Aral Balkan @aral

@mlcdf @sydneyfalk Which is why we must fund/build decentralised, interoperable, free and open technologies where there is no centre that can scale, no central accumulation of power and wealth even as the system itself grows, no incentive to scale vertically.

Mozilla, by the way, used to get the ~$400M/year it makes from Google and now does from Yahoo! They’re entirely funded by

The Nomad Who’s Exploding the Internet Into Pieces

Excellent article on the lovely Dominic Tarr and his efforts to decentralise technology. Dominic is not only one of the most prolific developers I know but one of the few people actually working to further the cause of decentralisation. (And we’re not talking about right libertarian blockchain bullshit but actual topological decentralisation of the network itself.)



@boots @nightpool (That said, I just updated the article summary and reissued my toot to make it clear that Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube formed the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, not Amber Rudd – that was a late-night mistake on my part – and that Rudd asked them to quietly drop e2e-encryption. Thanks for helping me improve the article.)

Decrypting Amber Rudd

Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter & YouTube (Google/Alphabet, Inc) have formed the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism and Amber Rudd is asking them to quietly drop end-to-end encryption from their products. You should not believe a single word any of those companies tells you about end-to-end encryption or privacy on their platforms ever again. PS. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook.

ar.al/notes/decrypting-amber-r mastodon.ar.al/media/KOJ6AT1Xn

@nightpool @boots Yep, I spend my time writing fake stuff for shits and giggles because it pays so well ;)

It doesn’t feel like you read my post, just the toot. They didn’t “attend a forum”, the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism is a group formed by those companies (see blog.twitter.com/official/en_u) and they’ve been asked to quietly drop e2e-encryption by the UK’s Home Secretary.

@nightpool @boots Did you read my post? The issue here is that these companies have joined her Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism group and Amber Rudd has asked them to quietly disable e2e encryption in their products. WhatsApp is closed-source. End-to-end encryption could be disabled in the next build. Either they must get independent audits of every release build or there is no grounds to trust e2e-encryption won’t be silently dropped at some point.

@eldang @dzuk The companies in question have joined her Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism and she has stated that she wants them to drop e2e encryption and that – ironically – conversations between the govt and tech companies “must be confidential”. At this point, unless these companies get independent auditing of every build, I see no reason to trust what they say on e2e encryption in their products.

PS. I’m very new to the EasyList format and this is just the first rough conversion. I’ll be cleaning it up and refining it as I go. Please do send suggestions if you notice anything awry with the rules.

In my limited testing so far, it seems to work and match the Safari results.

You will want to turn off the other filters so as not to skew the experience (see screenshot for how I was testing). mastodon.ar.al/media/53n2cuoF8

Found a few hours to code today so I wrote a simple WebKit Content Blocker → EasyList converter, converted Better’s (better.fyi/) ruleset, and integrated it into the site build. It’s all very alpha right now & there’s no support, etc., but if you want to play with it + know what you’re doing, pop the following URL into your uBlock Origin & play.


1st step to opening Better up to Firefox, Chrome & Edge :) mastodon.ar.al/media/QijB3STjZ

Aral Balkan boosted

So I just posted my Coordinating Collective candidacy on the DiEM25 forum as asked.

That’s about as much campaigning as I’m going to be doing. (I’m not a politician nor do I aspire to be.) Please only vote if you agree with me that I’d be most effective on the CC while working to help implement the technology pillar policies internally. And don’t do anything silly like voting for me instead of Yanis or Srećko—the CC needs them more.


Aral Balkan boosted

Proposal: We should add a disclaimer to the DiEM25 Facebook page (as a pinned post) stating that we are using a surveillance-based platform monopoly under protest to reach people we might not otherwise be able to reach in the short-term. This is what we do with the Better (better.fyi/) Facebook page (see screenshot).

For more info on our pragmatic approach to using current platforms, see: ar.al/notes/spyware-vs-spyware



Roomba maker iRobot plans to sell digital maps of your home

Robot vacuum cleaner company iRobot “reportedly has a new strategy in place: providing Roomba-gathered maps of your home to other smart device makers.”



Aral Balkan boosted

"You are not the product being sold, you are the livestock being farmed."


Wise words from Mr. @aral

Wait! What's that surveillance capitalism thingy? Quite a big thing but let me give the word to Shoshana Zuboff to explain this model.



Aral Balkan boosted

Just in case you wondered why you're here on #Mastodon:

"Facebook patent application describes spying on users through their webcams"


#privacy Via @aral


@viTekiM I really liked the book but I have a feeling you have to have grown up in and be quite nostalgic for the 80s for the full effect.

Also have a sneaky suspicion Mark Zuckerberg read it and, instead of a dystopian warning, took it as an instruction manual and kicked off his foray into VR. The latter is purely conjecture, by the way :)

Aral Balkan boosted

Female friendly erotica Show more

Must watch documentary: Nobody Speak – Trials of the Free Press (Netflix original)

“The documentary is themed around the effects of big money on American journalism. [It] focuses on two cases: Peter Thiel financing wrestler Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker Media, and casino owner Sheldon Adelson's secret purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.”


Aral Balkan boosted

Pleased to announce that our homepage has an updated logo, improved contrast, and a working press kit download! joinmastodon.org/

@phildenfer The ePrivacy regulation that’s at the European Parliament at the moment has a provision that states that WiFi and Bluetooth tracking must be declared (this falls short of protecting you as your only recourse is to turn off the features), not sure what provision (if any) there is for facial recognition but it should be similar – at least as covered by GDPR. Will add this to list of things we need to address in DiEM25’s technology pillar.

Aral Balkan boosted

Speaking of amateurish behavior:
The military's press secretary claimed on Friday that the Transport Agency "has nothing to do with the military vehicle registry"… but now sent a request to the Transport Agency for the info they claimed they didn't have and modify the statement to "However it is as such that some information exists both in the military vehicle registry and the Transport Agency's road traffic registry".


Well… that… makes your earlier unequivocal statement 100% untrue.
Were you just making it up?
Don't you KNOW who has lists of like... your tanks?
What… are you doing over there?
Can we trust you with a̲n̲y̲t̲h̲i̲n̲g̲?