The Intercept has an article entitled Chatting in Secret While We’re All Being Watched that’s a good read for anyone interested in how to keep communications private. It was written by Micah Lee, who works with Glenn Greenwald to ensure their communications with Edward Snowden are private.
Even if you don’t want to read the detailed technical instructions on how to go about it, at least read the first part of the article that explains at a high level how communications can be intercepted, and the steps needed to stop that risk.
Communicating in secret is not easy. It takes effort to set it up, and it’s easy to slip up along the way. As is usually the case in any kind of security – physical or electronic – it’s about raising the difficulty level for someone to breach the security. The more efforts someone might take to try to intercept your communications, the more work it takes to keep it secret. For example, you raise the sophistication level of the thief who might burglarize your house as you increase security – from locking your doors, to deadbolts, to break resistant glass, to alarms, etc. It doesn’t take much extra security to make the thief go to another house, but it may take a lot more if a thief wants something specific in your house .
Edward Snowden’s communications, for example, require very diligent efforts, given the resources that various authorities might use to intercept those communications.
For the record, I think Snowden should be given a medal and a ticker tape parade, not jail time. I recommend watching Citizenfour, the documentary about Snowden that won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2015 Oscars. Also to read security expert Bruce Schneier’s book Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World. Another book to put this into context in Canada (based on my read of the introduction – I haven’t made it farther than that yet) is Law, Privacy and Surveillance in Canada in the Post-Snowden Era, edited by Michael Geist.
I challenge anyone to watch/read those and not be creeped out.