Written on Thursday, November 28, 2013 by Warren B. Causey
Some people on Patriot Update already may be aware of this, but there are ways to make it harder for the federal government to spy on your Internet and other activities. None of them are foolproof, the developers will admit, but they do add complexity to the NSA’s process of spying on everyone. To my way of thinking, anything patriotic citizens can do to make federal government spying on innocent citizens more difficult or expensive is a good idea. I’m sure the really bad guys already know about these and even more. It’s innocent citizens who need to become aware and take some precautions.
One relatively simple change I made this week that helps quite a bit, at little aggravation to me, is to join the Tor Project network. This is a network of volunteers who relay Internet traffic anonymously and bounce it around the world, making it more difficult to track what sites you visit. Here is a quote from the Tor site explaining what the network does (https://www.torproject.org): “Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.”
The Tor Project warns you that this process may slow your Internet communications a bit, but I’ve found the lag is very minimal. Of course I use a very fast computer, a MacBook Air. I suspect those on Windows machines might find the lag more noticeable, but whether it is acceptable is up to you. You also will have to change to the Firefox browser, which I’ve used in the past and now am happily using full time again. There is no cost to join the Tor Project.
Another thing you will have to do is have your password authentication information readily at hand. Since sites like your bank and others you frequent are accustomed to your Internet traffic arriving from known locations, you likely will have to authenticate nearly every time. I consider that a minor issue in an effort to make Big Brother’s job of spying on me any little bit harder.
There are a number of other options for more sophisticated computer users. Bruce Schneier discusses some of those in a blog entitled “How to remain secure against the NSA”. That blog is available here. Schneier includes a number of other suggestions for making the lives of NSA spies more difficult. I suggest you read them and make use of all that your level of computer savvy allows.
Is there really any way to prevent Big Brother from spying on you? No, and certainly not if you have a computer connected to the Internet. One option would be to remove that connection and remove all other electronic devices from your home. Of course that’s not practical, and anyway, Big Brother knows where you live, where you pay your property taxes, your telephone number (which he can listen into anytime he wants) and virtually everything there is to know about virtually every citizen. He can even check up on you from space or with drones.
The kind of knowledge the NSA is accumulating on you and I and all citizens is dangerous to have in any government’s hands and represents a situation not conceived of by the writers of our Constitution and founders of our government. They were people who wouldn’t have considered of the idea of spying on all citizens and assuredly would have gone armed into the streets to prevent it. But we live in a different world now and one in which the founder’s precepts are being violated and trampled every day by our federal and many state governments.
Can we escape cradle-to-grave, 24-hour surveillance by Big Brother? Probably not. But I for one intend to make it as difficult as possible for him. I’m a decorated veteran of this country’s foreign wars, a part-time pastor and a law-abiding citizen and family man. I refuse to acquiesce limply in the arrival of Big Brother government. I’m going to make it as hard as possible for them to usurp my liberty! It probably won’t make much difference, but it will make me feel better, at least until they haul me off to a “correction” camp. Wonder if they’ll call them “Obama Camps”? Please look after my family if/when that happens and if you’re still loose.