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Internet and phone privacy/safety, you're probably doing it wrong.


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#1 CatsAndBats

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 01:03 PM

Greetings fellow psychonauts!

 

Awhile back we were talking the perils of data mining by big tech and Mikey suggested that I start a general privacy thread. I am by no means an expert, but I am hyper-vigilant and I am a strong privacy advocate.

 

I'll cover a wide range of subjects but all under the privacy/safety umbrella such as:

 

  • Beating facial recognition
  • Avoiding GPS tracking
  • Online privacy
  • Safe text messaging
  • I'll dabble in activist safety/tools too.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

So let's begin!

 

Encrypted text messaging

 

Firstly, let's tackle text messaging. In the past I had a snooping girlfriend and she requested text records from our cell phone service provider, which they did, every single one of them, three months worth.

 

As one can imagine, this could be extremely problematic for people of our ilk.

 

This is one of the easiest things to fix, with encrypted messaging. I use Signal, like all encrypted messaging it requires both parties to have the same app installed. I prefer Signal, it's free, easy to use, it's my default text and it allows me to text non-Signal users.

 

Here's a press release from Whisper Systems essentially beating a federal subpoena:

 

Grand jury subpoena for Signal user data, Eastern District of Virginia 04 Oct 2016

In the “first half of 2016” (the most specific we’re permitted to be), we received a subpoena from the Eastern District of Virginia. The subpoena required us to provide information about two Signal users for a federal grand jury investigation.

 

We’ve designed the Signal service to minimize the data we retain about Signal users, so the only information we can produce in response to a request like this is the date and time a user registered with Signal and the last date of a user’s connectivity to the Signal service.

 

Notably, things we don’t have stored include anything about a user’s contacts (such as the contacts themselves, a hash of the contacts, any other derivative contact information), anything about a user’s groups (Aas how many groups a user is in, which groups a user is in, the membership lists of a user’s groups), or any records of who a user has been communicating with.

 

All message contents are end-to-end encrypted, so we don’t have that information either.

This is the first subpoena that we’ve received. It originally included a broad gag order that would have prevented us from publishing this notice, but the ACLU represented us in quickly and successfully securing our ability to publish the transcripts below. We’re committed to treating any future requests the same way: working with effective and talented organizations like the ACLU, and publishing transcripts of our responses to government requests here.

 

 

 

As you can see, its thoughtful design makes it an excellent tool in one's privacy toolkit.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Privacy mindful browsers and search engines

 

If you're still using Chrome and Google, for the love of god, stop! I know that it's the most dominant browser out there but they collect dystopian amounts of data on all of its users.

 

Check this out:

 

My tests of Chrome vs. Firefox unearthed a personal data caper of absurd proportions. In a week of Web surfing on my desktop, I discovered 11,189 requests for tracker “cookies” that Chrome would have ushered right onto my computer but were automatically blocked by Firefox. These little files are the hooks that data firms, including Google itself, use to follow what websites you visit so they can build profiles of your interests, income and personality.

 

From here:

 

https://www.washingt...m=.0e7643a65b8c

 

So obviously Firefox is featured and is my preferred browser, but make sure that you change its default search engine to duckduckgo.com, another privacy focused tech company.

 

Here's their version of explaining it in Q&A blog form:

 

https://spreadprivac...duckduckgo-q-a/

 

Oh yeah, there's two versions of Firefox for one's phone. There's the regular browser, which will remember your preferences and logins and such. Then there's Firefox Focus, which won't remember jack shit, blocks all cookies, forgets where you were as soon as you exit out of the app. :biggrin:

 

Alright y'all, I gotta run, I'll try to update this soon. Next subject, facial recognition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   


Edited by CatsAndBats, 22 June 2019 - 01:32 PM.

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#2 Thirdeyeplants

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 01:54 PM

I am not very tech savvy and have a new phone operating on android. Any recommendations for security/settings/what to get rid of?

Sent from my LM-Q710(FGN) using Tapatalk
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#3 Alder Logs

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 02:30 PM

 

Next subject, facial recognition.

 

img-thing.jpg


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#4 CatsAndBats

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 02:42 PM

Facial recognition

 

"For as long as police have been using facial recognition technology, activists and scholars have sounded the alarm about civil liberties concerns about its use. As it turns out, new testimony from the Government Accountability Office proves that these concerns are well-founded.

