Getting rid of google
So you're fed up with NSA reading your private stuff, and you've decided to do something about it. Or may be you're upset because they've shut reader down. An idea is to setup your own server with your own domain name and your own applications.
Problem #1, not anybody can do it, so we need some people working to package softwares so they can be installed and running in 1-click, an app store. NB: not everybody agrees on that, for example some thought that, to be realistic, this must be operated under the umbrella of a community like a non-profit organization.
The operating system and the software should be open source of course, so they can be audited for an absence of backdoor.
Now, we have to make an inventory of what applications must be replaced. They fall into 3 categories:
Services for which software replacement is available, or easy to do.
URL compressor in the style of http://goo.gl/ or http://bit.ly/, fall into this category. Google drive also falls into this category, for the storage part. However, the Google office suite is rather in the last category.
- google drive (for the storage part)
Services for which the problem is not the software, and thus it's hopeless on an individual basis
Google search falls into this category: even if you have the software, the problem is to have the dozen of thousands of servers necessary to do the crawling, indexing and search. Here, the added value of Google is obvious, and there is no simple replacement (other than another service like http://duckduckgo.com/, that NSA and others will find their way into when they feel necessary). Social networks may fall into this category, except if we can fold them into an open-source, decentralized protocol (and promote them). In that case they fall into the last category.
- Google search
Services for which open source software replacement is not available, but I don't see any technical reason why it wouldn't be feasible
Google mail is an important example in this category. Gmail is excellent, with search capabilities, speed, tons of features, but there is no reason why it cannot be replicated into open source. But the fact is that today, it's several orders of magnitude better than any open source application.
- single sign on
- google drive (the productivity suite)