Whenever I see a news story or essay about privacy, I am motivated to convey that information to others. You can keep up with some of my findings by following the @SilentVault or the @DigitalCashAlly Twitter feeds, for example. As well, I find these articles to be very motivating in the area of protecting my privacy.
Just as talk of gun control seems to inspire ever larger numbers of Americans to go out and buy more guns (reaching a new record, as far as those having instant background checks, on "Black Friday" this year), talk of invasions of privacy inspire me to protect my privacy.
Here's an article that you should read. As William Grigg reports, drone pilots who spoke out against the slaughter of civilians by American military drone operators, including themselves, have had their bank accounts and credit cards frozen. Now, if you think that speaking out was bad for Chelsea Manning, and I believe she has suffered egregious consequences for speaking out about US government behaviour, do keep in mind that at least there was a military tribunal before sentence was passed. In the case of these drone operators, they are being punished even before being tried.
How should you go about protecting yourself from such outrages? Flee to Moscow, as Edward Snowden has done? That might work out, but I suspect that it is not congenial to everyone.
I suggest that if you are concerned about violent crime, including terrorism, including violent actions by your own government, you should buy guns, body armour, and other tools for self-defence, and learn how to use them. Then keep them, bear them, and as needed, use them. Be aware of your situation. Understand threats and know how to see them coming. Don't walk down the street, unarmed, staring into your smart phone. Do keep a phone with you (take out its battery if you think you might say something you don't want monitored) so you can summon additional assistance as needed.
Similarly, if you are wandering around the Internet, do so intelligently. Don't expose your IP address and other information if you can avoid it. Use a virtual privacy network. View the secure connection for every site that allows it. Don't browse web sites without safeguarding your web browser using NoScript and a good Ad Block Plus software. Use a security certificate patrol plug-in to examine the security certs your browser is presented with and avoid man-in-the-middle attacks. If a site presents many security certs, don't accept them. Don't trust secure connections unless you can be sure they are actually secure. Evaluate the digital signatures of the security certs you are presented.
There are a great many tools and techniques for privacy. One of the advisers of the Digital Cash Alliance, Jim Davidson, has been teaching a comprehensive class in some of these privacy tools through the Individual Sovereign University. Another of our advisers, Paul Rosenberg, built the Cryptohippie VPN service. And our most recent adviser, Bruno Delpeuc'h (one says "dell puck") has been working with Digital Cash Alliance founder Kevin Wilkerson to build ElanVPN, to provide virtual private network services integrated with audio-video VoIP, Tor, and other features. ElanVPN is building a system to interface encrypted VoIP with international direct dialing through their IndieGoGo campaign.
Finally, if you are concerned that you may have your economic privacy attacked, as the whistleblowing drone operators have had, then you should use a secure system for digital cash. We recommend the SVSpark and Digital Cash Spark wallet systems. They offer end-to-end encrypted chat, secure conference rooms, and XMPP-based data flow. They keep no records of your transactions, all of which occur in the wallet - where you are free to keep receipts or not have them stored.
Yes, it is a frightening world out there. There are crazy people in charge of major governments who believe that they should enslave you, saddle you, and ride you, while whipping you mercilessly. But you don't have to put up with it.
Choose freedom. Choose digital cash. Choose digital privacy. You'll be glad you did.