As Snowden and Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald), the reporter working with Snowden, indicated, the TOR network has still not been compromised by the NSA – which is why, as I reported earlier, the NSA is trying to circumvent the network by getting Google to supply names of people who search for particular words or phrases, so that they can get to people’s computers BEFORE they access the TOR network.
So, if you are a whistleblower and want to communicate with a reporter without the government knowing who you are, the TOR network is still the best approach. But using the TOR network is still tricky for the average user, hence the Safeplug announced by PogoPlug last week. It is essentially TOR in a box, allowing you to hook your network up to it and have your traffic run through it.
The major issues with the device are:
- It slows your network speed down, and it won’t protect those of you with adware and spyware already installed on your computers and
- You have no way of knowing if the NSA has already gotten to the company and installed a backdoor on the devices, and through Section 215 of the Patriot Act has forced them to not disclose that fact to their customers, in effect, acting as a honeypot of sorts.
Now, we’re not saying that that has happened, and we applaud this new industry popping up to protect people from the spying eyes of their own government, but until this company puts on their website a Warrant Canary, similar to the one Apple provides, then there will be no way of knowing if using this product protects you, or if it does in fact provide a direct hotline to the NSA, notifying them of your “nefarious” (in the eyes of the NSA) ways.