5 messaging and cloud storage apps the government isn't snooping on... yet

5 messaging and cloud storage apps the government isn't snooping on... yet
While we all knew the government and even private enterprise can monitor and collect communications data from carriers and other providers for "mining", and these efforts were really stepped up after 9/11, with the introduction of the Patriot Act, the true face of it never made it public until The Guardian scooped a secret court order from the NSA to Verizon.

It's been a furious tug-of-war since, with the NSA officials claiming the system is crucial for national security and has accountability and safeguards built-in, while tinfoil hat types arguing that even this bulk data collection is more than the government should be involved with. Actually, if you look for PRISM on the DoT website, it comes in plain site as a database that also collects vendor data for government procurement, meaning that the system's reach spans each and every critical for the national security sector, rather than being there for snooping on your Gmails, as the tinfoil crowd is trying to portray.

Google, Apple, Microsoft and others already denied to be giving backdoor access to PRISM, the surveillance system in question, though we all know they cooperate when they are subpoenaed for clearly criminal cases, and perhaps that's why they made it into the NSA's PRISM slide below. Google in particular issues data how many such requests it receives annually from authorities, and the number has mushroomed significantly in our post-9/11 world.

It becomes clear that if we want to play it safe, or simply don't like our communication details being scooped up in bulk, we should be avoiding the big boys as these are all in the eye of the NSA. There are some alternatives, however, which you can switch to in your everyday communications, if you are miffed about that whole PRISM thing. Besides smaller, but excellent cloud services like SugarSync, you can pivot towards foreign ones, as it would be really hard for the NSA to court order bulk scooping to a Korean service for example, or directly use an app that is built with encrypted communication in mind. 

The list below is by no means extensive, so if you've come across anything similar short of creating your own end-to-end encrypted network, share it in the comments.

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21 Comments

1. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

I wonder if the apps mentioned in the slides for Android are available, similarly, for iProducts?

2. scriptwriter

Posts: 396; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

This whole prism business is nothing new. There have always been government (and non-government) agencies snooping on the net, emails, SMS and call logs. Even if we never knew about, someones always watching.

11. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

Change the rotten system, vote for the completely different parties....

3. SuperNexus

Posts: 127; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

So, are you suggesting to terrorist that they can use these apps for communicating. I don't mind if Govt. collect my personal data. I think people must understand that Privacy is not more important than nation safety.

5. tonygoz

Posts: 11; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither

13. rfrapp

Posts: 77; Member since: Jun 10, 2010

^this

15. Jonathan41

Posts: 532; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

Okay "Benjamin Franklin" relax.

17. xtremesv

Posts: 299; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

And... "It is better 100 guilty persons should escape than that one innocent person should suffer". This is a time when a new age of totalitarianism is rising for the sake of security. Let's begin the witchhunting.

9. YaBoiDre10

Posts: 84; Member since: Nov 15, 2012

You my friend are unaware of history.

16. Jonathan41

Posts: 532; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

What "history"?

4. tiara6918

Posts: 2262; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Kakaotalk? But why? Sorry, I don't get it. I'm a heavy user of kakaotalk and kakao story btw

6. EXkurogane

Posts: 863; Member since: Mar 07, 2013

But... but... Obama is reading Phonearena! Now these 5 will be added to their snooping list soon...

7. madpiyal

Posts: 108; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

This snooping should be made illegal. The so called "patriot act" should be revised. The NSA director went before Congress and flat out lied that it wasn't happening. The IRS went before Congress and flat out lied they weren't targeting anyone. The head of the DoJ went before Congress and flat out lied he had nothing to do with reporter wire taps. But data collection is done regularly but all in secrecy. Lets consider again "Who is our real enemy?"

8. dickwyn

Posts: 621; Member since: May 07, 2012

sadly i don't even use any of the listed app above

10. drnggaj33

Posts: 127; Member since: Feb 29, 2012

the government tracks you by your gps on in your car too big bro is everywhere 9/11 was a setup same for sandy hook to take guns away from us to have control of are life overseas they are trying to make one curretcy think ppl

18. madpiyal

Posts: 108; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

Ya you are right partially (I know about NWO). Which will give more power over greater population.

12. projectmole86

Posts: 10; Member since: Jan 17, 2012

Even tho the lack of apps is holding me back this is why so many people around the world still use blackberry so the government cant get into their stuff! And why bbm downloads on android and iphone will prob skyrocket after it is released.

19. madpiyal

Posts: 108; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

Yes blackberry OS seems to be the only choice eight now. Hope something better will come up with Samsung's Meego ( or whatever its name is, I don't know specifically) and Firefox OS. Can anyone tell me what are the privacy issues in Windows Phone (I haven't tried one yet but thinking of)? Is it mandatory to have a outlook account to access app store? Does it automatically turn on GPS by default whenever you purchase a new phone or update it (It happens at the beginning whenever I try a new custom rom in Android)?

14. Jonathan41

Posts: 532; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

Whatever...

20. JMartin22

Posts: 2311; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

This article issues a lot of paranoia. I won't speak for anyone else, but if I'm not doing anything illegal, I don't care what some unknown government body knows what I'm doing.

21. Ronny666

Posts: 128; Member since: Jun 08, 2013

I just don't care about a particular country's safety. America is not the world. Most people who are concerned about personal identity being monitored shouldn't be feeling very paranoid unless if they are doing something illegal.

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