Tor has been around for a bit but it’s still quite possibly the most essential encryption technology on the market. Tor is an open network that is designed to defend against traffic analysis as well as various forms of surveillance. Citizen Four documentarian and Snowden NSA document leaker Laura Poitras is quoted on the main Tor page that, “Edward Snowden would not have been able to contact me without Tor and other free software encryption projects. Tor is an essential tool, and it needs our support.” Tor has now expanded into the browser territory with the Tor browser. Whereas Tor requires a bit of know-how with computers, the browser simplifies it, requiring zero installation.
The creators of Tor have also recently released their own operating system, Tails, and it’s great and easy to use! The operating system can be started from practically any device—whether it be DVD, USB stick, or SD card—everything works as soon as you load it up. The operating system forces the computer to go through the Tor network and utilizes “state-of-the-art cryptographic tools” to encrypt all files.
SecureDrop is the magnum opus of whistleblower technology. Created by Aaron Swartz, Securedrop is an open-source submission system that allows one to securely acquire documents as well as communicate anonymously with their sources. As well as encrypting data that is sent or received, SecureDrop prides itself in minimization of metadata, no logging, and no third party servers—all for the price of $0. SecureDrop is currently managed by the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
Last but certainly not least, VeraCrypt is quite interesting in that it is an addition to the aforementioned programs and adds enhanced security via algorithms. VeraCrypt encrypts systems and partitions to help make new developments in surveillance technology unable to crack through your security efforts. VeraCrypt is marketed as the alternative to the similar Truecrypt and is arguably better in that 1. it’s free and 2. it has better security options—allowing you to create encrypted virtual drives as well as completely encrypt physical drives.
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