Tag Archives: internet privacy

Live CD for anonymous internet browsing: The (Amnesic) Incognito Live System

After the sole developer of Incognito, arguably, the best Linux live CD for anonymous internet browsing, announced that he could not carry on with his work in the project, another anonymous live CD, Amnesia, decided to merge with Incognito Linux live CD, and hence, the (Amnesic) Incognito Live System was born.

 

Information security awareness poster
Information security awareness poster

 

Version 0.5 of The Amnesic Incognito Live CD is now out and includes lots of goodies for anonymous internet surfing, encryption and erasing your online tracks, such as:

  • Tor 0.2.1.25
  • Vidalia 0.2.8
  • Claws Mail 3.7.5 with OpenPGP support.
  • Pidgin automatically connects to irc.oftc.net with a randomized nickname.
  • At shutdown time, only prompt to remove CD; just halt when booted from a USB stick.
  • Forbid any IPv6 communication with the outside.
  • Added some wifi drivers: Ralink rt2570, rt2860 and Broadcom STA.

My hats off to this great live CD for anonymous internet surfing!

For those who fear that the Chinese or British secret services will seize their computers one day, a live CD is the sure way to avoid leaving any tracks on your computer.

The (Amnesic) Incognito Live System homepage

 

List of suspected Usenet groups carrying child porn

I got the list of the banned Usenet newsgroups from some Newsprovider FAQ webpage, while explaining what groups they carry, they then posted the names of the newsgroups that legal entities have asked them to censor citing child porn as a excuse.

This Newsprovider FAQ website claims that in April 2009 legal authorities requested them to remove a list of 18 Usenet groups suspected of carrying child porn, to which they agreed without question not even making sure this was truth.

This newsprovider textually says “it was not something we felt was wise to try and defend”. For personal reasons I have decided not to name this little known small Newsgroup provider.

It is appalling the number of Usenet providers willing to comply with non legal requests citing child porn that they can not even proof it exists.

I think it is safe to assume that those unnamed legal authorities providing the list of Usenet groups suspected of carrying child pornography also asked many other Usenet providers to remove them.

Paedophile handbook
Paedophile handbook

LIST OF SUSPECTED CHILD PORN NEWSGROUPS LOOKED INTO

I have been looking at the list (names not content!) of banned Usenet groups that the Government asked to black out claiming they contain child eroticism. I have compared that list with the groups other Usenet providers carry, and at the very least, Newsrazor.net,  AltBinaries.com, and even Astraweb.com, they all have stopped carrying the forbidden groups.

Only four of the newsgroups are named after openly mistrustful words such as pedophilia,  firsthair, early-teens and 13-17. All of the other banned Usenet groups have completely innocent names. Unless you consider prettyboy, bdcompany, mclt, or adolescents words that inspire something dark.

The censorship is smarter than the Great Firewall of China, they drop access to discussion groups from your face, and to make things more confusing they have kept Usenet groups named very similar to those on the list of banned Usenet groups. Unless you know the clear-cut name of the group you may believe they carry them and they have no messages posted, when in fact it is a typo.

Child porn is being used once more by the enemies of free speech to censor the internet, they do not even have to apply for a Court order anymore, simply send a letter and say “hey, suspected child porn, censor these 18 Usenet groups for me”.

No judge ever checks that there is any ground for the claims and user needs not to be informed.

Child porn lies
Child porn lies

USENET FOR EVER

Newsgroups are one of the few free speech spaces left on the internet, because once someone has posted something it can not be taken down, it is then normal that some authorities do not like this, they know far well that the next Usenet posting may contain receipts of politicians corrupt bribes and pictures of police abuse.

I suggest you stop using Usenet providers willing to censor groups without any legal obligation to do so.

LIST OF REAL UNCENSORED NEWS PROVIDERS

The newsgroup providers below carry the list of banned Usenet groups as of April 2010, but nobody can’t guarantee they will be kept censorship free for ever.

I have recommended Astraweb in the past as a real uncensored provider, in light on this, not anymore.

