You have probably heard the phrase "If you have nothing to hide, why worry about people spying on you?" at some point in your life. I have even said it myself.
What does a law-abiding citizen have to fear from Big Scary Things like the FBI and the NSA and the CIA and all the other three letter acronyms?
Unfortunately, that is not who is spying on you. (Much.)
I fully understand the need to revoke the right to privacy in order to prevent crime. If terrorists or pedophiles were found on my site, you can bet I would give the FBI root access. As long as it is not something insidious like the Chinese, I am fine with it.
The issue is not the government, but thousands of corporations that track your every activity.
Sure, you are not committing any crimes or sowing discontent or threatening any rich people, but do you really want landlords having access to every text message you have ever sent for the purposes of "background checks" to determine if you will pay rent on time and will not complain if they take advantage of you? Because they do that now.
- We have background checking companies that compile lists of all the messages that you have ever sent through a variety of platforms ranging from private messages on Facebook to quick chats with drivers in the Lyft app, available to anyone who pays the fee. Sounds great for creepy stalkers, eh?
- We have "analytics" companies that pay money to find out whether you are depressed, how much income you have, whether you are susceptible to drug or gambling addictions, whether you have lost a relative or pet... anything that makes you vulnerable to advertisement campaigns. Then they make sure you see those ads and try to milk every cent they can out of you. So what if it negatively impacts your mental health?
- We have employees at Google and Amazon listening to Echo and Alexa recordings and laughing at all your intimate conversations, and even sharing the recordings outside the companies. The law means nothing to those who break it, and is surprisingly difficult to enforce anyway.
The services provided by this site are not for hiding from the government (although they could be used for that). The services provided by this site are for reducing the rape of your very identity by soulless profiteers and white-collar criminals.
Damn; what can I do?
Apart from becoming active in politics? Not much. But here are some things that I recommend:
- Use Firefox. Your RAM will thank you as well.
- Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge do not even work correctly. You should not be using them at all, privacy or no.
- Install Privacy Badger to block trackers. This will also reduce bandwidth and speed up page load times immensely.
- Use HTTPS instead of HTTP whenever possible. HTTPS Everywhere is a browser extension that probably helps with that.
- katabaticat.net supports both HTTP and HTTPS. This is solely for compatibility on the off-chance I need to load a webpage over telnet. Use HTTPS or else.
- Tracking concerns aside, it is very easy to intercept usernames and passwords over HTTP, and even edit the page as it is being sent to you.
- Visit PrivacyTools.IO for more information.