Dr Katherine Albrecht

http://m.ruvr.ru/2013/08/12/16/katherine-strawberry-festival-1_1.jpg

Fighting PRISM: Privacy is a Human Right

Эдвард Сноуден шпион Цру CIA Призма Призм Prism слежка шпионаж США

Download audio file 12 August, 20:11

 Shock waves have travelled across the globe with the recent revelations by Edward Snowden about NSA and U.S. spying on private law-abiding citizens the world over. As a result people are beginning to shy away from the internet giants and looking for more secure ways to go about their business on-line and avoid US prying, some US companies have even closed down completely to avoid a knock on their doors by “Big Brother” with a FISA order. We spoke to privacy rights advocate and the co-founder of a much needed internet privacy provider, Dr. Katherine Albrecht, about the current paradigm.

Hello. This is John Robles. I am speaking with Dr. Katherine Albrecht, she’s one of the co-founders of the Startpage.com web resource andshe’s a long-time privacy-rights champion and advocate.

Robles: Hello, Katherine. How are you this afternoon or evening?

Albrecht: Hi, John, I’m doing great. Thanks for having me on the show.

Robles: It’s a pleasure to be speaking with you. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about what your project is offering Internet users, especially in light of the recent alarming NSA revelations?

Albrecht: Absolutely! Startpage.com, we refer to it as the world’s most private search engine and we actually run two search engines: Startpage.com and Ixquick.com.

Startpage returns Google results in complete privacy and Ixquick returns private results from other search engines.

So, if I can focus on Startpage here, when you want to do a Google search, if you go on to Google.com and you search we know now that the NSA has the ability to access the information that you search for, the websites that you receive in response in which one you click on. Google also, of course, makes a record of that. And I don’t mean to single out Google, because Microsoft’s Bing search engine does the same thing, the Yahoo search engine also does the same thing.

So, basically all of the big search engines, they keep a record of everything you search for and they use that information to create a quite detailed personal dossier of information about individuals all over the globe.

So, what we did in developing Ixquick and Startpage is we said: people need the ability to access that information without having their personal information captured. So when you go to Startpage.com and you enter in a search term, we submit it to Google servers for you through our server, so Google never sees you they only see us, they only make contact with us, and then we take the information that we get from Google and then we serve it to you completely anonymously and privately.

Google never sees you. There are no tracking cookies, there’s no opportunity for them to detect your IP address or in any way know who you are. And then we delete all records of your visit, so we don’t store your IP address. We do not make a record of your searches and we don’t use tracking cookies.

We really have no idea who uses our website because we don’t want to keep track of that. We believe their privacy is a fundamental human right and that everyone should have the ability to access information freely, because that’s really the whole purpose of the Internet.

Robles: Can I ask you a question, now it sounds great. A lot of people are extremely skeptical now. How can they be sure that you are not secretly, also, working with the NSA or something?

Albrecht: That’s actually an extraordinarily good question, given the recent developments.

There are actually a couple of reasons why we are a trustworthy company. One of them is the fact that we are third-party certified, so we actually... We’ve been certified actually for several years through an extensive auditing procedure through an organization called the EuroPriSe, which is based over in Europe, they’re the European privacy certifying authority.

They have extensively used all of the European privacy laws and regulations about protecting consumer privacy and gone through all of our data-handling practices and given us their highest possible grade every time they’ve reviewed us.

We’ve also been certified by an organization called Certified Secure out of the Netherlands. And all those certifications are online. People can actually view those. That’s one assurance. It the third-party independent assurance. And then the other reason, I think in light of what has been happening with the NSA scandals and the concerns about the United States Government accessing the web traffic of people through large companies, like Google, and Yahoo, and Microsoft, etc, through the PRISM program, because our company is based in the Netherlands we are actually not under U.S. jurisdiction, and what that means is that FISA Court requests, or Patriot Act requests, or FBI requests, or data collection programs like PRISM do not directly apply to us.

We have never been approached by any governmental agency and requested to turn over any information; we’ve never been asked to be part of a PRISM program. Those kinds of requests have been of course, issued to American companies, but as a Dutch company we have not received those sorts of requests. And if we did, at that point our immediate response would be ‘we are not under US jurisdiction’ and there are certainly legal protections there for us and also the people who use our service.

Robles: You yourself, you are an American citizen. Could you be pressured personally somehow to cooperate with them?

Albrecht: Well, I actually don’t work directly for the company, which is kind of an interesting arrangement. They are 100% held by a Dutch family. It’s not a publically traded company, it’s a privately held company. I am actually a contractor with the company so I am not actually in...