Altopia: The only downside I see to Altopia is that multipart binaries retention is low, but their privacy policy and prices are very reasonable.

BlockNews: They carry most of the hard to find groups, with no censorship at all and better prices than Astraweb in block accounts.

Sonic-News: I have never used them, but they have a search function on their site where you can check what groups they carry and they seem to have all the censored ones.

Anarqy: They outsource their Usenet servers from Highwinds and news-service, I hence doubt they can choose to censor or not to censor groups. Their page looks strangely similar to that of Sonic-News, this makes me believe they are reselling on the same backbone.

Review: Free speech webhosting NearlyFreeSpeech

I have been with NearlyFreeSpeech webhosting for three years (not this blog) and this review is based on that experience. The fact that I have been with them for so long already indicates that I am happy with their services, although there isn’t too much competition in the free speech webhosting field and that also helped.

Besides webhosting, NearlyFreeSpeech.net also does domain name registration with whois privacy included.

At the time of writting this NearlyFreeSpeech fees are very cheap for static sites (no database and few pictures).  Just remember to change the settings on your account because by default it is set up to support PHP and once you change it to static site the price will go down.

You will need to pay in order to get support for your hosting account at NearlyFreeSpeech, but I have found their members only forum, to be very useful,  NearlyFreeSpeech staff hangs around there too and they will help you out whenever they can.

During my time with NearlyFreeSpeech I have always gotten free meaningful support from their forums. No question has gone unanswered.

Muhammed the prophet
Muhammed the prophet

The Good Stuff

As long as your content is legal in the United States, where NearlyFreeSpeech is based, you will have absolutely no problems with them, it does not matter if you are promoting pedophilia, Hitler, Stalin or anything similar, NearlyFreeSpeech will not take the content down if this is legal in the US and does not infringe on copyright.

You can pay via Paypal, credit card or sending a money order in the post, the last payment method being a rare find for a webhost.

NearlyFreeSpeech will also take anonymous donations to fund your hosting account, this is an excellent way for people to anonymously fund your website, with no involvement from your part, the donator will only need to indicate your hosting account number, which you can make clear on your site, and you will be notified by NearlyFreeSpeech every time someone sends money in.

NearlyFreeSpeech members can propose new features to be implemented and they are then submitted to a popular vote.  There is support for SFTP and SSH and the sense of community at the forums is also very good.

The Bad Stuff

The only way to upload your files is with an FTP or SFTP client, there is no web interface to do that. Nearlyfreespeech hosting control panel is unique to them and has been developed in house, its navigation is hard and you will need to get used to it, it also has far less features than the more usual cPanel.

It will be hard for you to work out what you are going to pay at the end of the year, the way used to calculate that is complex, consisting of the sum of number of active databases, bandwith used, space used, email forwarding used, etc.

You will need to pay to get hosting support and any hosting software you need to install will have to be done manually because you can’t do that from the control panel.

Barak Obama
Barak Obama

Conclusion

If your site is controversial but legal in the US, you will feel safe hosting it at NearlyFreeSpeech.

Their hosting panel is poor and hard to navigate and you will need not to know the basics of webhosting, such as how an FTP client works.

You will only be better off NearlyFreeSpeech if your website has specific software needs such as some peculiar CMS that you would like to install through the hosting panel. You may also be bothered by not being able to work out what the hosting is going to cost you at the end of the year.

Visit NearlyFreeSpeech


Alternatives to NearlyFreeSpeech:

Invisihosting

CrisisHost: Read my CrisisHost review

Freebie: Free full version East-Tec Eraser 2009

I came accross this offer at Softpedia today and I thought about sharing it with all of you. Valid until 31st January 2010, you can download a free full licensed version of East-Tec Eraser 2009.

I just downloaded and registered it and so far so good, it works fine with Windows Vista 64 bit. East-Tec Eraser is last year’s version of this software but still has lots of great features. It can clean your Windows registry, email software, Windows OS unwanted backups and page file, cookies, history, and a long etc.

