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Johan Bové

Deleted my Dropdox account multiple years ago - or so I thought... Last Friday a friend shared some excellent photos from a fun event we were at through his Dropbox account. He posted the link on our WhatsApp chat. I clicked it using my Android phone and enjoyed seeing the pictures. This morning I receive a message on the e-mail address I used to have with Dropdox about their updated terms and services. How did Dropbox found out I accessed their services? Was it Google, through Android, was it Meta through WhatsApp? Or what dark marketing magic was applied to detect I "came back" to Dropbox? You can check out, but you can never leave.

Johan Bové

Johan Bové

Can I trust Cloudflare's DNS not to spy on me? Thinking the family safe service is a nice idea, but could not find their privacy policy.

Johan Bové

Imagining a Better Online World: Exploring the Decentralized Web | Metropolitan New York Library Council


The World Wide Web started with so much promise: to connect people across any distance, to allow anyone to become a publisher, and to democratize access to knowledge. However, today the Web seems to be failing us. It’s not private, secure, or unifying. The Internet has, in large part, ended up centralizing access and power in the hands of a few dominant platforms.

But what if we could build something better, what some are calling the decentralized web?

In this series of six workshops, METRO will be joined by our partners at Internet ArchiveDWeb, and Library Futures to explore the ways in which moving to decentralized technologies may enhance your privacy, empower you to control your own data, and resist censorship:


Johan Bové

Do you use a commercial VPN solution at home for privacy reasons?

Johan Bové

These RCDP or "Real-time Customer Data Platform" systems feel like enterprises, who relied on deprecated third-party cookies for their customer tracking before, paid some attention to privacy focused projects like the SOLID Project (PODS) and now have created their own version of this, so they can actually keep following visitors and so you're still going to be tracked.

Johan Bové

Looking for a new phone, but you're holding back because of the environmental impact of new hardware? Fairphone is the answer.

2 min read

Looking for a new phone, but you're holding back because of the environmental impact? There is a solution with Fairphone.

I've had my FP3 for over three years now and it still works great.

I was even able to upgrade  the cameras in the phone myself by ordering the parts (yes, FairPhone made better camera modules available after the phone was released!) and opening up the phone and installing everything back in place with a couple (about 13) of screws.

Comes with easily replaceable battery, screen, speaker and other modules. Just look at that beautiful 10/10 Ifixit rating!

The phone seems a bit more pricey at first glance, but if you consider that you can probably use the same phone for double the time you would with a cheap, non-sustainable alternative, it is worth the investment.

PLUS Fairphone will make sure to provide your phone with software updates much longer than any other phone manufacturer. And if you don't like Google's default Android install there are options to install an alternative, privacy focused, operating system with minimal effort.

PLUS Fairphone makes sure to resource as many raw materials from responsible sources as possible and is also making sure that the people building the phones and working in the factories get decent wages and can enjoy better work-life balances.

By getting a FairPhone you're joining a growing movement of people who actually give a F*** on what tech does to our World.

Sounds good, right? I thought so too.

You can get yours with a €50 discount by following this link:

Yes, this is a referral program post. (I get €25 off my next purchase if somebody goes through the whole thing - not really why I am posting this) But I am honestly really happy with mine and just wanted to promote Fairphone and their work more. And if you can get started with a nice discount, then why not?

What is Fairphone about? See below in this great introduction video:


Johan Bové

Switching search engines today from DuckDuckGo to Ecosia as ClimateChange has a higher prio than our privacy. Still using the DuckDuckGo extension in the browser - just to limit the wasted energy of cookies and trackers.

Johan Bové

Anyone has a recommendation for a scanner / product entry app that helps to keep an eye on expiry dates of products in the fridge and pantry? Preferably privacy safe. Does not need to be free, just good.

Johan Bové

Bedankt @jbaert en @kurtbeheydt voor de voorstelling en de privacy discussie in het laatste maandoverzicht! Apps gebouwd op het SOLID platform kan je hier vinden:

Johan Bové

Johan Bové

The battle inside Signal

On January 6th, WhatsApp users around the world began seeing a pop-up message notifying them of upcoming changes to the service’s privacy policy. signal, syndicated, tech

Johan Bové

Millions Flock to Telegram and Signal as Fears Grow Over Big Tech

This article sums it up nicely on the "messenger app" drama of last week.

The encrypted messaging services have become the world’s hottest apps over the last week, driven by growing anxiety over the power of the biggest tech companies and privacy concerns. internet, messenger, privacy, syndicated, tech

“The whole world now seems to understand that Facebook is not building apps for them, Facebook is building apps for their data,” said Moxie Marlinspike, the founder and chief executive of Signal. “It took this one small catalyst to push everyone over the edge of making a change.”

