“We are more afraid of not being constantly watched, than we are of being constantly watched”
In 2013, Edward Snowden, a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, flew to Hong Kong from the US and subsequently released thousands of classified NSA documents to the media. The documents revealed the sheer amount of surveillance that the US government was inflicting, not just on the entire world, but on its own citizens as well. The documents also revealed that GCHQ, its British counterpart, was doing the very same thing.
Some people see Snowden as a traitor to his country, but he is only a traitor to his government. The US government abandoned the majority of their population a long time ago.
It is worth noting that the majority of the scale of these operations were implemented in the wake of 9/11 and 7/7, using the shock and fear of terrorism to pass policies that would not be passed under normal conditions.
NSA and GCHQ operations:
10 most important Snowden revelations
UK intelligence centre GCHQ has the power to hack phones without their owners’ knowledge – even if it is turned off
Illegal GCHQ operation to track every visible user on the internet
How covert agents infiltrate the internet to manipulate, deceive and destroy reputations
A Secret Catalogue of Government Gear for Spying on Your Cellphone
The NSA’s SKYNET program may be killing thousands of innocent people
Interviews with Snowden:
Interview with Edward Snowden (video)
Snowden: I dont’ want to live in a society that does these sorts of things (video)
Edward Snowden on How We Take Back the Internet (video)
Snowden on 9/11 (video)
Mass surveillance programs futile in fighting terror – Snowden
The Tor Browser prevents somebody who is watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked. Detailed overview of Tor. However, their are concerns over how secure it is given various breaches of the network.
Another type of encryption software is PGP
Hack Chat provides a simple means of chatting with others where the message history is destroyed afterwards.
There are a couple of browser add-ons that allow you to avoid some measure of annoyance and surveillance while navigating the web:
Ghostery – Ghostery notifies you of the trackers that are following your internet activity and allows you to disable them if you choose. You can re-enable them for one-time use or permanently.
Adblock Plus – Adblock Plus blocks tracking, malware domains, banner, pop-ups and video ads. It is also able to do this on Facebook and Youtube.
Secure cloud storage services