Both Liberapay and Open Collective are privacy-abusing CloudFlare sites. It's foolish enough to trust CloudFlare with financial information, and it goes against the mission purpose of Switching Software to endorse any service that feeds the biggest adversary of the Tor community which has centralized over 10% of the web and destroyed net neutrality.
Open Collective then has the nerve to allow CloudFlare to ask for donations on their platform. It's absolutely sickening to see a corporation so predatory to human beings ask for charitible donations.
Alternatives are listed here.
(update) Liberapay ethical issues enumerated
|The most unethical CDN in the world:||CloudFlare|
|The most unethical hosting provider in the world:||Amazon AWS|
|The most unethical payment processor in the world:||Paypal|
|The most unethical credit card network in the world:||American Express|
|The 2nd most unethical credit card network in the world:||Visa|
|The 2nd most unethical git hoster in the world:||Microsoft Github (second to gitlab.com)|
Liberapay is a CloudFlare website
Liberapay is centralized in the private walled-garden of CloudFlare. CloudFlare is a vigilante extremist organization that takes the decentralized web and centralizes it under one corporate power who dictates terms in the worlds largest walled-garden. A very large portion of the web (10%+) were once freely open to all but are now controlled and monitored by a single central authority who decides for everyone who may access what web content. This does serious damage to net neutrality, privacy, and has immediate serious consequences:
- CloudFlare mounts mutlifaceted attacks on privacy
- Cloudflare has a policy to block all Tor users by default. It's a crude, reckless and unsophisticated (but cheap) way to create the illusion of security. Collateral damage is high. Privacy takes a global hit because Cloudflare has decided what best suits their business to the detriment of everyone else.
- CloudFlare helps spy orgs conduct illegal surveillance two ways:
- damage to anonymity: CF deployed an anonymity compromising Google reCAPTCHA from 2009 to mid-2020. Apart from the direct compromise by the CAPTCHA, Tor users are also driven off Tor in droves as a consequence of access inequality of Tor/non-Tor users (which constitutes a network neutrality abuse as access equality is central to net neutrality).
- centralization of copious data on this immeasurable scale within reach of any spy org will cause that spy org to foam at the mouth -- and they will get access to it one way or another.
- ISPs collect data on their own customers and exploit it for profit in the US. Under Obama it became illegal for an ISP to sell data collected on their customers without express consent. Trump reversed Obama's policy in 2017. In the absence of legal protections, Tor serves as a technical protection from ISP snooping. CloudFlare's attack on Tor users facilitates privacy abuse by ISPs.
- The gratis service also raises the question about how CF is monetizing all that data that's exposed to them (which Liberapay recklessly increases). They do not disclose to the public how they monetize that data, but what CF cannot hide is that they seek to hire a machine learning data scientist with big data expertise for their marketing department.
- A CF customer who became increasingly concerned with CF's unchecked power deleted their account. Two months after CF confirmed that the account was deleted, the customer received an email from CF, proving the account had not been deleted.
- When a user solves a CAPTCHA, CF is paid a cash reward via Paypal, a privacy abuser who shares customer data with 600 companies.
- CloudFlare takes away software freedom
- CF restricts how users may use their software by rendering the web dysfunctional for some browsers.
- CloudFlare diminishes network neutrality -- Access Equality is the centerpiece of net neutrality, while CF yields widespread access inequality.
- CloudFlare took a seat on the FCC's Open Internet Advisory Committee, and serves its own interest (to influence legislation against net neutrality).
- CloudFlare discriminates against connections coming from developing countries.
- CloudFlare discriminates unfairly against Tor users, those who use non-graphical browsers, and those who deploy beneficial robots.
- CloudFlare also discriminates against people with impairments and disabilities (details in the human rights section)
- CloudFlare's detriment to human rights
- CAPTCHAs put humans to work for machines when it is machines who should be working for humans. The labor violates the 13th amendment of the US Constitution due to involuntary servitude. The most perverse manifestation is when a citizens attempts to access a government service such as voter registration, and they're forced to solve a puzzle, the labor of which compensates CloudFlare instead of the laborer.
- CF discriminates against people with impairments and disabilities by imposing a proprietary "hCAPTCHA," which violates several WCAG 2.0 principles:
- "1.1: Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language." <= hCAPTCHA wholly relies on graphical images. There is no option for a text or audible puzzle.
- "1.2: Time-based media: Provide alternatives for time-based media." <= hCAPTCHA has an invisible timer that the user cannot control.
- "1.3: Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure." <= When a user attempts to use
cURL, or any other text-based tool, the CAPTCHA is inaccessible and thus unsolvable. The website's content is thus also inaccessible.
