The Economic Security Project is trying to make a point about a large technological monopoly by releasing a browser plugin that would block any site accessing IP addresses owned by Google, Facebook, Microsoft or Amazon. Called expansion Big Tech Detective, And after using the internet with it for a day (or, more accurately, trying and failing to use it), I would say that it drives home that these companies on the modern web It is almost impossible to avoid, even if you try.
Currently, the app is to be side-loaded on Chrome, and the Economic Security project hopes to stay the case. it’s also Available for side-loading on Firefox. By default, it just tells how many requests have been sent, and to which companies. If you configure the extension to actually block websites, you’ll see a big red popup if the website you’re visiting sends a request to any of the four. That popup will also include a list of all requests so that you know what is being sought.
It is worth keeping in mind that just because a site reaches one or more of the big four technology companies, it does not mean that it is necessary to sniff something or do something nefarious. Many websites use fonts from Google Fonts, or host their sites using Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. That said, there are pages that link to those IP addresses because they use trackers provided by one of the big four companies. The examples I am about to list were chosen because they are generic sites, not necessarily ashamed.
I saw popups a lot. Both DuckDuckGo and Fastmail, a popular non-Google alternative to search and email, were blocked because they loaded resources from Google, and DuckDuckGo loaded things from Microsoft (not surprising, given that This is what search engine ads come from) is. In fact, almost every search engine I could have blocked: Microsoft’s Bing, obviously, but Yahoo, Startup, Ecocia and even Ask.com. The Reporter Door It was also blocked, as it loads resources from Amazon, Google and Facebook.
If I were trying to use the web without being connected to an IP address owned by the big four, it would definitely make my job more difficult: not only could I not easily search for information, basically Every news site I could think of to try. Also came blocked – even for my local paper.
If I can’t work, how about some entertainment? It can also be difficult. Google apparently owns YouTube, but Netflix, Hulu, Floatplane, Mangedex, and even WeMo all featured the big red lock screen etiquette of the Big Tech Detective extension. It was the same story with online shopping, as Etsy loads the resources of all four companies. And if this expansion made me dig the internet and go into the wilderness? The hiking project and AllTrails were also lost in the block.
To try to drive the point home that this extended takeaway should be more along the lines of “the whole Internet basically depends on four companies”, not “every website is tracking me,” I did on that website Tried to go build which I helped and I know nothing is scary or showing ads. It was blocked because it is hosted on AWS and uses fonts from Google.
Of course, if a browser extension can tell that trackers exist, it is also possible to block them. There Some extensions available that do, And I have used one called NoScript in the past. However, it’s a balancing act between blocking things you don’t want, and not even breaking the site you’re trying to visit – because broken due to super-strict settings I was trying to deal with the sites.
Big Tech Detective is not meant to keep your data private from these companies – it also says when it locks one of the pages that resources are not actually stopping from loading, or if your purpose is So collecting your data. It is really meant as a visualization tool to show you that if you want to use the Internet without relying on these companies, you are not having a good time. However, it lets you recreate to some extent Experiment Gizmodo Ran Where one of its reporters tried to cut the same four tech companies And Apple – and some technology from that work helps power this expansion.
Oh, and if you’re wondering if I found a site that wasn’t blocked, the answer is yes: Somehow, the iCloud site seemed to be working fine. However, Apple’s website was not appropriate – it requested Amazon.
It is possible that the web’s dependence on Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon may change. This hilarious clear website is always mine! When I remind myself that the modern web is very different from what used to be.