-friendly cloud storage option based in Switzerland.
  • ownCloud – An open source and self-hosted cloud platform developed in Germany.
  • Nextcloud – Nextcloud is also an open source, self-hosted file sharing and collaboration platform, based in Germany.
  • Sync – Based in Canada, Sync offers a secure, encrypted cloud storage solution for businesses and individuals.
  • Syncthing – Here we have a decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer cloud storage platform.

Of course, Dropbox is another popular Google drive alternative, but it’s not the best in terms of privacy.

Google Calendar alternative

Here are some Google Calendar alternatives:

  • Lightning Calendar is an open source calendar option developed by Mozilla, and it’s compatible with Thunderbird and Seamonkey.
  • Etar, an open source, basic calendar option.
  • Fruux, an open source calendar with good features and support for many operating systems.

For those wanting a combined solution for both email and calendar functionality, these providers offer that:

Google Docs / Sheets / Slides alternative

There are many solid Google Docs alternatives available. The largest offline document editing suite is, of course, Microsoft Office. As most people know, however, Microsoft is not the best company for privacy. Nonetheless, there are a few other good Google Docs alternatives:

  • CryptPad – CryptPad is a privacy-focused alternative with strong encryption, and it’s free.
  • Etherpad – A self-hosted collaborative online editor that’s also open source.
  • Zoho Docs – This is another good Google Docs alternative with a clean interface and good functionality, although it may not be the best for privacy.
  • OnlyOffice – OnlyOffice feels a bit more restricted than some of the other options in terms of features.
  • Cryptee – This is a privacy-focused platform for photo and document storage and editing. It’s open source and based in Estonia.
  • LibreOffice (offline) – You can use LibreOffice which is free and open source.
  • Apache OpenOffice (offline) – Another good open source office suite.

Google Photos alternative

Here are a few good Google Photos alternatives:

  • Piwigo – Piwigo is a great option that you can self-host. It is also free and open source.
  • Lychee – Lychee is another self-hosted, open source photo management platform.

Shoebox was another alternative, but it closed operations in June 2019.

YouTube alternatives

Unfortunately, YouTube alternatives can really be hit or miss, with most struggling to gain popularity.

Tip: Invidio.us is a great Youtube proxy that allows you to watch any Youtube video without logging in, even if the video is somehow restricted. To do this, simply replace [www.youtube.com] with [invidio.us] in the URL you want to view.

Google Translate alternative

Here are a few Google translate alternatives I have come across:

  • DeepL – DeepL is a solid Google Translate alternative that seems to give great results. Like Google Translate, DeepL allows you to post up to 5,000 characters at a time (but the pro version is unlimited). The user interface is good and there is also a built-in dictionary feature.
  • Linguee – Linguee does not allow you to post large blocks of text like DeepL. However, Linguee will give you very accurate translations for single words or phrases, along with context examples.
  • dict.cc – This Google Translate alternative seems to do a decent job on single-world lookups, but it also feels a bit outdated.
  • Swisscows Translate – A good translation service supporting many languages.

If you want to translate blocks of text, check out DeepL. If you want in-depth translations for single words or phrases, then Linguee is a good choice.

Google Analytics alternative

For website admins, there are many reasons to use an alternative to Google Analytics. Aside from privacy concerns, there are also faster and more user-friendly alternatives that also respect your visitors’ privacy.

  • Clicky is a great alternative to Google Analytics that truncates and anonymizes visitor IP addresses by default. It is lightweight, user-friendly, and fully compliant with GDPR regulations, while also being certified by Privacy Shield.
  • Matomo (formerly Piwik) is an open-source analytics platform that respects the privacy of visitors by anonymizing and truncating visitor IP addresses (if enabled by the website admin). It is also certified to respect user privacy.
  • Fathom Analytics is an open source alternative to Google Analytics that’s available on Github here. It’s minimal, fast, and lightweight.
  • AT Internet is a France-based analytics provider that is fully GDPR compliant, with all data stored on French servers, and a good track record going back to 1996.

Many websites host Google Analytics because they run Google Adsense campaigns. Without Google Analytics, tracking performance of these campaigns would be difficult. Nonetheless, there are still better options for privacy.

Google Maps alternative

A map alternative for PCs is OpenStreetMap.

A few Google Maps alternatives for mobile devices include:

  • OsmAnd is a free and open-source mobile maps app for both Android and iOS (based on OpenStreetMap data).
  • Maps (F Droid) uses OpenStreetMap data (offline).
  • Here WeGo provides good mapping solutions for both PCs and mobile devices with their app.
  • Maps.Me is another option that is free on both Android and iOS, but there is a fair amount of data collection with this alternative, as explained in their privacy policy.
  • MapHub is also based on OpenStreeMap data and it does not collect locations or user IP addresses.