I suppose if somebody came up to me and said; “Hey, Katherine, we really want to put pressure on you as an American to provide information.”

If that were to happen, even if I wanted to provide information, I could not, because I don’t have access to our servers. All of the data that flows to our servers is all encrypted and it’s part of the certification to guarantee the privacy that we have under all of our certifications. I don’t have access to anything.

So, at the end of the day, if someone were to lean, even in the Dutch Government on the Dutch arm of our company, there would literally be no records to provide. And that’s kind of an interesting case, because when you land on a particular website that website gets your IP address automatically, any website, even if it’s the local animal hospital, they get your IP address…

Robles: Sure. And a lot more than that, actually. They get a lot more information than that.

Albrecht: Yeah. Any tracking cookies, they can put cookies on your browser, if they are malicious they can put malicious code on your browser. There are a lot of things that a website can do to you. We have actually engineered an architected Startpage and Ixquick, so that when your computer may contact with our server we don’t even temporarily store your IP address so we never get it.

In fact, the place in the architecture that would normally put your IP address, we overwrite it instantly with zeros. So even if someone were to come with a warrant or, God forbid, a hacker, I mean, it happened to Google. if someone were able to get into those records, there would literally be no records to get into.

Robles: Great! You mentioned Ixquick. Can you describe what that is for our listeners?

Albrecht: I can. Ixquick.com is the same privacy protections, the same third-party certification. The only difference is that when you go to Ixquick.com and you put in a search, we take your search and we submit it to multiple search engines, including some very small ones and some far-flung ones all over the world.

And, on the fly – our founder has actually developed a proprietary algorithm that takes your search, submits it to all kind of different places and then gets the best results from all of them and then serves them to you instantly.

It’s kind of like a Google Search, but it’s not Google, it’s a metasearch engine, meaning that we go out to other search engines. We found that in Europe a lot of people like the Ixquick search engine because you get the actual Google results.

Robles: Two questions: one does this slow down any traffic on the user side, and two, what about browsing?

Albrecht: Because we are a search engine, what we do is we simply provide you with links to external websites. So, if you search something, you know I am a cancer survivor, so when I had to look up cancer treatment, I certainly didn’t want that information going out to Google and being in their hands.

So, when you search for something sensitive along those lines, you have the reassurance of knowing that your search did not get catalogued by the big search engine companies, which are really marketing research companies.

But when you click on an actual link and you leave the protection of Start page, let’s say, you go to the national institutes of health or wherever you go, then you are leaving our protection and you make direct contact with their servers and now you are just out in the wild west on the internet.

We have developed the first and only proxy associated with a search engine, which is available both through Start Page and Ixquick, so if you are doing a particularly sensitive search, and the website that you find from your search is a website that you want to visit but you don’t necessarily want that website to see you, then there is a link that you can click on to your search result that says “view by Ixquick proxy”, it is on both websites Start Page and Ixquick, and if you click that, what we do is we go to the, national institutes of health website, for example, load the contents of their page onto our servers and then we serve it to you. So you see it through our servers.

There is a little frame around it that says “proxy” so that you know your viewing it through us not through them. That means they can’t see you, they can’t put any Malware on your browser, for example that is one of the reasons people use it.

It is a little bit slower to use the proxy because we have to double-load it. So, we download it and then you load it to view, so there is kind of a dual step. And the other difference on our proxy, we do not use java script or flash for security reasons because those actually have big security holes in them and we do not transmit that.

Robles: Can you give our listeners your website addresses one more time?

Albrecht: Absolutely The websites are Startpage.com , and Ixquick.com . If you would like to sign up for an early access to Startmail, our upcoming e-mail program, go to Startmail.com. My personal website is kmashow.com , I am a radio host.

Robles: Thank you Doctor Albrecht I really appreciate it.

Albrecht: Thank you so much John it’s been a pleasure.

 

Last Update: 08/11/2017 10:33 +0300

 

Site 1JAR2 Blog Button

 

JAR2 Biz

 

 Link to JAR2 YouTube Account  Link to JAR2 Blogger Account  Link to JAR2 Live Journal Account  Link to JAR2 Word Press Account    Link to JAR2 Sonation and Support Page

 

  Please help keep us going and make a donation Thanks to all supporters!

PayPal, Yandex, Qiwi, Сбербанк Sberbank Visa 4276 3800 4543 8756

Copyright JAR2 2003-2017 All Rights Reserved

Publishing Banned Truth Since June 06, 2003