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Guest Post: Five Tools To Protect Your Privacy Online

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

We’ve discussed many times before - hardly a month goes by without some major action against Internet users... from Obama’s ‘kill switch’, to ACTA, SOPA and PIPA, to stasi tactics against people like Kim Dotcom.

Online privacy is becoming more important by the day. And nobody is going to give it to you, you have to take steps yourself to secure it.

Below are five different tools and services that will get you started:

1. Tor Browser

Tor is a great weapon in the fight for online anonymity as it allows you to surf the web without giving up your location and other personal data to the websites you visit.

The Tor Browser Bundle is the easiest and most secure way to get started; simply download it, and start surfing the web with the Tor Browser. It’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Learn more about and download the Tor Browser Bundle here

2. Duck Duck Go

If you want privacy, don’t search with Google.

Google store all of your searches to customize ads for you, but even worse, they can hand over the whole list of searches to any government agency that are curious about what you’ve been looking at for the last couple years.

A better alternative is Duck Duck Go, a completely anonymous search engine that does not store any information about you or your searches. The search results are essentially identical to Google’s, so there’s no loss of quality.

Search with Duck Duck Go here

3. HTTPS Everywhere

HTTPS Everywhere is a plug-in for Firefox and Google Chrome that tries to force a website to connect in secure mode, thus encrypting your traffic with the website you are visiting. This makes your browsing more secure because it prevents eavesdropping thieves or state-mafia from intercepting your unencrypted Internet traffic.

Download HTTPS Everywhere here

4. Cryptocat

Cryptocat is an encrypted chat that beats Facebook and Skype when it comes to security and privacy. If you want to chat in private then this is one simple solution. It’s also open source, which means you can see the full code and be sure there are no government “backdoors” built in.

Read more about and download Cryptocat here

5. Silent Circle

Silent Circle is a new player on the market, but it is founded by “old” players in the security and encryption industry. One of the founders, Phil Zimmerman, is also the creator of PGP, one of the most-used encryption platforms in the world.

Silent Circle is a suite of products offering:

  • Encrypted email
  • Encrypted video chat
  • Encrypted phone calls
  • Encrypted text messaging

Silent Circle is the only service on this list that is not free. But having the gold standard of encryption may be worth it for you. It is for me.

Read more about Silent Circle here

Bottom Line

You can set up most of the tools we discussed in 5 minutes. Each of them will go a long way in securing your privacy online.


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Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:25 | 3248111 world_debt_slave
world_debt_slave's picture


Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:38 | 3248151 MrX
MrX's picture

smoke doobies and kick back... it is the weekend


Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:45 | 3248173 fuu
fuu's picture

Things that go BUMP in the night. Monstrous mash.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:55 | 3248188 derek_vineyard
derek_vineyard's picture

i wish i had something to hide, so i needed privacy

i look for scandal, but can't find it

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:25 | 3248258 CH1
CH1's picture

Aside from #2 (maybe #1), I'd choose differently from all these:

I2P is better than Tor, though Tor is fine, just slow.

HTTP evreywhere leaves TPTB fully informed of where you surf, when, etc.

Silent Circle does nothing for surfing, as well as being a complete "trust me" service, complete with propriateary software. (I use Cryptohippie, which doesn't have these problems.)

For chat, just use OTR.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:30 | 3248395 The Thunder Child
The Thunder Child's picture

Switching your OS to Linux and using an encrypted VPN with a no logging policy blows these out of the water.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 22:31 | 3248567 deeznutz
deeznutz's picture

Agreed. I work for a web browser maker as a Privacy Engineer. I use a Buffalo N300 router that has OpenVPN. I connect to a VPN provider in Sweden (with exit IPs in the US and elsewhere). Your ISP is federally-mandated to keep logs of everything you do online, A VPN is the best bet for such things. All of the other options are also good, but a VPN is the best single thing you can do.

Edit: Also, stopping use of Google and Facebook services is a huge step in the right direction. Remember the like butons also are a huge privacy issue.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 23:20 | 3248656 true brain
true brain's picture

this is awesome. thanks. 

another roadblock against big obama and his bands of dogoogders kn the way to 1984.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 03:31 | 3248968 Half_A_Billion_...
Half_A_Billion_Hollow_Points's picture




1. Truecrypt will cryptograph your files into another file.  It has TWO passwords, so when you're waterboarded in gitmo, you give the other one and they see some porn and think that's it.  It's impossible to know that there is a second password unless they know it, so you have plausible deniability.  It's open source.

2. When buying a VPN, use bitcoin.  The VPN then has ZERO idea that you are a gold fetishist extremist.  Do not use your CC and let them log you.


Sat, 02/16/2013 - 09:45 | 3249197 s0lspot
s0lspot's picture

Yep SilentCircle needs to be opensource otherwise no way of trusting them. So PGP or not, forget it.


Go for instead. Encrypted calls & sms, all open source.


Regarding encrypted web on a uniquely identifiable closed-source mobile device (android & iOs), well that's just asking for trouble. Until a fully opensourced linux distro for mobiles is released (Ubuntu working on one as well as other projects) you really should keep it to the desktop/laptop, a Live CD/USB Linux distro and a public (or hacked) wifi connection when real anonymity is needed. Look into



All reroute all coms trough Tor & block any non-Torrified app or traffic.


Stay safe & don't forget it's all just a ride, don't let them fucker get your morale down!


Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:44 | 3248427 MaxMax
MaxMax's picture

That's a nice video!  Kid has some talent.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:58 | 3248343 PersonalRespons...
PersonalResponsibility's picture

Never mind.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 14:57 | 3249781 JeffB
JeffB's picture

TOA can stand for many things. What does it stand for here?


Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:43 | 3248112 PSEUDOLOGOI

abine could be an option too.


I think that the next wave of "google", "apples" etc... innovation is going to be companies that sell you products and services to Protect/Guard your privacy and info.

Government over reaches and entrepreneurs create solutions.

Silent Circle is a first decent attempt to simplify privacy for the average Joe and to commercialize it.  I expect them to become mainstream (superbowl advertisement for ex. like goddady).

Imagine a service that confuses the hell out of the systems that profile you and track you online...

Commercialize counter-intelligence techniques and bring them to the market!  be the next Trillionaires (yes, soon billionaires will be so 1980s due to inflation)

For example, if you are not liberal, maybe a service out there would make it look like you are by visiting some websites on your behalf...

If you are anti-war, maybe it could visit pro-war sites and create a digital track for you that now no longer associates you with being anti-war...

