Private Internet Browsing

Historical insights & thoughts about the world we live in - and the social conditioning exerted upon us by past and current propaganda.

Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby burningame on Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:55 am

OK, now I'm really getting paranoid..

I use a network bandwidth monitor called "Networx". As you can see, this summary shows an entry for 10th September 2001! I didn't even have an internet connection in 2001, let alone Networx! I did a clean install of my system in September last year, so the earliest possible date for these stats must be Sep 2010.

Image

The daily breakdown shows usage of 13.7KB. on 10/9/2001. [Oh yeah, I remember - I downloaded some share prices for American Airlines!]

It seems insane that this could this be some kind of hacking trick. What would be the point? I check the usage maybe every fortnight, and have never noticed these anomalies before. Maybe it's just a glitch, but I think I'm quietly going crazy.
Last edited by burningame on Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby nonhocapito on Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:22 am

I haven't read the whole thread, so apologies if this has been said already:

Whenever I need to go around blocks and privately browse, I use TOR:
https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser

I have the "tor browser bundle" on my system (it is "portable", no need to install), which is dedicated, for me, to access websites that are forbidden in my country, such as the piratebay... It works for my purposes. I have read elsewhere TOR is the most reliable way to "hide" your location/identity (better than proxies) nowadays, but of course I don't know if it is true... probably one day we will learn TOR is yet another military operation! <_<
Bah, who cares... my philosophy so far has been to "hide" in open view, in the sense that in the mass of people using the internet you are pretty much invisible as it is. And if someone is really targeting you, then I doubt there is one system that can protect you there...
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby regex on Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:29 pm

nonhocapito wrote:Whenever I need to go around blocks and privately browse, I use TOR:
https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser


Good advice, nonho.

Eventhough I didn't go through the whole thread, I'll try to help you guys with some issues.

Mail:

The first thing I learned at college concerning internet privacy was, that you have to seperate your mails. Let me explain.

Avoid spam/junk mails:
If you register at a website that doesn't necessarily require private information and you don't mind if anyone else would gain access to your registration details, use trash-mail.com
I know the website is in german, but you just have to enter a name for your email (example: example@trash-mail.com) and then you get all the mails that have been sent to this mail. Be aware that everyone can get access to the mail, but if you choose a name like 3jbj33028dß7fgsd7gß@trash-mail.com probably noone will get your data. But still, only use this method if you are sure that the data which your mail contains, does not include any relevant data.

Secure mailprovider:
The best free and secure mail provider I can think of is http://www.hushmail.com/.
I'd recommend this for private mails that noone should ever be able to read. Furthermore you should not save the mails on the webserver, rather download them and save them to your computer.

Data storage:

Okay, so if you want to browse through the web in a secure way, be sure that also all your private data that you don't want to show anyone is saved securely on your computer.

The best way to do so is to use TrueCrypt. It's easy to use, free and offers protection that is the highest standard nowadays.

Network monitoring:
Don't ever enter the internet with your firewall deactivated.

A good, free firewall is COMODO. It's easy to use and does what a firewall is made for. Using two firewalls at once ain't a good idea by the way. Under some circumstances they harm each other and your network isn't safe anymore.

Additional advices:

Never register with the same nickname and/or the same passwords on different websites. I know this should be common sense, but people tend to do that and that's why I want to remind you that this is one of the worst things you can do.
There are easy ways to create long password that you can remember easily.

That's how I do it:
Just think of a sentence that comes to your mind. Heres an easy one:
I go to the church 2 times a week.

Now take the first letter of each word and build your password -> Igttc2taw
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby hoi.polloi on Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:16 pm

Just a little reminder, though. We try to prevent people from using suspicious mail sites like mailinator or hushmail whenever possible. This isn't to expose people but to push perps to venture out a little into the public sphere, even if that is a pathetic request on our part.
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby regex on Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:50 pm

hoi.polloi wrote:We try to prevent people from using suspicious mail sites like mailinator or hushmail whenever possible. This isn't to expose people but to push perps to venture out a little into the public sphere, even if that is a pathetic request on our part.


Didn't know that.

From my point of view it's the best option to use these services as long as you don't want to host your own mailserver.
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby simonshack on Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:34 pm

regex wrote:That's how I do it:
Just think of a sentence that comes to your mind. Heres an easy one:
I go to the church 2 times a week.

Now take the first letter of each word and build your password -> Igttc2taw


Cool tip, regex!

