The woes of spy agency nsa may be a boon for startups in the privacy space. The leak of highly classified documents listing Verizon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and others as (unsurprisingly) rich sources of intel for terrorism investigations has set the paranoid worrying about the degree to which tech companies partner up with the Big Brother. Companies that offer NSA-proof services are reaping the benefits.DuckduckGoProtects:
Web searches. How:
Doesn’t save IP addresses or send search terms to visited sites.
Founded in 2008; $3 million from Union Square Ventures in October 2011.
Embarrassing medical research. Competitor:
Google, which has over 13 billion monthly searches, according to Comscore. NSA Boost:
Daily searches up from 1.8 million to over 3 million. Silent circleProtects:
Phone calls, VoIP, texts, e-mail. How:
Encryption. Company can’t see message content or who its customers are calling. Funding:
Founded in 2012; self-funded. Useful for:
Hospitals sending sensitive information to patients; texts you don’t want a partner to see. Competitors:
Skype, Apple’s Facetime, Facebook chat. NSA Boost:
400 percent increase in weekly sales. Spideroak
Documents in the cloud.
Encryption. Only users hold keys to decode a file.
Founded in 2007; self-funded.
Storing sensitive documents, business plans, revealing photos, copyrighted material you shouldn’t have. Competitor:
Dropbox. NSA Boost: Customer acquisition up 150 percent.
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(This story appears in the 26 July, 2013 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)