“Saying you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is like saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” -Edward Snowden
“Privacy is the fountainhead of all rights,” Edward Snowden said during his livestream at a panel discussion on privacy at the University of Arizona.
Without privacy (an extension of property rights), all other rights eventually fall by the wayside. When governments begin to ski down that slippery slope by violating the privacy of its subjects (see: citizens), it’s hard to reverse the course.
Fortunately, you have a say in the matter. You have options for permissionless privacy to protect what’s yours.
Today, along this vein, we’re going to show you a FREE way to guarantee your privacy online today — in less than five minutes.
The First Amendment is the Right to Privacy
Privacy isn’t about having something to hide, said Snowden. It’s about having something to protect: “That’s who you are. That’s what you believe in. Privacy is the right to a self. Privacy is what gives you the ability to share with the world who you are on your own terms. For them to understand what you’re trying to be and to protect for yourself the parts of you you’re not sure about, that you’re still experimenting with.
“If we don’t have privacy,” Snowden goes on, “what we’re losing is the ability to make mistakes, we’re losing the ability to be ourselves. Freedom of speech doesn’t have a lot of meaning if you can’t have a quiet space, a space within yourself, your mind, your community, your friends, your family, to decide what it is you actually want to say.
“Freedom of religion doesn’t mean that much if you can’t figure out what you actually believe without being influenced by the criticisms of outside direction and peer pressure. And it goes on and on.”
Freedom of expression and privacy are inextricably linked. When a government has no respect for your privacy, it tends not to have any respect for your opinion, either. The next natural step is across that “red line” into tyranny — censorship and punishment.
We see this happening every day in oppressive regimes like China, North Korea, Malaysia and several Middle Eastern countries like Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE, etc.
In these regions, fighting for freedom of speech or the right to privacy can result in serious punishment, including death. Corrupt powers fear individual autonomy and self-determination. Guaranteed privacy guarantees those things.
Which is why dictators hate this VPN.
Dictators HATE this VPN!
You might be familiar with ProtonMail. If not, it’s an excellent email service which uses end-to-end encryption. Meaning, it’s built in such a way that those who run ProtonMail don’t have access to their users’ information. This also means they can’t hand over your information to third parties.
Furthermore, their software is open-sourced, guaranteeing there are no backdoors for snoops to slip through.
ProtonMail is brought to you by a group of really smart people, most of whom met at CERN and MIT who have uncompromising views on protecting civil liberties online. As a result, ProtonMail is the world’s largest encrypted email services, used by millions across the world. Journalists, activists and dissidents trust it when privacy is a matter of life or death.
I always recommend using a VPN — or Virtual Private Network. VPNs route your Internet connection through encrypted “tunnels” throughout the world, ensuring that snoops can’t eavesdrop on your Internet connection. It also allows individuals living under despotic regimes to privately access websites banned within their country.
In the past, I’ve recommended using CryptoHippie VPN. I still think it’s a fantastic option. But now that Proton has released their VPN, I’ve since switched to test it out.
Here’s why I like it…
Their headquarters are in Switzerland, which has some of the world’s strongest privacy laws. The Swiss are also outside of EU and US jurisdiction — and they’re not part of the Fourteen Eyes.
No data logs
The ProtonVPN team has no logs of its customer’s surfing history. They don’t track or record, nor do they have the capacity to do so. Thus, they are unable to disclose such information to third parties.
ProtonVPN can also integrate with the TOR network. It takes just one click to route your traffic into the TOR network and access “Onion” sites.
Automatic kill switch
Some VPNs have leakage issues where they lose connection to the network and your IP address leaks through. ProtonVPN has an auto kill switch which cuts your connection if connections to private networks are lost.
It’s easy to use
I downloaded the software and in just a couple of minutes and a couple of clicks, I was “dark.” My Internet connection was protected from the snoops.
Basic ProtonVPN connections are absolutely free. While they have a paid plan with advanced features, their basic service will remain free for anyone to use.
You can surf privately and securely in just five minutes from now without paying a dime.
Managing editor, Laissez Faire Today