I just made up my own : IctV2ad ("I curse the Vatican twice a day") :P

Anyways, this thread brings up memories of the exciting days when Hoi and I were hard at work here in my studio, putting together the SC website and plugging away at the Vicsim research. At the time, we installed Peer Guardian on my pc, wondering what sort of 'guarding' it would do for us... I must say I have long overcome any sort of cyber-security-paranoia, seeing that in all those years of 'dangerous' investigations - and hopping from one sensitive/or spooky website to another - nothing worthy of panic has ever happened to my computers. Quite the contrary, in fact: I find it hilarious when my 'privacy' is invaded - if one is to believe the data provided by Peer Guardian. As we published the website and the Vicsim research, Peer Guardian alerted us to an enormous amount of entities attempting to connect to my pc: most were Universities around the world, or news media and military URL's. Here are just two screenshots from that time period:

TURNER BROADCASTING (CNN) visiting my personal computer:
Image


NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) visiting my personal computer:
Image

Ain't that bloody hilarious ? B)
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby nonhocapito on Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:52 pm

simonshack wrote:Ain't that bloody hilarious ? B)


Just to clarify, what peerguardian (now "peerblock", available here) does, is mostly to set out against organizations that monitor P2P activity in order to crack down on piracy.
It is not as if these organization are attempting to access your PC, I think, as much as they are active on any network in the effort to find out who's leaking/sharing new movies, TV shows and such.

Through Peerblock I got the same weird entries on my PC as you Simon. 90% of them are media corporations, telecom companies etc etc. I think Peerblock is really meant to have a file-sharing experience without worrying about RIAA-affiliated organizations monitoring what you do. It is not set to "protect" your PC against anything, because its criteria are given through immense lists of IP numbers it checks against. So if an IP number isn't in the list, Peerblock is completely useless.

My guess is that "Agents" who actually try to access a foreign PC, would hide behind anonymous networks whose IP numbers are not known to the volunteers who compile the Peerblock lists.

If you want to block access to your PC you just gotta have a firewall, like regex said. That, provided Windows or MacOS systems don't have backdoors built-in inside them to help agencies do their investigations, which I think is very possible, and I believe was in fact documented (here the story on wicky) in the past for Windows 2000, after its code was leaked over the internet a while back.
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby hoi.polloi on Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:58 am

regex wrote:
hoi.polloi wrote:We try to prevent people from using suspicious mail sites like mailinator or hushmail whenever possible. This isn't to expose people but to push perps to venture out a little into the public sphere, even if that is a pathetic request on our part.


Didn't know that.

From my point of view it's the best option to use these services as long as you don't want to host your own mailserver.


Normally, I would recommend anybody and everybody should do what they can to retain the privacy they want. Absolutely. I am just envious of those contractor boys and their cloaking toys that let them pretend to be a "family member" of a "9/11 victim" or whatever without giving us any legit info. I suppose it's their right to do that. I withdraw. :D
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby hoi.polloi on Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:03 am

nonhocapito wrote:
simonshack wrote:Ain't that bloody hilarious ? B)


Just to clarify, what peerguardian (now "peerblock", available here) does, is mostly to set out against organizations that monitor P2P activity in order to crack down on piracy.
It is not as if these organization are attempting to access your PC, I think, as much as they are active on any network in the effort to find out who's leaking/sharing new movies, TV shows and such.

Through Peerblock I got the same weird entries on my PC as you Simon. 90% of them are media corporations, telecom companies etc etc. I think Peerblock is really meant to have a file-sharing experience without worrying about RIAA-affiliated organizations monitoring what you do. It is not set to "protect" your PC against anything, because its criteria are given through immense lists of IP numbers it checks against. So if an IP number isn't in the list, Peerblock is completely useless.

My guess is that "Agents" who actually try to access a foreign PC, would hide behind anonymous networks whose IP numbers are not known to the volunteers who compile the Peerblock lists.

If you want to block access to your PC you just gotta have a firewall, like regex said. That, provided Windows or MacOS systems don't have backdoors built-in inside them to help agencies do their investigations, which I think is very possible, and I believe was in fact documented (here the story on wicky) in the past for Windows 2000, after its code was leaked over the internet a while back.


This might sound kind of ridiculous, but has there been any movement to create a software that traces every single IP that connects to it - its location, etc.? So that when you look at the IPs you can just see an address, city, country location instead of a string of numbers?

