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Don’t Trust Tech Companies With Your Data? Use These Alternatives

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Don’t Trust Tech Companies With Your Data? Use These Alternatives
[ Technology]

Last week, it was revealed that the NSA may have tapped into the data servers of Google, Microsoft and more. After the revelation, people may be concerned about their data online. Is there any refuge from the major tech companies that are allegedly cozied up with the NSA?

Peng Zhong has created a Web site called PRISM Break that points digital refugees to services that were not indicated to be working with the NSA in the leaked documents. It’s a good collection of alternative services, but more importantly, it illustrates just how many services we use everyday are connected in some way to the companies that allegedly cooperate with the NSA.

So, what can you do to avoid any potential surveillance? Well, it all comes down to not using anything from Google, Apple, Microsoft, AOL and more. That’s incredibly hard, but it is possible. There are open-source, free alternative operating systems, Web browsers, search engines, online transaction services, cloud storage and more.

It should be noted that many of these services aren’t supported as much as the allegedly wiretapped services. That’s the price you pay for privacy though. You can’t have your cake and eat it when it comes to mainstream online services and privacy.

The most interesting part of all this is that there is no email alternative just yet. Kim Dotcom and others are working on encrypted email clients, but there’s nothing really available just yet. Once it is released, it will be interesting to see how many people migrate from the likes of Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo Mail to encrypted email services.

As for wider migration, it’s not known how many people will migrate to alternative services in the wake of the PRISM revelation. We’re sure to find out more about those numbers in the coming months.

[h/t: Reddit via Szte]

Don’t Trust Tech Companies With Your Data? Use These Alternatives
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  • http://www.hermetic.ch/ Hermetic Systems

    The article says that “there is no email alternative just yet.” There may not be a secure GoogleMail, but you can still use the email clients of Google, Yahoo, etc., and prevent the NSA from reading the parts of your message which you wish to keep confidential. Hermetic Systems publishes software called “Email Encryption End-to-End” which allows you to create an encrypted file containing both a text message and a separate file of any type. You can then append this encrypted file to an ordinary email message, send it, and the recipient can recover your message and file using the same software. Your message and file remain encrypted from start to finish, frustrating any attempt by the NSA to read them. Full details of this software are given at http://www.hermetic.ch/eee/eee.htm.