Maybe if you are anti-abortion, it can confuse the profiles created on you by visiting pro-abortion.

pro-gun, anti-gun etc... etc... etc... etc..

Just create a service that screws up compiled profiles therefore making those collected profiles completely useless.

Totally non-violent and asymmetrical.  Not expected by TBTB 



Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:23 | 3248254 Rogue Trooper
Rogue Trooper's picture

Thanks Dude... abine is easy to install, no set up and adds to the tools Simon suggested.  5 Mins work.

Love the way I went back to ZH and 12 sites where obviously trying to get some data.

Appreciated! Rogue!

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 12:42 | 3249479 Ratscam
Ratscam's picture

just did so, as well as a VPN account with that someone recommended further down the posts. Thanks so much.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 14:59 | 3249788 JeffB
JeffB's picture

"Imagine a service that confuses the hell out of the systems that profile you and track you online..."

If it works against Big Brother governments, they will outlaw it or shut it down some other way.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 18:04 | 3250187 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

they will print the trillions to break anything (oh wait, they already have).

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:27 | 3248121 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

TOR would be useful, if it wasn't so fucking slow.

But I guess all the druggies can always use it to score drugs off Silk Road.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:44 | 3248315 seek
seek's picture

Don't knock the druggies and gambling addicts, thanks to them my BTC has doubled in value in six weeks.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:45 | 3248322 Jab Cross Hook
Jab Cross Hook's picture

Betcha the Langley boys dump lots of pure Afghani tar on that route.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:29 | 3248123 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

Google would never betray us.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:41 | 3248161 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Google be praised..., and their flawless translator.  Laugh till I fucking hurt.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:44 | 3248171 knukles
knukles's picture

Sanskrit <=> Swahili

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:47 | 3248177 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Didn't know you were a polyglot, Knuks.  Bet that's not the worst thing the spooks are saying about us.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:49 | 3248181 knukles
knukles's picture

Woooooo wooooo woooooo  Boo!

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:32 | 3248131 Lmo Mutton
Lmo Mutton's picture

Just because they are after me doesn't make me paranoid.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:43 | 3248145 knukles
knukles's picture

Not at all.
They told me they're after your sweet ass first though, so just watch out.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:45 | 3248172 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

There's a  lot of competition for that #1 POW uniform.

Just remember, guys, in the Civil Air Patrol you get to chose your own rank, and the officers' mess will have less horse meat.


Sat, 02/16/2013 - 06:01 | 3249045 Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

Even paranoids have enemies.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:34 | 3248139 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

TOR Bundle works well on a key-chain drive, giving you anon browsing on any computer.

I like but am also liking what I see with (or the domestic portal*, it proxys Google search results yielding better/different results than the duck.


*h/t Problem Is and Clycntct

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 13:45 | 3249608 ajax
ajax's picture


@Shellgame: Thanks for mentioning "ixquick", I've been using it for quite a while now and "google" is becoming a distant memory for me and my searches. I recommend "ixquick" to everyone everywhere.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 15:31 | 3249865 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Been using yippy search engine for years.

The relational cloud display on the left is great.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:36 | 3248147 Rainman
Rainman's picture

If some human built it some other human will figure out how to beat it. BTW, Fakebook got hacked today.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:37 | 3248399 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

They won't need humans to figure it out. They have lots of computers that can perform massive amounts of number crunching and can punch holes in any encrypted messages.

All they need is someone to write the algo's and the computers do the rest.

They're probably already using technology that uses light instead of electrons which allows for even faster computations.

If you think you can outsmart this: smarter than a fifth grader

Hate to pull an MDB, but you poor "mere mundanes" are centuries behind what the snoops in Utah have rolled out.

Snoopin' your poopin'

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 23:23 | 3248662 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Sending out some gibberish emails is one technique that will slow the dogs down.  There are others, but Bearings aren't good w/ computers, we prefer to be left alone, rolling along, carrying the load...

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 03:19 | 3248962 vato poco
vato poco's picture

Am not a computer weenie; nor a cryptologist. But have always read/heard that 'one-time pad' messgaes are unbreakable: no patterns or repeaters to detect and build a key from. Takes a lot of extra effort & planning, but supposedly the Gold Standard in crypto jive. Anyone else know different? Is this just urban myth? Can the NSA Crays brute-force 'em?

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 03:44 | 3248971 Half_A_Billion_...
Half_A_Billion_Hollow_Points's picture

No they can't.  Hard crypto is hard crypto.  There is no technology, barring sci-fy quantum computers jetsons-style that will break strong encryption.  


This mathafacka has over $16,000,000 in bitcoin.

Wanna get it? Just break his private key for 1DkyBEKt5S2GDtv7aQw6rQepAvnsRyHoYM.  Good luck with that.

Hard crypto is hard crypto.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 10:21 | 3249246 CH1
CH1's picture

NSA can crack it... No they can't.

You are correct, they can't. That "super-duper NSA system" line has always been FUD - Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt - which is another spook specialty.

If and when quantum computing comes around, that will chage, but not until.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 18:08 | 3250206 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

not even then if seeds are truely random (cosmic ray, radioactive decay, other poisson processes)

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:38 | 3248154 El Tuco
El Tuco's picture

These guys were rated well by users....

Everything is being watched. Everything is being saved. Active effort to monitor and gather intel on every living person and it is forever. I worry about some of the posters on this board. I would bet my last dollar they have been flagged. If you hear the helocopters or see the black SUV's run.


Sat, 02/16/2013 - 20:13 | 3250449 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Don't worry.  There is only one way to Valhalla.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:41 | 3248157 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

So... Simon Black... The Don Juan of 'Tom Cruise' COCKTAIL bars worldwide... Now wants to 'school' me on how to protect my INTERNET privacy?...


Umm... OK... [I promise to stop using 'kokomo' as my account password ~ am I kewl]?...

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 23:25 | 3248666 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Doh!  I missed that it was Simon Black....

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 11:08 | 3249315 paulbain
paulbain's picture






Exactly my thoughts, too. I am fairly certain that Simon Black knows little of information technology, much less information security. Why does Tyler Durden not understand this simple fact? Dunno.

-- Paul D. Bain






Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:40 | 3248158 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

How about Startpage by ixquick?

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:52 | 3248184 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

I use Ixquick on Chrome and turn off Chrome's 'leaks' and run some additional ad and cookie blocks...PS. for the most bang for your buck try this place: 50lb. lots make the cut-back in target shooting a lot more interesting these days. (no affiliation other than a happy customer)

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 22:35 | 3248582 deeznutz
deeznutz's picture

Ask yourself as you use Chrome, by Google: How much MORE do you want Google to know about you?