I know this might be a "drag" on the network and Internet Service Providers would be reluctant to let people use such bandwidth-hogging software, but it would be interesting if we could have that.

Then we might flag locations based on their proximity to military bases or something like that instead of just depending on a list of monitoring places. Or am I thinking about it wrong?
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby nonhocapito on Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:21 pm

hoi.polloi wrote:has there been any movement to create a software that traces every single IP that connects to it - its location, etc.? So that when you look at the IPs you can just see an address, city, country location instead of a string of numbers?


Well, generally speaking the technology comes fairly easy, this is what "WHOIS" services offer... Websites like domaintools.com allow you to trace locations of IP numbers and websites alike... There are also many computer apps that do the same, one that I know of is eToolz, available here.

And I guess it is also possible, via javascript+php I think, to have a website like cluesforum to monitor the locations of all IP numbers that connect. But I am not sure this is a viable solution to automatically "ban" users... because to trace an IP number isn't always useful... Most of people connect through telecom companies that assign random IP numbers; the IP numbers belong to central hubs that can be miles from the location of the computer; one could be connecting from a proxy that changes IP number, location, everything (I believe one or two of our users here on the forum connect through a proxy, and it is not clear why); more importantly, we don't have a list of "suspicious" IP numbers to check against. And if one such list should exist, it would be the perfect guide for the bad guys, to avoid those locations/numbers and use some that aren't known yet...
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby RoyBean on Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:13 am

Wow - only two? Hmm. Well I started using some caution after registering on a couple of 9/11 forums and soon after having some strange shit happen to my accounts and my MAC, but I didn’t immediately make the connection. It was at the suggestion of couple of more experienced and paranoid surfers that I began using at least some kind of anon method. I’m no cloaking expert and I’m not paranoid enough to go all out with it (and I’m certainly no real threat I don’t think), and I’m not so naiive to think anyone can be totally anonymous and untraceable, but I do use WiFi Hotspotting w/proxies accessed from different locations… not home. JIC.

Since we’re on the subject…

I noticed how low the poll votes have been compared to how many members are registered and how many visits the threads get, and I’m wondering if it’s possible that there’s some kind of IP limit thing enabled here that ensures multiple votes aren’t registered from the same IP – totally ignoring user name? It would explain why a vote wouldn't go through if as you said, members are connecting using shared Dynamic Ips-through central hubs, or using the same proxy networks? I guess only the admins would know or would be able to find out, like ex admin/military connected, D.Duck.
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby nonhocapito on Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:08 am

RoyBean wrote:Wow - only two? Hmm. Well I started using some caution after registering on a couple of 9/11 forums and soon after having some strange shit happen to my accounts and my MAC, but I didn’t immediately make the connection... I’m wondering if it’s possible that there’s some kind of IP limit thing enabled here that ensures multiple votes aren’t registered from the same IP – totally ignoring user name?


I don't know about the polls (honestly I think they are kind of premature at this stage since there is not enough of us browsing this forum), but, can I ask you something? (To you and others, too, like Hoi, that are sensitive to the same issue.)

Why, do you think, you should use a proxy to access a forum like this one? What do you think can happen here? We are researchers and commentators, we are not criminals or conspirators. We provide a service, if anything, and some of us have provided much more (I'd say a contribute to History, and I'm not even exaggerating.)
But really, what is the point to hide behind a proxy? Nothing illegal goes on. Besides, suppose you have people monitoring these threads looking for who-knows-what. Wouldn't a proxy make them even more curious about who you are?
Also: suppose you are one of the bad guys and you want to lure all the people that are "suspicious", all those that have "something to hide", or "forbidden ideas" to expose: what would you do? You create a "safe" network where people can "hide", so that now you have a list of relevant names served to you on a silver plate!
I remember Alex Jones years ago advising everyone to "use an anonymization service". That should ring some bell, no? I think it is a Maoist-Fascist-something dictatorship strategy to apparently allow for some "secret" way for criticism, only to gather names of people to put in jails later! Granted we are not even there, we are not under Mao. Regardless, I think we can exercise our right to speech with some style... let the bad guys and their "hackers" play with "secrets"...
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby regex on Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:47 am

nonhocapito wrote:I don't know about the polls (honestly I think they are kind of premature at this stage since there is not enough of us browsing this forum), but, can I ask you something? (To you and others, too, like Hoi, that are sensitive to the same issue.)