East-Tec Eraser 2009 is highly configurable and it has a wide range of wiping methods.

Eas-Tec Eraser 2009 wiping software
Eas-Tec Eraser 2009 wiping software

Note: Do not fool yourself! East-Tec Eraser does a great job making life difficult for anyone trying to recover data from your computer. But if your life is at stake, use full disk encryption (Truecrypt)! Sometimes only a single picture or a single document is necessary to ruin your life for ever.

Free East-Tec Eraser 2009 (link valid until 31st January 2010):
http://www.east-tec.com/offers/softpedia/2009/eraser/register.htm (Offer gone!)

Late readers: get Eraser (Freeware):
http://sourceforge.net/projects/eraser/

Review: OpenPGP encryption software cGeep Pro v4.07a

By default e­mail is insecure, there are many risks to e­mail messages, unauthorized modification or viewing and sender impersonation of a message is something that Governments and crooks carry out on a daily basis.

PGP/GnuPG encryption of emails provides confidentiality and allows for digitally signing a message giving the recipient a method of verifying the identity of the sender as well as making sure the message has not been tampered with.


PGP encryption stopping spy agencies
Open PGP encryption stopping spy agencies

PGP/GnuPG solutions for securing e­mail are typically geeky which makes difficult widespread deployment to non technical people. There are some free utilities for Windows to be able to use PGP/GnuPG encryption, such as GPG4Win, Enigmail or FireGPG, but cGeep is by far the most user friendly OpenPGP software I have come accross.

I was glad to receive a free license from cGeep makers, Safelogic, to review its product and I am so pleased with their software that this is what I intend to use in the foreseeable future to encrypt all of my email messages.

cGeep PGP encryption interface
cGeep PGP encryption interface

Once installation is complete a cGeep wizard helps you to create your cGeep key pairs in just a few steps.

cGeep Pro ships with a plug-in for Outlook Office which offers total integration in the workflow of Outlook Office 2000/XP/2003/2007 users.

One click in Outlook is all you need to encrypt  and sign your emails and attachments, making this one of the easiest and most practical email encryption tools.

Through the Manage cGeep Keys window you can import a PGP key pair in .asc format directly and publish or retrieve a public key from any key server.

Encryption of email attachments of any format is possible, using asymmetrical or symmetrical keys with standard AES cryptography but you are not limited to email encryption, you can also use cGeep for file encryption before uploading it directly from cGeep to your FTP server.

This seems like a good feature for backing up sensitive files as it is the integrated file zipping feature.

The Good Stuff

Access to cGeep full source code is available for review, this is the best guarantee you can have against backdoors.

cGeep is based on OpenPGP, a non-proprietary protocol for encrypting email using public key cryptography, this makes cGeep broadly compatible and you can send encrypted files to people who use other OpenPGP software (PGP Corp, GnuPG, Hushmail, etc.)

Encryption can be done dragging a file and dropping it into the cGeep main window. It will also securely wipe files to make its recovery impossible and the software comes with different interchangeable skins/looks.

You can encrypt data and send it directly to an FTP server, you can also configure cGeep Pro to use a proxy for this.

Documentation is complete and comes in the form of a PDF file and tool tips, available in French as well as in English.

The Bad Stuff

There is no Linux or MAC version, cGeep email integration seems to be highly focused on Microsoft Outlook Office, leaving out dozens of other email clients.

Expert users may find cGeep lacks some customization in its options, for example you can not choose where to store the decrypted files and it will always place them in the same folder where the original files resides.

Although the data you upload to your FTP server is already encrypted, it would be good practise to let people use SFTP or FTP over SSL (FTPS), as FTP is a well known unsecure protocol that sends passwords in the clear.

Although not as simple to use, there are free OpenPGP encryption alternatives to cGeep.

cGeep file encryption interface
cGeep file encryption interface

Conclusion

cGeep is an excellent uncomplicated way to encrypt all of your emails, if you struggle to understand all the ins and outs of PGP encryption cGeep will guide you through all the process with easy to understand instructions and it specially integrates very well with Microsoft Outlook Office.