- "2.1: Make all functionality available from a keyboard." <= The hCAPTCHA does not accept answers from the keyboard.
- "2.2: Provide users enough time to read and use content." <= If you don't solve the hCAPTCHA puzzle fast enough, the puzzle is removed and the user must start over. Some puzzles are vague and need time to ponder that exceeds the time limit.
- "3.1: Make text content readable and understandable." <= When the CAPTCHA says "click on all squares with a motorcycle" and shows an image of an apparent motorcycle instrument panel, it's unclear if that qualifies (it could be a moped). Another image showed a scooter with a faring that resembled a sports bike. Some people would consider it a motorcycle. When the CAPTCHA said "click on all squares with a train", some of the images were the interior of a subway train or tram. Some people consider a subway to be a train underground, while others don't equate the two. The instructions are also sometimes given in a language the user doesn't understand.
- "3.2: Make web pages appear and operate in predictable ways." <= It's unpredictable whether the IP reputation assessment will invoke a CAPTCHA and also unpredictable whether a CAPTCHA solution will be accepted. The time you have to solve the puzzle is also unpredictable.
- "4.1.: Maximize compatibility with current and future user
agents, including assistive technologies." <= When a user attempts to use
cURLor any other text-based tool, the blockade imposes tooling limitations on the user.
- CloudFlare inflicts customers and web users with excessive vulnerabilty to exploits. Liberapay claims: "We will investigate legitimate reports and make every effort to quickly resolve any vulnerability." Of course the absurdity is LP's use of CloudFlare and Amazon which grows the attack surface out of control.
- CloudFlare's immense centralization becomes catastrophic when a single bug emerges. The degree of damage is acutely heightened when over 10% of the web is subject to vulnerabilities on CloudFlare. The enticement for malicious hackers to find a zero-day is also greatly heightened as a result of the widespread scale of impact. Cloudbleed was a vulnerability that had serious widespread consequences. Even a simple accident at CloudFlare like a one-line erroneous regular expression brought down a huge segment of the web on July 17th, 2020.
- A tragedy of the commons has manifested. Website owners are baited to act independantly in their own self interest by using CloudFlare at no charge-- but each website that becomes part of CloudFlare shrinks the ethical decentralized web while incrementing the size of the centralized walled-garden which inflicts harm to everyone collectively. Each website owner only perceives CloudFlare as solving their problem but unwittingly they create a host of new problems for everyone else. It's a selfish move that occurs on a much larger scale than the quantity of selfish personalities because most of CloudFlare's patrons are kept in the dark as to the harm they're contributing to.
- CloudFlare is detrimental to availability
- The CAPTCHAs are often broken.
- E.g.1: some browsers that block j/s always report errors communicating with the captcha server on all CF-pushed CAPTCHAs
- E.g.2: the CAPTCHA server itself refuses to give the puzzle saying there is too much activity.
- The CAPTCHAs are often unsolvable.
- E.g.1: the CAPTCHA puzzle is broken by ambiguity (is one pixel in a grid cell of a pole holding a street sign considered a street sign?)
- E.g.2: the puzzle is expressed in a language the viewer doesn't understand.
- The CAPTCHAs block all robots indiscriminately causing collateral damage to beneficial (non-malicious) robots.
- GUI CAPTCHAs deny service to users of text-based web browsers. E.g. CloudFlare's GUI CAPTCHA breaks
- CloudFlare uses punitive collective judgement as a consequence of mislabeling Tor traffic.
- "Experts say that group punishment is ineffective, counterproductive, lazy and unethical"
- CloudFlare's use of this technique is acutely and perversely abusive because they harm potentially as many as 70,000 users in the course of countering just one single bad actor. And worse, unlike typical uses of collective punishment this is not in the slightest a situation where the other 70,000 have any shred of influence over the one malicious user.
- A study finds that collective punishment is strictly counterproductive.
- The CAPTCHAs are often broken.
- CloudFlare's detriment to democracy
- CF impedes petition signing on change.org, moveon.org, and actionnetwork.org. Voters who are blocked by CF's access restrictions are effectively denied participation in democratic processes.
- Voter suppression: CF impedes voter registration in 8 US states (16% of voter registration sites).
- CloudFlare's censorship
- CloudFlare restricts access to scientific papers.
- Universities outsource ebooks to Proquest, a Tor-hostile CloudFlare site. RUC is an example of a university that closed their library during the pandemic, while online access to books is subject to CloudFlare's terms and privacy abuses.