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 15:15 | 3249818 scam_MERS
scam_MERS's picture

Been using IXquick for a couple of years, and made their Startpage HTTPS my default search engine. It gets results from Google but without passing your IP to Google. Best thing of all, if you want, you can use the IXquick proxy to look at the results, so you stay completely anonymous. It's the best search engine I've found so far, I tried DuckDuckGo but didn't like the interface, Startpage looks very similar to Google's page and feels more "familiar". I'll never go back to using Google, there's just no reason to allow their data mining when you don't have to.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:43 | 3248165 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Never assume you are secure even with those precautionary measures implemented, because nothing is foolproof. If you are truly worried about security then don't do anything critical on the computer you fuck around on ZH and Facebook with, and don't say anything you might wish to retract at a later date; such as Fuck you Bernanke!

You NSA pukes can have my freedom of speech at the same time you have my guns and my last three fucking dollars........

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:42 | 3248166 Wile-E-Coyote
Wile-E-Coyote's picture

They know who you are, where you are. So don't worry.

The time to worry is when a truck pulls up outside your place and a couple of goon soldiers jump off. Soldiers are not overly bright otherwise they wouldn't be soldiers, they have no imagination and can't think out of the box. Just lock the front door and casually leave by the back. They won't notice for at least thirty minutes. Don't make things complicated, there is no need, live to fight another day, on your terms.

Always have an escape plan.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:16 | 3248237 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

You forgot the part about having a dead body roughly the same size and weight as you and a fire-proof drivers license in your wooden house so that when you provoke TPTB to smoke you out they will have no choice but to declare that your dental records match the teeth of the charred stiff so that they can save face for a non-judicial execution.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:43 | 3248168 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Five 'tools' who took away your privacy: Bush, Obama, Napolitano, Holder, and every 3 letter acronym "security" agency(CIA, FBI, NSA, DHS, ad nauseam)...

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:50 | 3248179 CunnyFunt
CunnyFunt's picture

DuckDuckGo's results are significantly different fom Google. There's a lot less bullshit.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:55 | 3248191 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

You mean Seasmoke is not protecting me?

Please ignore my history thread. Go Obama '

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:59 | 3248200 Wile-E-Coyote
Wile-E-Coyote's picture

One day hopefully if I don't get one in the back of the head I will meet you all in some FEMA camp. Because that is the future, the Internet radicals are the new Jews, wait and see.


Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:17 | 3248241 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

It's two to the head.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:58 | 3248353 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

That's right - double tap you freakin' zombies...

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 02:13 | 3248918 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

What head? <looks at streetsweeper>

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:04 | 3248209 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

will they have high speed internet in the FEMA camp I wonder? Will they limit you to 15 minutes at a time?


just wondering....

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:16 | 3248238 Wile-E-Coyote
Wile-E-Coyote's picture

No communication with the outside world, once captured you will cease to be human. You will never leave the camp alive. Just don't get captured cheaply.

We are heading for a world that will go beyond Orwell. Orwell was a man ahead of his time, but even he couldn't see the technological advances we have today.

Why fear freedom of expression, they will come for you anyway, sing like a bird in the Sun.

Freedom is a powerful word.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:18 | 3248246 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Yeah, will you get two bars or four?

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:34 | 3248291 Rogue Trooper
Rogue Trooper's picture

I would say yes.  Your FEMA camp will have a nice fiber connection to stream tailored 'educational' messages and video to you 24/7.  Then, at the set time, you WILL join with your fellow mentally unbalanced inmates, to participate with what vigor you have left in the 2 minutes of hate against that Terrist "Tyler Durden".... who is still out there, somewhere, eating babies, killing the innocent and commiting unspeakable perversions upon innocent rabbits and unicorns.



Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:03 | 3248357 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

Tyler's Two Minutes Hate to be followed by the Kate Upton palate cleanser, then Belator MMA - to the death. Hunger Games? Not as long as we have horses!

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 02:27 | 3248933 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

I'm sorry, you lost me after "Kate Upton."

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 15:19 | 3249827 Svendblaaskaeg
Svendblaaskaeg's picture

will they have high speed internet in the FEMA camp I wonder? Will they limit you to 15 minutes at a time?

Does that include foreplay?


Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:09 | 3248220 the iD
the iD's picture

6. Truecrypt

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:19 | 3248247 RebelDevil
RebelDevil's picture

Truecrypt full-drive encryption does not protect you from online hackers.
It only protects your data from people who are physically near the device. (i.e. - they can't access the drive unless a password is given.)

AES or other per-file encryption is necessary to protect individual files.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:14 | 3248232 RebelDevil
RebelDevil's picture

Simon forgot about file encryption, one of the most basic!
AES Encrypt:
Blowfish Advanced CS:

Both are free. :)

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:17 | 3248243 Silver_K-9
Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:33 | 3248286 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

+1 from me, K9.  In fact, Simon has recommended Cryptohippie last year.  What gives?

I have mixed views on this $300/yr service:  Although I like its ability, but am still peeved at the times when it drops, and how it does not prevent unwanted pop-ups becoming 'active'.  E.g. out of the blue, one of the adds not only runs a video, but a loud, disruptive audio also.  I wish it would 'strip' the Flash player adds from webpages.  Maybe I just need to play with the web-browser settings.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:32 | 3248281 Jab Cross Hook
Jab Cross Hook's picture

Black electrical tape -- you'll want to cover the camera eye embedded in your notebook screen.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:42 | 3248313 CunnyFunt
CunnyFunt's picture

... And a soldering iron to disconnect the mic.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:45 | 3248321 Doomer
Doomer's picture

Don't forget about the microphones.

I bet the sound chips can alter the speaker circuit, such that the speakers could be used as microphones.

Goddam government spooks!

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:36 | 3248295 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Beware of GMAIL.  Got this from an old IT friend:

You will soon start to see TV Ads  about dropping GMAIL,  due to them using a “word filter” to read all your emails, and then provide lists of your interests to other businesses for a price.   They are data-mining your mail, and using it to sell customized ad content that then shows up on your screen. 


