According to the original report that brought PRISM to public attention, the nine companies that “participate knowingly” with the NSA are Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple.
Zhong’s approach is to replace your workflow with open-source tools that aren’t attached to these companies, since they easily stay well off the government’s radar.
If you want to drop totally off the map, it’ll take quite a commitment. (Are you ready to give up your operating system?)
We’ve gathered our favourites of the apps Zhong mentioned. If you want to see all these and more, check out his site.
It's nearly certain that you use either Apple's OS X, Google's Chrome OS, or Microsoft's Windows. And guess what? If PRISM works as described, it can access and retrieve system files from your computer.
Tor is a decentralized way to navigate the web without leaving a trail, but you have to be a slightly tech-proficient to configure it correctly. Grab help from a technologically fluent friend or follow a walkthrough online.
If you've chosen to install GNU, you might also use GNUzilla, a GNU-friendly version of the Mozilla software suite (it obviously includes Firefox).
Who wants Big Brother maybe or maybe not reading email over your shoulder? Bitmessage is awesome for just that purpose.
You might consider it the Bitcoin of email -- it's decentralized and anonymous, and essential details like the sender's address can't be imitated.
Think of OpenStreetMaps as existing at the intersection of Wikipedia and Google Maps. It's a crowdsourced mapping system, meaning that people all over the world have collaborated to build a map of the world from scratch.
Gone will be your days of Dropbox if you want to keep your cloud storage private. SparkleShare is an awesome way to do this instead.
It's pretty fully-featured, offering a lot of the same services you'd get from major cloud services, like file syncing. It's even free and open source. This is self-hosted, however, meaning you or a tech-savvy friend will have to set it up on your own.
It shouldn't come as a surprise, but if you want to be sure you never get PRISM's attention, it's time to say goodbye to Facebook and Twitter. We like GNU Social, a self-hosted and secure network all its own.
Good luck getting your friends to join.
We use WordPress for our own personal web publishing ambitions and recommend it without much reservation. If you have webspace and a domain name, you can have your own personal website up and running in about 10 or 15 minutes.
Yes, you can register a free WordPress account and start posting right away on WordPress's site, but then you're playing in theirsandbox. The idea in self-hosting it is to cut the cord on as many internet services as possible, opting for those that you can control inside and out.
People running a website with any degree of seriousness will live and die by the traffic analytics. Often times these come from Google Analytics, but Piwik is an open-source analytics engine that offers the same features.