How to protect yourself from Prism, and other wiretaps


If you want to stay out of the ireful, omnipresent eye of the US and other governments, Prism, and the extensive wire taps that undoubtedly exist throughout the world’s internet and telephony networks, here are a few tips.

  • Stop using social networks. If it turns out that the US government has direct access to Facebook, Microsoft, and Google’s servers, you really should stop using their services. You can try using another social network that’s outside Prism’s catchment area, but really you’re just delaying the inevitable.
  • Surf using HTTPS. If you use Chrome or Firefox, you should install the EFF’s HTTPS Everywhere add-on. HTTPS is an encrypted form of HTTP, the protocol that your browser uses to fetch web pages from remote servers. HTTPS should prevent the NSA from intercepting your communications — but, obviously, if the NSA/FBI already has access to the remote server you’re communicating with, HTTPS won’t do you much good.
  • Create an alternate identity, then surf using a proxy/VPN. One of the best ways to prevent the government from tracking you is to assume an alternate identity for all your communications — or at least all of your digital communications — and then use a proxy or VPN to obscure your physical location.
  • Encrypt your phone calls, or use a burner phone. If you want to make phone calls that can’t be tracked back to you, our sister site PC Magazine has compiled a big list of encrypted and burner phone services. Bear in mind that some of these services might be nullified by a NSA backdoor, and voice analysis could be used to link your calls back to your identity.


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Technology that features learning designed specifically for interactive study via the web. Based on a long history of collaboration and their shared educational missions, the founders are creating a new online-learning experience with online courses that reflect their disciplinary breadth. Along with offering online courses, the institutions will use edX to research how students learn and how technology can transform learning–both on-campus and worldwide. Anant Agarwal, former Director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, serves as the first president of edX. EdX’s goals combine the desire to reach out to students of all ages, means, and nations, and to deliver these teachings from a faculty who reflect the diversity of its audience. EdX is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is governed by MIT and Harvard.