the dissident frogman

9 months and 2 weeks ago

Quacks: that DuckDuck is No Go

How about we don't use the search engine that funds Antifa Online™?

the dissident frogman

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One of the precious few good things to come out of the 11/3 electoral coup in the US, is the full unmasking of Big Tech’s duplicity.

To anybody who had been paying attention—or didn’t choose to delude themselves—this didn’t come as a surprise. Many people on the Right have known for years now that none of the big names (Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, etc) and most of the smaller ones could not be trusted.

Up to now however, while they were periodically piercing through the surface—particularly during the dreadful years of the Obama devastation—they were never as bold as to remain exposed long enough for target acquisition—or rather, government regulation.

You can be forgiven if you overlooked all the signs that they were moving in position for the strike, as on one hand they did their best and sneakiest to maintain plausible deniability, and on the other their targets—primarily Right-wing conservatives in the US and abroad—are decent, honest people whose default disposition is to give everybody else the benefit of the doubt.

A great trait in a polite and ethical society, but sadly a handicap when facing a determined enemy and survival is at stake.

The problem with this, incidentally, is not limited to the current struggle against the Information Warfare Bureau of the international Left-wing comradeship. While I admire a quality that is as common among Americans as it is rare among my “fellow” Frenchmen, I’ve often deplored that there didn’t seem to be, at crucial times in America’s recent history, a Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff at hand to give all of America’s Clive Wynne-Candys1 The Speech:

video: The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943)

I don’t need to tell you that The Speech applies not just to Naziism but to every other variant of Socialism and to their various incarnations, from career politicians to cancel culture SJWs. They have no principles, no morals and all fight foul, always, because no Utopian and supremacist creed can fight otherwise.

But back to Big Tech. As you recall, things started to heat up when Bill Clinton’s gangrenous tumor lost to Donald Trump and in the four years that followed, the Big Techsters, in their anger and frustration but also with growing confidence that society was coming nicely and firmly in their grip, increasingly showed their hand with impudence. And we have to reckon that one of the critical strategic mistakes of the past four years was that despite much talk of “breaking the big tech monopolies” and building neutral or even conservative alternatives, there was little real action.

Nobody minded Theo, as everyone was trying to get ahead on Twitter.

This culminated with the great fraud of November the 3rd, as well as the tactical moves of the tech industry ever since, with the widespread censoring and purging of whoever and whatever opponent they designate as Enemy of the People, an invention of the French Revolution—later upheld and “improved upon” by its children, the 20th century Communist regimes—that had yet to come to America.

Hard to believe as it is, it’s there now.

This is having on many of us the effect of a surprise ice shower after a slumber in the sauna, and a growing number of people, not just in America, now has empirical—and oftentimes personal—evidence that the major IT industry actors are devious and downright hostile, and must be opposed at every turn and through every venue.

It is long overdue, to the point where it’s going to be extremely difficult, and perhaps impossible to correct. Yes, even with hypothetical “government interventions”, the effect of which have long proved to be ineffective when not plain counter-productive.

I believe that the Web as we know it, the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) over a client-server architecture you use every time you access a web site or service is now completely lost to us—much like that other medium known as “television”.

Hostile forces and operators hold enough of the strategic points in the infrastructure and wield enough influence to intimidate and force into submission the owners of the rest, to choke and force out anybody at will under any pretext. It is not a question of “building an alternative”, as the Parler saga shows, and the difficulty is not limited to “having your own server” or data center, as there are so many other points of failure that can be exploited by an enemy that owns the battlefield.

They’ll just let you toil, smiling as you build up your little enterprise, until it makes just enough fun or propaganda value to shut you down. And that’s assuming you found someone willing to invest in such a precarious environment.

We will have, once again, to man the boats and look for a new world. One that will have to rely, and this is a certitude of mine, on decentralization, encryption and absolute anonymity, if the free flow of ideas is to achieve any resilience.

In the meantime, we’re left with trying to navigate around Big Tech’s restrictions, and the first and most accessible option for everyone—technical-minded or not—is of course to ignore them: stop using those you can live without (Facebook and Twitter are prime candidates here) and move to whatever alternative you can find for those you need—if you can find one.

