The War on Privacy and Civil Liberties Escalates
I recently wrote a post where I predicted that if you "think privacy is threatened now, just wait until tomorrow."
Well, tomorrow is already here—not just in the United States, but in dozens of other countries. My friend and colleague Paul Rosenberg, who serves as CEO of the virtual private networking company CryptoHippie.com, recently sent me some alarming clippings—to put it mildly.
Here's what Paul had to share:
It's Official: Facebook Is the Department of PreCrime
Article for Lew Rockwell, written as events began to unfold. Former Marine named Brandon Raub is grabbed by FBI, Secret Service and local enforcers, then taken to a psych ward. Why? For his Facebook posts. See it all here and here. He was then transferred to avoid public protests. Finally, another judge let him out.
Brandon's interview after his release.
No one will be fired over this and the Facebook surveillance system remains.
Big Brother is inside of Facebook. They are now actively monitoring all the perps... umm... users.
The FBI wants backdoors in Facebook, Skype and instant messaging.
Governments, Unions and the Press Monitor Your E-mails, Phone Calls, and Blog Posts
Former NSA employee says that they spy on every American, are building a horrifying new facility.
Hushmail spills their guts to the Feds.
Union official admits that they intercept opposition emails.
Monitored blog lands a man in jail, maybe for 15 years. An American man, for the crime of translating passages from a biography (and posting them), faces 15 years in jail. He was arrested after landing in Thailand, where the authorities had been monitoring his Internet posts.
An FBI agent's laptop is found to have private info from 12 million Apple users. They are, of course, denying everything. Anonymous releases the info.
Newspaper intercepts a man's emails: hundreds or thousands of them. Why? Because his father was a criminal and they were looking for something shocking to print.
Microsoft, having bought Skype in 2011, is now spying on your Skype chats.
Half a million Yahoo accounts exposed at once.
The Air Force is training their people in the art of counter-blogging. Why? “To counter the people out there in the blogosphere who have negative opinions about the U.S. government and the Air Force.”
New Ways to Get onto a List of Suspected Terrorists
Normal college kid gets onto a terror list. The young man joins a protest, FBI monitors his newsgroup messages, and he ends up on the Pentagon's list of credible threats.
A Swedish man is arrested for complaining to a friend about his “explosive headache.”
Google translation from Swedish.
The Copyright Police Now Operate Worldwide
A British college student is being extradited to the US, where he faces 10 years in jail. Why? Merely because he posted a link to a site that had pirated material. The copyright thugs are ravening beasts. Governments are following their orders like obedient underlings.
The takedown of Kim Dotcom, at the behest of the Hollywood Mafia. A full-blown, special forces, military assault for supposed copyright violations. (His company routinely took down copyright-protected material.)
Note that the vast majority of these abuses occurred online. Electronic communications are far easier to monitor, record, categorize, and store that other communications. It goes without saying that if you want to avoid or at least minimize this monitoring, then you need to minimize electronic communications.
For many of us, this is impossible. However, you make the job of those monitoring your electronic communications much more difficult by using a service called a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN acts as a middleman between your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the Web sites you visit. A VPN can also encrypt the data stream between its servers and your PC. With these countermeasures in place, the only thing your ISP (or anyone else) can monitor is the fact that you're online and that you're connected to a VPN.
There are many VPN services available. I prefer services that don’t have networks installed in the United States to avoid possible compromise under legislation such as the USA PATRIOT Act. The service that I use is the one that Paul heads up: Cryptohippie.
I have what Cryptohippie calls its "Road Warrior" account. It's ideal for someone like me who travels globally and needs secure communication wherever I go. The company's only U.S. presence is to authenticate connections to Cryptohippie servers in other countries. None of Cryptohippie’s servers are in the United States.
Cryptohippie recently added some new features to the Road Warrior service at no extra cost. One is a VPN service for smartphones like Android, iPhone, etc. Another is a secondary exit/relay in the United States that lets subscribers use sites like Hulu, Netflix and YouTube, without being blocked by the copyright enforcers. A third, just now unveiled, gives you anonymous voice-over-Internet communications over your PC—much more secure than Skype.
Paul has agreed to give readers of my blog a free one-week of the Road Warrior service. After that, it's $275/year. To sign up for your free trial, click here.
Copyright © 2012 by Mark Nestmann
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