You don’t have to follow Edward Snowden’s revelations to be concerned about your privacy on the Internet. Anytime you use Google as a search engine, you are providing deeply personal information to a company that is not known for its commitment to free speech and liberty. In fact, such data mining is how they earn their billions…at least it’s the one public way we know.
Instead, I use Startpage for my searches, a site I found about from something I read a while back at LewRockwell.com.
And the reason I do is succinctly explained by Startpage:
Every time you use a regular search engine, your search data is recorded. Major search engines capture your IP address and use tracking cookies to make a record of your search terms, the time of your visit, and the links you choose—then they store that information in a giant database.
Tracking your searches can erode your privacy and lead to censorship.
In addition, those searches reveal a shocking amount of personal information about you, such as your interests, family circumstances, political leanings, medical conditions, and more. This information is modern-day gold for marketers, government officials, black-hat hackers and criminals—all of whom would love to get their hands on your private search data.
StartPage prepared a PowerPoint (which we know government and Fortune 500 employees love) but this one is totally different: it’s witty and informative. So I’ve shared a few slides on the most important points.
And it’s not just your privacy and the fact Google and its ilk making obscene amounts of money from your searches. Remember that…
I can’t be the only one to have read this article on Lew’s:
So why give people who don’t share our values a nefarious and dishonorable way to make billons of dollars—not to mention access to our intimate thoughts, feelings, preferences, and “prejudices” all to be shared and mined—I suspect—by NSA for its customers, including the “Deep State.” After all, Prism was Snowden’s major revelation: what kind of profiles of all Americans are being prepared and to what end? Does each of us have an associated “threat level”? This is something I trust Edward Snowden wouldn’t know since interviews I’ve seen do not mention the “deep state” and its motives.
Another feature of Startpage searches is the ability to be able to view sites by proxy, i.e. not view them directly and leave a trail for the NSA and the government to mine. Say you’ve read Paul Craig Roberts “truthing” on 9/11 and are curious; type “engineers architects truth” in the search box. Your first result will be:
The first two links are to the site itself. Instead, click on Proxy I; that way you can view the site without actually visiting it. See the explanation here.
And there are more things on heaven and earth than search engines that invade our privacy and spy on us; there is also email.
I just took the plunge to use a more secure email service, which is—SURPRISE—Startmail from IXquick. (And no, I’m not a paid spokesperson although I’m pleased Ixquick, which is behind Startpage, hosted this Snowden interview.)
Yes, I do have to pay around $5.00 a month for StartMail but I can use PGP encryption to send secure email with information I only want the recipient to read. I suspect now that I’ve gone from being a regular LewRockwell.com reader to a contributor the NSA has prepared a profile of me for the deep state “customers” that would make my head spin. Why make it easier for anyone—including hackers—to obtain personal information? Privacy matters. Plus I think Lew is getting a kick when we send each other PGP messages even though our conversations are comparatively dull compared to Snowden and Greenwald’s.
From Startmail’s site on why their service is worth your consideration:
What’s wrong with free email services?
“Free” email services like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Hotmail come at a high price: your privacy. The fine print lets them search every message you send and receive for profit‐generating keywords. They even keep their own copies of your deleted messages and your attachments.
Furthermore, your emails can pass through servers all over the world, where they’re vulnerable to hackers and mass‐surveillance programs. Protecting yourself with encryption is often difficult and time‐consuming.
How does StartMail protect you?
StartMail never reads your email. We believe that your privacy is a basic right. We don’t send or sell information about you to any corporation or marketer, and we don’t store copies of anything you’ve deleted.
StartMail lets you encrypt your email with PGP, the Internet’s gold standard, with a single click. And you can send encrypted email to a regular email user, who reads it by answering a security question you provide. No matter what server your email passes through, it remains secure.
Since I’m a firm believer in the free market and its frequent innovations, there are other choices than Ixquick’s Startpage and Startmail services (several provided below), but I can give Ixquick my personal recommendation since I use them regularly and so far, they work amazingly well. Glen Greenwald would never have had all that trouble with encryption described in his book No Place to Hide.
In addition, I now use almost exclusively Brave for my web browser, developed by the guy Mozilla (Firefox) fired for non-SJW approved conduct. It’s the fastest browser I’ve ever used, and comes with a built in ad blocker. (I also use Palemoon.) It’s deceiving but you click on the lion’s head symbol to make selections including security.
But here’s what’s really cool about Brave.
I purchase Bitcoin via Brave and it makes anonymously—once the total it calculates reaches a ten dollar threshold—a contribution based on websites I visit the most frequently and that I designate as recipients. I truly enjoy and learn from the videos and articles posted on SouthFront and since it’s (volunteer and nongovernment but) Russian based, I can donate funds off the radar of the NSA and CIA. I love that!
And I apologize to Lew that his site is now number two according to Brave. I have a good reason. Sort of…
I found a new, time wasting, Lotus-eating addiction: GAB.
Although the Valkyrie in my novel Son of Thunder commented on social media by saying “Tweets and twitters— may the All-Father defend me! In the name heaven, men are no longer real men, they have become buffoonish birds…” I’ve found that Gab is not only a great way to meet like-minded people—even if the encounters aren’t in great depth—a tremendous amount of information is shared, including links to information I wasn’t aware of. And since Lew hasn’t an active account—yet—I’ve been “Gabbing” several of Lew’s blogs and articles from his site.
Finally, you’ll see links in this article to Infogalactic, a non SJW converged encyclopedia.
I’m sure there are even more free market alternatives to the massive “surveillance state” and its allies than what I’ve discussed; feel free to share and if Lew’s interested, I’ll post a follow-up.
I hope Lew’s webmaster can replace Google as his site’s search engine or you can just use Startpage and type host:lewrockwell.com after your search string.
As for me…
Goodbye, Google and Gmail!
The libertarian revolution strengthens when brave individuals create alternatives to dominant, corrupt players. I think it’s only right that we support these platforms.
My new email is email@example.com. Go ahead and hack away, NSA!
Kidding. I’m sure they’ve got nothing better to do.
Alternatives to Twitter:
Alternatives to FaceBook:
Alternatives to Google: Startpage.com
Alternatives to YouTube:
Alternatives to Gmail, Yahoo Mail:
Alternative Browsers to Internet Explorer, Chrome :
Alternative to Wikipedia: Infogalactic.com