       The tag line is….. ARE YOU GETTING SCREW-OOGLED ?   (spelled  Scroogled  )


Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:46 | 3248326 Schlomo Bergstein
Schlomo Bergstein's picture

6. Delete facebook.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 07:48 | 3249103 smacker
smacker's picture


Facebook has to be the greatest load of bollix ever. I recently signed up to it under pressure and I cannot believe the mindless e-mails that now arrive asking me "do you know John Soap and 8 others?" and "John Doe has updated his status" - meaning that JD has posted yet another mindless and incomprehensible one-liner.


My prediction for Facebook is for it to fade into oblivion. No wonder Zuckerman IPO'ed it as fast as he could.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 15:23 | 3249839 Svendblaaskaeg
Svendblaaskaeg's picture

Elvis your tee vee

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:57 | 3248346 Hannibal
Hannibal's picture

Delete anything Google and Facebook.

Use FireFox, options/privacy: "Always use private browsing mode".

Ixquick search engine, DoNotTrackme, AdblockPlus, BetterPrivacy, Https (secure,private free webmail)


Sat, 02/16/2013 - 07:40 | 3249097 smacker
smacker's picture

Also looks like it supports POP3 e-mail clients for those of us who intensely dislike Webmail after suffering Hotmail and now Gmail for years :

Meaning you can send/receive e-mails from your local e-mail client without logging on to their Webmail.

I actually use Fastmail which is also encrypted in both directions and is possibly the best e-mail service available in terms of function and speed. And it's accessible from anywhere in the world using a portable e-mail client (eg: Thunderbird, Forte Agent etc). BUT it is a pay service ($5 pa for a standard account).

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:05 | 3248366 billsykes
billsykes's picture

cancel your internet connection. 

or cancel it then reopen under a business account, those damn employees surfing.....  combine with a WIFI router that is open for all...... 

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:06 | 3248371 Wile-E-Coyote
Wile-E-Coyote's picture

How can you protect yourself from the people who own the encryption codes. No point having a lock when the bastards have the master key,......... get it! FFS

Forget it, they know who you are, come out and bask in the Sun you deserve it. They will come for you regardless.

Stand tall, stand proud, and say NO.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:36 | 3248409 optimator
optimator's picture

The more you try and hide something the more "They" will want to know what and why.  Think simpel an theye wil not turn yu up in their muchines.  The old Soviet Union had machines that could read and store letters without opening them.  Really simple machine too.  If they want to know they will.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:14 | 3248378 Bandit und Buster
Bandit und Buster's picture

OR free ultrasurf 

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:14 | 3248379 Bandit und Buster
Bandit und Buster's picture

OR free ultrasurf 

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 06:39 | 3249064 smacker
Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:26 | 3248387 Bandit und Buster
Bandit und Buster's picture

deleted by poster   double post


Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:35 | 3248406 scottch
scottch's picture

Try Ghostery,  It disables trackers of all stripes before they have a chance to run.  Works with firefox and other browsers.  Easy controls in the rare case where the website gets confused because its trackers are not reporting in.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 16:59 | 3250065 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Ghostery clean up the crap here at ZH really good.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:43 | 3248424 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Great thread and thanks to all for suggestions. is also supposedly coming out with something new for end to end security in the near future.  New Zealand was really embarrassed to be Obummer and Hollywood's little bitch.  It was all about etch firms and hollywood not wanting competition.  NZ'ers realized that Kim was about 10x smarter and more articulate in English than the entire US govt. 

F TV F Hollywood.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 05:55 | 3249044 Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

Kimble has been working for the man since before he started YIHAT.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:46 | 3248435 Theos
Theos's picture

Man you guys are such sitting ducks.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:55 | 3248467 Wile-E-Coyote
Wile-E-Coyote's picture

No we are MEN.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 15:33 | 3249876 Svendblaaskaeg
Svendblaaskaeg's picture

MerMAN! (High-pitched voice)

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:59 | 3248480 Wile-E-Coyote
Wile-E-Coyote's picture

Anyone who posts on ZH is a marked man or woman.................. Brothers in arms.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 15:35 | 3249881 Svendblaaskaeg
Svendblaaskaeg's picture

"Anyone who posts on ZH is a marked man or woman.................. Brothers in arms."

..and Sisters in arms! (Life of Brian)

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 22:02 | 3248490 Drachma
Drachma's picture

"...more secure because it prevents eavesdropping thieves or state-mafia from intercepting your unencrypted Internet traffic."

There is no encryption in use that can't be decrypted. If the "state" wants your info, it will get it, and quick. This interwebby thingy is their playground. Now lets all continue playing like good little children.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 22:53 | 3248623 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

I'm calling bullshit on this. If you use double encyption AES-256 or some other method through a vpn, no 3 letter agency has enough computer firepower to break both encryptions in this lifetime using brute force methods. Same holds true for encrypted messaging through AES-256 https. Doing that through a VPN is even more secure. You'd have to have the actual machines compromised to find out what is being sent, you ain't getting it sniffing traffic.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 23:15 | 3248646 Umh
Umh's picture

Why would you think they will be doing a brute force attack. The Internet looks less and less like a web every year and more and more like a hierarchy. TCP intercept which is just another name for a man in the middle attack when it's done by the 'good guys' defeats HTTPS by simply pretending to be the server to the client and the client to the server.


Fri, 02/15/2013 - 23:35 | 3248664 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

I'm out of the loop with this stuff but unless I am missing something here a TCP intercept in 9 out of 10 cases will betray itself by using a nonvalid ssl certificate. And why on the brute force part even if they do use the technique you mention successfully, if it is something like encrypted documents they still have to break that manually.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 05:53 | 3249043 Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 12:47 | 3249237 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Thanks also if anyone wants to chime in. Would using something like OpenVPN through a service like riseup be a good alternative to tor for the average user?

As I read more about MITM attacks my understanding OpenVPN even though it is SSL based, the only way a MITM attack can be successful on it is if the MITM has access to private certificate and public key. Without those the MITM can't masquerade as an OpenVPN server.

My original thought stands you do this with a few more VPN redirects before you access the end site, they may be able to compromise the https encryption but not find the source with enough VPN redirects especially if your first hop/gateway is the vpn server. Even if they did know all the redirects they still can't trace the source between any 2 with double encryption let alone break that (assuming no weaknesses at each of the VPN servers). They maybe able to see the entry and exit points but the path is secure and obfuscated. A business account would not raise any red flags doing this.