The fact that its source code is open to review adds peace of mind to those wary of backdoors.

If you can’t afford cGeep, you can still use some of the free email encryption alternatives mentioned above.

Visit cGeep OpenPGP Encryption

UPDATE  2012: THIS COMPANY DOES NOT EXIST ANYMORE!! 

Secret FBI subpoena demanding IP Addresses of all visitors to Indymedia.us

It is only now that the subpoena has been fought off successfully in court that it can be know how the FBI attempted to get all the IP addresses of people visiting Indymedia.us, an independent news website. The subpoena also imposed a gag order and demanded the recipient’s silence under threat of being prosecuted for obstruction to justice.

Unfortunately for the FBI Indymedia has a no logs policy so besides being defeated in Court by the Electronic Frountiers Foundation, its request could not be fulfilled anyway.

I wonder what kind of people the US has protecting them from terrorism, unpaid fines and rape, when the FBI intelligence team is not aware that Indymedia does not keep logs?

This is actually public information that Indymedia has all over its website.

FBI: Fucktard Bureau of Investigation
FBI: Fucktard Bureau of Investigation

You can read all of the saucy details on how the Electronic Frontier Foundation won the case against this bogus FBI subpoena at the EFF webpage: Anatomy of a Bogus Subpoena

Indymedia UK security set up

Just for all the fucktard officers reading this who do not know how to use Google, let me tell you some of UK Indymedia security set up. (I will assume the security of their Worldwide Indymedia counterparts resembles it).

Hardware encryption:

There are two physical servers that are owned by Indymedia UK, both servers are fully encrypted, the passphrases required for the disk encryption software are in the region of 30-40 characters minimum, they are only stored in an encrypted format by trusted administrators.

If any of the servers are turned off for any reason the passphrases needs to be manually re-entered before the machine can become functional again. People who have physical access to the servers do not normally hold the passphrases, and in some instances, the passphrases are kept in a different country to where the machine is located.

Software anonymisation:

The UK Indymedia website uses software designed around a central publish server from which static HTML content is then copied to mirrors.

UK  Indymedia has employed up to 10 mirrors at any one time, the mirrors may be located anywhere around the world, when you post an article you will be redirected to one of these mirrors at random. Mirrors, like the publish server, are set up to not log IP addresses.

FBI top secret tip to always get it right

-"This is the best marksmanship I have ever seen" - said the
idiot man
-"How in the World do you do it?"
-"Nothing to it" - says the Fucktard Bureau of Investigation
 officer
-"I shoot first and draw the circles afterwards"

The NSA worked on Windows 7 before its release

The recent testimony of Richard Schaefer’s  to the Senate Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security reveals that the NSA tinkered with Windows 7 before its release, it looks like one of the biggest voyeur agencies in the World is not missing a single opportunity to get its filthy pawns all over people’s operating system.

Richard Schaefer, NSA Information Assurance Director quoted

“Working in partnership with Microsoft and elements of the DoD, NSA leveraged our unique expertise and operational knowledge of system threats and vulnerabilities to enhance Microsoft’s operating system security guide without constraining the user’s ability to perform their everyday tasks”

PRIVACY WARNING: Before visiting the NSA website use a proxy!

Full testimony: http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/speeches_testimonies/17nov09_schaeffer.shtml

USA spying on citizens
spooks spying on innocent citizens

Protection against possible NSA backdoors on Windows 7

If you are a Windows 7 user you will want to protect your life, wife and kids from outside interference, but this will be extremely hard now that it is known the NSA had access to Windows 7 before you.

The obvious advice is that you should not use Windows 7 at all, but if you must, at the very least try to stop any possible NSA malware with open source security software:

  • Do not use the Windows 7 firewall get some old computer and install a free open source firewall based on FreeBSD such as M0n0wall
  • Do not use Microsoft Windows Defender get a free open source antivirus such as ClamWin
  • Watch what data packets are being sent out and where, download a free packet sniffer such as Wireshark