Simplified Privacy

Open Letter to LewRockwell & Mercola

Dear Dr. Mercola,

Your article on LewRockwell on “Ditching Google” obviously has messages we agree with, however your privacy suggestions at the end are unfortunately flawed. This is an open letter we are publishing on our website, so the community can benefit and learn as well.

Your suggestion of reading the privacy policy for every website people visit to avoid Google analytics is not practical and assumes honesty. A far better solution is to use the browser extension uBlock Origin, which lists all third party JavaScript calls by domain, and allows you to block it. In fact, your own website MercolaMarket has Google’s APIs on it, which allows them to see the IP address of anyone buying your products. But your own privacy policy does not mention this.

The most ridiculous part is the very article on telling me to read privacy policies to avoid Google Analytics, uses Google Analytics. As well as the substack links you forward users to have Google’s Gstatic.

Even worse, the suggestion you made of NordVPN uses Google to identify your device when you sign-up, and so the user is vulnerable to be fingerprinted without IP address masking.

Further I disagree with your entire worldview of promoting privacy, while being completely reliant on Big Tech. Your website bans Tor with Cloudflare. Isn’t the whole point of Cloudflare that they have enough money to absorb Tor? Cloudflare acts as a man in the middle observing all your customers’ passwords and breaking httpS encryption.

Then even your own article promotes Protonmail, while from a DNS lookup, I can see I’m contacting you right now on Microsoft emails and the site that published your article, LewRockwell, uses Gmail.

I reject your idea that Outlook is this great utopian alternative, as they also sell data and allow abusive JavaScript to report back to the email sender the IP address of the email receiver. Instead, users should self-host their important emails on a VPS. Email is just software, there doesn’t have to be a gatekeeper.

And finally, you said to not use Android, but then promoted AbovePhone which is Android. AbovePhone is just a regular Google Pixel that they buy then flash open source GrapheneOS on. Our company does this also, but for a miniscule price increase, where customers can get it for cryptocurrency to avoid the hardware identifiers being tied to their name. On the other hand, AbovePhone charges nearly double the stock price, which is outright abusive.

Instead, Simplified Privacy is offering to help you transition your site and social media to freedom respecting solutions. Such as Nostr for Twitter, Session for Telegram, our original forum to replace Reddit, and accepting Monero/Bitcoin. If you genuinely care about censorship, privacy, and freedom technology, allow us to help you.

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