It looks as if Labor has caved and will pass the proposed data retention bill. You are now under suspicion. You are now under surveillance. You are no longer a citizen, you are a suspect, so it is time to start acting like one. Learn the tools which enable you bypass data retention, to communicate privately with your colleagues, friends and loved ones.
The most troublesome metadata collected by the proposed scheme is not your internet traffic, which has some exclusions; it is your phone, sms and location records. Switch to calling and messaging your contacts using the data connection of a smart phone, computer or tablet. Some of the best tools for this are:
- RedPhone, for encrypted calls on Android.
- TextSecure, for encrypted messages on Android.
- Signal, for encrypted messages on iOS (compatible with TextSecure).
Don’t take my word for it, listen to the NSA. They describe the difficulty of decrypting the communications of these apps as “catastrophic” (I highly recommend watching the video that is based on). These tools also offer good protection in terms of metadata.
Some other tools also listed in as “catastrophic” by the NSA include:
- xmpp with off the record messaging, for encrypted instant messaging on windows / linux / OSX / Android.
- Tor for anonymised web browsing on windows / linux / OSX.
- GnuPG for encrypted emails (not very user friendly).
The purpose of mass surveillance is not to catch criminals, evidence shows that is ineffective. The true purpose of mass surveillance is to ensure conformity. Don’t conform. Don’t give people your phone number, give them your xmpp address. When your friends call, ask them to install the RedPhone app and call you back. Head to the protest on Monday.