 

Back in 2016, GAO found that the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) lacked proper privacy safeguards and had done little to test the accuracy of their facial recognition databases. At the time, GAO made six suggestions to address these issues, including crafting strict guidelines for what type of data could be collected and from whom, implementing stronger data storage protections, and assessing the accuracy of facial recognition tools before deploying them. Three years later, as the new testimony from GAO’s Gretta L. Goodwin shows, the FBI and DoJ have really implemented only one of the six, ensuring that officials are conducting face image searches in accordance with DoJ policy. They’ve done little, if anything, to address GAO’s larger concerns about data collection, data storage, and the accuracy of these tools.

 

So the FBI is continuing to use its facial recognition database, which includes mugshots and other biometric data on more than 50 million people—and is prone to error. The Department of Homeland Security, too, is continuing to build out a biometric database that it hopes will one day include information on 500 million people, many of whom won’t even be suspected criminals."

 

 

From here: https://thebulwark.c...tm_medium=email

 

So with all of the cameras in all of the places, one should probably beat them at the source, with one's face.

 

There are of course primitive ways to beat facial recognition, namely masks, but for obvious reasons wearing a mask around all day will attract a lot of unwanted attention.

 

That brings us to wearing make up. Facial recognition relies on algorithms that measures the distance between certain parts of one's face, ie distance between eyes, etc..

 

facial-recognition-300x300.png 

 

One way to throw these algorithms off is through asymmetrical  makeup, like David Bowie glam style makeup:

 

"Camouflage from face detection. CV Dazzle explores how fashion can be used as camouflage from face-detection technology, the first step in automated face recognition.

The name is derived from a type of World War I naval camouflage called Dazzle, which used cubist-inspired designs to break apart the visual continuity of a battleship and conceal its orientation and size. Likewise, CV Dazzle uses avant-garde hairstyling and makeup designs to break apart the continuity of a face. Since facial-recognition algorithms rely on the identification and spatial relationship of key facial features, like symmetry and tonal contours, one can block detection by creating an “anti-face”."

 

look4-md.jpg

 

From here:

https://cvdazzle.com/

 

How about something a little less conspicuous, like glasses. I found these amazing glasses some time ago and if they work, I think that they're very promising:

 

REFLECTACLES GHOST reflect both infrared light and visible light.  In low light environments, this anti surveillance device protects your privacy on infrared cameras and blocks facial recognition.  They also make you conspicuous on the road and anonymous in images/video using a flash.  Silver tone only.

If you want to unlock your Iphone X with Facial Recognition, you must first remove your Reflectacles Ghost.  Ghost will block 3D facial mapping technology in total darkness and in bright daylight.

 

From their website:

https://www.reflectacles.com/#home

 

They look kinda cool too.

 

refelctacle.jpg

 

Please note that only the "ghost" version works during the day too.

 

One can make one's own as well using LED light:

 

[Direct Link]

 

I'm sure there's a better version, but I can't do all the work for you, go duckduckgo.com it yourself. :biggrin:

 

Oh and apparently tortoise shell glasses give false IDs:

 

Screenshot_20_9_.0.png

 

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have shown that specially designed spectacle frames can fool even state-of-the-art facial recognition software. Not only can the glasses make the wearer essentially disappear to such automated systems, it can even trick them into thinking you’re someone else. By tweaking the patterns printed on the glasses, scientists were able to assume one another’s identities or make the software think they were looking at celebrities. (In the image at the top of the article, you can see the researchers wearing the glasses in the top row of pictures, and the identity they copied in the bottom row.)

 

From here:

 

https://www.theverge...mpersonate-fool

 

Also wearing clothing with other peoples faces on them might be another way to beat the technology:

 

7bca0e7e52a4a8c1e6c099ad2f848ca3.jpg

 

 

That's it for this post, smell ya later!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by CatsAndBats, 22 June 2019 - 02:42 PM.

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#5 CatsAndBats

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 02:59 PM

I am not very tech savvy and have a new phone operating on android. Any recommendations for security/settings/what to get rid of?

Sent from my LM-Q710(FGN) using Tapatalk

 

Well first of all, turn off the tapatalk phone signature

 

https://whatismyphon...o-4-lm-q710-fgn

 

https://mycotopia.ne...ault-signature/

 

Aside from that:

 

  • Only turn on your location/GPS when you really need it.
  • Use a double authentication password to get into your phone if possible
  • Use a paid VPN that covers all web and app internet traffic (that's a future post I'm planning)
  • At the very least, change your phone's DNS server to 1.1.1.1 it won't encrypt your data like a VPN will, but it'll hide where you end up going from your phone's ISP
  • Trash any free apps that seem like junk, like 3rd party flashlight apps and games, companies will sneak in data collection software in those junk apps, 'If it's free, you're the product'.
  • Definitely trash the Yelp app:

It’s 3 a.m. Do you know what your iPhone is doing?

