Friday, November 12, 2021

Are YOU Feeling the Heavy Hand of Tech Censorshp?

Don't be so sure that you are not.

One of the points mentioned in this post - that Google-linked mail servers routinely send Non-Leftist email to the Spam Folder - is one that I will be checking on today. I know that I am flooded with email (you cannot escape being on the radar, if you sign up for coupons or loyalty discounts). I hadn't checked to see if there was a political slant before.

If you're like me, you are more concerned about weeding out your email inbox, than to ensure that you get all the email that's intended for you. [Just yesterday, I Unsubscribed from a multitude of sources, as I do quarterly.]

But, I had never considered that I was being blocked from receiving it, based on the political affiliation or cultural viewpoint.

I have a LOT of technology in my life:

  • Email - Gmail, Yahoo, ProtonMail, and all those associated with work in some way
  • Amazon Echo - we have 2 devices, one in each home, and I also use the phone app for managing lists, home technology (smart plugs/lights), and my home security system.
  • SimplySafe - it was easy to install, fit my needs at the time, and priced right.
  • Home network
  • CaptionCall VOIP - it allows me access to a captioning phone, no matter where I am, and also includes a home-based "landline". The ability to have a phone with a screen, that also acts to take messages in both audio and text format, as well as providing a local number, all for no monthly cost (as a hearing impaired person, this is funded by the government) - well, it's worth all of the vulnerability to oversight.
  • I use an IPhone. It's the only brand that consistently is usable by my hearing aids. I've tried Android (other types are definitely NOT compatible). So, whatever the downside of supporting the Chinese-gulag-enabling Empire, I choose to make that compromise.
  • I have an Amateur Radio license, a GMRS license (it covers my whole household), and am, thereby, in the FCC database. Should the government come around to confiscate my communications device, I think I'm going to have to inform them they were tragically lost in a boating accident, in a very deep lake.
  • I blog under my own name. I use social media, mostly for connecting with family and friends (Life being what it is, social media is one of the easiest ways to keep in contact. For example, I recently heard on FB that a cousin had suddenly died, which I would likely not have heard about otherwise.)
  • I'm on a lot of sites strictly for device support. The information for those devices is often registered on those sites.
  • I use various videoconferencing services - Microsoft Work, Zoom, Google Duo (I have family with Android devices, and Facetime doesn't work with that), Facetime. Those are just the ones that I can think of, off the top of my head.
  • I share documents online, have signed up for Slack, which is an asynchronous collaboration app.
  • My medical information is online; my taxes are filed online; my business and banking, my income from pensions and social security, my PayPal account - all are online, and vulnerable to hacking, whether from private individuals or groups, foreign actors, my own government, or the businesses that I interact with.
Looking at this list, it's hard to imagine that I'm still, in any way, undercover. In some ways, I'm surprised (and, maybe, a little insulted) that I have NOT been banned, censored, or otherwise kept from participation in the tech world.

When possible, I'm going to purposefully choose alternative services/apps. Sometimes, as with my hearing aids, there really is no alternative platform or app. One thing I can do is to work on getting Linux working on my Pi, and look at finding an older model laptop/desktop for experimenting with the operating system and its applications.

No comments:

Post a Comment