- ACM's Digital Library is jailed in CloudFlare's exclusive walled-garden despite ACM's intent to be "open" during a pandemic. The perverse affect is that privacy-seekers are subject to CF's privacy abuses when attempting to access a paper about privacy abuse.
- CloudFlare attacks freedom of expression.
- When a review exposed CloudFlare's doxxing of whistle blowers, CF censored the review.
- CloudFlare restricts access to scientific papers.
- CloudFlare is a burden on the environment
- Images account for the most significant burden on Internet bandwidth. Naturally the most ecological web users are those who do not download images (robots, users of text browsers, and users who disable image retrieval). Because robots tend not to download images, anti-robot algorithms target all image-free sessions as robotic. CloudFlare consequently attacks the most ecological users on the web.
- CF forces transmission of copious bandwidth-wasting images in order to supply CAPTCHAs.
- False statements, deceptive practices, and poor character of CloudFlare
- No transparency: as Cloudflare performs a DoS attack on Tor users they obviously do not inform web owners. Web owners are usually unaware that legitimate patrons are being blocked from accessing their site. These businesses are all damaged so that one business can profit.
- False errors when j/s is disabled.
- CloudFlare deceives website visitors into believing their connection is secure (HTTPS & browser padlock) when in fact the user is MitMd.
- CloudFlare has been caught making false statements to the public. CF said in their FaQ: "Why should I trust Cloudflare? You don’t need to. The Cloudflare Onion Service presents the exact same certificate that we would have used for direct requests to our servers," the first part of which is incorrect. CloudFlare sees all traffic traversing their servers in the clear, regardless of how secure the tunnel to them is. So of course CloudFlare requires your trust. The second statement about certificates is non-sequitur and irrelevant to the question of trust.
- CloudFlare deceives users about what the problem is, causing users to blame Tor or their browser. CloudFlare suggests to Tor users who reach the CAPTCHA "If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware."
- Lack of human decency -- CF's mean-spirited CEO displays schadenfreude amid the grief his company has caused innovative people who use the web non-maliciously.
- CloudFlare asks those who anonymously report illegal conduct on their websites to reveal their true identity. Yet CF has a history of doxxing whistle blowers and making them into victims. Instead of apologizing in the child porn case, the CEO (Matthew Prince) said the whistle blowers should have used fake names. (see "CloudFlare shelters criminals")
- Ironically, CloudFlare spams people (despite their spam-mitigation purpose). Customers (former and current) as well as people who never used CF are receiving spam from CloudFlare. Customers receive spam from CF without express consent and possibly contrary to privacy policies.
- When a large profit-driven tech giant uses a non-profit fund raising platform to solicit donations to feed their own staff at events, it's clear that professionalism is in short supply at CloudFlare Inc.
- CloudFlare shelters criminals
- CF protects pro-ISIS websites from attack.
- CF protected a website that distributed child pornography. When a whistle blower reported the illegal content to CF, CF actually doxxed the people who reported it. CloudFlare revealed the whistle blowers identities directly to the website owner, who then published their names and email addresses to provoke retaliatory attacks on the whistle blowers! Instead of apologizing, the CEO (Matthew Prince) said the whistle blowers should have used fake names.
Liberapay is hosted by Amazon
Liberapay pays Amazon for hosting, which puts LP's own customers at a proven risk of a data breach and ultimately finances copious abuses of privacy, human rights, civil liberties, the environment, etc:
- Amazon mounts mutlifaceted attacks on privacy
- Amazon is making an astronomical investment in facial recognition to exploit a market worth $8 billion which will destroy physical travel privacy worldwide. Amazon's innaccurate technology erroneously matched 100 US and UK politicians to criminals. Amazon also developed the technology by unlawfully using people's images without consent to train facial recognition products.
- Amazon deploys Ring and Alexa to surveil neighborhoods and surveil the inside of homes.
- Amazon keeps Alexa recordings and transcripts indefinitely
- Amazon’s Echo and the smart TVs monitor everything you do -- even if you disable ad reporting. (Note the research paper is not open to the public because ACM locks their digital library in the exclusive walled-garden of CloudFlare)
- Amazon paid $195k to fight privacy in California by lobbying against the CCPA.
- Amazon supported CISA.
- War on cash is war on privacy: Amazon's grocery stores do not accept cash. They impose the same surveillance as ordering online from Amazon. Cashless shops discriminate against the 6.5% of the US population that does not have a bank account.
- Amazon spent $30 million and ranked in the top 5 promoters of Facebook ads in 2012 (thus substantially feeding a privacy abuser).