 

Mine has been alarmingly busy. Even though the screen is off and I’m snoring, apps are beaming out lots of information about me to companies I’ve never heard of. Your iPhone probably is doing the same — and Apple could be doing more to stop it.

 

On a recent Monday night, a dozen marketing companies, research firms and other personal data guzzlers got reports from my iPhone. At 11:43 p.m., a company called Amplitude learned my phone number, email and exact location. At 3:58 a.m., another called Appboy got a digital fingerprint of my phone. At 6:25 a.m., a tracker called Demdex received a way to identify my phone and sent back a list of other trackers to pair up with.

 

And all night long, there was some startling behavior by a household name: Yelp. It was receiving a message that included my IP address -— once every five minutes.

 

From here:

 

https://www.washingt...m=.40c4ca74df65

 

 

I'm sure that I'm forgetting some, but those are good places to start. :thumbs_up:

 

Oh and 'airplane mode' is your friend. So are pouches designed to block radio waves (which will essentially shut your phone down).

 

https://www.amazon.c...g/dp/B00F2NDCB4

 

https://www.popsci.c...elf-your-phone/

 

Foil works too. :tinfoil:


Edited by CatsAndBats, 22 June 2019 - 03:37 PM.

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#6 Moonless

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 03:19 PM

Thank you for the info. Currently I am doing what I can to protect my internet privacy, I use safari, duck duck go and a VPN however it is alarmingly scary that there are apps on my phone and my computer that might be tracking me. Just a few days ago I had to delete a 500Mb folder from the Chinese social media app Wechat! very unsettling that it had been there, I am certain that said corporation is full of government spyware.

 

CatsAndBats, do you have a recommended memory cleaner for the phone? I use Norton and I know not all are made the same!


Edited by Moonless, 22 June 2019 - 06:36 PM.

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#7 CatsAndBats

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 09:22 AM

I am not very tech savvy and have a new phone operating on android. Any recommendations for security/settings/what to get rid of?

Sent from my LM-Q710(FGN) using Tapatalk

 

Oh yeah, clear your cache every once in awhile too, that's where your phone stores the cookies methinks. Plus it wastes shit tons of your storage. :biggrin:

 

Oh and always, always set your updates for automatic on all of your devices. 95% of system updates are security patches 5% bug fixes.

 

 

 

 

 

I'm going to forward this thread to our dear leader @zen, to proofread/correct anything that I'm getting wrong. He's more tech savvy than I am.


Edited by CatsAndBats, 23 June 2019 - 09:25 AM.

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#8 roc

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 12:10 PM

I'll toss in a few of my favorites for email and VPN.

 

Both from the same Swedish Company and both free for your personal use.

 

Proton Mail

 

Proton VPN

 

In setting up an email account I'd recommend an email address that makes no reference to you or an online account name.

I don't use Roc because it would identify and tie me back to a site such as this.

Use something like [email protected]  for something easy to type and not be tied back to you online.

I only use the Proton email for online registration to places I need to stay anonymous and I don't give it out or use it for personal email.

When you set it up I recommend doing it with a VPN or on a public computer such as a library.

 

Most free VPN offerings limit the bandwidth (speed) and only a couple of servers and server locations.
Proton VPN does not throttle your speed and offers a good number of servers and server locations.

 

Proton can offer these for the long term and have a large number of paid users and business accounts that pay for the free offerings.

 

A great big shout out to CatsAndBats for heading up this thread and his technical expertise!

Back in the day we had a Security thread that over the years had a slow death and this is a greatly needed thread!


Edited by roc, 23 June 2019 - 12:13 PM.

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#9 TVCasualty

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 12:19 PM

For thwarting facial recognition, you can also become a Juggalo, lol: https://www.yahoo.co...-232354372.html

 

Great thread! This kind of info needs to be constantly updated and changed to reflect new realities.

 

Privacy, as always, remains inconvenient as hell. I guess that's why so many people just give it up without a fight. But most people also don't really appreciate something until it's gone; they don't really give a shit about privacy now, but later when they start to (meaning after they've lost theirs completely) it will be too late to matter.


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#10 TVCasualty

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 12:22 PM

And I'm definitely ordering one of those Gary Busey shirts. Facial recognition or not, that is a work of high art I would be proud to wear in any context!

 

Edit: And look what I found on Amazon...

 

Temporary eye tattoos!

 

61u9G-Q91tL._SX522_.jpg

 

 

Put one in the middle of your forehead, a couple on your cheeks, etc...

 

https://www.amazon.c.../dp/B012BVX9CG/

 

I guess this means fashion is finally getting interesting to me, which was inconceivable until pretty much right now, lol.


Edited by TVCasualty, 23 June 2019 - 12:32 PM.

