Think Gmail, Dropbox in cahoots with the NSA? Here are some secure alternatives

By Himanshu Arora · 14 replies
Oct 20, 2014
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  1. [parsehtml]<p><a href=""><img alt="gmail dropbox nsa google security privacy bittorrent sync protonmail lavaboom tutanota spideroak tresorit darkmail" src="" /></a></p> <p>Back in June last year, confidential documents leaked by Edward Snowden indicated that major email and cloud storage providers like Google, Microsoft, and more&nbsp;were part of&nbsp;the NSA&rsquo;s top secret surveillance program called PRISM. And if that wasn&rsquo;t enough, there have been&nbsp;numerous&nbsp;reports&nbsp;of companies snooping on their customers themselves.</p> <p>All this has made Internet privacy a burning issue, with many users now turning to services that claim to be secure from the prying eyes of the NSA and law enforcement. In this article, we take a look at some of the <a href="">privacy-focused email and cloud storage services</a> that have either sprung up or gained popularity in the wake of what&#39;s popularly been referred to as the Summer of Snowden.</p> <p><a href="">Read the complete article.</a></p>[/parsehtml]
  2. hoganx

    hoganx TS Rookie also provides secure email, contacts/calendar, and network storage. It works with standard and familiar client software on your phone, tablet or iPad - you don’t need to learn another email client or be forced to only access your email through a browser. About 15GB of encrypted storage is available for user data encrypted with a key known only to the user. xcapsa integrates a selection of opensource software to deliver the service: sendmail, ownCloud and encfs; along with a simple management layer for users on top of it.
  3. hoganx

    hoganx TS Rookie

    Here are some points to keep in mind when selecting a service:

    - Free is unrealistic. If a service is “free” be wary. And freemium can only be supported by paying customers, meaning that paying customers also have to support all the freemium customers.

    - You may be forced to use email only with a browser, not with the standard native applications on your desktop, phone or tablet that you’re already using and are familiar with.

    - Location of servers in a “secure datacentre” in a country with “strong privacy laws” may be helpful but isn’t a guarantee. If we’ve learned anything from the Snowden releases its that various governments can access whatever they want wherever they want if they’re sufficiently motivated. The only true data protection is an encryption key known only to you.

    - Think long and hard about encryption key storage - no great usability solutions exist. Unlike passwords, storing a one-way hash isn’t a viable way to store encryption keys. Do you want the key on various client devices or in a cloud service? Whatever you decide, make sure the you store the key on a secure and/or encrypted medium.

    - “Rewriting the protocols of email” is an audacious goal but means existing clients won’t work with it until they too support the new protocol. I also think that a server-based solution is fundamentally flawed (as vs p2p) for secure communications. If you want real end-to-end security of messaging and don’t mind learning a new application, consider secure p2p instant messaging apps like CryptoCat or BitMessage - then funnel your traffic over Tor for maximum paranoia.
    Julio Franco likes this.
  4. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,284   +900

    I still don't see the big deal on using services like Gmail or Dropbox, at least from my point of view is as long as you are not breaking the law you shouldn't have to worry about it, what if the NSA reads through your grocery list, or the mails notifying you of a new reply on the thread, or the water bill.
    jobeard and andrewyoung like this.
  5. Seventh Reign

    Seventh Reign TS Booster Posts: 131   +65

    If you have something that you dont want the Government/NSA to see or find. DONT PUT IT ON THE INTERNET!!!!!!!! Dont Email it, Dont store it on the cloud, Dont Put It On Line, Period, End of Discussion.
    jobeard and cliffordcooley like this.
  6. TadMSTR

    TadMSTR TS Enthusiast Posts: 48   +15

    Curious as to why Mega wasn't included in the list of cloud providers with encryption. Free accounts get 50GB of storage. Encryption is end-to-end and takes place in the browser, with plugins for Firefox and Chrome.
  7. Guest17

    Guest17 TS Enthusiast Posts: 92   +37

    I just read in the comments section of another post, "Just remember, if something is free you are the product." A profound comment when you think about it.
  8. andrewyoung

    andrewyoung TS Enthusiast Posts: 49   +15

    same here.....I could care less if they see mine.
  9. Soctrap

    Soctrap TS Rookie

    It could be that people do not give you information of importance simply because you don't respect their security. I certainly have things to hide. Information people have given me in confidence. I also receive a lot of private information from clients who believe their information is being given to my business/me and not to be casually shared with hackers, foreign governments or individuals within government departments.
  10. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,284   +900

    Lol? Casually shared with hackers foreign governments or government departments??

    I think you are over exaggerating a bit too much ;)

    Unless you click on every phishing mail and send your information the first two are not probably going to happen. If you are not conducting illegal activity or incur into strange email activity the last one won't probably happen either.

    Some guys take it too damn seriously. Also, I thought we were talking about personal email, not corporate one, which a) you can host yourself (And normally this is way less secure than using gmail for example), b) you can actually get to pick among many different paid suppliers.
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    I will say this.

    Any person that does not respect privacy, does not deserve privacy. I don't care what the circumstance is! If the government wants to maintain their privacy, they had better leave their citizens alone.
  12. andrewyoung

    andrewyoung TS Enthusiast Posts: 49   +15

    well then you need to take the extra steps to stay secure......I don't.
  13. Victor38077

    Victor38077 TS Rookie Posts: 23

    I do not know why people are worried about Internet privacy. They post everything on Facebook for everyone to see. If they are worried about privacy, they should reconsider what they post online.
  14. gibbery

    gibbery TS Rookie

    Yea, but do you really want your old psychiatrist sending an email to your new psychiatrist about how you feel guilty about some little dirty secret thing you did when they transfer your case? The medical field is using this technology to securely communicate about your health data. Some people would also like to communicate with their doctors by email or over video in remote locations. The information can be stored indefinitely and later used to blackmail the person if it fell into the wrong hands. What about info your HIV status, other STDs, drug use sold to the highest bidder. The government does not have the right to keep that info about their citizens. It has always ended badly for the people. Politicians are people notoriously interested in blackmail, power, and squashing their political opposition. Government workers are using it to snoop on their wives and stuff. Business secrets that fall into the wrong hands can cost the company billions of dollars. People in their twenties often engage in careless chitchat about smoking weed and stuff, which is considered a crime in some countries with lengthy jail terms (although no victims). Blanketly culling for data like that could lead to harm against innocent people by the government for silly laws. Having a same sex relationship in some countries is punishable by death or life in prison. Even if you trust your government with that info now, how do you know what the politics will be like in ten or twenty years. If the your government can access it so can hackers in other countries or identity theves. Politics are constantly changing. It could be your turn to be the next scapegoat for your society and genocide victim. It is human nature that private information like that would be used by the "evildoers" of the world in your country and in others. In some countries criminals literally run the government and control the military and police.
  15. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 7,667   +413

    Pardon my ignorance, but what does the [parsehtml]<p><a href=""><img alt="gmail dropbox nsa google security privacy bittorrent sync protonmail lavaboom tutanota spideroak tresorit darkmail" src=" "[parsehtml <a href &rsquo " mean ??[/parsehtml]

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