Privacy Switch, Prologue

“…Edward Snowden began revealing to muggles what the wizards among us always knew, or at least suspected: that government spying on ordinary data communications among private individuals was not only possible, but happening.”

Doc Searls

Earlier, I used to wonder what possible harm governments and companies could do by collecting people’s private data. I mean, if NSA has my phone number, fine, they aren’t going to implant bacteria into my body through the phone, right

Advertisements, you say? I can avoid them.

Spams? Gmail has a great spam filter.

I didn’t give a darn. But what moved me – or rather shook me – was this article by none other than Richard Stallman.

It dawned upon me that privacy isn’t important, it is essential.

In that article, RMS does go on to suggest well-thought remedies that governments and companies could use, so as to get what they need, without invading people’s personal lives. However, since governments are dead slow in changing the system, even after having seen the better way out, all we can do for now is make ourselves safe from spies.

Soon, I started looking for secure, privacy-concerned alternatives to the software and services I use. While doing so, I came across PRISM Break a rather wittily named site that aims to provide a list of libre software and services that respect your privacy. However, it is not easy to instantly make the switch to those recommended by PRISM Break. Even for a libre software purist (well, almost) like me, it’s tough.

That being said, I will be trying to change my computing habits, not necessarily in compliance with PRISM Break or any other source, but private anyway. And I’ll be publishing a series of blog posts, describing what I changed and why, in hope that it will be useful to those of you who are stuck with unsafe services.

Stay tuned.

Posts in this series


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