Category: privacy

Set up a TOR WifI Gateway

With all the NSA spying and such, those who value their privacy may be interested in TOR, but not know where to start. Or they may want to enable TOR on their network by default. MAKE has a solution called How to Bake an Onion Pi, which many may find useful. My plan is to set something like this up, then having it sit alongside my regular wi-fi router. That way, I decide whether or not to use TOR via which WiFi network I connect to.

Going Google-free

So, Google has decided to kill off it’s popular RSS tool, Google Reader. As a result, I’ve decide to stop using Google services, as I cannot trust them to be around when I need them. As such, I’ve stopped using Google Analytics for the blog, and only use what’s built into the Jetpack plugin. Also, if you’re reading this via Feedburner, please subscribe directly, as I will eventually kill the Feedburner feeds completely. I’ll also be pulling the Adsense ads from the site as well. Not sure what I’ll replace them with yet. These changes are similar to the changes Bruce Schneier made to his blog (though he did it for privacy reasons, which is also a motivating factor here as well).

On the non-blog side of things, I will probably go back to using Bloglines for my RSS feed reading, though it’s changed drastically since the last time I used it. I’m also using DuckDuckGo as my primary search engine. I haven’t decided on e-mail yet, as Gmail offers the most convenience. I may go back to hosting it myself, though, and using one of the many wonderful open-source webmail interfaces for it. The other Google services? I can live without or find other replacements that are more privacy-respecting than Google is.

Bill proposed to ban traffic cameras statewide!

From my hometown newspaper, the state of Ohio has a bill in the works that would ban traffic cameras statewide! This is good news for a variety of reasons, not the least of which (and cited in the article) is the inability to face your accuser in court. This has always bothered me about traffic cameras, even if there were no other privacy concerns with them.

Privacy and open source

I just ran across an article titled “75 Top Open Source Tools for Protecting Your Privacy” that looks promising, and thought I’d point everyone over there. If nothing else, everyone should check out number one on their list, the Tor Browser. Tor is a wonderful project, which I hope to post more about later, which makes your online activity anonymous. The Tor Browser makes installing and using Tor for web browsing a snap.

PGP is 15 years old

Happy Birthday, PGP!

Wow! 15 years! It seems like only yesterday that I discovered PGP and spent countless hours pouring over the documentation to learn all of the command-line options that were required to get things going. At the time, I was totally amazed at how few of my fellow computer geeks could get a handle on using PGP. After all, Windows wasn’t really that popular until 95 came out. Almost everyone who used IBM-compatible PCs used DOS, or at least had to know how to use DOS in order to set up their menu program of choice.

One thing I remember doing, probably not in ’91 but certainly not many years later, was setting up batch files to use with my mail reader of choice at the time, OLX, so that I could set it to use these batch files as an external editor in order to either sign or encrypt messages for posting on the local BBSs. I’m sure that if I dig around enough, I’ll be able to find the 3 1/2 inch floppy that contains my original public and private keyrings. I even remember my original passphrase! Not only that, but I remember what I changed the passphrase to the first time I ever changed it.