In this day and age, it’s more important than ever before to use every available method to shield yourself from the NSA, GCHQ, and any other prying eyes that might have been invited to the party we haven’t heard of yet. Here’s our list of the top 5 ways you can fight back:
Call your Senator, Mail Your Congressperson, Shout From the Rooftops
The old ways are still one of the most effective, especially when you consider how little attention has been paid to the hundreds of petitions currently clogging the boards on whitehouse.gov. Find out the brick-and-mortar addresses, direct phone numbers, and bulk email accounts of your local representatives and flood their boxes with demands to vote for increased regulation and decreased funding of this rogue agency gone power mad.
Donate to the EFF
The EFF, short for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, has been the single most vocal and effective opponent since the Snowden leaks originally broke in June. This privacy rights organization has been leading the charge where few else have dared to tread, leaving a path of righteous fury and digital justice in their wake. They had been taking cases related to several fishy reports that sprouted up earlier in the year, but it was the breaking of this news that really put gas in their tank, as donations to their foundation rose nearly 1500% in the weeks following the first announcement of the Verizon collaboration.
As we’ve reported on multiple occasions, Tor (a.k.a. The Onion Router) is hands down one of the best methods of avoiding the NSA. According to the PowerPoint presentation we found in the cables, the NSA has about a 15-20% success rate locating users and abusers of Tor, and that’s only if they’re looking at someone specific. As long as you don’t abuse the privilege, Tor can be used for a wide range of anonymous activities including sending important messages, checking news that hasn’t been filtered through the media cycle yet, and even transmitting secure email.
And while we’re on the subject…
Encrypted Email Services Are Your Friend
Although Ladar Levinson was forced to shut down Lavabit due to sudden encryption key requests from the US government, he is already back on the map with a whole new approach to protecting modern messaging systems. By taking a ground-up approach in his mission to create an email client so safe that not even the NSA could crack it with their biggest, meanest, fastest supercomputers at 100% load. Known only as the “Lavabit Dark Mail Project” so far, the mysterious sounding Kickstarter is hoping to amass just under a quarter of a million dollars to launch a brand new service capable of standing up to anything that the US or UK governments might have to throw at it. It’s still in the initial funding stages so it will be some time before we get to test this thing out in the wild, but we’re looking forward to updates about the intriguing messaging service as they release more over the next few months.
Use A VPN
Of course, our list wouldn’t be complete without a glowing recommendation for one of the dozens of available VPN services you can take advantage of at the click of a button. Whether you’re looking for an all around option like HideMyAss, something extra-secure such as Private Internet Access, or consider ease of use your highest priority and want to go with VyprVPN – VPN Creative has got every base you could want and more covered, reviewed, and reported on daily.