Today, I don't have a blog about a new app, a new concept, or a news article. But I do have a current even to share: I have completely redesigned The New Oil from the ground up. I have deleted some of the old, redundant blogs but kept some of the others that cover things the website doesn't.
As you'll learn from visiting the new site, I have decided to change the site to a more e-book style layout. There's already a lot of great websites out there that have lists of tools, and they are fantastic at what they do. The problem with those sites is none of them (that I've seen, at any rate) help you make a decision. They just go “here's five encrypted messengers” and it's up to you to understand which one is right for you, what the pros and cons are, and why certain messengers are or aren't listed on the site. That was one thing I aimed to fix when I made this site, and it existed in the original version: a table that lists the pros and cons of each service to help you decide what's right for you.
However, more and more I'm seeing people get introduced to the privacy community with questions and comments like “where do I even start?” or “what are some behaviors I should change?” or, sometimes, “how do I do X?” not realizing that X requires behavior changes and not just an app. So I decided the site was due for an overhaul.
For a while now I've been considering writing a book (as everyone does) about these very subjects, but I realized that a book will quickly become outdated. Plus, I think important information should be free, and I think surveillance defense counts as important information. So I decided instead to roll these two projects into one. I rewrote the site to be an e-book, complete with links and everything. This will allow me to go in-depth into various concepts, subjects, behaviors, and recommendations, but because it's also an active website, I can keep the content current and updated.
As I say in the site/book, any major changes will be noted here on the blog. In the meantime, I will probably continue to use the blog to talk about things that fall outside the scope of the site, and maybe even discuss major current events relating to data privacy. I welcome all discussion about the site itself and the content within, so please feel free to let me know if you see any room for improvement. Just remember: this site is built for the “average person.” It's not aimed at people who are willing to set up a home server, self-host their email, put Lineage on their Android device, or any of the other more advanced techniques. It's designed for the people who are willing to switch email providers, download Signal on their iOS device, or use a password manager. Don't get too caught up in the weeds.
Thank you for your support, and I hope this new design continues to serve my audience well.
You can find more recommended services and programs at TheNewOil.org, and you can find our other content across the web here or support our work in a variety of ways here.