How Paranoid Should You Be About Government Surveillance?

Every individual has a responsibility to protect themselves against illegal government surveillance, says Jacob Appelbaum, if not for yourself, then for those you associate with. 

What's the Latest Development?

The same government agency that launched its illegal wiretapping program in the wake of 9/11 is set to open a $2 billion data analysis center in Utah by September 2013. The NSA's nondescript Utah Data Center will be used to "to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store the agency’s intercepted communications—everything from emails, cell phone calls, Google searches, and Tweets, to retail transactions." Jacob Appelbaum, a renowned hacker and privacy advocate, says individuals have a responsibility to make sure they are not tracked, not only to protect their own rights, but the rights of those they associate with.  

What's the Big Idea?

Appelbaum, the only known American member of the global non-profit WikiLeaks, is the first to point out that the Internet simply is not secure, referring to successful cyber-attacks against Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Google. Still, he recommends using Tor, an encrypted web browser, in concert with, an encrypted email provider which is integrated with Tor. The unfortunate truth, says Appelbaum, is that a cell phone is a tracking device that makes phone calls, and those who respond with accusations of paranoia, if they are not cops, are people who feel unempowered—surely not a quality in our troubled times. 

Photo credit:

Big Think
Sponsored by Lumina Foundation

Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!

As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.

Keep reading Show less

7 fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Here are 7 often-overlooked World Heritage Sites, each with its own history.

Photo by Raunaq Patel on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites are locations of high value to humanity, either for their cultural, historical, or natural significance.
  • Some are even designated as World Heritage Sites because humans don't go there at all, while others have felt the effects of too much human influence.
  • These 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites each represent an overlooked or at-risk facet of humanity's collective cultural heritage.
Keep reading Show less

Following sex, some men have unexpected feelings – study

A new study shows that some men's reaction to sex is not what you'd expect, resulting in a condition previously observed in women.

Credit: Pixabay
Sex & Relationships
  • A new study shows men's feelings after sex can be complex.
  • Some men reportedly get sad and upset.
  • The condition affected 41% of men in the study
Keep reading Show less

Scientists discover how to trap mysterious dark matter

A new method promises to capture an elusive dark world particle.

Surprising Science
  • Scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) devised a method for trapping dark matter particles.
  • Dark matter is estimated to take up 26.8% of all matter in the Universe.
  • The researchers will be able to try their approach in 2021, when the LHC goes back online.
Keep reading Show less