Normally I try to keep this site to articles about programming and related topics, but the not so recent and on going revelations about the depth of the NSA's, GCHQ's and Israeli inteliigence's spying activities is enough to push even the most softly spoken and conscientious of tech heads to the point of outrage and dismay.
Edward Snowden's revelations weren't actually anything that hadn't been stated before, there is a long line of whistleblowers that have attempted to expose the illegality of the NSA's actions, such as William Binney, Russ Tice, Thomas Drake and Mark Klein, all of which were ignored by the mainstream media. Those of us that did hear about these relevlations and tried to spread the word were labeled as conspiracy theorists and tin foil hatted nutters.
Well...we were right! To be honest it's not surprising, telecommunications and the internet are centralised systems which makes them very easy to tap into monitor, along with this, big tech companies and telecoms providers rely on and use governments through subsidisation, large government contracts, tax breaks and whatnot, they wouldn't be big multi national corporations otherwise, so it's natural that they would be easily coerced into aiding government spying programs.
Now that the cat is out of the bag the question is what are we going to do about it? You cannot rely on any politician or government institution to enact change, frankly, they never do unless enough people get up and start complaining. Take the example of gay marriage, laws would not have changed one jot unless countless people spent decades raising their voices to the cause. Politicians only enact change with regards to civil liberties when they stand to gain a large amount of votes, which always make's me laugh when people laud politicians for doing such things, we're supposed to be happy that you finally gave us back a right that took away in the first place? And you gave it back to enhance you're own political career? Yeah...thanks.
So we need to keep complaining and complaining and then some in order to put an end mass surveillance. The News York Time has written an article about this and there is also an online petition over at stopwatching.us where you can register your distaste for the current state of affairs, there are also some rallies on the cards which you can read about at stopwatching.us. Unfortunately these are all USA based and aimed at the NSA, I haven't seen any that take aim at GCHQ or any of the other European agencies that are involved in this sham. Hopefully something will crop up soon for us European types.
In the mean time, I have written a few articles on internet security, Post PRISM and NSA super spying dragnet thoughts on privacy and A simple guide to anonymity on the internet, check these out for thoughts on keeping yourself safe, although as more details of the depth of the surveillance conspiracy emerge, such as comprised encryption algorithms, it seems that it is near impossible to truly keep yourself out of the governments web.
Of course there are alternatives that are being worked on, Mesh networks have come along way in recent years and there are even actual iworking mesh networks in use right now. It seems that the best way to get out of a trap is to avoid it completely and take a different path altogether.
If someone has constructed a giant spy network, don't use the giant spy network.