motorpsycho67 wrote:Why would I want to do this?
I'm not particularly paranoid. They're welcome to my boring texts/calls.
Solidarity and plausible deniability. Signal to noise.
Even if you have nothing to hide, you have something to fear. You should fear the regime muzzling dissenting voices. You should fear the fascists turning the world around you into a giant ATM for their corporate masters, destroying democratic institutions in the process.
When the new US regime begins cracking down on dissenters, which won't necessarily happen in any manner resembling a traditional crackdown, and only those they crack down upon use encryption, they have no plausible deniability. If a large portion of the population uses encrypted communications, the regime would find it slightly more difficult to find someone for the cracking.
Such a crackdown might just look like that old gem, the no-fly-list. Just that it'll be a no-drivers-license list, a no-mortgage list, a no-health-insurance list. Any number of little things to ensure that anyone making a ruckus against the junta won't be able to even just get a job, never mind activism. They'd leave them cellphones and credit cards, because those things DO allow tracking, actually.
No, public outcries won't stop them from getting away with such. For one, the public won't outcry much about something if it's presented to them right, also the Trumpista likely won't even care about any outcry, and last but not least, it can likely all be done in secret. So much is done through database systems these days, DMVs, mortgage brokers, insurance agents. They only see what the computer tells them when whatever application they entered is being denied. Even their bosses don't have to know such little tricks could be hidden in their system. All it takes is someone walking into the office of whoever runs IT for the outfit, present them with a top-secret presidential order that security "monitoring" software XY must be installed, and that it must be double-plus secret and if you say anything
it's orange jumpsuits for you.
There are any number of subtle little harassments one could imagine. Trump may be thick as two planks nailed together with a third plank for a nail. But the people around him aren't. They know what it'd look like and what noise they'd have to deal with if they just rounded up the dissenters. Much easier and equally effective to just exclude them from the infrastructure of modern life and society.
If only the people "with something to hide" refuse to put their phone on the tray for the x-ray, even the TSA can work out who to pat down, and will likely find something.
Recall the "jammers" from The Prisoner? Would talk about killing Number 2 so much and so often, they stopped being treated as genuine suspects.
In the end, the question is cost effectiveness, or rather a cost/benefit calculation that anyone looking would likely have to engage in.
Some stuff we think secure, they might just giggle about. Other stuff, they'll go "Hm". Even if it doesn't cost much money, having a highly qualified specialist decypher it creates opportunity-cost and may just not be worth it. Even if they decypher everything, unless they already have robust AI, someone still has to look over some stuff. Enough people use encryption, enough stuff to look over, enough opportunity cost to create blind spots that activism can hide behind.
Like with aviation in the 1950s and 60s, public knowledge is probably about a decade behind what the governments of the world can do in terms of cypher breaking and suchlike. When Ed Snowden revealed what he revealed, parts of what is publicly known were bumped forward a bit. But we hardly caught up, and TPTB Inc surely did what they could to ensure we'd fall even further behind in the aftermath. This entire discussion may be moot, there may be no secure communications left at all. But TPTB Inc don't deserve THAT benefit of THAT doubt.Secure browsing
Commercial VPN services my be subverted by security agencies. Or may not. A proper VPN lets you do anything you do over the internet. But whoever is on the other side only ever sees the IP of your VPN service. As long as you don't let anything set cookies, that's good anonymity right there. Good services cost money, though.
TOR, meanwhile, is free. "The Onion Router" doesn't let you do absolutely everything, only what you can do through your browser, and doesn't support all plugins. But you don't get cheaper than free, and the routers therein are random volunteers somewhere in the world, not a server farm in Switzerland.
As it is, though, the TOR network may have, in large part, been subverted by the NSA, or so I recall hearing a while back. That may have changed, I don't know. Around the time I think I heard that there were a few spree killings, the usual cluster of events within a short period (thanks to the extensive media coverage motivating the next guy, as usual), and before anyone had even checked to see where the guns had actually come from, we were told "dark web! dark web! dark net! fear, fear, fear!".
The mainstream media here in Germany was desperate to tell anyone, even if they wouldn't listen, that if you just google "the dark web", and you don't have gym bag full of submachine guns, loaded and rounds chambered, in thirty minutes or less, you get a bazooka for free. Encrypted Email and other text files
You can encrypt any text with PGP. A free implementation of which is GnuPG.
"Pretty Good Privacy" is an asymmetric encryption system. You start out with it and create two keys. One is the "public key", with which anyone can encrypt a message for you. That key is literally intended to be published. A message encrypted with it cannot be decrypted with it, thanks to mathematical vodoo I won't even pretend to comprehend (ha! gotcha! you thought I would try and explain!). You also generate a private key, which must be kept plus-top-secret. That is the one that can decrypt a message encrypted with the public key.Instant messaging
For instant messaging, there is Jabber. That protocol implements PGP encryption in an IM system. Popular clients for Windows machines are Jitsi and Pidgin. I use Jitsi.
For Android phones, the client I know is Chatsecure. Though I haven't used that in a while and am not sure about how well it's being updated. I can't be arsed to check on that right now, but it's where you may want to start googling.Encrypting larger files
For your larger, non-text files, there is VeraCrypt. It's like TrueCrypt, almost entirely identical user interface and functionality, only it's still being supported and updated, unlike TrueCrypt, which has been abandoned.
VeraCrypt lets you create virtual hd partitions that exist in reality as encrypted files. These are never fully decrypted when data stored therein is accessed. The software only decrypts the bits that are needed at the time. It's fast and offers a bunch of encryption mechanisms that can even be combined. It's not like simple password protection, like on a WinRAR file, but real encryption that takes the experts more then three minutes to get around.
Hypothetically, it should be possible to play Russian dolls with encrypted files, actually.
As an aside, you can also use it to create hidden partitions on your computer. Anyone looking would only find an unformatted part of your HD, entirely filled with random data.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?
I said I have a big stick.