Note: Waze is not an “alternative” as it is owned by Google.

Google Play Store alternative

Currently the best Google Play Store alternative is to use F-Droid and then go through the Yalp store. As explained on the official site, F-Droid is an installable catalog of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform. After you have installed F-Droid, you can then download the Yalp store APK, which allows you to download apps from the Google Play Store directly as APK files.

See the F-Droid website or the official GitHub page for more info. Other alternatives to the Google Play Store include:

  • TechSpot – We have an Android section in Downloads full of safe and verified downloads.
  • Aptoide – An independent marketplace for Android apps.
  • APKMirror – This is a large library of APK files uploaded by different users (be careful).
  • Aurora Store – A fork of the Yalp Store.

Google Chrome OS alternative

Want to ditch the Chromebook and Chrome OS? Here are a few alternatives:

  • Linux – Of course, Linux is arguably the best alternative, being a free, open-source operating system with lots of different flavors. With some adjustments, Linux Ubuntu can be run on Chromebooks.
  • Tails – Tails is a free, privacy-focused operating system based on Linux that routes all traffic through the Tor network.
  • QubesOS – Recommended by Snowden, free, and also open source.

Of course, the other two big operating system alternatives are Windows and Apple’s operating system for MacBooks – Mac OS. Windows, particularly Windows 10, is a very bad option for privacy. While slightly better, Apple also collects user data and has partnered with the NSA for surveillance.

Android alternatives

The biggest alternative to Android is iOS from Apple. But we’ll skip over that for reasons already mentioned. Here are a few Android OS alternatives:

  • LineageOS – A free and open-source operating system for phones and tablets based on Android.
  • Ubuntu Touch – A mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system.
  • Plasma Mobile – An open source, Linux-based operating system with active development.
  • Sailfish OS – Another open source, Linux-based mobile OS.
  • Replicant – A fully free Android distribution with an emphasis on freedom, privacy, and security.
  • /e/ – This is another open source project with a focus on privacy and security.

Purism is also working on a privacy-focused mobile phone called the Librem 5. It is in production, but not yet available (estimated Q3 2019).

Google Hangouts alternatives

Here are some alternatives to Google Hangouts:

  • Wire – A great all-around secure messenger, video, and chat app, but somewhat limited on the number of people who can chat together in a group conversation via voice or video.
  • Signal – A good secure messenger platform from Open Whisper Systems.
  • Telegram – A longtime secure messenger app, formerly based in Russia, now in Dubai.
  • Riot – A privacy-focused encrypted chat service that is also open source.

Google Domains alternative

Google Domains is a domain registration service. Here are a few alternatives:

  • Namecheap – I like Namecheap because all domain purchases now come with free WhoisGuard protection for life, which protects your contact information from third parties. Namecheap also accepts Bitcoin and offers domain registration, hosting, email, SSL certs, and a variety of other products.
  • Njalla – Njalla is a privacy-focused domain registration service based in Nevis. They offer hosting options, too, and also accept cryptocurrency payments.
  • OrangeWebsite – OrangeWebsite offers anonymous domain registration services and also accepts cryptocurrency payments, based in Iceland.

Other Google alternatives

Here more alternatives for various Google products:

Google Forms alternativeJotForm is a free online form builder.

Google Keep alternative – Below are a few different Google Keep alternatives:

  • Standard Notes is a great alternative for a note-taking service. It is secure, encrypted, and free with apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android (web-based also available).
  • Joplin is another great option that is open source and works on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.
  • Zoho Notebook from Zoho, with apps for desktop and mobile devices.
  • QOwnNotes is an open source file editor with Nextcloud integration.

Google Fonts alternative – Many websites load Google fonts through Google APIs, but that’s not necessary. One alternative to this is to use Font Squirrel, which has a large selection of both Google and non-Google fonts which are free to download and use.

Google Voice alternativeJMP.chat (both free and paid)

G Suite alternativeZoho is probably the best option

Google Firebase alternativeKuzzle (free and open source)

Google Blogger alternativesWordPress, Medium, and Ghost are all good options.

Do you have any other tips or suggestions for Google alternatives? Feel free to drop a comment below. This guide will be regularly updated to reflect the latest information and user feedback.