That's a common issue with forums like this one. People register, make a single post and never come back. So, I don't know how many active people are around here, but if 50 people are around these forums, expect 30~ people to take part on a poll maximum.

Why, do you think, you should use a proxy to access a forum like this one? What do you think can happen here? We are researchers and commentators, we are not criminals or conspirators. We provide a service, if anything, and some of us have provided much more (I'd say a contribute to History, and I'm not even exaggerating.)
But really, what is the point to hide behind a proxy? Nothing illegal goes on. Besides, suppose you have people monitoring these threads looking for who-knows-what. Wouldn't a proxy make them even more curious about who you are?
Also: suppose you are one of the bad guys and you want to lure all the people that are "suspicious", all those that have "something to hide", or "forbidden ideas" to expose: what would you do? You create a "safe" network where people can "hide", so that now you have a list of relevant names served to you on a silver plate!
I remember Alex Jones years ago advising everyone to "use an anonymization service". That should ring some bell, no? I think it is a Maoist-Fascist-something dictatorship strategy to apparently allow for some "secret" way for criticism, only to gather names of people to put in jails later! Granted we are not even there, we are not under Mao. Regardless, I think we can exercise our right to speech with some style... let the bad guys and their "hackers" play with "secrets"...


Why do you think that I would deactivate my proxy for this forum only? :lol:

Seriously, anyone that is using some kind of privacy protection, is using it the whole time while he is connected to the internet. I don't think that anyone is scared of you admins. It's just, I wanna be safe when I surf and I enter every website using a proxy.

I always warn people if they use some "cewl mobile phone apps" that can trace their location and other relevant private data, but they won't listen. Software nowadays is able to handle a huge amount of data.
Every provider, yea even the low budget ones, are able to make some kind of profile of your way of surfing.

In Germany they want to make it by law, that providers have to save some specific data of your connection for at least 6 months. So, they are able to read your packages, connection times and if you use internet on your mobile phone , they even know where you were on a specific day/hour/minute.
The European Union tells it's countries to do the so.

So, all in all, I don't want that the internet becomes a good way to find out who I am or what I am going to do.

What I am telling you now is something that I have told other people a hundred of times, and the answer what I always get is: "What are you scared of? Do you hide something?"

And I'm telling you what: I seriously have something to hide. It's nothing that is illegal, nothing that would harm anyone in any way. It's just my personality, the private things in life that I just want to share with people that I am around with.

Do you want to live with a camera in your back, some guy watching you, all day long? Nah, for sure not.

People are blind nowadays. I don't know if they were blind in the last few centuries, I can just argue on what I see.
They use facebook, just to tell us when they are hungry, or smoking a cigarette or whatever. Would you ever go into some city with a huge piece of paper that has written on it: "Hey, I just had lunch before. Gonna take a sh*t now"
Would you?

About the Alex Jones story:
I'm not really into the Alex Jones bashing. I don't know who he is or who he is working for. I don't now if he believes the stories that he is telling us. Maybe, maybe not. I just know that he's probably earning a hand full of cash by making his theories. :rolleyes:
Just remember that if you use some kind of anonymization service, make sure it is open source. Best option would be to compile the source code by yourself. There's really no thing to worry about then.
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby nonhocapito on Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:08 am

regex wrote: [1] I don't think that anyone is scared of you admins. It's just, I wanna be safe when I surf and I enter every website using a proxy. (...)

[2] And I'm telling you what: I seriously have something to hide. It's nothing that is illegal, nothing that would harm anyone in any way. It's just my personality, the private things in life that I just want to share with people that I am around with.

[3] I'm not really into the Alex Jones bashing. I don't know who he is or who he is working for. I don't now if he believes the stories that he is telling us. Maybe, maybe not. I just know that he's probably earning a hand full of cash by making his theories. :rolleyes:

[4] Just remember that if you use some kind of anonymization service, make sure it is open source. Best option would be to compile the source code by yourself. There's really no thing to worry about then.


1) it wasn't necessarily about the admins, maybe one thinks that others can have access to the server and can monitor who's browsing without the admins knowing. I guess asking "why do you use a proxy" was a way to ask: "why do you think a proxy should protect you?" Which brings me to

2) I totally agree that we have to defend ourselves from profiling and companies that profit from our habits, but this has nothing to do with proxies and anonymization. You just have to, you know, control the "cookies", control the way you browse, that sort of thing.
It is like the "fidelity cards" that mall chains want you to use, so that they can monitor what you buy. You don't have to cover your face to prevent that! Just don't use the fidelity card, try to pay with cash, and there you go. They are not monitoring what you buy you anymore.

