How to navigate the Internet around PRISM

Google and YouTube may be under NSA surveillance, but you can still surf the web without Big Brother watching


Recently released National Security Agency documents indicate the U.S. government is “tapping directly into the central servers” of your favorite Internet services as part of a secret program called PRISM.

So much for those privacy policies, huh?

The Guardian and Washington Post revealed the stunning extent of the PRISM snooping operation: the NSA and FBI are monitoring Microsoft, Google, YouTube, Yahoo, Facebook, Skype, Apple, and others.

Those companies have largely denied the reports, saying they never allowed the government direct access to their servers. Government officials have admitted the program exists, however, and President Obama himself defended it as legal in a Friday morning press conference.

Naturally, privacy advocates are up in arms over the government having access to their Internet data in this way, even if officials claim PRISM only targets non-U.S. residents and citizens. These are some of the biggest companies on the Internet, and they probably know more about you and your activities than anyone else around.

Yet there are still ways you can use the Internet without having to surrender your personal information, data, and Internet habits to those firms in the program.

It might be best to use services based outside of the U.S., where the American government has no jurisdiction—bearing in mind that other governments may have their own surveillance programs, and anything you share publicly might be scooped up by security agencies anyway.

That said, here’s your guide to using the Internet without using PRISM companies.

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