Ethical, easy-to-use and privacy-conscious alternatives to well-known software

submitted by Rimu

switching.software/

A great resource that makes it quick and easy to find alternatives to Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe and many more.

Log in to comment

33 Comments

helenslunch

Oh good , an alternative to AlternativeTo

macniel

but, is it an ethical alternative to AlternativeTo?

renard_roux

AltCeption!

Refurbished Refurbisher , edited

Lemmy isn't listed as a Reddit alternative. I wonder why that is.

They are also recommending PrivacyTools.io, which had a nasty takeover and started selling ad space. Privacy Guides is the better site.

edric

PrivacyTools.io, which had a nasty takeover and started selling ad space.

Didn’t know that. Thanks for the heads up.

Rimu [OP]

Some gentle pressure applied here might change that https://codeberg.org/swiso/website/issues/255

freedomPusher , edited

privacytools.io always was shit show even before the infighting. They put their own endorsement site on Cloudflare. Despite a collossal pile of dirt emerging on #Signal:

https://github.com/privacytools/privacytools.io/issues/779

PTIO continued endorsing Signal non-stop, refusing to disclose the issues. That was also before the breakup. Dirt was routinely exposed on PTIO endorsements and it never changed their endorsement nor did they reveal the findings on their website.

Now both factions are hypocrits just as they were when they were united. The original PTIO site is back to being Cloudflared (nothing like tossing people coming to you for privacy advice into the walled garden of one of the most harmful privacy offenders), and Privacy Guides has setup on a CF’d Lemmy node. The hypocrisy has no end with these people.

syd

Adobe {product name} -> Cracked Adobe {product name}

Lemongrab

Not a fan of your variable formatting within that string. You are banished from the mickey mouse code house. /s

esty

Dunno if people consider apple "ethical" but the pixelmator apps on macOS have quickly replaced photoshop and lightroom for most of the light edits I do. Affinity's apps are solid and cross platform but with a steep learning curve imo, but more comprehensive options. Always resolve on all platforms for video of course.

ag_roberston_author

Serif (which owns Affinity) was just bought out by Canva, so it's only a moment of time before they are enshittified unfortunately.

Imprint9816 , edited

My problem with these lists is they never provide any sort of evidence as to why these suggestions should be trusted. No discernable criteria that a suggestion in a category has to meet, no evidence the site fact checks its suggestions.

freedomPusher

If you look in their bug tracker, it actually reveals that they ignore dirt that has been dug up on their suggestions.

Kissaki , edited

In Advanced Users they link to computefreely.org for

approachable and friendly for people curious about free and open source operating systems and Linux distributions

which is *definitely* not the content there. Looks like the original website went defunct in 2022 between January and May. Their website repo is archived.

*/edit: I saw the website is open source and created a change request.*

Anyway, I'd be careful about how up-to-date this website is, and what it links to.

petrescatraian
For political issues, you should petition governments directly on issues.

Not sure if this is a great alternative. This is a thing that is totally dependent from country to country. In my country, there is no such platform that I'm aware of (on the local or national level at least. Ok, I may petition the EU, but they may just have no responsibility into my matters).

Many institutions do have email addresses though, and if, for example, you have a website, you can write an email template and point to an institution where people could send that email. Even that I don't know how feasible it could be, but it could be more doable in more parts of the world, I think.

Otherwise, for Romania there is declic.ro, a platform owned by an NGO who relies solely on donations to run it, and also runs its own campaigns.

freedomPusher

eclic.ro is an exclusive Cloudflare site just like change.org is. Exclusivity is obviously quite lousy for democracy. Better alternatives are here:

https://codeberg.org/swiso/website/issues/140

esaru

They promote Ubuntu-based distros, which cannot be trusted anymore, and they forget to mention Fedora as a better alternative.

Here is why you shouldn't use Ubuntu:

Canonical’s Ubuntu is not recommended because it contains Amazon ads and data leaks by default. GNU/Linux distributions based on Ubuntu are also currently not recommended due to several other reasons.

Source: https://prism-break.org/en/subcategories/gnu-linux-operating-systems/

Vodulas [they/them]

Is that still true? The article/github thread cited on Prism Break are from 2012 and 2013 respectively. It seems only to be true of Ubuntu 12.10. The only thing I can from from current Ubuntu versions is the ad in the command line when doing an apt upgrade, and that is from 2022. It does not appear to exist in other Ubuntu based distros since it is an ad for Ubuntu Pro. Not saying it is great, but it seems like non-Canonical distros should be OK.

esaru

The problem with Ubuntu is that trust in a package manager is a basic criteria when evaluating a distribution. Once Canonical had violated that trust and shown its attitude with privacy violations, data collection, and default opt-in, you should stay away from anything that comes from Canonical. They didn't get away with what they did, but the mindset behind their actions is part of how that company is run and what they might do in the future without letting you know. They were trying to establish an income channel by knowingly sacrificing the user's privacy and security. That's a no-go in my opinion.

