How much does the NSA really know about you?
The folks at Alltime10s published a YouTube video entitled 10 Ways the NSA Spies on You. The video contains unsettling revelations about the NSA from recent news articles, citing evidence that the agency engages in the following activities.
- Can collect info on people 3 degrees of separation from suspects (The Guardian)
- Use metadata to get around privacy laws, rather than monitoring conversations (The Register)
- PRISM, a major electronic spying program, using existing information from social sites (Wikileaks, The Guardian, Facebook)
- Wiretap all overseas communications in and out of the US (NY Times, Washington Post)
- Can turn your phone & computer’s camera & microphone on remotely: a ‘roving bug’ (ABC News)
- Work closely with companies like Google, incorporating code into Android phones (Business Week)
- Spent $254.9 million cracking email encryption for millions of people (The Guardian)
- The Treasury Department’s ‘SWIFT’ monitors financial transactions of suspects & foreign nationals (Discovery)
- Engage in MitM, or ‘Man-in-the-Middle’ attacks (CNET)
- Spy on love interests (Wall Street Journal)
So what can law-abiding citizens do to protect their privacy? Here are a few tips:
- Delete data you don’t need anymore. Delete old social media profiles. Delete your search history in online services like Facebook and Google.
- Encrypt all the things. Use apps like TrueCrypt to store data encrypted on your hard drive.
- Be smart about how you use the Internet. Make sure you’re following safe web browsing tips. If you’re really paranoid, you can browse websites anonymously.
These tips aren’t foolproof for keeping the NSA out of your personal business, but it’s a start.
On a lighter note, you can give Cory Doctorow’s book Little Brother a read. 1984 for today’s teens. Fictional, but just barely. Great stuff.
That, or you can kick back, relax, and accept that the NSA probably knows more about you than your best friend.