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#11 Skywatcher

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 03:56 PM

Just found this thread Cats, 

What a great amount of valuable information !  Thank you.



#12 August West

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 05:24 PM

...do you have a recommended memory cleaner for the phone? I use Norton and I know not all are made the same!

 

Depending on what you're looking for, CCleaner is a good option.

 

I just read this article the other day. I found the title interesting in that it was posted in SiliconValley.com (written by the WAPost) but its made to sound revelatory.

 

Anyway, there's some good options for browsers, email, add-ons, etc. in the comment section:
 

Review: Google Chrome has become surveillance software. It’s time to switch.


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#13 August West

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 11:59 PM

***Sorry, I just noticed TV's post or I would've put it with my previous one...feel free to combine 'em, mods.

 

And I'm definitely ordering one of those Gary Busey shirts

Utah! Get me two...


Edited by August West, 24 June 2019 - 12:02 AM.


#14 roc

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 08:26 AM

Essentials...

 

Privacy tips


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#15 CatsAndBats

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 10:54 AM

I'll toss in a few of my favorites for email and VPN.

 

Both from the same Swedish Company and both free for your personal use.

 

Proton Mail

 

Proton VPN

 

In setting up an email account I'd recommend an email address that makes no reference to you or an online account name.

I don't use Roc because it would identify and tie me back to a site such as this.

Use something like [email protected]  for something easy to type and not be tied back to you online.

I only use the Proton email for online registration to places I need to stay anonymous and I don't give it out or use it for personal email.

When you set it up I recommend doing it with a VPN or on a public computer such as a library.

 

Most free VPN offerings limit the bandwidth (speed) and only a couple of servers and server locations.
Proton VPN does not throttle your speed and offers a good number of servers and server locations.

 

Proton can offer these for the long term and have a large number of paid users and business accounts that pay for the free offerings.

 

A great big shout out to CatsAndBats for heading up this thread and his technical expertise!

Back in the day we had a Security thread that over the years had a slow death and this is a greatly needed thread!

 

I use proton mail too. I have the paid service to get the extra space and four extra email names, but the free version is fine for most people's applications.

 

I wouldn't call it expertise, but thank you!

 

 

For thwarting facial recognition, you can also become a Juggalo, lol: https://www.yahoo.co...-232354372.html

 

Great thread! This kind of info needs to be constantly updated and changed to reflect new realities.

 

Privacy, as always, remains inconvenient as hell. I guess that's why so many people just give it up without a fight. But most people also don't really appreciate something until it's gone; they don't really give a shit about privacy now, but later when they start to (meaning after they've lost theirs completely) it will be too late to matter.

 

Oh my god, those guys are the worst.

 

tenor.gif

 

And I'm definitely ordering one of those Gary Busey shirts. Facial recognition or not, that is a work of high art I would be proud to wear in any context!

 

Edit: And look what I found on Amazon...

 

Temporary eye tattoos!

 

 

 

 

Put one in the middle of your forehead, a couple on your cheeks, etc...

 

https://www.amazon.c.../dp/B012BVX9CG/

 

I guess this means fashion is finally getting interesting to me, which was inconceivable until pretty much right now, lol.

 

Gary Busey shirt !

 

The eye tattoos prolly work really well.

 

Just found this thread Cats, 

What a great amount of valuable information !  Thank you.

 

No problem!

 

 

...do you have a recommended memory cleaner for the phone? I use Norton and I know not all are made the same!

 

Depending on what you're looking for, CCleaner is a good option.

 

I just read this article the other day. I found the title interesting in that it was posted in SiliconValley.com (written by the WAPost) but its made to sound revelatory.

 

Anyway, there's some good options for browsers, email, add-ons, etc. in the comment section:
 

Review: Google Chrome has become surveillance software. It’s time to switch.

 

 

:thumbs_up:



#16 Alder Logs

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 11:32 AM

I bet having neck tattoos helps too.


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#17 roc

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 11:35 AM

 

I'll toss in a few of my favorites for email and VPN.

 

Both from the same Swedish Company and both free for your personal use.

 

Proton Mail

 

Proton VPN

 

In setting up an email account I'd recommend an email address that makes no reference to you or an online account name.

I don't use Roc because it would identify and tie me back to a site such as this.

Use something like [email protected]  for something easy to type and not be tied back to you online.

I only use the Proton email for online registration to places I need to stay anonymous and I don't give it out or use it for personal email.

When you set it up I recommend doing it with a VPN or on a public computer such as a library.

 

Most free VPN offerings limit the bandwidth (speed) and only a couple of servers and server locations.
Proton VPN does not throttle your speed and offers a good number of servers and server locations.

