Flying under the radar

Monday, July 29, 2013 - 5:58pm

With government and corporate surveillance becoming a bigger issue for everyone, the question arises…can you maintain your privacy?
So how do you leave the grid, or fly under the radar without turning into some recluse in the woods?
Can you do all your normal everyday work chores without being detectable by snoopers of any sort?
So, where to start?
Your computer and phone have become essential tools of any workday.
There are reports that Russian officials are using good old typewriters to avoid leaving a trail, but that’s pretty impractical today.
Since emails and texts can be intercepted, how do you keep them private?
Then there’s the cell phone.
And in each phone now is a Global Positioning System or GPS tracker chip.
Your home is full of things that send out messages. In my house, the Wii game box, my daughter’s Kindle, i-Pads and then there are the cameras on phones, and laptops.
You might need to resort to small bits of electrical tape to cover them.
There are applications to help you hide your laptop and phone.
One is called Wickr, which encrypts texts and photos and causes them to disappear after a period of time.
There are several Virtual Private Networks or VPN’s, that keeps your messages and texts off the internet.
It’s as though you are connected directly to the other computer like two cans and a string.
A company called Hushmail helps you encrypt your emails.
You can’t go near Google, or Facebook. But Twitter isn’t part of the government’s PRISM surveillance program.
Switching your phone to airplane mode helps, but your i=Phone is full of devices to make you very visible to prying ears. You can even wrap the phone in aluminum foil to prevent unwanted transmissions.
Yes, it wears a tinfoil hat.
But here’s the rub. When you essentially drop out of the grid, you have made yourself suspicious.
And that rather defeats the purpose.
Many of these tips came from journalist Kevin Roose of New York Magazine.
He even wore a red baseball cap with LED lights that are supposed to make you invisible to infrared cameras.
Except they might notice the red, glowing guy who just walked by.

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