Five Ways to Have a Chat Behind Big Brother’s Back

 Truth Dig –Peter Z. Scheer

Since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA’s mass surveillance of Americans, interest in cryptography has been piqued. That’s fine if you’re a nerd, but what about Grandma’s privacy? Luckily there are fairly simple ways to communicate privately.

Just be warned, if you use encryption, the NSA has reportedly decided it can hold on to your data indefinitely, whether you’re American or not. 

Chat: Cryptocat is a free, open-source chat application available in 32 languages. Like other instant messengers, Crytpocat lets you chat in real time with other people online—but this service is encrypted. You can download Cryptocat for Chrome, Safari, Firefox or the Mac. [Link]

Email: Concerned that Google might be sharing your information with the man (despiteprotestations to the contrary)? You can encrypt your Gmail with one click usingSecure Gmail, an open-source Chrome extension. According to Lifehacker, “Once installed, you’ll see a lock icon right next to the ‘Compose’ button in Gmail. Click it to enter ‘secure compose’ mode, where your message text will be encrypted before you send it, and no drafts are saved to Google’s servers, so you don’t have unencrypted data at rest. You’ll be prompted to enter a password that the recipient will have to use to decrypt the message when they get it.” If you don’t use Chrome or Gmail, tryMailvelope[Link]

Phone/Text/Email: One of the most famous names in encryption is Phil Zimmermann, the father of Pretty Good Privacy. Zimmermann now has a company called Silent Circle, which offers a range of cryptographic services to everyone from regular humans to corporate stooges to aspiring mercenaries. Want to have a truly private phone call? This may be your best bet. The catch: Silent Circle charges a fee. [Link]

Text Message/Video Chat: Apple fanatics may have something to crow about here. Although the tech company was on that famous list of PRISM cooperators, Apple has said it can’t snoop on customers using its FaceTime and iMessage services even if it wanted to. That’s because both, according to the company, use end-to-end encryption by default. Those services are available to anyone using Apple phones, tablets or computers. [Link]

Web: No matter how you browse the Internet or what you do with it, one of the best ways to hide your identity and safeguard your privacy is to use a VPN, or Virtual Private Network. This essentially routes all of your Internet traffic through a third party that anonymizes your traffic for you. Unfortunately, a good VPN typically costs money, and you have to hope that the company providing the service is both honest and willing to stand up to government pressure. Some VPNs advertise that they intentionally do not keep server logs, so they cannot comply with government requests for private information. VPN setup can be tricky for the not-so-tech-savvy. One service that makes connecting fairly simple is Privateinternetaccess.

Note: The point of this article is not to help people safely engage in illegal activity. Please don’t do that. Rather, I hope these services can help decent people hold on to their Fourth Amendment right to privacy in an age when corporations and the government are conspiring to spy on everyone.


8 thoughts on “Five Ways to Have a Chat Behind Big Brother’s Back

  1. Humhh! trust nothing! Remember the “enigma” code!
    Use the simplest code between two people. Two books same publisher & issue!
    So unless the National Stasi agency know which book, not one hope in hell to understand the message!

    1. It also has chat:
      ★ PRIVATE WEB SURFING: Use with Orweb, the most anonymous way to access any website, even if it’s normally blocked, monitored, or on the hidden web. Get Orweb:
      ★ PRIVATE CHAT MESSAGING: Use Gibberbot with Orbot to chat confidentially with anyone, anywhere for free. Get Gibberbot:
      ★ PRIVACY ON TWITTER: It works with the official Twitter app. To Tweet anonymously, just change the proxy settings to the following:

  2. The best methods are not even mentioned in the article above. First use GNU LINUX for your operating system – Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, LinuxMint or whatever.
    Use TOR for web browsing, it’s slow-ish but free, or find a vpn proxy – costs money. For chats/im use Jitsi, it works, provides encryption and also video chats just like skype. You need to make a user account on one of the many free jabber im servers (or run your own server!!!) and then point your jitsi client at it. For email you cannot rely on any of googles offerings or anything which originates on a server elsewhere on the internet. You must encrypt messages at/from your own pc. Do this with GNU PrivacyGuard. The email client of choice is called Evolution. Dump microshaft windows and install LINUX asap. Windows is a spy-box for the authorities and don’t belive that crap – if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear. There are hundreds of innocent facts of life which we al prefer to keep private. Things which can affect relationships with other people, boss, friends etc. The authorities can easily turn anything you say around to be used against you so it’s better if they don’t know.

  3. “A right of free correspondence between citizen and citizen on their joint interests, whether public or private and under whatsoever laws these interests arise (to wit: of the State, of Congress, of France, Spain, or Turkey), is a natural right; it is not the gift of any municipal law, either of England, or Virginia, or of Congress, but in common with all other natural rights, it is one of the objects for the protection of which society is formed and municipal laws established.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1797. ME 9:422

    “Did we ever expect to see the day, when, breathing nothing but sentiments of love to our country and its freedom and happiness, our correspondence must be as secret as if we were hatching its destruction!” –Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry, 1799. ME 10:86

    “The attempt which has been made to restrain the liberty of our citizens meeting together, interchanging sentiments on what subjects they please and stating their sentiments in the public papers, has come upon us a full century earlier than I expected.” –Thomas Jefferson to William Branch Giles, 1794.


    “We talk to freedom activist and free software developer Richard Stallman, who believes the fight against the total surveillance on the part of the governments is far from over. The founder of GNU project and Free software foundation speaks to Sophie Shevardnadze on SophieCo about the recent leaks of the NSA and social media.

  4. NOTHING offered on line is safe from spying eyes. Remember when you were a kid and the ‘lingo’ you used withing your circle of friends?? Best code in the world. This is also referred to as a ‘generation gap’. In the 60’s the elder folks didn’t understand a word the kids were saying. Works just as well with the NSA. Cool huh!

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