Big Tech Detective: This extension shows you what the internet looks like without the big tech like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft.
The role of a small handful of large technology companies (especially Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft) in the day-to-day running of the internet is becoming increasingly noticeable and, therefore, more controversial.
Therefore, the American collective Economic Security Project has decided to make this situation of dependence on Big Tech’s online services and infrastructures visible by developing a very special browser extension.
Big Tech Detective: An extension to simulate a very different web
Its name is Big Tech Detective and it is available for both Mozilla Firefox and Chromium-based browsers, although we cannot install it from their respective application stores, so we must download it from their website and follow the instructions there.
But what is its purpose? Nothing less than blocking any website that accesses IP addresses owned by the four aforementioned technology companies.
By default, Big Tech Detective only keeps track of how many requests are sent and to which companies. But the user can choose to change the extension’s settings so that it also proceeds to block the loading of such websites.
When it comes down to it, if we want to browse the current network of networks quietly, resorting to the latter setting can be counterproductive: even if we actively try to avoid them, we will find that most websites resort to Big Tech for something.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re falling victim to the many systems tracking our web activity that exist (such as Google Analytics might be), but it’s also the result of many websites being hosted on platforms such as Azure or AWS, or else making use of Google Fonts fonts.
The extension does not preserve our privacy: it only blocks access to the affected websites once they are loaded, with the sole purpose of denouncing the problem by making it visible.
Thus, among the websites potentially blocked by Big Tech Detective, we can find not only the main media, or platforms such as Netflix, but also – surprisingly – the main alternatives to Google, such as DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, or Startpage.