An article in the New York Times is reporting that on top of the fact that the NSA is reading American’s emails and tapping their phones, they are also tracking people who are in contact with suspicous Americans. This means that if you’re not even a US citizen, but you are in direct contact with someone who is on the NSA’s watch list, most likely they are reading your emails as well.
The fact that this is going on was authorised by a law in 2008, by the secretive FISA court. Note that voice communication apparently aren’t part of this law, just emails.
While this latest revelation is not really surprising, it is another reason to think about your privacy online. While encryption is unbreakable, it’s not really the weak link in all this. If you use an end-to-end VPN your actual communication will be secure in the foreseeable future. However, due to the legal systems that our society is built on, the legal side of it is the weak link.
In order to avoid any NSA surveilance, it is highly recommended that you do not use US based companies at all. No email service providers, no search engines (yeah… right!), no social networks. Take a look at our privacy guide for alternatives.