clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Edward Snowden says using an ad-blocker is 'not just a right but a duty'

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

In a new interview with The Intercept, Edward Snowden offers some wide-ranging advice on what the average citizen can do to protect their privacy. Among those tidbits offered by the famous leaker: flip on an ad-blocker when you're browsing the web.

Snowden also discussed Tor and two-step verification

"We've seen internet providers like Comcast, AT&T, or whoever it is, insert their own ads into your plaintext http connections," Snowden told the site. "As long as service providers are serving ads with active content that require the use of Javascript to display, that have some kind of active content like Flash embedded in it, anything that can be a vector for attack in your web browser, you should be actively trying to block these. Because if the service provider is not working to protect the sanctity of the relationship between reader and publisher, you have not just a right but a duty to take every effort to protect yourself in response."

Snowden, during the operational security-focused interview, provided some other, commonly offered tips for improving security. That includes using a password manager, setting up two-step verification, and browsing securely through Tor. "I think Tor is the most important privacy-enhancing technology project being used today," Snowden said. "I use Tor personally all the time."

Along with those tips on the tools of privacy protection, Snowden also gave some behavioral advice on how to stay secure, like practicing "selective sharing." "The idea here is that sharing is OK, but it should always be voluntary," he told the site. "It should be thoughtful, it should be things that are mutually beneficial to people that you’re sharing with, and these aren’t things that are simply taken from you."

Plus, he gave some insight into how he's been using Twitter: "There were a few days when people kept tweeting cats for almost an entire day," he said. "And I know I shouldn’t, I have a lot of work to do, but I just couldn’t stop looking at them."

Subscribe to What's Tech? on iTunes, listen on SoundCloud, or subscribe via RSS. And be sure to follow us on Twitter. You can also find the entire collection of What's Tech? stories right here on the The Verge Dot Com.