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Scaremail – open source tool aims to disrupt government backed email snoopers [Freeware]


People have become rightly concerned about the level of government intrusion into our private matters, especially when it comes to phone calls, emails and web browsing habits. Most everyone agrees that a degree of security is necessary when dealing with mad people and their fanaticism, but the problem with unfettered surveillance is such license can be abused and misused in ways that were never intended. For example.

Scaremail is yet another protest tool, alongside Flagger which we reported on recently, which aims to disrupt the process of automated government surveillance in a peaceful yet forceful way. The software runs as a web browser add-on, and acts to add an extended email signature to every Gmail message you send out.

The idea is to add text containing probable NSA and GCHQ search terms to every email message you send from Gmail, wrapped up in meaningless blocks of text culled from a book called Fahrenheit: 451. As the author of the utility, Ben Grosser, says, the goal of the addon is to highlight one of the major flaws of these government snooping campaigns around the world – “words do not equal intent.”

Apparently words such as “plot,” “facility,” “wave,” “dock,” are all deemed to be suspect terms by the snoopers, which makes a lot of this automated surveillance sound really worrying. Does anyone remember the movie Brazil? Think it couldn’t happen for real?

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.

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