Security and Privacy

I’ve recently acquired a tin hat. I don’t do anything antisocial, and I don’t do bittorrent except for occasional desire to check out some new version of Linux, and I don’t associate with terrorists or psychopaths (that I know of, anyway) but I still do not like the idea that my personal data is now exposed to any government agency that wants to look at it.

NOT to mention that Google and facebook sell your data so advertising can be targeted at you, personally. De-identified my ass.

So, in light of that, I have added a new link on the sidebar, to the Protonmail blog, which is jam-packed full of useful (and in some cases quite scary) information.

If you care at all about privacy in your email, you need to get Protonmail. There’s no advertising, and it’s end to end encrypted. And it won’t cost you a bean. There are limitations at the free level, of course, and maybe if you like to store everything that comes your way, it may not be for you, but for basic communication, its perfect. I’m contemplating an upgrade to Plus level but will wait to see if I can make the switch successfully, from gMail.

Proton is also currently beta testing a VPN with its paid customers, and it sounds like it may be an ideal solution for those of us who do value our privacy. Its funny, I never used to care. There’s stuff out there on the web, going back as far as my university days when I was on a Linguistics LISTSERV, but these days, its all Big Brother. Orwell was a few years ahead of reality but its happening. And I dont like it.

Additionally, you might want to think about the messaging application you use. Google Allo or Hangouts? Facebook Messenger? Easy and free, and you are giving away so much information, its ridiculous. Try Telegram or Signal instead, Signal being the most secure of all.

We can’t do much about our mobile services (carrier pigeons, anyone?) or our phonecalls on landline, they will have that info in a heartbeat if They want it, but I believe its necessary for everyone to take charge of their information and their privacy to the best of their ability… And if you use an Android phone? Good luck. I have one (but my main is an iPhone) and I am about to see if its possible to use Android without Google. [Edit: FAIL! See comments]

Relevant links:
Protonmail | Telegram | Signal

Privacy? Forget it.

I was watching the only American news show we get here in Australia, its the News Hour which shows on PBS. Last night there was a huge kerfuffle with a couple of people debating the effects of the new Bill which has been passed by Congress.

In brief: Congress has given permission to the NSA (and I guess to the FBI and CIA) to go merrily wiretapping not only all over the United States, but apparently all over the planet. Initially it was to be only on communications between “foreign” sources and the US. But apparently its more than that. Its domestic and international.

Read at the following links if you haven’t already
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005390.php
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/08/04/ap3988006.html

There will be a gazillion more, but those are the first I have found whilst looking for something else.

If you want to read the Bill itself go HERE

Privacy? What Privacy…

I have only just learned, thanks to a forum I am involved in, that the US government has access to a truckload of personal information of non-US citizens.

Some of you may be aware of, and may have even used, the SWIFT method of bank transfer. Perhaps you have kids overseas who needed a boost and you sent them some money. The Brussels based SWIFT is one of the ways of getting money from “here” to “there”. It may not go to the US, it could be, for example, between Italy and the UK.

But.. guess what… after 9/11, the SWIFT people agreed to give the US government all information about what money was moving to where. Antiterrorism, they said. But this flow of information has never stopped.

Read more at privacyinternational.org: The article is old, but the information is current.