Google vs NSA

  • Replies:4
Mato Snek
  • Forum posts: 4

Oct 31, 2013, 9:35:56 AM via Website

What do you think about the "suspicion" of NSA hacking of Google? How can it affect the Android and our using of smartphones? Because in my humble opinion, if someone hacks my phone it is usually my fault, but what can I do if is hacked someone like Google?

Kris Carlon
  • Forum posts: 1,110

Oct 31, 2013, 10:55:54 AM via Website

Hi @Mato, the NSA code has been latent inside Android for a very long time. Even if it hasn't been used yet you have to ask how it got there - obvious cooperation/coercion. There's lots of pressure placed on companies by the NSA to either give them secret back doors or keys, or otherwise weaken their own encryption to make it easier for the NSA to exploit later etc. Add to this the fact that the NSA can legally request all kinds of data and levels of access. Many smaller companies closed down under the pressure (by refusing), but lots of larger companies (email service providers, Google, Facebook etc) have been cooperating for a long time. It just makes sense that the NSA would continue to try to hack even further into those networks as well. Not much you can do about it but move to a different (and less popular, hence less likely to be targeted) service. Or invest in some serious encryption and go stealth and off the radar which is probably all a bit unnecessary for the average joe.

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Amy R.
  • Forum posts: 238

Oct 31, 2013, 4:24:34 PM via App

K9 email cleint has a very useful encryption add-on which can encrypt down to the actual email account source itself. I'll be honest, I have it but don't use it but when I use it, it works. There are paid encrypted and privacy email services (Reagancom and others) but like Kris said earlier, they often get shut down for not weakening encryption or refusing to hand over data all together. Kris is right, this has happened to me with the last email service I was using.

For web I use Firefox with DuckDuckGo search (add-on) as default. As far as HTTP vs. SSL and VPN web service goes- Don't bother, they have all been cracked. Along with Firefox with DDG as default, I use security add-ons which include: Ghostery in conjunction with Self-Destructing Cookies (Ghostery for ALL trackers, web beacons, analytics, etc & Self-Destructing Cookies for everything else) when set up that way they work remarkably well. Your always best off to have your cookie preferences set to allow NO third party cookies. For flash cookies, unless it is absolutely necessary for the site I'm on, I usually go to flash player and turn flash cookie function off.

These are the easiest and most common ways your information gets collected then handed over. I'm a bit of a paranoid freak but only because I been through this first hand. Your concern really shouldn't be about the NSA but rather the integrity of the providers and services you use. Google uses an UNBELIEVABLE amount of cookies and trackers for data collecting. Not all services are that way.....................

— modified on Oct 31, 2013, 4:40:56 PM

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Mato Snek
  • Forum posts: 4

Nov 4, 2013, 5:04:14 PM via Website

Well, it is fine to have that options for encrypting data and these technical stuff. And I in a way also understand the struggle of authorities and institutions such a NSA. But what fascinates me most is the feeling of ignorance or lethargy of the most users (which I know, I don´t want to generalize). In other words, my feeling is that most of the people just don´t care. I don´t mean that everybody has to be some kind of "paranoid freak" (no offense Amy :) ), but at least some kind of basic knowledge or interest should be expected...

Marc Bolh
  • Forum posts: 14

Nov 30, 2013, 12:09:24 AM via Website

After reading Googleplex and Google's decision to end cooperation with the Chinese government on censorship, I trust them about as much as any company to stand up to government pressure.