Actually there is a 3rd layer now that I think of it. You need a username and password to log into the VPN server. As long as that isn't sent plain text. That is 3 layers to penetrate on the network level. Can all 3 be penetrated, yeah there is always the possibility but you only can only trace one mac address in either direction and need to do the whole process over again. I'd say you are about as well secured as you are going to reasonably get with this method. Any rebuttals please chime in. Like I said I am out of the loop but from a common sense standpoint this seems to be the best approach.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 21:49 | 3250586 mkkby
mkkby's picture

You easily frightened folks need to remember Bin Laden wasn't found for over 10 years, and only because friends betrayed him.  Thieves, drug dealers and yes -- even terrorists -- communicate by phone and internet ALL THE TIME and are rarely caught.  All these dot gov satellites/drones and spook agencies are simply another GIGANTIC WASTE OF TAXPAYER FUNDS.  Or rather another rip off by defense contractors.  They can't possibly sift through all that data.  It's like trolling the whole ocean trying to find one specific cross eyed sardine.

Who actually gets caught?  Some brain dead idiot who takes a fake bomb from an FBI agent.  And then half the time they break down the neighbors door and screw that up.

You are not on any watch lists unless you are getting phone calls from Afghanistan.  Say FU to Bernanke all you want.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 22:08 | 3248509 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Hello Spooks.  Please consider that following criminal orders makes you a criminal.  Please consider the Constitution, civil liberties and the overall welfare of society in all that you do.

Feel free to report your superiors to the Inspector General of your agency, to outside attorneys, or the press if they are abusing power and/or pressuring you to do so.

And, by all means delete, scramble, contaminate and otherwise render information gathered from American citizens useless in your database processing.

We are counting on you, kind ladies and gents.  Do the right thing.

Thanks and Have a Nice Presidents Day Weekend.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 22:28 | 3248563 Umh
Umh's picture

TCP intercept products that are placed at choke points of "your" Internet access defeat the security provided by HTTPS.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 06:35 | 3249062 smacker
smacker's picture

How so? With HTTPS isn't the data encrypted on "your" system before it leaves and enters the TCP protocol, and the response is decrypted on "your" system after it arrives?

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 08:22 | 3249122 Umh
Umh's picture

The TCP intercept products work like a man in the middle attack; being placed between the client and server they spoof both to the other one. This includes the key exchanges that start the secured session.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 11:45 | 3249352 smacker
smacker's picture

I understand, thanks. I wonder if the middle-man attack requires a trojan to be installed on the client? And whether it's a proven concept or remains theoretical by the techy experts? If it's a proven concept, it doesn't hold out much hope for the future of online banking and even online shopping come to that.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 17:56 | 3250129 Umh
Umh's picture

There are commercial products available from companies like BlueCoat that implement TCP intercept. Many companies use these to spy on their employees and for all I know the government uses something like them too.

These products only work where they can get all of the traffic between two points.

A MITM attack does not require the end points to be compromised (it would make it easier:)) and they say the banks are whitelisted.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 22:28 | 3248564 hannah
hannah's picture

none of these solutions will hide you from the one entity that you are trying to hide from...the fed gov. so trying to hide will take a little more effort.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 22:31 | 3248573 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

how about for "ye olde chip in the brain" condition? have they come up with anything for that one yet? i was watching some re-runs of Get Smart to give me some ideas actually

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 22:53 | 3248621 Wile-E-Coyote
Wile-E-Coyote's picture

Revolution is near and they know it. Not in the USA they have you guys figured. It will start in Europe.

You don't need to hide behind an armalite to assert your rights. Numerical mass can bring down a government without violence.

Remember you put these people in power, they are only there by your consent.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 04:39 | 3249008 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Yes, there might be an 'american' revolution on the way in Europe.

'Americans' in Europe are perfectly aware that their salvation is tied to blobbing up into that massive european people.

If nation states drag too much their feet and keep putting themselves in the way, an 'american' revolution to finalize the engineering of the europeanization of 'americans' might happen.

That is the only kind of revolution that could happen in Europe under 'americanism'.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 05:51 | 3249039 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous, uttering a screed without reason, said:

'Americans' in Europe are perfectly aware that their salvation is tied to blobbing up into that massive european people.

The comment was non sense. And the result is nothing pinpointed. Not a single argument. It has no ground.

If nation states drag too much their feet and keep putting themselves in the way, an 'american' revolution to finalize the engineering of the europeanization of 'americans' might happen.

Djeee, is there exists a point in making? Side tracking, ad hominems, strawsman etc... is all what Chinese citizenism citizens can provide.

Even if one accepts the story about the necessity of being a Chinese citizenism citizen to speak of US citizenism, if one walks in the land of fantasy, and submit to the whim that US citizenism exists, all this would be based on the behavior by one.

I do not expect any Chinese citizenism citizen to be able to answer to these points, only kicking the can.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 05:52 | 3249040 Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

France, Germany and Uk are the new three kingdoms of europe.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 09:50 | 3249201 Woden
Woden's picture


Where have you been for the last 2,000 years lol.


A Euro peon.

Sun, 02/17/2013 - 15:02 | 3251543 Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

It was a reference to the romance of three kingdoms, a chinese story for a chinese citizen.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 23:59 | 3248716 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

And also since this is good thread to post on since there are probably some state dept. trolls honing their skills in "public diplomacy" through indirect means. They are back in the public propaganda business. Under the guise of diplomacy as per section 1097 of the NDAA act.


—Section 501 of the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (22 U.S.C. 1461) is amended to read as follows:
‘‘SEC. 501. (a) The Secretary and the Broadcasting Board of Governors are authorized to use funds appropriated or otherwise made available for public diplomacy information programs to provide for the preparation, dissemination, and use of information intended for foreign audiences abroad about the United States, its people, and its policies, through press, publications, radio, motion pictures, the Internet, and other information media, including social media, and through information centers, instructors, and other direct or indirect means of communication.

Nothing major here except for some key language.

Propaganda=public relations=public diplomacy

No surprises there, Orwellian change in language, the other key point is its policies, no distinction between foreign or domestic.

Here is where it gets fun.

‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—No funds authorized to be appropriated to the Department of State or the Broad11
casting Board of Governors shall be used to influence public opinion in the United States. This section shall apply only to programs carried out pursuant to the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (22 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.), the United States Inter16
national Broadcasting Act of 1994 (22 U.S.C. 6201 et seq.), the Radio Broadcasting to Cuba Act (22 U.S.C. 1465 et seq.), and the Television Broadcasting to Cuba Act (22 U.S.C. 1465aa et seq.). This section shall not prohibit or delay the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors from providing information about its operations, policies, programs, or program material, or making such available, to the media, public, or Congress, in accordance with other applicable law.

