I need every infosec person to understand that surveillance capitalism is structural, not individual, and we are not going to ethically-consume our way out of it please and thank

Like take whatever measures that help you reduce your and others' exposure to surveillance, share information, give advice and organize, that's all great work! But don't assume others who use insecure corporate services are ignorant sinners in need of a sermon and conversion. Harassing people who are just trying to live and organize, doing some little good in a horrible world, does Not make anyone safer or more secure.



> surveillance capitalism is structural, not individual

> Harassing people [...] does Not make anyone safer or more secure.

💯 More people need to hear this.

I would like to also offer a bit of my own rant and optimistic take on how the structural/systemic issues at hand here can be addressed.

IMO a lot of the "structure" at work here comes from economic forces that poured endless investment cash into research & effort on how to make client software and webapps usable by everyone.

Meanwhile the usability of the server applications / web infrastructure stuff is still stuck in the 80/90s for the most part.

I think tech folks with the resources and time can (and should!!) strike at the root of the problem. To me that mostly means trying to improve the usability of server software and make it more accessible to more people.

I don't mean everyone should run a server.

But as servers become more and more like web browsers (they "just work" on the first try and don't break when they update themselves automatically) it will become more and more likely that everyone will know someone, or a friend of a friend in their community who _does_ run a server.

I liked the "TL;DR" from homebrewserver.club:

> Take the ‘home’ in homebrew literally and the ‘self’ in self-hosting figuratively

> That means we try to host from our homes rather than from data centres - a.k.a. ‘the cloud’ - and we try to host for and with our communities rather than just for ourselves.

I think the fediverse software and similar networks have sorta succeeded in that regard despite continued rampant usability problems on the server/admin side. Its encouraging to me that something like mastodon which is far from perfect can still gain traction and continues to attract new users and inspire new projects.

Basically I want to be a home server evangelist but if the thing I would be evangelizing still costs money, takes time to set up, and still fails 99% of the time, what's the point?

Just need to get the software / systems to a point where they don't annoy ppl much, they can be easily shared with friends, and they fulfill a need. For example they provide a sense of data custody and belonging within a local community, something folks'll never get from Google, Facebook or AWS.

Yes, its a tall order, its insanely hard / no one knows if this is even possible. But I feel like I would be doing myself and everyone else a disservice if I didn't try.

@forestjohnson I think something like YunoHost is a great step in that direction. When I used it I was amazed by how it made the admin experience more browser-like, literally an interface in the browser. I ended up uninstalling it because it felt like another layer of complexity when I needed to debug something, but getting to install and try out multiple apps in several clicks was a big help and I know experienced admins who swear by it.


Yeah I feel similar about YunoHost. My two biggest wishes for a system like YunoHost are

1. Built to support replication/failover
2. Built to support multiple users

By "support multiple users" I mean similar to how Mastodon/Matrix servers do the "1 admin per ~100 users" model.

So for example I can share my server with my friend, create an account for them, and then they can get their feet wet and try out hosting something themselves without expending too much effort.

But at the same time, since it supports replication & failover, there's a reasonable path to those "experiments" becoming well loved and frequented destinations with reliability / longevity. When one admin falls (loses interest) another can rise to take their place without much fuss.

So I think that's what I'll work on next :)

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