Government Agencies Becoming a Threat to Internet Freedom

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As the internet becomes larger, and governments are attacking the internet 24/7, security is more vital than ever.

The internet is a large place filled with many great things, as I am sure you all know. While its a great place and all, criminals are bound to wreck havoc one way or another. Not only criminals, but the government’s too. Just last year around this time ex NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, leaked files on the NSA global surveillance grid. From that day forward, Edward Snowden has leaked a trove of important NSA documents entailing how the government is spying on citizens all around the globe.

Government agencies, especially the NSA, have become and ever growing threat to the internet. Just two weeks ago we learned that the NSA exploited the Heartbleed bug for 2 years, stealing “critical intelligence”. The day after that information was released, President Obama pushed forward new regulations entailing the NSA and Government Agencies legality on begin able to steal documents and leave products vulnerable to the public IF it “is a clear national security or law enforcement need”.

Now President Obama has granted the NSA and other government agencies legal access to leave products vulnerable to the public if it helps the NSA steal critical intelligence. Not only is this a huge threat, this means the NSA can knowingly leave products vulnerable and let hackers exploit these bugs for malicious use.

Government agencies are begin granted immunity on US soil to steal intelligence worldwide. Regardless of the jurisdiction, if the NSA hacks a server and steals data from China, it will be labeled legal as the crime was committed on US soil, and noted a “clear national security need”.

Government agencies aren’t exactly tracking every individual, they are just opening a spy grid and defeating privacy as a whole. While the NSA black budget is $52.6 billion dollars, the NSA has plenty of funding to hack, steal, and try and crack encryption algorithms. Edward Snowden said in a statement “A child born today will have no conception of privacy”.

3 Ways to Avoid The Government Surveillance Dragnet Online

While the NSA is working hand in hand with AT&T analyzing internet packets to spy on you, while scanning your email, there are a few ways to avoid this massive surveillance grid.

1) Use a VPN – A VPN is short for virtual private network. A VPN will encrypt your internet packets initially hiding what you do online. Regardless of your internet activities encrypting your connection online is vital. This will make your internet provide unable to see what your doing online. When you access a website, instead of telling your internet service provider you accessed “Google.com”, it will instead return “J#&%[email protected]@”. The NSA cannot (at this time), crack a number of encryption algorithms. That data will essentially be useless to them, and if they can’t crack it at the moment, they may disregard retaining that data. The number one VPN I recommend is Private Internet Access. Our Private Internet Access Review goes over the whole system and how it works.

2) Use a Secure Email Provider (list here) – As Google and Yahoo have their datacenters tapped by the NSA, a secure email provider is the next step to defeating online surveillance. Secure email providers are encrypted email providers who have no way to access your email even if they tried. This brings greater privacy as no third party can view your email, see what your doing, or try to target you by scanning your email.

3) Use a Search Engine That takes Privacy Serious – You may be surprised to know that search engines may know a lot more about you than you think. For instance, Google retains all of its search data and runs the most popular website tracking tool. Google can tie everything you search, every website you visit, and your email all together to track you everywhere you go. This means everything you search is essentially begin tied to you. This can lead to physical snail mail at your house, or your identity begin plastered on the internet for the public to see. While the search engine may know more about you than yourself, you can change this. A few search engines that DO NOT track you and take privacy Serious are, DuckDuckGo, StartPage, and ixQuick. There are a few other search engines, but they have Google trackers installed on the back end making the service essentially useless.

Everyone has something to hide!

Regardless of what you do online, everyone has something to hide. Privacy is an essential liberty everyone human is born with. Don’t let any government agency take it away, fight back. Fighting back does not have to be vigorous, it can be as simple as changing your search engine or encrypting your internet connection. There are many small things agencies cannot fight against, so they in turn push Google and Yahoo for providers. One small switch can make the difference.

Brandon Stosh
Owner, and writer for http://FreedomHacker.net a site dedicated to defending your digital liberties, and helping you stay safe and secure online. Collective of other bloggers and knowledge as well.