New Strategy for Reclaiming Your Online Privacy

It’s not always about reporting grim facts. Here at Independent Living News, we know you expect to learn solutions from us too.
Yes, crony surveillance capitalism and government encroachment onto our lives at the federal, state, and even neighborhood level continues to grow and expand. If you keep your eye on legal developments and technology news, you are aware of the endless moves to cut down your privacy, your liberty, and your independence.
Consider just these most recent advances by the state that are being made at the expense of our freedoms:
Social Media Privacy
  • Uncle Sam has issued new guidelines to keep Internet surfing data on private citizens for up to five years.
  • In early March of 2012, the White House signed off on the “Federal Restricted Buildings and Ground Improvement Act.” It gives the Secret Service the authority to designate zones limiting or banning speech and association. The legislation allows the Secret Service to make these determinations based on the content of speech.
  • The Department of Homeland Security is deploying digital traffic cameras that can track and document your every move.
  • Mandated “black boxes” for new autos, surveillance equipment monitoring your phone calls, internet communications, and financial transactions without a warrant… and now, unmanned drones flying over your home and taking video.
The list goes on and on! And zombified Americans have been conditioned to believe it’s not a big deal. We’re told it’s for our own good. And, worse, if we attempt to question the logic behind these schemes, or have a sensible discussion about the supposed benefits, we’re treated like bad guys.

Some Americans Are Developing Solutions
to Uncle Sam’s Monstrous Over-Reach

The good news: our concerns about the erosion of privacy, liberty, and independence are shared by millions of Americans, and growing. Because of that fact, the free market continually provides parallel institutions that enable us to enhance our independence and keep more control over our daily lives. We have one such example today.
Author Wendy McElroy writes in her article, In Praise of Parallel Institutions: “Parallel and competing institutions offer choice, which inevitably translates into greater freedom. They offer greater freedom regardless of whether the institutions are private or even conscious of the political benefit being extended. Like the marketplace itself, they operate to the benefit of all who would be free.”
Sometimes these institutions compete directly. For example, the post office and FedEx. Or perhaps the U.S. versus the former Soviet Union.
Sometimes they compete yet offer very different goods and services. For instance, church and state, which compete for public loyalty and the opportunity to establish norms of behavior and belief.

A New Innovation May Offer
Substantially More Online Privacy and Security

Privly is an innovative new open source privacy and security technology currently under development by volunteer software programmers.
Companies like Twitter, Google, and Facebook make you choose between modern technology and privacy. But the Privly developers know this to be a false choice… You can communicate through the site of your choosing without giving the host access to your content,” says lead developer Sean McGregor.
The developers understand the value of privacy and security, they see how it is eroding, and they’re doing something about it. For the benefit of all of us.
Shifting your data and trust from an organization that sells your data to one that in the long run, can’t even protect it, doesn’t help. Eventually, a hacker, rogue employee, government, or even someone close to you will expose everything you wrote in an email, said in a chat, or posted in a message. No company can be trusted to protect your data forever,” they write. (This sounds a lot like the warnings we’ve shared!)
Some of Privly’s objectives include:
  • Enable you to share/post/tweet/chat/email anywhere without giving the host site access to the content;
  • Allow you to grant or revoke access to your content to anyone, anywhere, on the Internet;
  • Give you ownership of your data no matter where it’s posted, emailed, or written on the Web;
  • Create an encryption process so only you have access to the information, which also allows you to permanently delete it;
  • Make the process completely anonymous and take advantage of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks.

Some practical examples:
  • Google Mail or any other internet based email service: In most cases, email hosts can read all your emails if they want, or if they’re asked to by warrantless “authorities.” Privly’s technology intends to make it so they can no longer do so.
  • Facebook or any other social media website: Currently, social media companies (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc) can read your posts, and, based on their User Agreements, they may have ownership rights over anything you post to their sites – text, pictures, video, etc. With Privly’s technology the social media company won’t have direct access to your content, sidestepping ownership rights issues, nor will they be able to access or read it, if you choose.
  • You would be able to edit and delete content and emails even after you’ve sent them or posted them.
  • Your Internet habits would be anonymous.
Talk about a parallel institution that offers you more freedom! You can learn more about this new project at