Hello Privacy Friends, here’s this weekend’s privacy alert:
This probably won’t come as surprise to most folks. But now even Google, who is often rightly accused of spying on its own customers, is saying that the US government is using the Patriot Act to demand user information from the search giant. And Google is complying. They are turning over search history, account passwords, and emails to the feds, without so much as a search warrant.
One snippet really jumped out at me:
“In 2007 a Justice Department Inspector General audit found that the FBI had indeed abused its authority and misused NSLs on many occasions. After 9/11, for example, the FBI paid multimillion-dollar contracts to AT&T and Verizon requiring the companies to station employees inside the FBI and to give these employees access to the telecom databases so they could immediately service FBI requests for telephone records. The IG found that the employees let FBI agents illegally look at customer records without paperwork and even wrote NSLs for the FBI.”
Cover your online identity and use the tools we talk about in the Patriot Online Privacy Kit to cover your tracks. Use the TOR browser for browsing anonymously, turn on all of Google’s privacy settings, and use an alias online. Be very careful who you interact with on Facebook, and don’t use your real name there (you can actually change your name on Facebook). You can also use an IP proxy to cover yourself as well. We’ll talk more about these tools in future posts, so stay tuned.
Yours in Privacy
PS: Barbara and I were completely overwhelmed this week by all the orders for the Patriot Online Privacy Platinum Printed Package. We are feverishly printing and posting them as we speak and through the weekend. If you don’t have yours yet, you should get it this coming week. I really apologize for the delay and hope that you love it as much as our readers have in the past.