 

Proton can offer these for the long term and have a large number of paid users and business accounts that pay for the free offerings.

 

A great big shout out to CatsAndBats for heading up this thread and his technical expertise!

Back in the day we had a Security thread that over the years had a slow death and this is a greatly needed thread!

 

I use proton mail too. I have the paid service to get the extra space and four extra email names, but the free version is fine for most people's applications.

 

I wouldn't call it expertise, but thank you!

 

 

For thwarting facial recognition, you can also become a Juggalo, lol: https://www.yahoo.co...-232354372.html

 

Great thread! This kind of info needs to be constantly updated and changed to reflect new realities.

 

Privacy, as always, remains inconvenient as hell. I guess that's why so many people just give it up without a fight. But most people also don't really appreciate something until it's gone; they don't really give a shit about privacy now, but later when they start to (meaning after they've lost theirs completely) it will be too late to matter.

 

Oh my god, those guys are the worst.

 

 

Can you expand on your two response for clarity.

 

I'll go ahead and comment on the use of Yahoo and don't mean to offend anyone but Yahoo has a long history of data breaches.

If you use Yahoo for email or their version of Bing's search engine you need to stop using them ASAP.

Don't delete your account because the hackers that have your Yahoo email address will take it over and add your deleted email address to spread spam and Malware beyond your Yahoo contact addresses to others they have collected in some of the largest data breaches in history.

Go into your Yahoo email address and turn on Two-Factor Authentication and leave the old Yahoo account and top using it.

 

Yahoo data breach article.

 

No expertise required.



#18 CatsAndBats

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 12:20 PM


 

I'll go ahead and comment on the use of Yahoo and don't mean to offend anyone but Yahoo has a long history of data breaches.

If you use Yahoo for email or their version of Bing's search engine you need to stop using them ASAP.

Don't delete your account because the hackers that have your Yahoo email address will take it over and add your deleted email address to spread spam and Malware beyond your Yahoo contact addresses to others they have collected in some of the largest data breaches in history.

Go into your Yahoo email address and turn on Two-Factor Authentication and leave the old Yahoo account and top using it.

 

Yahoo data breach article.

 

No expertise required.

 

 

 

One can check if one's email has been compromised here:

 

https://haveibeenpwned.com/


Edited by CatsAndBats, 24 June 2019 - 12:21 PM.

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#19 roc

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Posted 26 June 2019 - 12:52 PM

One thing that has not been mentioned is chat...

 

I have another hobby that the only way I can communicate with a developer is by Telegram and not every Joe that uses the scripts written for KODI doesn't get to join in on the chats but must be invited.

 

Checkout Telegram Messaging!


Edited by roc, 26 June 2019 - 12:53 PM.

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#20 Soliver

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 02:19 AM

1) Your phone / glowing rectangle of choice is the Achilles heel of personal privacy.  The best way to clean it is to drill a 3/4 inch hole through the center of the thing and make it part of an attractive mobile, or a wind catcher for an outdoor chime.  I threw my last one into a lake over 10 years ago and refuse to get another ... Orwell had a lot right, but even he never believed we'd purchase and carry our telescreens around with us all damn day.

 

2) Firefox may be better than Chrome on its face, but most of FF's income is generated by google - follow the money and ask where your data is going?

 

3) Grow outlandish facial hair then shave it all off to the delight of friends and coworkers - same goes for top-hair, if you still have some.  Buy several pairs of glasses from zenni optical (they're so cheap it's almost free) and swap around as much as possible to confuse the incessant image-capture devices that are ubiquitous in modern society.  Alternatively, if you can't beat 'em join 'em - walk around with your phone in front of your face, effectively blocking the outside world as well as prying eyes.

 

As an aside, I developed an anti-facial recognition mask and went to market last year, but the response has been tepid at best - any suggestions on my prototype?  -

 

2014_6608_1_2b.jpg

 

4)  If you're using microsoft or mac OS, you may as well give it up.  Linux is clunky at times, but no one's bothering to write malicious code for the 14 of us who use it ... it's a thought.

 

5)  Make a point of completely dropping out of any gray-area websites you frequent for months at a time, throwing off sub-contracted federal investigators who rarely play the game long-term  :) 

 

61733672.jpg

 

It's been a while, fellow topiates.  I won't bore you with the deets, as they're boring, but it looks like I may have some down-time coming at me, and I hope to pop in some after we, as a nation, celebrate the subjugation and annihilation of the original inhabitants of this great land of theirs.

 

Great thread, C&B,

 

:)

 

soliver


Edited by Soliver, 28 June 2019 - 02:20 AM.

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