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Project Veritas Releases Email Leaked By Google Mole Approving Censorship Of Conservative Writers

from TownHall.com

Matt covered the bombshell Project Veritas report yesterday which showed key Google employees discussing the various ways that they can manipulate search results in order to ensure the type of United States election results that they want to see. What Google wants, the videos suggest, is to prevent President Trump from winning in 2020.

via Matt:

Well, Project Veritas decided to dig into this bastion of liberalism. After all, its reach to the public with their products is how millions get the news. It’s also a medium that Donald Trump harnessed expertly to outmaneuver the Left in the 2016 election. Liberals know it. Over at Google, one executive, Jen Gennai, is working hard to ensure that its AI feature and associated algorithms work hard to pretty much help alter electoral outcomes.

Project Veritas, founded by James O’Keefe, caught Gennai on tape chastising presidential candidate and progressive icon Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for wanting to break up Google. Gennai claims this is wrong to do because smaller companies would not be able to prevent the “next Trump situation.”

“Elizabeth Warren is saying we should break up Google,” Gennai said. “And like, I love her but she’s very misguided, like that will not make it better it will make it worse, because all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation, it’s like a small company cannot do that.”  READ ALL >>>

As this blog has reported and speculated on many times, Google’s actions and the comments made by their senior managers, and the cosy relationship the tech company enjoyed with The White House under the Obama administration give grounds to suspect the company is not interested in profit so much as political influence. That is undemocratic and sufficient reason for the parent organisation Alphabet to be broken up. But who is really behind Google’s rise to a position from which it can influence not only the outcome of elections (though obviously not as effectively as its directors like to think, but also shape government policy.

We should remind ourselves every day that Google was launched on its path to dominance of the World Wide Web with money from venture capital outfit InQtel, which as all of us who take the trouble to be well informed are aware is a front for the CIA.

Says it all really.

 

MORE ABOUT ONLINE AUTHORITARIANISM:
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Google Spends Just $20 Million A Year To Control The U.S. Government

It’s unlikely that regular readers of this blog or The Daily Stirrer will have failed to notice one of our favourite games is revealing the true nature of the fascistic corporate entities that have been handed control of the internet by inept, virtue signalling, rent seeking politicians whose corruptibility is on a par with their technological illiteracy.

Yesterday we exposed the extent to which Facebook’s top management were aware of the extent their platform was being used to illegally obtain personal information from web users who don’t even have a Facebook account, today we move on to Google. We reported several years ago that the Search and Advertising giant, known for its rabid enthusiasm for all far left causes, had established such a cosy relationship with The Obama Administration that Google executives were regularly sitting in on government meeting in |The Oval Office.

It has often been said tht if voting changed anything they’d abolish it, and those who hoped things might change under Donald Trump will be disappointed to learn that while the US president is making noises about curbing the power wielded in Washington DC by representatives of Silicon Valley high tech corporations, those companies are so deeply embedded in government departments that little has changed in terms of the influence the tech corporations have on government policy, so much so in fact that buying favourable treatment from government is no longer a significant expense.

Google has recently severed links with six of the largest lobbying firms it had employed, in an apparent attempt to overhaul its global government affairs and policy operations amid greater government scrutiny of its business, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Over the last few months, the company has tried to give the appearance of lowering its profile in the capital, as well as scaling down its Washington policy team, and releasing two senior executives who helped develop its “influence operation” into one of the largest in the U.S. capital. The influence operation had been spending about $20 million a year on lobbying politicians and government officials, reducing the number of lobbying firms firms contracted to push Google interests which between them consumed about half of that cost seems to suggest a scaling back of political activity. But where Google is concerned things are seldom what they seem to be.

The change of direction is explained as part of a “continuing modernization” of Google’s influence operation.” Coming at a time when Google and other high tech giants such as Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon are facing heightened government scrutiny of the shadier areas of their business is surely a factor in the change of direction.

It is worth noting too that while those of us who have highlighted the level of influence over government and social policy handed to high tech companies have routinely been dismissed as ‘conspiracy theorists,’ technophobes, and enemies of progress, that the fact that a company like Google (and others, they’re not alone,) has set up a department whose function is to influence government, this reveals the very unhealthy state of democracy in the developed world. Google sells advertising and tech services, it does not put up candidates for election so its executives should not be put on a par with our elected representatives. We cannot vote them into or out of power so in effect they have achieved the wet – dream of all tyrants and bureaucrats, power without accountability.

Fortunately Donald Trump and his advisers, no matter what the liberal chatterati say about them, are aware of this and are reportedly trying to address it. The task will not be easy, there are a lot of influential people riding onm Google’s gravy train, and a lot of political hopefuls who know their best chance of high office lies in benefitting from the claimed ability of Google and other to influence public opinion.

The tide seems to be turning however.

