Now that the news of PRISM, the electronic surveillance program run by the United States National Security Agency (NSA), has leaked, many people are interested in avoiding the surveillance. At GreyCoder, we show how you can easily transition to secure services that are encrypted and make it more difficult for eavesdroppers to monitor your activities. Here is a quick run-down on how to avoid NSA surveillance:
Use Encrypted Email Where Possible
I use the encrypted mail service Countermail. It’s a paid service that allows you to send encrypted email through a browser using standard PGP (Pretty Good Privacy). Countermail provides true end-to-end encryption, and the company itself cannot access your email (because your email is encrypted before it leaves your computer). Note that this won’t protect emails that you send to others unencrypted — your recipients must be using PGP too.
Make Your Web Browsing Private
- Use a Virtual Private Network (like Private Internet Access) on all your computer and mobile devices (see our article explaining VPNs)
- Use a secure web browser Firefox with privacy-mode turned on, and privacy enhancing add-ons installed (see details here); or use the Tor Browser, for extra privacy
- Use a search engine that doesn’t track you like StartPage (a Google mirror)
Use Encrypted Instant Messages
You can easily send Instant Message that are encrypted. On iPhones and iPads, you can use Wickr, Silent Circle or an instant message app that supports OTR (e.g. IM+). On Android you can use TextSecure or GibberBot.
Use Secure Voice Chat Instead Of Telephones
Jitsi and Mumble offer secure voice chat capabilities. (Skype was recently bought by Microsoft and has eavesdropping capabilities). See also Silent Circle, Red Phone, Ostel, GNU Telephony, Empathy or Ekiga.
See also PRISM Break.