Dear Google,

We've been together for several years, but I must say I've thought of breaking up with you more and more often lately. Your recent public betrayal got me to decide I don't want to be involved with you any more. I realize it's Valentine's Day, and also Carnival, but... what did you expect me to do? Trust is something we work hard to build over the years, but lose in a split second.

I have long granted you access to some private parts of my life. At first, it was just archiving public mailing lists. Then, you helped me keep in touch with friends that I might otherwise never see again. Then you started listening on my conversations, but even that was sort of ok, for I had agreed with it, hadn't I? You always said I could trust you, and I did. It didn't look like you'd share the private information I shared with you, so trust built over the years.

But the other day I met a side of yours I didn't know, saying on TV how much you valued privacy: that if there was something I didn't want anyone else to know, I shouldn't be doing it in the first place. Still, I thought that was a simple mistake of yours, and that I could still trust you, so I carried on with you.

And then Buzz hit me. That was too much.

As far as I know, I do not depend on my privacy right now for my physical safety, unlike Harriet Jacobs, nor for the performance of my job, like journalists who had their sources exposed when Buzz was pushed upon them.

But, like trust, privacy is something that takes dedication over the years, and a single mistake will undo a lot of hard work. I don't want to wait for the day I realize I need my privacy back.

Google, I lost the trust I had in you, but I don't think it's too late for me to avoid losing also my privacy. I'm closing our shared accounts, I'm emptying the drawers you saved for me in your closet, I'm destroying the keys after locking the doors, and I won't grant you access to my private parts any more.

I'm also telling all my friends that I broke up with you, and why. I'll also invite them to keep in touch with me through other means.

For instant messaging, I'm reachable at and Even those who choose to remain with you can register this alternate address in GTalk, although I'd much rather they registered at using some Free Software implementation of the XMPP instant messaging protocol adopted by GTalk, like Pidgin.

For social networking, I'm sticking to the PSL-Brasil network, that runs Noosfero, and gNewBook, built upon elgg. Don't worry, Google, I'm not joining Facebook, that would be at least as stupid as remaining on Orkut.

For microblogging, I'm sticking to, that runs on StatusNet.

Pidgin, Noosfero, elgg and StatusNet are all Free Software. They respect the essential freedoms of its users, even those users across the net. I know I'm entitled to share them with my friends, adapt them to my own needs, install my own copies and set up my own interoperable networks if I want to, and more. That's unlike other microblogging, social networking and instant messaging services. And, what's more, I'm in love with their developers.

As for e-mail, I use for Free Software matters and for other stuff... E-mail is supposed to be private, so I wouldn't recommend using any third party service, even if it's built on Free Software. It's not hard to set up one's own web mail service; I manage myself the servers of both personal addresses I use. They don't have an army of your employees behind them, but given the Facebook employee interview, such an army sounds more like a curse than a blessing.

Google, if you need, you know where to find me and, if you didn't, there are other search engines out there that may know. The same goes to all of my friends. I'll see you all around.

So blong,