SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

June 22, 2013

Ways to stop NSA spying on U

Five ways to stop the NSA from spying on you


If recent reports are to be believed, the National Security Agency has broad powers to capture private information about Americans. But there are still ways to thwart the agency’s snooping. Here are five.

1. Browse anonymously with Tor

Tor lets you use the Internet without revealing your IP address or other identifying information .  It works by bouncing your traffic among several randomly selected proxy computers before sending it on to its real destination. You can go to   and download the Tor Browser Bundle.

2. Keep your chats private with OTR

If you use a conventional instant-messaging service, logs of your chats may be accessible to the NSA through the PRISM program. But a chat extension called OTR (for “off the record”) offers “end-to-end” encryption. The server only sees the encrypted version of your conversations.

3. Make secure calls with Silent Circle

The conventional telephone network is vulnerable to government wiretapping. And many Internet-based telephony applications, including Skype, are thought to be vulnerable as well. But an Internet telephony application called Silent Circle is believed to be impervious to wiretapping. Like OTR, it offers “end-to-end” encryption.

4. Make secure calls with Redphone

Redphone is another application that makes phone calls with end-to-end encryption. It was developed with financial support from U.S. taxpayers courtesy of the Open Technology Fund. The government hopes to support dissidents in repressive regimes overseas. But the only way to build an application that people will trust is to make it impervious to snooping by any government, including ours.

5. Remove your cellphone battery to thwart tracking

The NSA phone records program revealed by The Guardian collects not only information about what numbers we call, but also the location of the nearest cellphone tower when we make calls. If you don’t want the NSA to know where you’ve been, you need to turn off your cell phone. Or take out the battery or leave your phone at home.


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