Sep 1, 2013

Good Bye Gmail. It Was a Great Time

It's done. I stopped using Gmail. I chose a fully encrypted and anonymous mail service outside the US. The same I did with the few cloud storage usecases left (I switched back to keep my data at home), calendar and other non-public stuff.

I thought about it over and over. I have no relevant data. Not for industry espionage and not for spying on me personally. I'm not that important :) But as a matter of principle, I decided to set a mark, and try to keep all services I use in the country I am. And keep kicking my own country's butt to stop any foreign agency to spy on our data.

Stop Watching Us, Berlin, 27.07.2013 

I don't see the discussion in the USA are going to try stop spying on other "friendly" nations. The great effort from Google and Microsoft recently to sue the government is good. But they sue only for allowing them to say that data was given away. That is, imho, completely meaningless. I want my data to be protected. That is possible with client to client encryption which could be made without bigger problems. Why don't they do this? What is the problem? And it really feels strange to have a need to sue for saying things like this. This is something I expect from other countries, but not from western countries that were considered "free". Maybe I'm to naive, and freedom was over long ago.

No, I lost trust in any service that is based in the US. Because US companies need to comply with US laws. Although I don't know if this is really legal in the US what is going on right now, but apparently you can't even start a lawsuit to determine, because of the national security issue. The Lavabit and silent circle incident shows clearly: You can't have a really secure service in the land of the free. So the logical step is to use services where US laws are not valid.

I feel sad for all the great companies in the USA. Google is the best. Gmail is still the one of the most secure mail service around, but not when it comes to where the data is stored and who has access to it.

For everything that is in public, like this blog, I see no need to change. All the data are publicly available anyway. But I'm not feeling good about it. And if I would have the same patriotism for my country that most Americans have for their, I should close all services. But I'm not that irrational. I do not let my vision blind by wrong patriotism.

Maybe someday, there will be a law in the US that forbids their agencies to spy upon people without any suspicion. And stop spying on nations that once was called friends. Because if you spy like that on other countries, they never really were considered friends, and they don't want to be your friend. But if the US government is returning to respect privacy and democracy again, I'll be first in line to spent my $$$ on American based services again.