- Facebook and Amazon made a secret deal with to give Amazon access to Facebook's data about users.
- The Kindle Swindle informs Amazon when the user reads books that didn't come from Amazon. It also tells Amazon which pages each user reads.
- Amazon distributes NRAtv which promotes a privacy-hostile political party and the resulting policies. Also sells the Trump line of suits in their webshop.
- Sensitive data for 100 million people banking at Capital One was leaked by an Amazon worker. Amazon refuses blame for it and Liberapay agrees.
- Amazon is responsible for human rights and civil liberties abuses
- Amazon supplies unlawfully developed facial recognition to law enforcement who use it to abuse civil liberties, despite protest by Amazon employees, 40 civil rights organizations, and 150,000 petitioners.
- Amazon supplies AWS to ICE and Palantir, a database firm that exploits social media to facilitate ICE and CBP to enforce Trump's inhumane zero tolerance immigration policy that entails child-parent separation. Palantir was also co-founded by a notorious xenophobic and billionaire backer of Donald Trump: Peter Thiel. Peter Thiel founded Palantir to help ICE deploy algorithms that find people to deport. Peter Thiel called Google "unpatriotic" for "not embracing opportunities to work with federal agencies" thinking that Google appeased employees who opposed inhumane treatment of immigrants (he was unaware that Google's announcement and action differed).
- Amazon supports Breitbart (the right-wing extremist site) by advertising there.
- Amazon uses FedEx (an NRA-supporting ALEC member who feeds republican warchests via ALEC and NRA [republican policy is xenophobic and detrimental to gun control and individual privacy]).
- Amazon in Germany hired "security" guards from a company of Nazi sympathizers to intimidate and repress foreign workers. Reporters came to cover this, and the guards tried to arrest them and take their cameras. (2013)
- Amazon is detrimental to consumer rights
- Amazon is notorious for mistreating employees despite its wealth and growth.
- Amazon runs an extreme sweatshop that diminishes quality of life. The consequential mental health crisis is evidenced by 189 calls from Amazon warehouses to 911 in five years.
- Amazon drug tests its employees, thus intruding on their privacy outside the workplace and also harming their healthcare.
- oppressive and callous attitude toward staff.
- 55-hour work weeks
- 90,000+ warehouse employees treated like cattle (7 examples)
- Amazon runs an extreme sweatshop that diminishes quality of life. The consequential mental health crisis is evidenced by 189 calls from Amazon warehouses to 911 in five years.
- Amazon proliferates censorship
- Amazon is detrimental to the environment
- Amazon powers 50% of their servers with unclean energy.
- Amazon's excessive packaging destroys 1 billion trees annually. (examples)
- Amazon retaliates against employees who seek climate action.
- Amazon works for BP and Shell to deliver a machine learning service to discover locations to drill for oil and gas.
- Amazon has been caught financing climate deniers.
Liberapay accepts Paypal
- Paypal is a privacy abuser.
- PayPal shares customers' data with 600 companies
- PayPal goes overboard on the KYC, blocking accounts on KYC grounds when enough info is known to legally service an account. So PayPal is a privacy abuser.
- Paypal is detrimental to civil liberties
- PayPal has a history littered with power-abusing payment blockades that are often politically motivated to benefit right-wing agendas. E.g.:
- Paypal's greed cheats people out of money they're entitled to.
- Paypal is detrimental to consumer rights.
- Hundreds of consumers complain about PayPal annually on the Consumer Affairs website. By 2016, there were over 1200 complaints.
- Staff becomes unreachable and website becomes inoperable when trying to unfreeze accounts.
- PayPal algorithmically uses money laundering triggers that are so arbitrary that PayPal's customer service don't know themselves why accounts get frozen.
- PayPal neglects to adhere to banking regulations by claiming PayPal is not a bank.
Liberapay accepts American Express
- Amex is a member of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The AEI for Public Policy Research is a non-profit influential right-wing think tank that advocates for lower taxes, fewer protections for consumers and the environment, and cuts to the social safety net. Specifically, AEI finances climate denial propaganda and was caught bribing climate change scientists and economists $10k ea. to undermine climate change reporting.
- Amex is a member of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC doubles as a superPAC and bill mill that lobbies and writes policy for U.S. republicans to:
- Amex favors US republican candidates with politican contributions (55% R/41% D)
- Amex blocks Wikileaks
- Amex supported CISPA
- Amex was the 9th highest patron of Facebook advertising in 2015
Liberapay accepts Visa and Mastercard
- War on cash is war on privacy. Visa and Mastercard are both members of the Better than Cash Alliance, and organization bent on eliminating cash. Visa also offered $10k to merchants who agree to refuse cash.
