Take action for avoiding online surveillance

As most people know by now, the government is spying on us through our phones, and if that sounds like a conspiracy theory, you’ve not been paying attention.

The roads are surveilled by license plate readers, sidewalk and public space cameras, and there are cameras on every public transportation system out there. There’s even a program called Carnivore created in the late ’90s by the FBI, which uses keywords to sift through citizens’ emails.

They are watching you. The GPS system on your phone? The government has used that to track people. Your private phone call? The government knows when it was, how long it was and probably a lot more than that.

Facebook, Google, Apple and several other companies have passed browsing data to the government. The NSA ensures that security devices leave you secure enough to suspect nothing, but vulnerable to their hackers. There are simply too many methods of government surveillance to monitor them all.

There are many reasons why people may not want their private lives made available to the government. Maybe they’re doing something illegal. Maybe they’re watching porn. Maybe they haven’t been indoctrinated by the state into believing that being watched every second is normal. Who knows? But citizens should have the right to protect against surveillance, and there are many methods available.

Firstly, when you’re browsing the Net and don’t want the government to know what you’re searching for, switch over to a more private browser. Tor is easy to download, and although it runs slightly slower than Chrome, it will make it more difficult for the government to watch what you’re searching.

Tor is not technically illegal, although it is home to several torrent sites that sell illegal drugs and firearms.

Secondly, if you’re making a private purchase, don’t use your credit card or any other payment method easily tracked by the government.

Instead, look into cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Bitcoin is becoming more and more accepted, especially by illegal vendors. Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies are decentralized, meaning they’re difficult for the government to hack and nearly anonymous.

A third way to avoid government surveillance is encryption. This will probably be most relevant to people who don’t want the government looking through their emails and financial information.

To put it very simply, encryption converts your data into nonsense, which can only be decrypted by the person with the key to do so. There are many different types of encryption, and you’ll want to do your own research to find out which is best for you. Encryption helps with privacy because it protects your data from third parties.

Ultimately, taking extra measures to ensure your privacy is important because the government certainly isn’t going to stop invading citizens’ privacy. Sure, it might be against the law, but as the old adage goes, some rules were made to be broken.

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