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Use Encryption, Tor to Thwart NSA Surveillance, Snowden Urges

Use Encryption, Tor to Thwart NSA Surveillance, Snowden UrgesSoftware programmers should use their skills to help protect people’s privacy from government surveillance, Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor turned whistleblower, said at the SXSW culture and technology conference in Texas, according to The Register.

In a speech transmitted by Google Hangouts, Snowden said software developers are responsible for creating more user-friendly, secure communications tools to help people take “really technical steps to protect themselves” from NSA spying. The developer community can also encourage adoption of new privacy standards by the US Congress.

Snowden said Internet users ought to secure their hard drives and make sure all their network connections are securely encrypted end to end to avoid mass surveillance.  He also advised people to browse the web anonymously using the Tor network.

Encryption is “the defense against the dark arts in the digital realm.” If regular users cypher their data, the government has no choice but to focus on criminal suspects rather than analyze everyone’s internet traffic, he said.

Snowden believes his actions improved US national security and does not regret disclosing NSA surveillance plans, despite the personal backlash.

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Alexandra GHEORGHE

Alexandra started writing about IT at the dawn of the decade - when an iPad was an eye-injury patch, we were minus Google+ and we all had Jobs. She has since wielded her background in PR and marketing communications to translate binary code to colorful stories that have been known to wear out readers' mouse scrolls. Alexandra is also a social media enthusiast who 'likes' only what she likes and LOLs only when she laughs out loud.