The Department of  Justice is widely reported to be preparing an antitrust investigation into the company alleged unfair and unconstitutional business practices while both houses of Congress and state attorneys general in various states are also reviewing its methods, particularly those which violate users’ right to privacy. Some politicians are even calling for the company to be broken up into smaller, independent businesses.

Faced with this threat it looks as if Google is planning to reallocate the paltry $20 million per year that it has been using to control the government and spend it on … you guessed, trying to control the government in slightly more subtle ways.

Among the firms and consultants who are no longer working for Google are “Charlie Black, a longtime Republican strategist, and firms that have relationships with senior Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, including Off Hill Strategies LLC, which has links to financially conservative Republicans.”

People who claim to be in the know about the restructuring plan say the aim is to focus the company’s global reach in order to help it deal with regulators and lawmakers across regions and markets.  That certainly sounds convincing in view of the monster fines levied by the European Union and various national governments, fines so large and so numerous they must have stung despite the size of google’s annual revenue. The moves are also being spun as a shake up of interfaces with government by Google’s new head of policy and government relations, Karan Bhatia.

Bhatia was recruited in the summer of 2018 as Google’s VP of Policy and Government Relations and tasked with reviewing the company’s lobbying needs. Susan Molinari, a former Republican congresswoman, stepped down as Google’s head of Washington operations last year and the company has yet to name a successor.

It is worth noting that in 2006, Google was spending about $800,000 on lobbying and had four firms on retainer. By 2018, the company was retaining 100 lobbyists from 30 ifferent firms at an annual cost of $21.7 million to lobby Washington politicians and top civil servants and was the largest spender on lobbying among US corporations, despite the relatively small dollar amount for the massive tech giant.

The company also makes donations running into $milliond to think tanks, political research units, universities and media consultancies that help Google shape the debate into its business practices.

Meanwhile, Google employees (under no pressure from management of course, after all seeing colleagues sacked for questioning liberal dogma would not make anyone feel coerced into joining the orgies of virtue singnalling,) helped the company become one of the largest sources of donations to the Democratic Party and its candidates, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  Records show that Google employees donated a total of $1.6 million to Clinton’s 2016 campaign and after Obama, whose campaign was backed by Google took office in 2012, Google and its lobbying team enjoyed an incredible run of successes in Washington, including having the FTC drop a planned anti-trust case. The company also benefitted from favorable FTC net neutrality rulings (which decreed that favouring the websites of its own busineses and its biggest advertisers in search result listings was not unfair to competitors,)  and secured favorable legislation on self driving vehicles.

But over the last few years the company has continued to hit headwinds from both sides of the aisle while its public image has taken a beating over privacy concerns and critics claiming that its political bias influences which content is censored.

Google is an enemy and must be broken up, or freedom dies.
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US-EU Privacy Shield Data-Sharing Agreement Blasted as Inadequate
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Apple Hypocrisy On Users Privacy Sets Standard For Silicon Valley
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Going To War Against The Evil Empire
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Who Runs America? US Federal Trade Commission Takes Orders From Google
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Google Meets White House Officials Every Week, Why?
We have been very suspicious for ten years of the way Google with such apparent ease achieved a dominant position in web search. How did it happen, did Google do something evil, did they invoke the powers of darkness in their meteoric rise. Or were there even darker forces at work, powering Google to a position in which their internet technologies could dominate global information flows? Here’s something cynics should read.

EU taking on Google – Well One German Publisher Is
Those New World Order fanatics at The Guardian, bless them, seldom miss a trick when it comes to promoting the single European Superstate and the globalist agenda. Their latest misrepresentation is to try and make us feel the European Union is somehow protecting our freedoms even as the bureau rats of Brussels are taking them away.

Pissed Off With Government/Microsoft/Google Online Spying? Be Completely Anonymous Online
Not so long ago our biggest worry online was malware, virus software, trojans and worms plagued the internet cost many people a lot of time and worry. Since about a year ago everything has changed, protecting our digital privacy is the issue and the enemy is no longer spotty little nerds hunched over computers in dimly lit basements, but governments and major technology corporations.

Artificial Intelligence: Will It Kill Human Society?
The media, the so called ‘experts’ and politicians hail every technological advance as if it will btransport us from reality to a utopian paradise. but does Artificial Intelligence and related internet and computer technology pose theats to human society that far outweigh any possible advantages? Whateve, Google plan to put machines in our place on top of the food chain.

Reasons To keep Google Away From your Credit Card Information
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A collection of articles by Ian R Thorpe and his Daily Stirrer colleagues on the unethical and dishonest ways Google has gained an unhealthy degree of influence over the internet.

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