Nothing to Hide.
My quest to free myself from the gaze of the NSA.
Where to start?
When Edward Snowden first revealed the scope of US spying I was not completely surprised. I had always suspected that my emails and cloud files could be viewed by the US security agencies if they had any suspicion of my being a criminal or a terrorist. So I was not too worried about it. But when it transpired that they have permanent back-doors to the big US internet companies and that they use them to vacuum up all my files “just to be sure not to miss anything” then I got alarmed.
Assurances by the US government that US citizens data was not being collected are of little comfort to me, a European.
I don't consider the US collecting my data to be just unfriendly, I consider it downright hostile.
The longer I thought about it the more worrying it became. A comment from a friend came back to mind when she said of the US immigration checks - “I don't want my biometric data in the hands of a country that considers it all right to torture people”.
Maybe the people I converse with and the things we talk about are harmless now but in the future things may not be that rosy. Information is power and unlimited information is dangerous power. Power that could be turned against ordinary folk if the US degenerated into a police state, and it may not have far to go in that regard.
So I decided to withdraw from the PRISM infested services that I used as a matter of course.
First to go were the easy ones.
Hotmail and SkyDrive from Microsoft. This was fairly easy as I hardly ever use Hotmail and SkyDrive is just a bunch of uploaded photographs and short holiday videos. I downloaded all the skydrive files onto my PC and then uploaded them in encrypted form to a Norwegan outfit called Jottacloud. I also sent encrypted versions up to Newzeland
Next up was Dropbox.
This is a service that I loved and used extensively. I really liked the way I could easily share a link to a file or folder. In the early days I was a DropBox fanboy and had sent links to friends which got me extra space as a reward. It was with a heavy heart that I deleted the cloud accounts and instead pushed the contents up to Kim Dotcom's MEGA service. At least there they are encrypted and can only be opened by me.
Finally it came to the hard one, Google.
I have my own domain name as part of my work and I use my own domain's email address. I was then forwarding incoming mail to a couple of Gmail accounts. This was a sweet setup as it allowed me to have email sent directly to my Android phone and I could use any old internet computer to send and receive email. Migrating away from that was difficult. Google Drive had become part of my life and was used everyday, usually without me even realising it.