Hoping that many people realized the power Facebook held or is still holding over them and saw the benefit of moving to a service that is outside of "Big Tech"'s greedy hands.

Now everyone should also really consider to start using for their search and set up a free email account somewhere else.

Get a account or even better, get your own domain name and host your own mailbox, like I do to be even more free.

Johan Bové

Johan Bové

Technology Preview for secure value recovery

At Signal, we want to make privacy simple. From the beginning, we’ve designed Signal so that your information is in your hands rather than ours. Technologies like Signal Protocol secure your messages so that they are never visible by anyone but you and the intended recipients. security, signal, social media, syndicated

Johan Bové

He Created the Web. Now He’s Out to Remake the Digital World.

Tim Berners-Lee wants to put people in control of their personal data. He has technology and a start-up pursuing that goal. Can he succeed? Three decades ago, Tim Berners-Lee devised simple yet powerful standards for locating, linking and presenting multimedia documents online. internet, solid, syndicated

Johan Bové

My reasons to support the Gemini Internet Protocol

3 min read

Why do I believe Gemini is great for personal Internet presences? First of all, it's a real grass-roots initiative which I am very excited about.

If you're reading this, chances are high you are already using Gemini. But for history reasons and to share my opinions of Gemini I would like to offer you here some views of mine.

Collecting some of the strong-points of Gemini from my perspective of having some experience with Gopher and running personal websites.

Fast and lightweight

  • It's very easy on the system resources. So the protocol works really well on slower hardware without any problems. Hosting on a Raspberry Pi3 is easy-peasy.
  • Since there are no fancy design in Gemini capsules, it is really optimized for low bandwidth.
  • It should work really fine on a feature-phone, like for KaiOS. I don't believe there is a client yet for KaiOs at this time.
  • It's fairly easy to build clients and servers for the protocol.

Simple yet complete

  • The specifications provide enough functionality to do basically what you would expect to be able to do online.
  • Much lower learning curve compared to Gopher and HTML. You can start publishing Gemini pages within minutes.
  • Even-though the syntax is limited, it still gives enough playroom for creative expression.
  • Use of TLS certificates promises security and privacy.
  • It is more international than US-centric Gopher.
  • The procol supports the UTF-8 character set so any language can be used to publish sites in.
  • This should help make the protocol more popular in non-ascii wielding regions in the World.

Easy to publish

  • Content will be probably first of all stored in static text files which are future-proof and easy to maintain.
  • Many servers already available that require minimal technical skills.
  • Yes, you still need a server, but there are many collectives which you can join to facilitate this.


  • No popups, animations, videos, sound effects.
  • Focus on actual content instead of fluff and effects.
  • No advertisemens and commercial tracking.
  • No Facebook, Google or Twitter.


  • Power of formatting goes into the clients or readers. Like in the good old days of the early Web, people are expected to style the content to their own liking.
  • It's pure text, has simple navigation rules, so should be great for people with disabilities.
  • No JavaScript so you really see what you get.

And on top of this, the young Gemini community is driven to make this a success!

I'm sold.

ps. I published this first in plain text on my Gemini capsule and now that I copy paste this into a HTML document I can really tell just how easy it is to publish on Gemini.

Johan Bové

Google reCAPTCHA service under the microscope: Questions raised over privacy promises, cookie use

Analysis Six years ago, Google revised its reCAPTCHA service, designed to filter out bots, scrapers, and other automated web browsing, and allow humans through to websites. The v2 update in 2014 added an iframe or HTML Inline Frame, which is a way of embedding one web page in another. privacy, syndicated

Johan Bové

A love note to e-mail and e-mail readers

1 min read

Thank you E-mail for delivering me the important things I need to know about. Enjoying the fact that you let me sip through you on my own pace and time and allowing me to see everything in a time organized manner. Thank you for not engulfing me with unnecessary images and self-starting video advertisements. Thank you for giving me a way to reply and sort my messages. Thank you also for allowing me to filter my messages based upon my own criteria. Also a big thank you (with imap and SMTP) for allowing me to get to my messages on different devices and having them all synchronize the folders. Thank you also for allowing to sign and send secure email with Pretty Good Privacy. I forgive you for the occasional unexpected message from a far - away land as I can simply toss these in the junk folder. Thank you for keeping track of you over many years and after changing many different devices and even accounts. I hope we can enjoy many years together more.

Yours sincerely,

A happy Thunderbird E-mail user.

Johan Bové

How to Destroy ‘Surveillance Capitalism’

The most surprising thing about the rebirth of flat Earthers in the 21st century is just how widespread the evidence against them is. internet, privacy, surveillance, syndicated