But not so fast.

The Disqus thread in this Breitbart article is just the latest chorus in a litany I’ve heard for years—and one that didn’t help, at all.

Every other friendly advice goes along the line:

It’s easy: ditch Google, just use DuckDuckGo.

Yes, ditch Google. By all means. Just be aware that:

And when I say “if not worse”, it’s more rhetorical mannerism than anything else.

In your quest to reject Google and the rest of the hostiles, you will have to do your homework. If you’re looking at DuckDuckGo, start with the FEC site. You will see, for instance, that for 2019-2020, all the donations from DuckDuckGo employees have gone Left.

Let that sink in. While not all of DuckDuckGo’s 124 employees have donated, not one has donated outside of the Party line.

Perhaps the rest prefers direct action and were too busy CHOP/CHAZing checkpoints.

Or maybe they’re hardcore MAGA Trumpsters who like their job so much they just keep a low profile. And with chance that fat, this duck will yield its own weight in foie gras, let me tell you.

Now such a perfect score on the FEC board is more than a bit unsettling but hey, we’re nice decent people who always give the benefit of the doubt. So these are only individuals, exerting one of their natural rights in a free country and we can’t fault their employer, right?

Technically yes.

Practically? Well…

DuckDuckGo makes little mystery of its donations outside of the electoral and political realm. They have a webpage just for that, boldly titled “Donating for Privacy”—which is a bit of a laugh when you consider some of the recipients but there’s nothing like bragging about your own generosity, because if you don’t do it yourself you can never be sure someone else will. And as any Leftist will tell you, what’s the point of doing charity if you can’t be seen as charitable?

Even just a quick glance should suffice to convince you that the Duck’s apples didn’t fall far from the nest: the philanthropic waterfowl has been laying its eggs in such diverse2 baskets as Demand Progress, the ACLU, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and in particular Riseup, and some of its offshoots or “associates” such as Riseup Labs, LEAP and Tails—the operating system recommended by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and one E. Snowden, currently a voluntary refugee from the oppressive US of A living the life in that epitome of Liberty and Freedom of Expression, Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

What’s Riseup? That sophomoric Paleo-communist moniker gives you a fair idea of what to expect, and the details leave no doubt. From their “About” page—to which I will not link:

The Riseup Collective is an autonomous body based in Seattle with collective members world wide. Our purpose is to aid in the creation of a free society, a world with freedom from want and freedom of expression, a world without oppression or hierarchy, where power is shared equally. We do this by providing communication and computer resources to allies engaged in struggles against capitalism and other forms of oppression.

They expect you to believe that people such as themselves, fanatically on the side of the one ideology that is structurally anti-Humanist and has been the first, unmatched offender when it comes to crushing every liberties and freedom on every continent and every society it’s been unleashed upon, are really only here to aid in the creation of a free society. Without pay, even. How noble is that?

You’re also expected to believe that the kind of people who put the “collective” above the individual will respect your privacy by the way. Looking for a bridge? I have lots to sellPromoted content

Speed reading the section titled “Riseup’s purpose” rewards you with a treasure trove of the usual mishmash of Left wing incoherence, auto-contradiction, weasel words and double-talk:

(…) struggles for human liberation, the ethical treatment of animals, and ecological sustainability (…) self-determination of all oppressed groups (…) We work to create revolution and a free society (…) to oppose and replace the dominant system (…) We promote social ownership (…)

And you can believe them, because they’re such nice, charming, tolerant people, as you can judge by browsing the next section, “Meet the collective”. One is:

(…) a revolutionary hacker and critic of late capitalism (…)

Another one, who quite likely has blue hair and could never find a mate for more than a quick sad shag in the collective toilets:

(…) doesn’t hesitate to use her abilities and radical spirit to fight rich people, men, meat eaters, fascists, monogamy, and the police (…)

Well, that’s monogamy if you can get it of course.

Yet another blue, or possibly pink haired virago:

(…) works to bring about communications policies and systems that are based on human needs not corporate profits (…)

Down with corporate profits, indeed. As long as corporate donations keep coming in.

