Happy mass surveillance day!

Today is the day that the Turnbull government’s mandatory data retention scheme comes into force.

Yes, while our own PM who uses secure messaging services and a private email server to communicate, he wants to make it as easy as possible for our national security authorities to spy on the rest of us.

How will we be celebrating? By locking down our online communication. Here’s how you can, too:

  1. Be careful how you use social media, and set your privacy settings as high as possible.
  2. Use an offshore or non-ISP email provider, and take a lead from Turnbull and use an encrypted messaging app.
  3. Use an offshore Virtual Private Network, or VPN.
  4. Use Tor and PGP.
  5. Use smartphone call apps to make video and voice calls.

These won’t offer you complete protection, but they’ll make violating your privacy much more difficult and more expensive. For a plain English explanation of these services, plus all the background to the new laws, read Bernard Keane’s definitive guide to data retention.

Peter Fray

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