Vodulas [they/them]

That's fair. I guess I give just a little bit of room for fucking up and fixing it. I am also not particularly loyal and will ditch companies at the drop of a hat.

Danterious

Does this affect stuff like linux mint since its based on ubuntu?

~Anti~ ~Commercial-AI~ ~license~ ~(CC~ ~BY-NC-SA~ ~4.0)~

Achyu

Linux mint has an edition based on Debian, LMDE:
https://www.linuxmint.com/download_lmde.php

freedomPusher

Interesting, but that does not help because Mint jails all their docs in Cloudflare.

esaru , edited

Distributions based on Ubuntu like Linux Mint take pro-active steps to prevent their users from being affected by Canonical's decisions (the company that controls Ubuntu). So as long as they detect all malicious implementations from Canonical, you are safe. But I personally prefer a purely community based distribution like Fedora in which things like that won't happen in the first place. In contrast to Fedora, Ubuntu is under control of Canonical, a private company, which apparently plays a too significant role in strategic decisions that go against its users, and you never know if the Linux Mint team can respond to everything that Canonical is doing. Currently, Mint is removing Ubuntu's online search integration, privacy violations, and replace some of Ubuntu's Snap packages as they oppose Ubuntu's decision and centralized control that comes with Snap packages. As I said above, for me it feels more right though to have a distribution that doesn't need to work around questionable implementations of its parent distribution.

renard_roux

/* claps hands excitedly as a Linux n00b who picked Fedora /*

freedomPusher , edited

Also worth noting that #Ubuntu and #Mint both moved substantial amounts of documentation into Cloudflare (the antithisis of the values swiso claims to support). I have been moving people off those platforms.

BTW, prism-break is a disasterous project too. You know they don’t have a clue when they moved their repo from Github.com to Gitlab.com, an access-restricted Cloudflare site. There are tens if not hundreds of decent forges to choose from and PRISM Break moved from the 2nd worst to the one that most defeats the purpose of their constitution.

It might be useful to find dirt on various tech at prism-break, but none of these sites can be trusted for endorsements.

The prism-break website is timing out for me right now. I would not be surprised if they were dropping Tor packets since they have a history of hypocrisy.

esaru , edited

OMG, not a smart decision from prism-break to move to Gitlab.com.

esaru

It's true, as for recommendations from websites, you should never trust them blindly but do your own research as well.

For Linux distributions though, as there's no other practical way than trusting them with the packages they provide, one needs to make sure the people behind the project persue the right values. The project itself needs to earn your trust or at least not have a record of violating it.

Ark-5

While this seems like a decent starting point I’ve got a few issues with this list. As others have mentioned there is little in the way of justification for these suggestions, and while I happen to agree with plenty of them, I’d personally like to see more reasoning, if not to appease people that already have opinions then to help newer users understand their options.

On the topic of newer users I think an aggregate list like this should include a basic rundown on what adoption/migration/onboarding looks like for these services. Demystifying that process can lift a lot of the perceived weight non-“power users” might feel when faced with the leap from corporate platforms.

Overall I think this is a good resource, and at least gives people some starting points, but it’s not without its flaws.

freedomPusher , edited

As others have mentioned there is little in the way of justification for these suggestions, and while I happen to agree with plenty of them, I’d personally like to see more reasoning, if not to appease people that already have opinions then to help newer users understand their options.

Indeed. In fact it’s actually worse than you describe. Swiso *witholds* negative information. They don’t want to inform people. They want to steer people. For example, swiso’s endorsements for donation platforms have some quite serious problems:

https://codeberg.org/swiso/website/issues/141

swiso is also aware of the serious issues with Qwant and the serious issues with DuckDuckGo. Not only failing to remove them but also failing to inform. Qwant and DDG are both Microsoft syndicates!

(if anyone is interested, one of the most privacy-respecting search services is Ombrelo¹, which is largely unknown to the world because PTIO, swiso, and prism-break don’t do the job they claim to do)

And swiso is aware because that’s their bug tracker.

/cc @Imprint9816@lemmy.dbzer0.com

¹ https://ombrelo.im5wixghmfmt7gf7wb4xrgdm6byx2gj26zn47da6nwo7xvybgxnqryid.onion/

ssm

Really wish when I clicked on the alternative for change.org one of the choices would have just been "a gun"

freedomPusher , edited

There are a few good alternatives and swiso has been aware of them for ~4+ years:

https://codeberg.org/swiso/website/issues/140