3) Alex Jones like many others is set out there like the Piper of Hamelin to bring well meaning people from rational good questions and research to absurd realities where they can get lost forever like in a labyrinth. Also, he forbids and censors 100% any mention of Fakery, no planes, no victims and so forth. Why total censorship? I guess that's your clue, no? But the stories about him are many, including his ties to zionists or other entities. I'm sure others will pick up on this... :P

4) Well yes and no, Open source is OK (this forum is built on an Open Source code), but you gotta understand every bit of it (and it's tedious), and more importantly, you should also be 100% sure that the server you are running it from is safe. And, I'm sorry, about that: you just. cannot. be sure.
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby regex on Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:52 pm

nonhocapito wrote:
1) it wasn't necessarily about the admins, maybe one thinks that others can have access to the server and can monitor who's browsing without the admins knowing. I guess asking "why do you use a proxy" was a way to ask: "why do you think a proxy should protect you?" Which brings me to

2) I totally agree that we have to defend ourselves from profiling and companies that profit from our habits, but this has nothing to do with proxies and anonymization. You just have to, you know, control the "cookies", control the way you browse, that sort of thing.
It is like the "fidelity cards" that mall chains want you to use, so that they can monitor what you buy. You don't have to cover your face to prevent that! Just don't use the fidelity card, try to pay with cash, and there you go. They are not monitoring what you buy you anymore.

3) Alex Jones like many others is set out there like the Piper of Hamelin to bring well meaning people from rational good questions and research to absurd realities where they can get lost forever like in a labyrinth. Also, he forbids and censors 100% any mention of Fakery, no planes, no victims and so forth. Why total censorship? I guess that's your clue, no? But the stories about him are many, including his ties to zionists or other entities. I'm sure others will pick up on this... :P

4) Well yes and no, Open source is OK (this forum is built on an Open Source code), but you gotta understand every bit of it (and it's tedious), and more importantly, you should also be 100% sure that the server you are running it from is safe. And, I'm sorry, about that: you just. cannot. be sure.


ad 1.)

Okay, I missunderstood you then and I am sorry for that, it was pretty late and I was too tired I guess. :P
So, if other people have access to your server without you knowing it, it wouldn't bother me that much. If all members of this board use a proxy, noone could get relevant data. They would just see how much traffic you use, how many people are online, which site the people come from and so on.

This reminds of some interesting case that occured not long ago:
For one day (or maybe just some hours) the whole traffic of the internet was supposedly handled by China. I guess you ask yourself now, how the hell this would be possible: The thing is, every provider in each country of this world could do that, but noone does it since it's just going to overload their resources and then they just harm theirselves. (I know this sounds strange, but if you learn to understand how the internet really works, you would be kinda surprised)

The thing was that all people that heard about that case were shocked. "Oh my god, they saved all that data and now they can analyse everything"
That's bullshit of course because the data is so freaking huge that we all couldn't even imagine it, no matter how hard we try.

So, what I wanted to say was just, that if you think about your security and privacy on the internet, you always have to ask yourself:
If someone gets access to my server/data...
...which data can they access?
...is the data even relevant to anyone?
...does it harm me or other users in any way?
...are they even able to handle the amount of data? (I'm sure China wasn't :rolleyes: )

ad 2.)

Hm, I get your point there but I think using proxies do actually harm the profiling companies. Why? Because I don't give them my real connection data, they could not find out who I really am. On one day they would think I'm from Vietnam, on the other day they see that I'm from the USA. They just don't know if I am always the same person which makes profiling, at least about my personality, very hard. Of course they can still see how people as a whole act.
And yea, you're right about the fidelity cards. That's a very intersting topic (crowd control, profiling, monitoring etc) but I don't want to hijack this thread. :)

ad 3.)

Okay, let's leave as it is now. Maybe we'll find some time to talk about that guy. :)

ad 4.)

The reason why I love to use open software is because the principal of open source is like a selfcontroling algorythm. Someone wants to add a backdoor in the code and shortly after the other coders just reset the code to the latest available subversion and the problem is fixed. It's the most trustworthy thing about software so far.
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