How to Detect Websites Participating in PRISM

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You might have heard of the NSA surveillance program called the PRISM, the existence of which had been hidden from the public since inception. The PRISM was unveiled by Edward Snowden, the famous former NSA contractor who has showed the world the scale and the magnitude by which the USA government is involved in spying, not only on its citizens, but on citizens of many other counties as well. In essence, PRISM is a data-monitoring project that includes numerous big corporations’ servers, such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Apple, AOL, and even Dropbox. These are some of the websites which have shared, and are probably continuing to do so, your information with the NSA.

Now those are just a few of the websites and products that have been known for employing these questionable practices of sharing personal information with the US agency. But how do we know what other websites aren’t so advisable for visiting, and should we keep all these names in our memory at all times? Actually not, because there’s a better solution to this problem. There’s a plugin for the Firefox web browser, it’s called Dark Side Of The Prism, which is very easy to install. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. If not already done, launch Firefox (or install it if you don’t yet have it. In my opinion, Firefox is the best browser, and also the safest one.)
  2. Go to https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/dark-side-of-the-prism/ and press the “Add to Firefox” yellow button.
  3. Restart Firefox.

Now every time you land at a questionable website you’ll hear some annoying music by Pink Floyd. The music will stop once you’ve closed the tab with the site in question. If you really need to use that site at the moment, you’ll probably need to temporarily mute your speakers. You may suddenly find that some websites are those that you’ve been using for a long time, and so you’re very used to them. In this case it’s worth thinking twice whether you really feel comfortable sacrificing your private information for some service that you can safely get elsewhere. And that private information is actually anything that you have on that particular PRISM webserver, be it your email or social networking account.

Unfortunately, this plugin is only available for Firefox, not any other browser. On the other hand, Firefox is available on every platform – from Windows to less common builds of Linux and Unix systems.