As we all know by now, the U.S. Government thinks it has the right to snoop on everything you do, especially on the internet and via your telecommunications. They are very wrong.
There are things you can do to protect yourself from their prying eyes while conversing with your friends and family. In this post, I am going to explain just one method, Dumping Skype in favor of a fully encrypted communication platform that does not listen in, record, track or trace you. The reason I am targeting Skype here is that they are well known to have been working openly with the NSA to invade on your privacy, even before ever being ordered to do so. I have used Skype for years. I still have the program on my system and it does work great. That being said, I do not want every word I say scrutinized, analyzed and demonized by an overzealous and Orwellian Big Brother Machine.
I am recommending the use of two tools to eliminate Skype. You will need both. The first is an Encrypted SIP Service called Ostel. Signing up with Ostel takes just a few seconds, and that is all that is required as far setup goes. Ostel is part of The Guardian Project. You can read more about them Here.
Once you have your Ostel account setup you will need a Client Application to work on the OS Platform you are using. Ostel’s website provides links and basic instructions to download, install and configure a Client for all of the most used Operating Systems, including: Android, iPhone & iPad, Mac and Windows, Linux & Blackberry.
I am going to be dealing specifically with the setup for Jitsi in Windows here, being as most people still have a Desktop or Laptop computer running windows (NOTE: I did install and configure SFLPhone on my Ubuntu Linux 12.04 LTS System in less than 5 minutes). The list of features included in Jitsi is rather extensive, but the ones of primary interest to me are the Audio and Video calls and conferencing.