It is now 10 years since I first signed up to Facebook and over that time it has turned from being a fun way to interact with friends and family into what has at times seemed a necessary window on the world. As with hundreds of millions of other Facebook users, my involvement with Facebook grew until my family, extended family, my friends and even some business contacts were on my friends list. I was now in touch with relatives and friends I had not seen or spoken to in 30 years. I had joined myriad groups and added likes and follows to all sorts of special interest topics. Clubs I had joined outside of Facebook used it to communicate about events and news. The Facebook NewsFeed was my first port of call for daily news and events. More lately, my wife and I started a business, and Facebook became a key element in our marketing plan to attract and communicate with customers.
But, growing discomfort with the privacy aspects of Facebook has been added to in recent times by the way various governments and special interest groups have managed to strongarm Facebook into censoring content they deem offensive or politically unacceptable. This governmental reach has taken on sinister dimensions since the advent of so-called “war on terror”, where ever more draconian laws have been passed giving the security services reach into the data transmitted over the Internet and, especially data stored on computers hosted in the USA.