A New Hope for Privacy?


Since 911, Americans have born witness to the slow, but steady decline of their privacy, all in the name of safety and security. The worst was surely all of the revelations about the NSA, the latest being the fact that they really are recording all of your VoIP and phone conversations and storing them in bulk. One can only imagine what would is going to come next. So it was with a feeling of being able to breathe a bit easier that I stumbled upon Calyx.   calyx-venn-diagram Calyx is non-profit based out of New York, who’s mission is to “educate the public about privacy in digital communications and to develop and test building blocks that service providers can use to build “privacy by design” into their service offerings.” xmpp-logo-291x300 Besides their educational mission, they have a number of projects aimed to aid people’s right to privacy tools, including their Public Jabber/XMPP Server. (XMPP stands for Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol, and is a communications protocol developed by the Jabber open-source community for instance messaging, among other things. It can also be used for signaling for Voice over IP as well.) 0460120305004-1024x691 Calyx uses onion routing technology to provide access to this service, which ends up being an extremely effective way of maintaining private communication channels. Featured in a recent blog by ageispolis.net, Calyx is one of a few forward thinkers to help battle the suffocating grip of our ever increasingly privacy-less society. Not to say that they are the answer to all our prayers, but it is nice to know that there are individuals out there not afraid to sacrifice some blood, sweat, and tears in the name of protecting our civil liberties. Snowden just recently spoke at SXSW about the benefits of encryption technology helping to prevent bulk collection of data by the NSA or any organization. We can just hope that with the public implementation of these technologies, in addition to the latest legal reforms by the Obama administration, that we can gain a foothold for privacy again.   However, considering we live in an increasingly digitized world, with wearable technology and The Internet of Things on the horizon, this might be somewhat of a pipe dream.   In regards to how nCrypted Cloud’s encryption technology stands up to the NSA, I would say that if you are worried about it, you have bigger problems than trying to secure your Dropbox account against eavesdroppers and data thieves. One thing is for sure, when it comes to data residing in the public cloud, it is much safer to have everything be encrypted with the ability to quickly revoke all access to data on any device with the single click of a button.