Due to excessive amount of new evidence, released by Edward Snowden, part 1 of this article is outdated, and not accurate. The security part of the "Privacy and Security" article, is still relevant, as the tools are still able to give you a reasonable amount of certainty that your privacy is maintained.
Privacy & SecurityTable of Content
- Privacy & Security Table of Content
Privacy and security, are one of the most talked about subjects lately. On its one, it asks a question: Are we, as a society, willing to give up a little liberty, for a bit of security? In this article, we will see if we can answer that question for ourselves.
On top of that I have a question of my own: Is your online security good enough to maintain your privacy? Well, if you think it isn't, do keep reading. And if you say it is... keep reading. Just in case.
In the first part of this article I will show you how the NSA are spying on you online, and listening to your calls. In the second part how to prevent them for doing it again... Well at least make it just a bit harder for them.
Privacy is something most of us have, may it be, in a room, in a closet, in the night, but, do we have privacy online? Short answer, NO We never were completely private online, but now its an even bigger topic than before, thanks to Government official NSA who have been using thousands of firms to commit espionage.
jep, thousand of firms. To give you an idea on what you're up against, the NSA has a budget of 10.8 billion(second only to the CIA's 14.7 billion), to do what they do best. The NSA spends a total of +53% of the black budget which consist of 52.6 billion dollars. And they will pay 25 million for vulnerabilities in software that they can exploit for espionage. 
Who are the NSA, and what do they do? The NSA(The National Security Agency) is the largest government agency in terms of personnel and budget. There main objective is global monitoring, collection, decoding, translation and analysis of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes.(roughly translated, there doing a Reverse Cowgirl and they have done there diligence on just that. NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds. Before the court shut them down, they also gathered thousand of email from Americans.
One of those thousands of firms to be used, and let used, to commit espionage, is Microsoft. I my self, am not a big Microsoft fan. Its not because they pulled a douche-bag move with the NSA. Its not Windows 8(it still shit tho), not Windows Vista(thats right, not even Vista). its not even when am in-game, and the freaking Windows update is installing stuff, and then auto restart windows when am in-game, nope, Its not even that brilliant! idea. Its the fact, that they were the first to pull a douche-bag move with the NSA. They care less about its users, then, then, then, Microsoft... Keep reading...
Microsoft gave the NSA information about bugs, before the fix for the bugs in question was even released. Those bugs were primarily used for espionage. According to bloomberg: That information can be used to protect government computers and to access the computers of terrorists or military foes.
Are u thinking about your mail right now? cause, if you are, I got some bad news: Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its own encryption, so that the NSA can easily read everyone's email(outlook.com). U read me right. As a matter of facts NSA 'technology glitch' violated US Constitution, nabbed 56,000 emails per year from non-terrorists
Nine months after Microsoft bought skype, it received a new feature, which allows the collection of video-chats, by the NSA surveillance program, PRISM. Microsoft, Skype, Apple, Google, Facebook and Yahoo. are some of the mayor companies that are targeted by PRISM[6.1].
Some of the world's largest internet brands are claimed to be part of the information-sharing program since its introduction in 2007. Microsoft – which is currently running an advertising campaign with the slogan "Your privacy is our priority" – was the first, with collection beginning in December 2007. - www.theguardian.com
Told you. douche-bags. The lame thing is, Microsoft is one of the most - and easily - hacked OS ever. That was a fact years ago. But, that the NSA needed help to 'hack' a Microsoft product, which any rookie can do after some decent research, Kinda diminished there reputation. If you want a different OS - And a mac is to pricey for you - try Ubuntu, a free operating system, that I have been using for years. The latest - at the time of writing - is 13.04. Stay tuned for a up-to date review of Ubuntu.
One using Google+, and or facebook, usually thinks that whit, a private profile, that they actually are private, nope. I set my profile to private, and still people can see me, and also search me via popular search engines. Like Google, and bing(My bad, bing is not popular).
HAHA! I use Google. Its freaking Google. Plus, NSA Even Spied on Google Maps Searches, Documents Suggest.
Some vigilant people have found out some other issues with Google then the NSA, Google itself. According to micahflee.com - Use Android? You’re Probably Giving Google All Your Wifi Passwords . And indirectly the NSA.
facebook, has never been a favorite of mine. Cause it has noting to do with 'friends'. I mean, how many of your facebook friends, do you actually call friends in real life? did you say, 200? cause, if so, i think those are called acquaintances. Friends, in my book, are people that know how annoying you are, and still choose to hang with you. Those friends, you only get like 5 of those. Well am I geek so I only have like 2, but they are awesome.
For the people trying to make their facebook profile private, go to the fb communitie where they actually ask "How can I make my profile COMPLETELY private and NOT appear on Search?". sounds interesting? give it a click then.
