January 6, 2014

You are not a NSA target... most probably...

World changed a lot since Wikileaks revelations and Edward Snowden's statement from last year. Since then we keep finding out how governments spy us, how Facebook, Google, Twitter and other big companies are forced to share private data, how some (most?) of the hardware we buy has hidden backdoors, etc...

This has caused people to act in a really paranoid way, like running their own mail servers, blocking their phone's mic and camera with duct tape, encrypting USB drives which on the other hand are used to store low-value data, like photos and music, etc...

Really? Do you really think that anybody in the NSA (or any other governmental super-secret organization) is interested in your pathetic life? Do you really think there is a guy that is being paid full-time to spy on you? Do you really think that anybody is interested in your nonsense emails full with 9gag gifs? Do you really think anybody gives a damn shit about you?

You're not important. Oh, well... unless you actually work in something secret that a government could be interested in, you have some absolutely important and critical data, or you're involved in someway/somehow with something BIG, related with drugs, weapons, or any other illegal stuff.

Let me put it this way. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being top-priority target and 1 being save in the database but don't even bother querying it later, you're probably -9000.

I'm not saying that your privacy isn't important. It is! Your privacy is absolutely important. In fact, privacy is a right that we should have no matter what. If your government is taking it away from you, then vote better, protest, call a strike, but don't put duct tape on your phone's mic. That's just ridiculous.

Don't act like a paranoid schizophrenic. The fact that your government is able to spy you doesn't mean that they will. They won't. Because of all the questions I wrote earlier. And because, what do they get spying on you? Can you think about a single reason why they would want to spy you? Just one good reason. Be honest with yourself.

Stop freaking out about how AES256 could have some flaw, because even if it had a flaw it wouldn't be easily exploitable, which means that the people that surround you wouldn't be able to decrypt what you encrypted either way. And also, do you really think somebody would bother decrypting that "My Little Pony" lyrics you wrote and then encrypted? On the other hand, do you really think whatever encryption method you used to encrypt your data will save you or your data from the government's hands? If they can't decrypt it, they will just beat the shit out of you. By the time they are done with you, you'll be willing to give them whatever they want, just like in xkcd 538.

xkcd 538

Stop freaking out about how Gmail (or Hotmail, or <insert mail service here>) is not secure enough for you because the government can access your emails. Do you really think that if you use TorMail or <insert private mail service here> or use your own server, the government won't be able to get your mails? Are you really that naive? The moment a government is interested in your emails, you're screwed because they will get them in a few minutes. I invite you to watch Kim Dotcom's raid.

Next time somebody asks you for a mail service, stop being a naive privacy nerd and just say "Gmail or Hotmail will probably work just fine!".

You're not fixing anything with duct tape nor with your own mail server. Instead, you should (try to) do something so your government can't force big companies to share private data by putting pressure on them. The moment you achieve this, you'll get your privacy.