Sounds okay but the kicker is part b since the nature of today's world there is no more firewalls between domestic and foreign concerning the press or television. If CNN is broadcast on a foreign cable network and domestic part b kicks in same with a news website, etc.

‘‘(b) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Department of
3 State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors from engaging in any medium or form of communication, either directly or indirectly, because a United States domestic audience is or may be thereby exposed to program material, or based on a presumption of such exposure. Such material may be made available within the United States and disseminated, when appropriate, pursuant to sections 502 and 1005 of the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (22 U.S.C. 1462 and 1437), except that nothing in this section may be construed to authorize the Department of State or the Broadcasting Board of Governors to disseminate within the United States any program material prepared for dissemination abroad on or before the effective date of the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012.
‘‘(c) APPLICATION.—The provisions of this section shall apply only to the Department of State and the
20 Broadcasting Board of Governors and to no other department or agency of the Federal Government.’’.


There you have it, when you read or watch any MSM media, chances are the national stories are state propaganda pieces. Treat all news as such from those sources from now on.  Comments on websites are also fair game. Not like we didn't already know this stuff goes on but there it is codified into law.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 00:06 | 3248739 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

And to flesh this out just a bit more here is 22 U.S.C. 1437

In carrying out the provisions of this chapter it shall be the duty of the Secretary to utilize, to the maximum extent practicable, the services and facilities of private agencies, including existing American press, publishing, radio, motion picture, and other agencies, through contractual arrangements or otherwise. It is the intent of Congress that the Secretary shall encourage participation in carrying out the purposes of this chapter by the maximum number of different private agencies in each field consistent with the present or potential market for their services in each country.


The last time the govt. was legally in the domestic propaganda business was prior to 1948 during WWII.


But to be fair 22 U.S.C. 1462 states the following.

In authorizing international information activities under this chapter, it is the sense of the Congress
(1) that the Secretary shall reduce such Government information activities whenever corresponding private information dissemination is found to be adequate;
(2) that nothing in this chapter shall be construed to give the Department a monopoly in the production or sponsorship on the air of short-wave broadcasting programs, or a monopoly in any other medium of information.


You will get some real news inbetween the propaganda since that section effectively keeps them from nationalizing the press and running it outright but we know once you are on the take it is easy to influence by asking nicely for things to be done with the implication you are not asking.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 00:04 | 3248745 brokesville
brokesville's picture

write a fucking letter and drop  it in the maibox if its so personal, assume anything you do on a computer is not that private. all phones inc landlines are voip dont forget

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 00:05 | 3248749 sbenard
sbenard's picture

Great info! Thanks!

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 00:57 | 3248830 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

thank you simon - this is outstanding!!!!!

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 01:37 | 3248865 Mike Cowan
Mike Cowan's picture

Does Cryptocrat have a Facebook page? How about the other four? :-) I'm just too addicted to get off. I do, however, own some gold coins with chocolate inside. Love 'em.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 01:52 | 3248882 xtop23
xtop23's picture

Been using DuckDuckGo for a long while and have been moderately pleased with it.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 01:56 | 3248891 Rusty Trombone
Rusty Trombone's picture

It sucks at finding quality porn.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 02:04 | 3248906 xtop23
xtop23's picture

I see what you did there. You used sucks and porn in the same sentence..... so proud :)

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 10:53 | 3249299 Rusty Trombone
Rusty Trombone's picture

I'm not kidding !  Do a cursory search for "Bernanke's Big Booty Bitches 5". Then tell me why it only shows flicks of Krugman at ( what I presume) is some Glory Hole on John St.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 04:21 | 3248996 dunce
dunce's picture

Theoretically the govt. can track anyone and record every click and key but the real limitation is some human must select a limited number for analysis out of millions and then determine if it is worth while to do something about them. The limits are humans and the ones working for the govt. are much less than the best of breed. Real threats will not be flagged.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 04:35 | 3249005 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

You know, Argus is an old tale. It comes from the ancient times that were not 'american'.

Argus saw everything. It also acted on the spot. Deep difference in conception from 'americans', wont go in detail on that.

'Americans' are not that interested in acting on the spot. They are interested in enduring.

What 'americans' want to is record everything, not to see everything.

There is some inertia in the 'american' system and taking it down wont be done in a week, a month or a year.

'Americans' prefer to record as they can allow people to expose themselves and using their massive records, track it down.

'American' doing has nothing preventive. It has nothing immediately reactive. Those are what 'americans' would to sell in order to masquerade their behaviour for something else.

'American' doing is delayed reaction. They do not want to curb criminality (or anything like that) by acting before it happens, or acting when it happens. They do not want to monitor millions of people's acts in real time. What 'americans' want is record.
'Americans' want to be able to be sure that any threat that arises can be dealt with on the mid term.

That is the priority of extorters and farmers.

'Americans', even if only in action for 236 years or so, have already a long history in man hunting.

Hedge accordingly.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 14:04 | 3249657 jonjon831983
jonjon831983's picture

I think they have algos that will detect certain patterns.  The most basic would be something like keywords and the number of times they are used. etc.etc.  Or say you do something out of normal patterns.  Every day you walk along the same path to work, if you go a different way it is saying something different is going on.

Remember how they were using twitter posts as a way to detect the mood of the market?  Like this (though comment suggests it is not entirely true):

If you look at sites like facebook/google , targetted ads.  Suggested friends.

Stuff can likely be automated and I guess if necessary flagged for individual inspection.

Humans can be predictable beings.


Sat, 02/16/2013 - 22:05 | 3250609 mkkby
mkkby's picture

Keywords are FUCKING USELESS.  Use your brain.  Are terrorists talking on the phone or email about bombs, or do they use code words?  For example, "call aunt Nancy" means "meet at pre-determined location".  The only thing a key word search will do is catch billions of useless discussions about every day activities.  This is all just a giant waste of taxpayer money, and another giveaway to defense contractors.

The only thing that ever caught a terrorist was tracking networks of phone calls.  If you get phone calls from Afghanistan, you will be on a watch list.  And if those calls come from a known terrorist house, you'll be actively watched.  The rest of us are hidden in the noise.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 04:24 | 3249000 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Another 'american' paranoia fit. Anything that sells goes.

'Americans' have sold a lot of ideas about people in power, in order to conceal their own 'american' nature.

One is for example that people in power are obsessed with surpressing people who are no threat to them.

The reality: people in power do not waste time and resources on people who are no threat to them.

No 'americans' on here is a threat to the 'americans' in power. There is no cause to take measures from any side.

