I finally managed to deliver some dearly-required updates. Most notably for visitors other than the Google Bot, I added a new portrait that greets visitors with a smile.

In the wake of the whole 2013 mass surveillance scandal made public by Edward Snowden, I finally severed the last ties to Google. Without thinking too much about it, I had used a customized Google Analytics tracker on all pages. Following the German privacy laws, I instructed the tracker to make the IP addresses anonymous (which amounts to discarding the last 8 bits of each address). After the curiously precise denials by Apple, Facebook, and Google regarding their participation in PRISM, it struck me: I had thrown my visitors to the wolves–without their consent and (sometimes) their knowledge.

The only viable course of action was thus to remove all tracking code. I still count site visits, but only using internal log files that are not served by Apache. I am sorry for not thinking clearly about this. If you value your privacy, I would strongly suggest installing Ghostery.

To end this post on a lighter and informative note: My site now features a news box at last, courtesy of ikiwiki. The main index page will now always show the five latest blog posts, making it easier for me to point out new content.

Posted late Saturday evening, July 27th, 2013 Tags: