Because it is near impossible to compile every single necessary resource into one simple guide we have decided to launch our third active e-zine, CryptoGuerrilla, dedicated to compiling and spreading accessible information about cryptography technology and the free culture movement.Our hope is that these articles will serve as an introduction for some folks to the reality of communications and information in our civilization, a starting point from where one may further explore the concept of building and defending a free and open internet. For those that are aware of current cryptographic technologies and free culture ideals, our hope is that you will share these zines, continue to employ these resources, and maybe even contribute your experience to our project here at Mischief & Mutiny Institute. We are always accepting contributions on a variety of topics since we rely completely on guerrilla journalism and decentralized information-sharing, so please consider lending your knowledge to a vanguard media cooperative dedicated to the defense of an open, liberated web.–MCN & PKS
What is crypto-anarchism and why is it important to you?
Some folks say that cyber-anarchism is “the cyber-spatial realization of anarcho-capitalism”. Well, OK, but in all cases? I think, in fact, that even cryptographic and free culture projects originally launched by an-caps and/or market libertarians (or by communists of any variety) have evolved beyond ideologies to form post-Communist/post-Capitalist counterculture that is very distinctly synthesist and very anti-authoritarian. The idea is using and spreading cryptographic software to evade prosecution and harassment while sending and receiving information over computer networks, thereby protecting privacy,open access, and political freedom. Think about these ideals as more knowledge begins to be suppressed and forced underground.
Check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Surveillance Self-Defense project site at ssd.eff.org for a comprehensive, user-friendly, introductory guide and resource compendium on defending almost all personal communications against unwanted surveillance as best as possible. Includes info & resources for encrypting cell phone communications, email (We’ll cover this in the zine), and others such as instant messaging.
I hope you’ve heard of the Tor Project…
Tor is a network of virtual tunnels that allows you to improve your privacy and security on the Internet. Tor works by sending your traffic through three random servers (also known as relays) in the Tor network, before the traffic is sent out onto the public Internet.
The image above illustrates a user browsing to different websites over Tor. The green monitors represent relays in the Tor network, while the three keys represent the layers of encryption between the user and each relay.
Tor will anonymize the origin of your traffic, and it will encrypt everything between you and the Tor network. Tor will also encrypt your traffic inside the Tor network, but it cannot encrypt your traffic between the Tor network and its final destination. Tor also allows a user access to the realm of suppressed sites, underground, and black markets commonly called the “deep web”. We will cover the deep web in a later issue of CyberGuerrilla.
If you are communicating sensitive information, for example when logging on to a website with a username and password, make sure that you are using HTTPS (e.g. https://torproject.org/, not http://torproject.org/).
The more people in your area that run Tor, allows every local user more anonymity. Many people run Tor alongside another browser such as Mozilla Firefox, running Tor even if you aren’t using it is suggested. Whatever browser you use, make sure that HTTPS Everywhere is an add-on option.
“HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox and Chrome extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure. Encrypt the web: Install HTTPS Everywhere today.”
A fun add-on to those browsers useful for everyone from the web surfer tired of advertiser tracking and analytics to the hardcore privacy advocate and civil libertarian is a track blocker. Ghostery is a great example!
“Be a web detective. Ghostery is your window into the invisible web – tags, web bugs, pixels and beacons that are included on web pages in order to get an idea of your online behavior. Ghostery tracks over 1,200 trackers and gives you a roll-call of the ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers, and other companies interested in your activity.” [ALSO TOTALLY FREE, once again]
Email Encryption, Secure E-Communications, and Mozilla Thunderbird:
“Enigmail is a security extension to Mozilla Thunderbird and Seamonkey. It enables you to write and receive email messages signed and/or encrypted with the OpenPGP standard. Sending and receiving encrypted and digitally signed email is simple using Enigmail. When starting it for the first time, you are guided through the basic setup. We also prepared a new users’ guide that explains how to use OpenPGP.”
Computer, File, and/or Disk Encryption:
TrueCrypt is a free software application used for on-the-fly encryption. If relying on TrueCrypt encryption for life and death matters, it is worth noting that TrueCrypt (or any other security software) is only as trustworthy as the people writing and reviewing the code. Nevertheless, check it all out.
“Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. What people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity.”
― Aaron Swartz
This issue of CG is dedicated to Aaron Swartz, brilliant innovator and dedicated activist, a victim of the State and it’s authoritarian “justice” department bureaucrats. [1986-2013].
Questions, comments, suggestions, or submissions? All letters to the editor go to prometheusstargazer(at)riseup.net or writings may be entered as a comment below. Stay tuned for Vol. II coming soon! PLEASE SHARE WIDELY! The free and open internet is one of the last powerful bastions of resistance and human potential that we can reclaim! Help spread this information, these resources, and spread the ideals of free culture and cognitive liberty.