'Americans' on here are secure due to their american-ness and 'americans' in power do not care about harmless, impotent 'americans'.

If there are threats, they do not come from 'americans' in power but from similar in status 'americans'. Here comes the fun: as 'americans' live to congregate, and that they have to do it with people who are actually the biggest potential threat, well, that is something.

Remains also the consumption thing. Yep, 4 out of 5 are told to be free. But where has the 'american' song of no free lunch gone?

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 11:34 | 3249332 HeatMiser
HeatMiser's picture

You don't live in Mass hole chusetts do you. Good luck with those observations.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 05:43 | 3249035 Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

Dunno bout the USA but here in the UK using TOR means you have 'something to hide' from GCHQ.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 06:36 | 3249063 cardis
cardis's picture

tks tylers. great info. full menu served at 0 cost.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 09:42 | 3249188 GCT
GCT's picture

Unless your doing encryption a couple of commenter have described the government already has the backdoor key to open it all.

All the NSA needs to do is employ a listening device close to your home and they can eventually intercept your passwords without you even knowing it.  All of our keyboards send out a signal and all keyboarads have assigned frequescies assigned to each key.  The are fcc class devices.  The number 3 key on my board is the same frequency as it is on anyone here. 

Unless your running a tempest computer setup all the signals can be intercepted if the listening device (usually just a directional antennae) is set up close enough to your home.  There is a reason they started to outlaw encryption programs in this and other countries.  They all want your data.


Sat, 02/16/2013 - 11:45 | 3249341 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

That is all true but they can't do any that if you keep everything wired. Problem solved. I'm calling bs on the backdoor stuff. Maybe in the old days but they wouldn't need supercomputers and sofisticated methods to break encryption if they did. Wireless router encryption maybe vunerable but wired isn't to outside listening devices. Also they make wireless mice and keyboards that use encrypted radio signals these days. I have a microsoft one on my newer machine.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 09:01 | 3258868 GCT
GCT's picture

Dewey before a software vender can offer you and I an encryption program they must provide the USA government the master key unlock it all.  This is now the law. 

I am not trying to be a doom and gloomer I have actuallly seen the system work with the NSA.  I worked in the intell field for several years.  If you are not running a tempest system, which you can google search all of your wired transmissions can indeed be intercepted.  I was not trying to scare anyone.  I was just trying to point out the reality. 

Wireless is even easier to intercept.

Do not believe me that is ok I have a test you can run yourself with a friend that has an occliscope.  All he has to do is set an attennae to his scope set the scope to measure frequency and you push any key on your keyboard.  Use a second keyboard and push the same key and you will find the frequency the same.  Every time you push a key on your keyboard it is sending a signal to your computer and the world.  Read your keyboards specs and you will find it is a FCC device.

Big computers are use to decrypt encryption the government does not have the master key too.  Like foreign governments to try and decrypt their messages.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 12:24 | 3249433 css1971
css1971's picture

Internet facts.

Email is like a postcard, not a mailed letter. It is passed in plain text for all intermediates to read. In fact all internet traffic is like sending postcards unless it is specifically encrypted.

Everything is logged. Every search, every web site, every email, every chat. Not the content, just everything you access, everyone you talk to. The logs are often sent outside the country to aviod privacy legislation.

So if you want anything remotely approaching privacy, you have to at a minimum.

Clear your cookies regularly.

Install noscript and adblock. know how they work.

Learn how to encrypt email.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 13:26 | 3249563 The Count
The Count's picture


Whatever you posted until now will never be deleted (what were you thinking...?) but at least you can stop being a total idiot now and quit feeding the data monster. Ever wonder about all those ... 'Log in with Facebook' sites? You are asking to be screwed. It's like walking around downtown SF with your pants down...

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 15:35 | 3249882 skunzie
skunzie's picture

If you are like me, all my comments and observations on the Internet or other media would be as exciting for the FBI, CIA, NSA or other alphabet security details to read as watching wall paint dry.  My secret plan is to bore them to death and then take over the world.  BWAHHHHAHHHHAHHHA!

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 15:36 | 3249883 skunzie
skunzie's picture

If you are like me, all my comments and observations on the Internet or other media would be as exciting for the FBI, CIA, NSA or other alphabet security details to read as watching wall paint dry.  My secret plan is to bore them to death and then take over the world.  BWAHHHHAHHHHAHHHA!

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 17:22 | 3250094 StockProdigy
StockProdigy's picture

Tor Browser download contains a virus and malware. I scanned my computer before I  installed Tor last night. Today firefox has been hijacked by ads, so I scanned with Malware Bytes, Avast and Avg, turns out there were 5 viruses on my comp. Beware.


One of the viruses I found was pup.infoatoms. Google results show it will steal your passwords.


Tyler(s), I suggest you take down this article down or at least put a caution on it.



Sat, 02/16/2013 - 22:14 | 3250622 Rynak
Rynak's picture

as all "souvereign anything" posts on ZH, this article is full of bullshit AGAIN, and carefully ignores less known players, whom - because of their history (i.e. being in a legal suit right now for doing what they do), seem much more "independent".

Point by point:

1. Tor Browser


Tor is a HORRIBLE choice if your needs are those of OUTPROXIES, that is, using tor as a means to "privatize" your normal internet activity. I dont even know where to start mentioning the many issues.

Perhaps i should start with the problem, that if you use the normal web via TOR, you are making use of a so called "outproxy". Those outproxies can see EVERYTHING you send over the internet, unless you're using SSL (more on THAT MYTH later on). The more important problem is, that for there to be outproxies, there need to be people willing to act as an outproxy. Now, what is the benefit for ANYONE to provide an outproxy? As an outproxy, the websites your user use, will see YOU as the agent. That means: any legal complaints, a website (or 3rd party) may want to voice, will get sent to.... YOU.. the outproxy. Anything your users do, YOU will act as a "shield" for. Now, how would anyone not being rich and having the money to at least *engage and defend legal claims* (which is much more important than "being right"... anyone can sue you, and if you cant pay to defend yourself, you lose, regardless of who is right).... whom who cannot afford this, would provide himself as an outproxy, unless he's just naive? Even simpler: If you already offer yourself as a legal shield, for tenthousands of users, what is the "gain" you expect in exchange for this? Who would make this deal? Think VERY CAREFULLY about this question.

And another question - if not many end up willing to do this, how hard would it be, to "infect" the pool of outproxies, with "spies"? TOR as an outproxy network has been, and is, doomed. You're more probable to stay under the radar, by not using any encryption at all! Or even shorter: TOR as an outproxy net, is a honeytrap.