Then we have the obligatory What’s-that-thing-in-my-pants-I’ll-just-invent-another-word psycho-linguista:

(…) hack at the intersections of kyriarchy, from “cissexism” and heterosexism to racism, in the world at large and within the social justice movement itself (…)

Right on. Now armed with the understanding that “the social justice movement” is not part of “the world at large”, we’ll stop here, thank you very much.

You may ask how do these lovely charming people do their deed?

By providing “free” email, chat, VPN, mailing lists, WIKIs and file sharing services. From Seattle. Without any “corporate profits” at all—because that wouldn’t help with achieving “freedom of want”, obviously.

They’ve been doing that for 20 years, which means that there is no way the Going DuckDuck couldn’t know what they are and where they stand.

Yet DuckDuckGo the company, sent hard corporate cash their way over several years, starting in 2013, so they could keep hacking intersectional kryarchy and fighting rich monogamous men who eat meat. And other oppressions.

Look, the crux of our current predicament is that nearly all of our options are Left or extreme Left wing. This may change in the future, but I am not optimistic—let me check… Yes, I did put in the bit where I say that the Web is lost to us. Scroll up, if you need.

So at this point if, like me, you are not entirely satisfied with the other search engine alternatives3 you’re probably better off just switching to Microsoft’s Bing.

They’re only slightly less hostile than the GoogleBorg but at least, they’re not funding Antifa Online™.

  1. Though again, not just Americans. All of us in the Western world—which of course includes nations that are not geographically “in the West”—who believe in “fighting fair no matter the opponent” need to heed that warning too.
  2. Yep, you’ve got that right. Sarcasm. Totally.
  3. I find that Startpage and Swisscows are just not up to snuff when it comes to the pertinence of results.

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the dissident frogman

I own, built and run this place. In a previous life I was not French but sadly, I died.

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Comments thread (5)

5171 - martywd

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I bailed on DDG at some point in the past because of their left leaning donations bent. Use ‘Startpage’ for a while but it kind of sucked and when back to DDG. I use DDG’s ‘!bang’ functionality alot, but now from your post here it looks like DDG has really gone full bore left so I’ll be moving on once again. Bing? Hmmmm? I hadn’t really considered trying Bing but I will now.

.

5172 - Jacky

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IT is not my strong point but trying to fend off invasions of privacy & other concerns from big tech, big government & the globalist totalitarians by the time the revolution is over I will have bloody learned to code.

5175 - TooTall

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(…) hack at the intersections of kyriarchy, from “cissexism” and heterosexism to racism, in the world at large and within the social justice movement itself (…)

Huh? The fact that DDG is in Seattle is a sure warning sign. Birds of a feather (pardon my tongue in cheek pun) tend to flock together.

5183 - Quoth the Raven

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  • Quoth the Raven Alone, in the mountains, occasional contact with people I love, surrounded by snow but still, with lots of wood available for the fire. And lots of ammo. Oh yes.

Bing….fine….but WHY does bing want me to log in and WHY do they want to offer me rewards? I’m just looking for a non-stick saucepan. I don’t want an account.

Damn nice picture on their webpage though. Is that Yosemite?

5185 - the dissident frogman

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  • the dissident frogman France

TooTall: RiseUp HQ is in Seattle. I think DDG is in PA. Not that it makes much of a difference, considering Philadelphia's shenanigans last November.

Jacky: you are quite right. We have reached the point where merely using the various sites and software offered to us while trusting implicitly that the publisher will not be evil (see what I've done here?) is nowhere near enough. We may not have to fully learn to code, but we do have to go dangerously close to that. For instance, properly securing Firefox requires creating and maintaining a JavaScript file (user.js) under your user profile directory (not advocating for Firefox though, they're little Silicon Communists)

martywd, Quoth the Raven: I only mention Bing because DDG gets their results from them anyway. Like martywd, I found Startpage not satisfactory. Swisscows is sometimes completely lacking answers on topics that are not that obscure (then again, other search engines seem to favor the principle of return anything rather than no results, which is not better)

Quote the Raven, what is wrong with Rewards? (and Likes. And Followers...) All that social media industry is only trying to make you happy and popular, and yet you scorn and spurn! Truly, there is no pleasing some people.

Time to take sides