January 5, 2014
Black Eye News refers to 2013 as The Year Of Edward Snowden for good reason. Despite documents to prove it, and Americans already knowing these laws were in place but simply acquiesced, nobody seems to care.
Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo! Mail remain the top three email providers in the world by the numbers, servicing nearly one billion unique users, according to 2012 comScore data. Nobody cares that Microsoft, which owns Outlook, willfully and eagerly cooperates with the National Security Agency (NSA). Forget that Facebook, Skype, PalTalk, Apple, et al. basically hand the NSA live updates of everyone’s email, chat and text activity.
The document dump by Snowden was only necessary to force Americans to face what they already knew, but played along with the “Act.” The Patriot Act, signed in law on October 26, 2001, specifically authorizes warrantless wiretapping. The 9/11 program was fresh in all American’s minds, so the law went on without any fuss.
The surveillance era of America has now spanned two White House Administrations and appears to be the new norm. But the only reason these government spy programs work so well is because Americans are so unwittingly or otherwise cooperative.
There are hundreds of choices for free email not called Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo! Some of these free services even offer encryption if both parties use the same software. Its best to just pay the $10-$40 per year to buy a domain, activate private registration and utilize the email that comes with the domain. Just avoid corporate registrars that openly support government spying.
Changing your primary personal email is just one small step in the grand scheme of protecting your unalienable right to privacy that U.S. government does not recognize. But dropping the Gmails, Yahoos! and Hotmails of the world force the NSA to take an extra step or two to track you.
Another simple step you could take is to download a plugin like Disconnect, which blocks advertising bots from tracking you. You are now two steps ahead of the game. U.S. government isn’t very computer-savvy, as the world witnessed with the Affordable Care Act roll out. Forcing the NSA to take extra steps will inevitably confuse them, and make them give up on you as one individual among 350 million.
Specific email alternatives will not be provided, as this article is not meant to promote a product. There will be other inconveniences associated with changing your primary email provider. But those unwilling to take the initiative to remedy these issues neither want nor deserve privacy.
One last step you can take to maximize privacy is to use a proxy when logging into email. It may take a few seconds longer for everything to load up, but your location will be all but hidden from snooping eyes.