Make your calls NSA proof

NSA To Open Large Data Storage Facility In Utah

The revelation that the National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting data on citizens’ calls and electronic messages has caused global alarm and calls for better protection against snooping.

Voice communications are most vulnerable as they are easiest to monitor, but there are emerging phone applications that offer solutions. Silent Circle, developed by leading cryptographers and counterterrorism specialists, uses “ephemeral keys” to encrypt calls and allows you to burn messages a set time after sending.

“There’s no record of the call, no logging; you could have the conversation in the NSA cupboard and they wouldn’t read it,” Silent Circle’s CEO and former Navy SEAL Mike Janke told Metro. “For the same reason we couldn’t give your data to the government – we don’t have it.”

Silent Circle services 117 countries and Fortune 500 companies, and there is further evidence that secure calling is taking off.

“Mobile broadband has enabled voice encryption, which was impossible on traditional phones,” said Marek Tuszynski of My Shadow, a group that promotes privacy for human rights purposes and lists tools on its website with reviews.

When choosing an encryption tool, Tuszynski recommends using one with open-source code and peer reviews for transparency. Users should also be aware that “any type of encryption raises a flag and makes you suspicious.”

The NSA leak also revealed collusion with tech giants such as Facebook, and My Shadow cautions against social media use. “Free information exchange is dominated by these attractive networks that live from selling your data,” says Tuszynski, suggesting that they are incompatible with privacy.

Ultimately, law enforcement agencies have stronger tools to invade communications than exist to protect them, so high priority suspects cannot hide. “Defense methods exist to understand monitoring systems, mitigate their effect and buy time,” said Smari McCarthy of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative. “But if you are wanted, you’re not untraceable.”

Privacy toolbox

Silent Circle: App produced by world-leading cryptographers that has four modes and allows you to delete sent data and messages.

HIGHSEC: ‘Tap-proof’ smartphone developed by German firm Giesecke & Devrient has a mode that scans for third-party monitoring.

Jitsi: An encrypted alternative to Skype that can be downloaded to smartphones.

The Guardian Project: Community platform providing security apps for smartphones and open source programs.

Tor: Web browser that hides your online activity; available for Android.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'Full House' might be relaunched with some of…

A new "Full House" might be in the works.

Movies

Review: 'The Congress' is a crazy, unwieldy sci-fi…

Robin Wright is the center of gravity in "The Congress," which turns from a live-action Hollywood satire into an animated spectacular on a downer future.

Movies

Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood' is a…

Dakota Fanning plays Errol Flynn's (Kevin Kline) teenage gal pal in "The Last of Robin Hood," which takes a scandal and makes it dully empathetic.

Movies

Review: The uneven 'Life of Crime' mostly gets…

Elmore Leonard's "The Switch" becomes the new indie crime dramedy "Life of Crime," with Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped woman whose husband won't pay up.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Career

Stop eating lunch at your desk

What are you doing for lunch today? If you are like most workers, you'll be eating at your desk - which isn't much of a…

Parenting

Lure your baby to sleep with Maroon 5…

These new renditions of "Moves Like Jagger" and "Payphone" are Maroon 5 like you've never heard them before.

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.