Warning: Apple iOS devices are affected by PRISM. Using them may compromise your privacy. We strongly recommend replacing your iOS device with an Android-compatible device running Replicant.
Google Public DNS permanently logs your ISP and location information for analysis. Your ip-address is also stored for 24 hours.
OpenNIC has not adopted an official policy concerning log query privacy/anonymization. More information here.
Riseup is hosted in the USA, in case that matters.
Why not Hushmail? See “compromises to email privacy”.
Bitmessage is a promising alternative to email, but it has not yet been audited by security professionals. Use at your own risk. If you decide to try out Bitmessage, make sure to generate a completely random ID to greatly reduce the probability of ID collisions.
RetroShare has not been thoroughly audited by security professionals for possible security issues.
Why not MEGA? While MEGA is free as in beer, the software is proprietary code.
Why not SpiderOak? SpiderOak is proprietary software.
Why not Tarsnap? Tarsnap is partially proprietary and hosts your data on Amazon Web Services.
The Bitcoin blockchain is a decentralized, public ledger of all transactions in the Bitcoin network.
“It may be the TCP/ip-of money.” —Paul Buchheit
“Off-the-Record Messaging, commonly referred to as OTR, is a cryptographic protocol that provides strong encryption for instant messaging conversations. OTR uses a combination of the AES symmetric-key algorithm, the Diffie–Hellman key exchange, and the SHA-1 hash function. In addition to authentication and encryption, OTR provides perfect forward secrecy and malleable encryption.
The primary motivation behind the protocol was providing deniability for the conversation participants while keeping conversations confidential, like a private conversation in real life, or off the record in journalism sourcing.”
Note that Pidgin stores your IM account passwords in plain text. You can avoid this by (1) not saving your password in Pidgin, (2) encrypting your file system, or (3) storing your Pidgin password securely with the Debian package pidgin-gnome-keyring.
Pidgin with OTR and dbus enabled has a local security bug. See the upstream bug report for more information and possible workarounds.
A beginner’s guide to running your own mail server is available here: “NSA-proof your e-mail in 2 hours”.
Kolab integrates Roundcube into its webclient and offers desktop clients as well. Recent versions also feature a file cloud turning it into a complete solution for personal information management.
What is an MTA?
“Within Internet message handling services (MHS), a message transfer agent or mail transfer agent (MTA) or mail relay is software that transfers electronic mail messages from one computer to another using a client–server application architecture. An MTA implements both the client (sending) and server (receiving) portions of the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.
The terms mail server, mail exchanger, and MX host may also refer to a computer performing the MTA function. The Domain Name System (DNS) associates a mail server to a domain with mail exchanger (MX) resource records containing the domain name of a host providing MTA services.”
A mesh-networks is a decentralized peer-to-peer network, with user-controlled physical links that are usually wireless.
“Mesh networking (topology) is a type of networking where each node must not only capture and disseminate its own data, but also serve as a relay for other nodes, that is, it must collaborate to propagate the data in the network.“
iOS and WP are proprietary operating systems whose source code are not available for auditing by third parties. You should entrust neither your communications nor your data to a black box device.
The etherpad project maintains a list of sites that run etherpad services. Please only choose from the services that use SSL, and research the site's background before trusting them with your data.
Jitsi is a drop-in, encrypted replacement for almost all the tasks Skype is used for.
Mumble an open source voice chat client in the style of Ventrilo and TeamSpeak.
WebRTC is an upcoming, promising browser to browser communications API.
Use a combination of Tor Browser and a free web browser of your choice to the surf the web.
Try to use Tor Browser as often as possible. Browsing is slower with Tor, but far more secure.
Note: Mozilla Firefox is technically not completely free software, as Mozilla recommends non-free add-ons on their website.
There is also a DuckDuckGo hidden service at 3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion for Tor users.
MetaGer is a SaaS by the German non-profit SUMA e.V. that provides you with anonymous meta search results.
Startpage is a SaaS hosted in the USA and the Netherlands that provides you with anonymous Google search and image results through a free proxy.
Ixquick (run by the same company as Startpage) is a meta search engine that returns combined results from nearly 100 sources - excluding Google.
Seeks acts as a personalizing Web server or proxy between you and your data feeds. Connect most search engines, RSS/ATOM feeds, Twitter/Identica, Youtube/Dailymotion, wikis, and basically any source of data, and Seeks will produce a fused personalized stream of results to your queries. See list of Web Seeks nodes.
Tor users may use Seeks hidden service at 5plvrsgydwy2sgce.onion.
YaCy is a promising project that offers fully decentralized peer-to-peer search. The more people who start using it, the better the results will become.