The World’s Big-Tech Dependence

Every 3 years or-so, Google goes down. Sometimes for a minute, sometimes for an hour.

The most recent example of this was when the majority of Google’s services went down for an hour in December 2020. Gmail, YouTube, Google Sites, Google Search, Google Drive, gSuite – all, and more, gone.

What these outages show us is the sheer power that so-called ‘big-tech’ holds over our lives and businesses. Our communications, entertainment, education, livelihoods all rely on big-tech.

I’m going to give you an unlikely scenario now: Google disbands. Can you imagine the chaos? On my old blog, I wrote a post about just how scary this would be; it’s a scenario that haunts me.

The modern-day technological world relies far too much on just four five companies. Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook. We use these companies for the software that makes our computers and phones work, the way we communicate, the way we live our lives, our public services (ie hospitals, airports). Amazon isn’t usually included in the list of big tech companies, but such a huge amount of the web uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) for hosting that I couldn’t not mention them.

One major cyber attack (cyber-war would be a more appropriate term to use), say from, oh, I don’t know, Russia, China, or North Korea, for example, could reap devastation across our economy and cut off our communications; it would fundamentally change our lives. And it’d only take five companies to be targeted; don’t get my wrong, I hardly see this as possible, but it could happen.

I recognise this threat. And so should you. I’ve cut my big-tech reliance as much as I possibly can. I run most of my stuff from my own server, eg this blog and my email server.

It’s not as hard as you may think to move away from these dangerous technological giants, and it’s well worth the small price you pay – both in a metaphorical sense, and a real sense (it costs me about £5.50/month for my self-hosted stuff).

The web wasn’t meant to be dominated by five companies; don’t let it be.

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