According to The Guardian, apart from that fact XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet', but, the same tool: "An NSA tool called DNI Presenter, used to read the content of stored emails, also enables an analyst using XKeyscore to read the content of Facebook chats or private messages" .
On top of that, facebook - when asked - hands 1,300 users' data, over to the UK government.
Its first 'global government requests report' published on Tuesday includes requests from the police and child protection agencies, as well as national security bodies. It claims that 38,000 requests were made globally. - www.theguardian.com
Granted when the police, and the child protection agencies asks, then the individual in question is not a.... 'nice guy'.
facebook in general is not hard to hack, even for regular hackers. Hacker posts Facebook bug report to Zuckerberg's wall after 2 reports were ignored. When it comes to security, and privacy, facebook, has none of the two.
If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry? except if you have a massive collection of porn, then, I might drop by.
There is one app I use, allot, And thats WhatsApp. I was full of hope surfing the Internet if I could find out if WhatsApp itself is save, I was sadly disappointment. According to the huffingtonpost: apps Like Tango, WhatsApp, Skype and maybe others, have policies that, when presented with enough legal evidence, they will cooperating with government officials.
pssst, psst, did u know that NSA analysts 'willfully violated' surveillance systems, agency admits. They willfully violated surveillance to "spy on love interests.". Did u find that creepy to hear, me two.
Not even Countries: Secret NSA Documents Show How the US Spies on Europe and the UN, nor president NSA 'spied on communications' of Brazil and Mexico presidents are safe.
NSA has zero tolerance for willful violations of the agency's authorities. - www.theguardian.com
What does all of the above mean? The meaning is: If you Murdered, rapped, have a 'friend' on Googleplus, facebook, Twitter etc.. etc.. who is a terrorist, you are a terrorist, you write something online about 'terrorist' `murder America USA` etc.., than the government officials NSA/CIA/FBI/Police will be able to know everything about u, EVERYTHING.
Here is a quote from Barack Obama about the importance of surveillance:
...They help us prevent terrorist attacks. And the modest encroachments on the privacy that are involved in getting phone numbers or duration without a name attached and not looking at content, that on net, it was worth us doing... - Barack Obama
He also said "nobody is listening to your telephone calls" but, if they wanted to record phone calls, they would have to go to a federal judge, just like they would in a criminal investigation.
What I, got from the president of the USA, is that they don't spy on people other than terrorists...
Nut, jep, but, secret documents from the secret agency shows that the USA spies on Europe, UN, and other countries . According to the Guardian, the NSA are collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily. They are allowed to do that, because of some top secret order issued back in April.
Now, I know at first most of you where all like: OMG! there watching me! OMG WHAT AN INVASION OF MY PRIVACY. Thinking that your important enough for the NSA to be listening to your calls/mails/skype video-chats/WhatsApp. But, no. Let me put it this way, your a nobody. They couldn't give a rat's ass about u! cause u haven't been qualified as a 'person of interest' by them. Remember, you have friends that do some illegal stuff, then you, by association, become a 'person of interest'.
Final words from Barack Obama about this: President Obama Press News Conference at White House NSA Surveillance Program FULL 8/9/2013
As Barack Obama himself says it in the YouTube video above, there is gonna be some changes concerning the influence the NSA has, but, would those changes come, even if there was no leak? Could The president be making these changes just because people found out about the overwhelming power the NSA has? I don't expect Edward Snowden to receive leniency from the USA for leaking. Bradley Manning himself got 35 years. Will he himself revealed some pretty shocking footages:
I can seriously go on, and on, about the NSA, but, that would make this article way to long. Seriously LONG! So for those who want to know more about what the NSA is doing, check out THE NSA FILES Assembled by the theguardian. The washingtonpost: www.washingtonpost.com, Google, yes Google.NEXT Part 2: Security
- guardian.co.uk: Revealed: the top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant
- bloomberg.com: U.S. Agencies Said to Swap Data With Thousands of Firms
- www.bloomberg.com: U.S. spy agencies mounted 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, documents show
- www.washingtonpost.com: NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds
- www.washingtonpost.com: NSA gathered thousands of Americans’ e-mails before court ordered it to revise its tactics
- www.guardian.com: How Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages
- slate.com: NSA Even Spied on Google Maps Searches, Documents Suggest
- micahflee.com: Use Android? You’re Probably Giving Google All Your Wifi Passwords
- www.theguardian.com: XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet'
- huffingtonpost.com: Messaging Apps Like Tango, WhatsApp and Skype Not Immune To Government Reach
- www.cbsnews.com: Obama: "Nobody is listening to your telephone calls"
- www.theguardian.com: NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily
- www.guardian.co.uk: THE NSA FILES