2. Duck Duck Go

Duckduckgo has a lot of things going for it (if its policy is true). One may argue about its search-performance (not that good according to my experience), but the more important thing is:

Privacy, unless absolute, is relative to "something/someone". Someone you dont want to let know. In this case, the only one you dont let know is google. It doesn't protect the gov from monitoring your searches, nor its various agencies. All it does, is avoiding a certain private corporation, from monitoring you, and creating statistics based on you. Now, govs may be in bed with google in this  regard, true. But: If a "ressourceful" agent wanted to know exactly what you do, he could just monitor your isp, instead of "indirectly" monitoring you via google. So yeah, avoiding google is a good idea.... but not an idea significant enough, to make this..... tip #2, LOL? How does this hint ever deserve being ranked #2?


3. HTTPS Everywhere


Too bad, that SSL (on which HTTPS is based), is managed by a few CENTRAL AUTHS, AND in most countries, those central auths/certifers, are by law forced, to give out the keys, if any gov or intelligence agency asks for it!

SSL is for protecting normal people, from normal people. Govs can on request read whatever they want! That is, unless you use a self-signed certificate, but then almost every app will bombard people and you with warnings so blatant, as if someone is about to invade your home, because you then you are refusing management by said central auths - and you see, SSL authentification, solely rests on central vendors, not "peer-to-peer" or some "trust network".

4. Cryptocat

I have a better idea: Just quit your fucking facebook account!


5. Silent Circle

I lack information on this, so i cant make an informed comment in this regard. Though, that out of everyone YOUR organization encourages something related to the devs of PGP, is kinda scary, because of the implications.

Sun, 02/17/2013 - 14:12 | 3251402 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Okay then what is your take on using vpn tunnels, OpenVPN or otherwise? Seems everyone keeps tap dancing around that option as a form of security at the network level. I happen to agree in general with your analysis of these things. I've always personally been skeptical of Tor for the simple reason just using it implies something to hide. Duckduckgo I like the idea but if I didn't want to be tracked by google, I'd just do all my searches through a 3rd party proxy secure or otherwise. I know https is vunerable but the protecting my web browsing from the man isn't the reason for using it. It is to protect against sniffing traffic from the outside. Privacy protection not evasion for illegal activities is the reason here.

THERE ARE LEGITIMATE reasons for protecting one's communcations over the internet on a network level. Online banking, ebay transactions for example to protect from fraudulent activities i.e. theft of passwords, credit card information, etc. by packet sniffing of traffic. And yes I am well aware there are different levels of security from human, device, communication and network. This is only a question concerning the network level.

Is it because of the first rule of propaganda, if we don't talk the issue it is not an issue? I don't believe it is perfect since nothing is but response seems to ignore vpn as a security option or rule number # of propaganda which is change the subject and try to steer the convo elsewhere.

Thu, 03/14/2013 - 00:46 | 3328707 Rynak
Rynak's picture

Sorry for the VERY LATE reply... i don't frequent this site often anymore. Just every few months if i'm bored go check.

First, it was not my intention to imply that encryption or privacy is futile, or something one shouldn't even bother talking about. More like the opposite: I think trust and privacy is something that doesn't get enough coverage, except of on a very shallow basis.


As for your questions... i think the first thing one needs to ask, is just whom one wants to protect against (the "encryption is relative to something/someone" thing.... i.e., whenever you communicate encrypted, you WANT certain people to know, but want to exclude others from knowing (secrecy)).

For example, if you just want your neighbours to not listen on what you do, and you have a WLAN, wireless encryption or even just SSL will do.

If you don't want to let anyone but the gov and its agencies (and "friends") know.... SSL will do. This i.e. applies mostly for online purchases and banking. After all, gov agencies, their friends, and banks have plenty of ways to know where you transfer money, anyways. Thus, just for online shopping, SSL is fine.

Things start taking an entirely different dimension, if you want to communicate with people, and you ONLY want those people to know. Like, chatting or mailing. In those cases, ideally, you ONLY want your target to know, and NO ONE ELSE.... including players as ressourceful as large corps or govs.

One step even further from this, is wanting to access information, without anyone knowing. Because in that case, there isn't even a "recipient" you want to let know... or at least, not identify your real ID (anonymity). This is the hardest job, because you see, you cannot communicate over a network, without connecting to other agents. And you cannot connect to them, without them knowing where you are. This triggered the whole idea of the TOR "onion-routing"-concept. In pure theory, it is total paranoia, and thus should work. Sadly, for reasons i explained earlier, it doesn't, and that is because the final target (a website) is not part of this concept (hence the need for "outproxies").

Now, to get back to your initial question, regarding my opinion on encrypted VPNs: If you can get a VPN proxy whom you can totally trust, you have a golden bullet, that will fix everything. If in turn, that "trust" was wrongly applied, the opposite is the case: you just 100% did fall into a honey trap. Thats because, if you use a proxy/VPN, you ENTRUST your entire privacy to that single agent. If the agent is nice, everything is nice. If the agent is a traitor, well booom. And remember that said agent/proxy/VPN, acts like a legal shield for you. It takes all the heat, if any other party decides to attack.

So, if one were to go VPN/proxy, how to figure out the odds of trusting it? My simple answer would be: Check for common enemies. Is that entity attacked by those you want to protect against, and resisting? If yes, it already did show, that it won't back down easily against the "common enemy".

Now, the problem with this in turn is: Given the current legal framework in most countries.... if some proxy/VPN were to attempt to circumvent or avoid law.... that basically means: The parties that could potentially be trustworthy, will according to current law, be criminals. Because you see, according to current legal frameworks in most countries, privacy is a crime: You (and your proxy) has the right of secrecy towards other common people. Neither you, nor your proxy, has the right to secrecy towards govs, agencies or their friends. It's illegal.

Sun, 02/17/2013 - 01:14 | 3250827 billybobtx
billybobtx's picture

Good thing there are only 10+ trackers on Tyler's site right?

Sun, 02/17/2013 - 03:13 | 3250906 resurger
resurger's picture

+5 SM thank you

Sun, 02/17/2013 - 17:58 | 3251033 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture


Sun, 02/17/2013 - 11:59 | 3251215 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

I can't believe anyone puts anything important in there computer. I also can't believe that anyone believes anything that is said on a computer. I mean I consider myself a pretty good bull shitter but I come to the interwebs to listen to professionals.

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