Red Phone Private Calling
Screenshot of Red Phone Private Calling (Photo courtesy of play.google.com)

by Laura Wetherbee

NEWBURGH—Students at Mount Saint Mary College (MSMC) who are concerned that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is invading their privacy can download apps to their phones to securely protect their messages, Internet browsing, and phone calls.

There are students who feel the NSA is making the nation safer by targeting terror suspects and the information the government gathers helps to protect our country.

“The information could be beneficial in some circumstances,” said junior Aaron Ricci.

There are also students who feel their privacy is being violated and that the government is spying on people.

Senior Jason Lorch said he could go on for an hour about the subject of NSA privacy, but in brief, he thinks the government “keeps tabs too much.”

CBS News posted an article last November titled “Federal appeals court struggles over NSA program’s legality,” which questions whether it is an invasion of privacy if the NSA simply collects information and stops short of using it.

Lorch said the government has taken things “overboard” and should not be allowed to collect such a large amount of information.

The CBS News article explains the debate on whether the NSA’s surveillance program is an “intelligence-gathering tool that makes the nation safer or an intrusive threat that endangers privacy.”

TextSecure Private Messenger is an android app that can be downloaded to your phone, and according to the Google Play store, this app uses an advanced end-to-end encryption protocol that provides privacy for every message.

Students can download TextSecure Private Messenger on all android phones from the Google Play store, which has a description page detailing the apps functions.

The description page explains how TextSecure is the only private messenger app that uses open source peer-reviewed cryptographic protocols to keep messages safe.

RedPhone Private Calls is another android app and received four out of five stars based on customer reviews that are found in the Google Play Store.

This app’s description page in the Google Play store claims the RedPhone Private Calls app provides worldwide encryption for phone calls and creates a secure conversation that nobody can listen in on.

So would students use any of these apps?

Lorch said he would definitely consider using these apps in the fight for privacy.

Ricci said he might consider using the apps if his peers were all using them since it creates secure messaging.

Apple also has a privacy app called GetCocoon, which according to Apple, is the most private and secure way to browse the internet on an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

To learn more about these apps visit the Google Play store or Apple store to secure your information from prying eyes.