Open Source Subnet An independent Open Source community View more

How to opt out of PRISM, the NSA's spying program

With many up in arms following the spying accusations facing Microsoft, Google and others believed to have cooperated with the NSA's PRISM program, a new site offers more private alternatives.

Nine leading U.S. companies have been scrutinized since a Washington Post report published last week claimed they were collaborating with the NSA program PRISM. The report implicates Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple with providing the U.S. government access to users emails, documents, audio and video chats, photos, documents, and connection logs.

While those companies scramble to recover from these accusations, issuing quick public statements denying the claims and reminding us how much they care about user privacy, another website has quickly emerged to inform users of alternatives to these services. At prism-break.org, self-described interface designer Peng Zhong has published a simple and easily navigable chart to show more private and secure alternatives to the services that were alleged to have cooperated with the government program.

The list is quite comprehensive, ranging from operating systems to ecommerce services to collaboration. Although some options, such as Ubuntu Linux and Bitcoin, are already widely known, the site brings to light many more privacy-focused services that a lot of users may not have been aware of.

Those looking for a more secure email service, however, appear to be out of luck. Prism-Break.org claims there is "no safe alternative currently," and advises email users to activate the "off-the-record" option certain email providers, such as Gmail, offer for sensitive communication.

Of course, readers are welcome to suggest secure alternative email options in the comments.

Insider Shootout: Best security tools for small business
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies