World: Google, you are so smart, impartial, and benevolent, please write all our protocols and standards.

Google: Oh yeah, btw, we don’t think you should be able to protect yourself from being tracked on our browser.

Google to break uBlock Origin on Chromium.

@aral With Microsoft on the Chromium bandwagon this is extremely bad news.

So do we have to run Ublock Origin on an OS level now?

@nielsim @aral This will impact users on ChromeOS the most as they will not be able to switch browsers.

Despite the surveillance drawbacks, I have been recommending a Chromebook to utterly non-technical friends and family as a safe and virtually no-maintenance solution. Only thing I had to help with was install uBlock and tweak the blocklists for them. Alas, that solution will have to go out the window as well then.


@fschaap @nielsim And “despite the surveillance” was never “safe” ;)

On a Chromebook, you have far bigger worries than uBlock being blocked; every default service is designed to track and profile you.

@aral @fschaap True, true. Due to the complexity of Windows and its vulnerability for malware, virusses etc I choose for the less complex, easier to use (and also cheap) ChromeOS for my elderly mom. If there is a Linux as easy to use (perhaps Elementary OS?) I might switch her again. On the other hand, she only mails and uses Facebook, so privacy is not very much on her mind. ;)

@nielsim @aral Exactly this. The people I recommend a Chromebook to have no usable concept of the technology they use or of privacy in the online domain. They simply want to send e-mail, use google to search and/or use Facebook or Whatsapp. And even if there was a super userfriendly Linux out there, I would end up being the sysadmin (if for nothing more than updates, but it usually entails far more cries for help) and for personal reasons that simply is out of the question.

@nielsim @aral I remember (10 years ago? during the first wave of netbooks) there was a company in the Netherlands selling completely locked down, centrally updated and maintained stripped down Linux PCs as "simple online devices for elderly people". You paid a subscription for integrated ISP and maintenance services and maybe some form of cloud storage (???). I really do think there is a market there for managed, privacy-friendly (thus open source/hardware) devices.

@fschaap @nielsim Totally agree that we need inexpensive, usable FLOSS devices. Minimal centralised management is fine (e.g., updates) but we should be designing as much as possible to be decentralised. Especially when it comes to the data.

@fschaap @aral @nielsim It's pretty easy to make a GNU distro for non-techies, just a graphical installer for a few selected packages, no "terminal" by default, and a package manager like nix so the system can rollback when shit happens. It comes with one caveat, those non-techies are REALLY only using email and web browser, perhaps plus office or gimp.
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