Ever since PRISM discussions and Edward Snowden/ NSA debacle picked momentum, perhaps every Internet user is worried about online privacy, and has been looking for tools that do not spy on their personal and confidential information (or at least prevent others from spying on the same.)
Cashing on the opportunity of crypto war, or maybe trying to fulfill the demand of online users, Kim Dotcom’s Mega is planning to release its encrypted messaging service in four to six weeks. His company will first roll out a spy-proof web-based messaging platform, which will be followed by encrypted email.
“We expect to have messaging within Mega in four to six weeks and within apps in two to three months A full-scale encrypted email service is expected to be released in six to nine months,” Dotcom said.
Dotcom’s company–Mega brands itself as “The Privacy Company,” and will soon be offering in the encryption niche via private communication tools. In its endeavors, Mega is working with a team of developers to launch a private messaging platform and an encrypted email service. Talking about the ongoing crypto-wars, Mega’s CEO Vikram Kumar said,
“Global concerns over governments collecting, storing, and analyzing all Internet traffic is growing. New laws are sprouting everywhere like the UK’s proposed ‘Snooper’s Charter,’ metadata retention for law enforcement agencies in Australia, and an update to lawful interception in New Zealand.”
According to Kumar, tracking is nothing new as back in 1997, FBI voiced concerns that encryption allowed “drug lords, spies, terrorists, and even violent gangs” to hide their illegal activities. And now the vocabulary has been updated to include words like national security, cyber espionage, and pedophiles.
While the government’s reasons are all for good, this doesn’t mean at all ordinary people should allow Governments to sift through their private communications. People should raise voice for their right of privacy.
“One thing is certain: the end result will be the same as the previous battles- an uneasy truce in which governments will accept that they have limited ability to control crypto being used by people and businesses. That will be a victory for the public good and the Internet’s indispensable role in our daily lives. Until the next crypto battle erupts,” Kumar added.
“It’s hard to say whether-or-not Mega–and Kim Dotcom–are quite trustworthy enough for personal e-mails,” says Kyt Dotson, assistant editor; “There’s been questions about the actual security of Mega and the sort of privacy provided, although it’s certainly got an amazing marketing machine describing its cryptographic capabilities. Right now, with a newly minted media cycle about privacy and spying, we’ll be seeing a lot more products market themselves with the privacy angle, messaging and e-mail are the first most obvious that consumers will want.”
It seems protecting our online privacy has become harder than ever.
Everyone is tracking us–our email provider, Internet Service Provider, Government agencies, and of course cyber criminals. At this point, it’s hard to determine which service should be used and which should be ditched. While Dotcom has a good proposal, we recently discussed some best practices to keep your personal data safe online, such as masking your IP, limiting the use of social networks, using privacy-centered email services and search tools. You can use tools like The Onion Router, search engine like DuckDuckGo, and email service like Hushmail. Not to mention use some common sense before exchanging any sensitive information online.