Free Yourself from PRISM

4 minute read

I don’t want other people spying on my online activity or at least, I want to make it as hard as possible. For other’s sake, I’m sharing how is it possible. I have a few bad habits, for example I’m sharing a few photos with my family and friends on Facebook, but I think I should not concern about this too much. As long as the agent don’t want to contact my family, it should not be a problem. And by the way, I have to deserve the attendance first.

Privacy is not about hiding your ideas from public. It’s opposite. It is about hiding your ass while you publishing as much ideas as you can. Let’s see the best practices.

Internet. First, your IP address is an unique identifier and the secret services and the police can ask your Internet Service Provider to trace back to a name and address for five years any time if they know only an IP address. This is not a surprise, every ISP is logging the given IP address usage for “crime investigation”. The solution: Tor. Tor is an anonymous P2P shock proxy with thousands of peers around the world with secure connection. Tor prevents anyone from learning your location or browsing habits and it’s completely free. It has also an Android app.

Searching. Google is tracking you. The websites you are visiting are receiving your search terms, then they will give your search terms to third party advertisers for money and next time when you browse a completely different website, even if you did not come from Google, it will show you those fat belly adverts based on your previous searches and the adverts will follow your whole life in every websites you visit. But this is not the only problem. The police will ask your Google searches and they will happily give them. Think about secret services, they don’t even need to ask. I decided to use DuckDuckGo as long as it is not too popular. They are not logging your searches and they are not passing your search terms to the found websites. They are making the website owners and the NSA blind.

Files on your computer. The most spectacular investigation is when somebody comes to your house and takes your equipment. It’s so dumb to not have a backup somewhere and more dumb when your file system is not encrypted. Use TrueCrypt! Without court order, Police can’t break your encryption and there is no reported precedence about breaking the encryption itself as it is nearly impossible. The biggest benefit is that you can have two passwords. One will decrypt a partition and the second, magic one will decrypt a hidden part of it as well, so if you are forced to tell the password, you can give up the first.

Web browser. I was a big Firefox fan and I would suggest it for everyone. The reason I’m using the Big Brother’s Chrome kind browser is that I’m more familiar with it now. Simply it runs faster on my system, I don’t know why. But at least use the open source version of it, In Archlinux it’s called Chromium. It excludes the closed source parts from it, so less chance to phone home. I’m using a load of extensions to make it safe: Adblock Plus can make your browsing ad free and will block the requests to ad servers. Ghostery can stop working Facebook Connect, Google Analytics and other JavaScript trackers installed on any webpage. It’s very good and also speeds up the internet.

Mobile phone. I would like to see a true HTML5 mobile phone which is popular enough to have a huge app variety, but actually I’m using Android with the open source firmware called CyanogenMod. All of it’s code is open source and does not have the vendor’s built in applications which you can’t remove. I’m using F-Droid app repository instead of Google Play and I’m installing any software from it’s APK file if I need a proprietary app, for example the wind weather app for my paragliding. Of course I’m using Tor on this phone as well after I was struggled with an O2 message saying confirm my age before visiting one of my friend’s blog.

Telly, video. I’m not watching TV at all. First the television tax I should have pay for the (jews) BBC makes me nervous. Why should I pay to wash my brain? They should pay me instead if I would allow this, but I don’t. To watch recorded videos, I’m using a modified Raspberry PI with XBMC. It’s a micro PC with amazing video performance and very low energy usage. It’s also open source and linux based. You can use it for anything. I have a 2TB encrypted drive attached and a file server running on it as well for backup purposes.