- Visa blocked payments to Wikileaks, thus proactively intervening to suppress whistle-blowing while undermining peoples' control over their own charitable donations.
- Visa and Mastercard blocked payments to Wikileaks -- but they're okay with serving the KKK.
- Visa and Mastercard supported CISPA
- Visa spends millions annually on Facebook advertising ($15M in 2012 alone)
- Visa and Mastercard sell customer data to data brokers unless they opt-out. Mastercard's opt-out page blocks Tor, thus forcing privacy seekers to reveal their IP address to Mastercard, which can be traced back to their identity.
- Visa sponsored the NFL during the "Take A Knee" protest, thus taking a speech-chilling stand against athletes who protested police brutality.
- Mastercard is partnered with Microsoft.
Liberapay uses Microsoft for development
- Microsoft harms the environment by serving the two most destructive oil companies in the world: ExxonMobil and Chevron.
- (#ExxonKnew) Exxon notoriously knew about climate change since 1977. They not only kept it secret from the public, but they also financed a disinformation campaign.
- Microsoft and Chevron were caught each paying $100k to "the Cloakroom", a project to hide bribes going from large corporations to republican politicians.
- Chevron's right-leaning stance is further pushed through its membership with ALEC, which doubles as a superPAC and bill mill that lobbies and writes policy for U.S. republicans.
- Microsoft is a notorious privacy abuser:
- Microsoft supported CISPA and collaborates with the NSA.
- Microsoft paid $195k to fight the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
- In 2012 Microsoft spent $35 million on Facebook ads and in 2015 Microsoft was the third biggest spender on Facebook ads in the world.
- Microsoft proxies through Accenture to make Sweden cashless. The war on cash is war on privacy.
- Microsoft owns and operates Outlook Email and the LinkedIn social media site, both of which are exclusive walled-gardens that limit participation to those who have a phone number and the will to share it with Microsoft.
- MS failed to secure Github, which was breached to the tune of 500gb of private projects. Security incompetence is further showcased by an MS-imposed requirement to create and account and sign in to report an MS security bug. And for those not discouraged by that, the sign-in page is also broken. Then security was breached again in July 2020 when OAuth tokens were stolen from both Github and Gitlab.com.
- MS unlawfully used people's images without consent to train their facial recognition products
- Microsoft distributes a nonfree operating system, Microsoft Windows, which is jam-packed with malicious functionalities, including surveillance of users, DRM, censorship and a universal back door.
- MS was caught surreptitiously recording Xbox users and paying contractors to listen to the recordings.
- Dutch government commissioned a study which found Microsoft to have several GDPR violations. E.g. Office 365 violates GDPR article 5 ¶
1.c, GDPR article 17, and stores the data outside the EEA (may also be a GDPR breach).
- Microsoft is detrimental to human rights and democracy
- MS suppresses democracy by blocking Github access to a project that facilitates protests in Catalonia.
- Microsoft finances AnyVision to produce facial recognition technology that the Israeli military uses as a weapon against the Palestinian people who they oppress in their occupation. Note that Israeli snipers murdered an unarmed civilian Palestinian medic (in breach of the Geneva Convention) then edited the video to deceive the public for PR damage control.
- Microsoft supports ICE in a variety of ways in the course of ICE's implementation of Trump's xenophobic border policies. Microsoft services an ICE contract worth $19.4 million dollars despite protest from employees. In addition to MS Office products, Microsoft has renewed a Github contract and also supplies cloud computing through its Azure platform.
- MS partnered with FedEx, an NRA-supporting ALEC member as well as JP Morgan Chase, the most evil bank in the world.
- MS conceals US military contracts to bias PR and dodge social accountablity. They have a much bigger piece these contracts than the rest of MACFANG, they lack Googles AI principles, and unlike Google they ignore employee protest and petitions.
- MS is among the top 15 recipients of Trump's corporate tax breaks, a benefit of $128 billion. Microsoft sacked hundreds of employees immediately after receiving the tax breaks in February 2018.
- MS is anti-consumer and anti-competitive
- MS tricked users into "upgrading" to Windows 10, which sabotages users in a variety of ways, one of which is to prevent cloud-free accounts.
- MS strong-armed nearly all PC manufacturers charge every buyer for an MS Windows license regardless of whether the user actually wants Windows.
- MS hoards software patents and uses them to fight free software.
(click the arrows to expand rationale with supporting facts cited)
A diagram of Liberapay’s detrimental relationships is attached.