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Google is a threat to the free network, Facebook threatens democracy

We are in the years 2019 to Christ. The whole network is Google busy ... The whole network? No! By indomitable idealist-powered Browser does not cease to offer resistance.

If Firefox is the Gallic village among the browsers, you can call Mark Surman also Asterix. The Executive Director of the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation works for a free network and Open-Source Software. One of the major Mozilla projects, Firefox Browser. World's Chrome dominated with a Desktop market share of nearly 70 percent and 60 percent on Smartphones. But at least in Germany, every fourth Desktop surfs-users with Firefox. Mozilla is one of the few remaining competitors of Google.

"competition?", asks Surman at the Meeting in Berlin, and smiles a little mockingly. "Let's say it this way: at least let's try." In this Interview, he, what differentiates Firefox from Chrome explains why Facebook is a danger for the social peace, and how users against the Power of the Tech giants can fight back.

Microsoft has introduced a new Beta Version of its Edge browser. At first glance, everything remains the same, there is a difference: The Browser now works with the same technology as Google's Chrome. Mozilla has criticized the decision sharply. Why do you think the decision of Microsoft is dangerous? to answer
this question, I need to look back to the origins of the Webs. At that time it was a revolutionary idea, that all people can make everything Possible online, and that it looks the same in all browsers. Anyone can learn the language of the network, it is Open Source. For a long time, there have been several Engines that have determined how this program is interpreted code and what we online can do. But Google has become increasingly influential. They already control large parts of the network. And now Microsoft has given them even more Power.

But there's also Mozilla's Firefox Browser that uses its own Quantum Engine.
Mozilla pushes Firefox against Google, and Apple it has the Safari Browser. Nevertheless, Google is extremely dominant. You can determine how the network should work, and there is no one who can make your decisions. Google is not evil, but if a single company has that much Power, which is always risky. You are in control of almost the entire infrastructure of our Online lives. With Firefox we are trying to form a counter-weight. But even with 300 million users, it is hard to compete with Google. You can more or less do what you want.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer used to be even more widespread than Chrome now, and today young people don't even know what Internet Explorer is. Who says that Chrome threatens the same fate?
Chrome is well on the way, the Internet Explorer of 15 or 20 years ago. But it is hard to imagine that he is experiencing a similar decline. There is a big difference, Chrome is deeply integrated into all the other Google services. As a Chrome user, you will be locked up. Google does not want you to switch to a different Browser. See everything that billions of people are doing online and collect so many data. This is dangerous for fair competition and for the network itself.

"For us, the users, and not the shareholders."

Okay, maybe it would be good for the much-touted free power, if more people would use Firefox. But Chrome is fast and secure, a solid Browser. Why should I change?
on the one Hand, the new Firefox is just as fast and reliable as Chrome. On the other hand, he is fundamentally different from Google's Browser. Firefox respects and protects your privacy: This is possible because behind us is a non-profit organization and we do not make your data to money. Therefore, we can protect you, for example, prior to the Tracking in the network. This annoys some in the industry. But for us, the users, and not the shareholders. We can protect people better against Surveillance, because our economic interests are different.

With great Power comes great responsibility. Google of its responsibility or misuses it to his Power?
This is a difficult question. But in the end, the answer is not so crucial. Google may not want to abuse its Power, but it needed you. And you are so powerful, that already the use of this Power is abusive, regardless of what you want. Take the AMP project. With the Format of web pages will load faster, and it could be a good thing, because the network is more accessible. But one could also say that Google is trying to turn the World Wide Web in a Google Web.

Google is developing the most important Browser in the world, and it develops the most important operating system in the world - Android. But Android is still Open Source Software, or it has turned long since in a closed System?
at The core of Android is open source. You can use it to your own operating system build, as we have tried it with Firefox OS. This is good. But that has nothing to do with the Android as you know it as a user. The Code consists of closely related data and services. When I think of Android, I think of Google Maps, to Google Accounts and Play Store with its App Ecosystem. These are all proprietary services, which has put Google on the open source Code. Android is an Open Source operating system? Of course not.

you mentioned Firefox OS, their own operating system. Why are they failed? Google is trying to keep competition away, or you have made mistakes?
we have made a lot of mistakes. Microsoft, Nokia, and Blackberry would probably say the Same thing. There are many companies that would like to be in the market for mobile operating systems. However, only Google and Apple are left. Firefox OS had its weaknesses, but from the beginning had no Chance. We live in a world in which hardware and Software are closely connected to each other. Those who spend money in App Stores and purchases to his Account follows, the more changes. Therefore, it is difficult to imagine that someone is shaking up the Smartphone market. We were far from compete. There is too much is simply Power in too few hands.

There is another company with a lot of Power holds in his hands: Is Facebook an even greater threat to the web than Google?
I would say that Facebook is at least the louder threat. It just has such a great impact on our social lives. An example: Last year I wanted to organize a Christmas party for my family. I tried all the E-Mail inviting ... As you see it, you laugh. This is so unusual that I don't have to finish the sentence. I wanted to prevent that Facebook of my event. You collect so many data, there should not be such as to feed you with even more information.

"you can Use Alternatives whenever you can."

a car is allowed to drive only with a driver's license, but Surfing is also possible without a Facebook account.
that is true, but quite so easy it is not. I use the Google competitor DuckDuckGo for 80 percent of my searches, and the only one it affects is me. But when I try to completely avoid Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp , it affects my private life. To your question, I would answer probably: Google is a threat to the free network, Facebook is a threat to the democracy and social peace.

What can I do if the free network is at the heart of me the Power of the Tech giants worried?
make Use of Alternatives, whenever you can. There are more and more services and products where you have a choice. The Popular is not always the Best. You are on the lookout for independent developers and Open-Source Software, and give you these Alternatives in preference. And be a critical, challenging users of the major platforms. You expect the companies to take account of their interests. And if you don't do it, then they ally with others and they will tell you the opinion. Companies are responding to pressure from their customers and users. We must be so loud that you can't miss.

Many people have hoped that the Internet is making the world more democratic and give everyone a voice. In the meantime, the network seems to be more for disinformation and hate. You still believe that the opportunities outweigh the risks?
The Internet gives us great opportunities and freedoms. This is incredibly valuable, and these freedoms we must protect. But we must be realistic: If humanity goes online, then the problems of humanity in the network. To these problems we need to take care of us. We have to deal with Propaganda, disinformation campaigns, hatred, and racism. The answer cannot but be, the freedom to restrict. The answer is to build a balanced, inclusive and equitable society.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 22.04.2019, 20:28 PM

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