The U.S. Government is one of the leading threats to Internet freedom.
In 2011, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seized more than 100 domains, often without any basis in law.
Some politicians–most notably Joseph Lieberman–have called for an Internet Kill Switch whereby the executive branch of the United States Government would be given the "legal authority" to "kill" or terminate some or all of the Internet for any reason.
More recently, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a draconian measure supported by much of Hollywood, threatens to subvert what little freedom remains on the Internet.
However, legislation targeting Internet freedom must be construed in a broader context: since September 11th, 2001, the Patriot Act has essentially sundered the rights and freedoms afforded by the United States Constitution. And, in many ways, it has given birth to the National Security State.
In light of the various threats to Internet privacy, it is necessary to protect yourself not only from governments, but multinational corporations, internet service providers, universities, employers, and criminal networks.
Every connection to the Internet has an Internet Protocol (IP) address issued by an Internet service provider (ISP). The IP address may not only reveal who the internet service provider is, but more importantly, the approximate city, state, and country of a particular user.
In addition, every search made and every website visited (in particular, online banking, email logins, et al) record a person’s IP address and saves it indefinitely.
It is this number that uniquely identifies every user on the Internet. And since the ISP has a record of the subscriber (name, tax identification number, home address, et al) , every connection is traceable–traceable, that it is, unless the data is first encrypted by a proxy or a VPN service before passing through the internet service provider, making the data unreadable to the ISP.
In addition to encrypting data, proxies and VPNs can hide a person’s IP address and replace it with a different IP.
Although many services on the Internet promise privacy and anonymity, few deliver on such a promise. All web based proxies, such as yourcheat.com, anonymouse.com, and shadowsurf.com, for example, are ineffective and consequently must be avoided.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), unlike proxies, encrypt the whole Internet; however, like proxies, VPNs can be good or bad, depending on the service provider. A VPN connection typically encrypts data from a person’s computer through the ISP to a VPN server.
How to choose a VPN:
• Avoid Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) services. PPTPs are considered less secure than OpenVPN services.
• OpenVPN is open source VPN technology that encrypts Internet connections with high grade encryption. http://www.vpn4all.com and http://www.cyberghostvpn.com are a few popular VPN services.
• Only use network proxies that are open source programs.
• Onion Proxy services (such as Tor) are the most anonymous Internet connections but also are among the slowest.
• Proxies have limitations on the ports they can anonymize. In order to anonymize all ports, proxies require third party software known as Socksifiers.
Email messages resemble a post card–there is nothing preventing anyone from reading it in transit. Here are some precautions you can take:
• Always encrypt sensitive emails with either PGP or S/MIME standards.
• Avoid popular email services offered by http://www.google.com, http://www.yahoo.com, and http://www.hotmail.com. Those services are neither private nor anonymous.
• Be cautious of certain email services claiming to be private (i.e. http://www.safe-mail.com) but are in reality intelligence honeypots.
• To avoid spam, preserve privacy, and protect against potentially dangerous email, always use a disposable email service for forum logins, online coupons, and other online activities. http://www.mailinator.com and http://www.dispostable.com are good choices. However, please remember that most throwaway email services are not intended for sensitive data, since anyone may be able to read the contents of the email.
• It is always preferable to use a prepaid gift card (American Express, Visa, et al) for anonymous online purchases than a debit or credit card.
• It is preferable to use an alias when purchasing online products.
Credits and Source:http://www.henrymakow.com/anonymity.html
Next time you pour a glass of water from the tap try not to think about this – you might be about to drink what you once flushed away.
Rising numbers of Americans are consuming wastewater, or ‘toilet on tap’, without even realising it, according to an official report.
Even though it once contained human waste, food scraps and bath scum, the National Research Council claims that it could actually be better for you than fresh water.
It also says says that only wastewater that has been treated gets back into circulation, although the last industry-wide study was done was back in 1980.
Waste not, want not: Water flushed down the toilet, or emptied from sinks, bathtubs, washing machines and dishwashers heads to a treatment plant where materials like oils, soaps and chemicals is filtered out
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, wastewater is nothing more than ‘used water’.
It includes substances such as oils, soaps and chemicals and comes from sinks, bathtubs, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers.
Businesses and industries also contribute their share of used water that must be cleaned.
Wastewater is sent to a treatment plant where large material is filtered out before it is oxygenated to make it safe for human consumption.
The NRC looked at water drawn from a normal source that had five per cent wastewater and compared it to a sample which had been completely treated.
So remember Carrier IQ? That would be the company that is providing what’s been deemed a root kit on a ton of mobile phones. While the company has sought to downplay the security and privacy risks of its software (to the point of threatening the main researcher behind the revelation), further research suggested that the software likely tracked actions down to the keystroke. Again, Carrier IQ has insisted that its only purpose was to help mobile operators get data and information to help out when users are having problems. For example, it notes the ability to highlight when and how users have dropped calls. And if this was all it really does, then the software might be slightly reasonable (though, the fact that it’s hidden and almost impossible to remove represents a significant problem no matter how benign the software might be).
However, Michael Morisy over at the site Muckrock, decided he might try a different angle to learn about Carrier IQ and whether it was used for surveillance: he filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI to find out if and how it uses Carrier IQ data. Not too surprisingly, the FBI won’t provide him any details, but the way in which it turned him down was actually quite telling. Rather than just saying there were "no responsive documents," it instead said that it did have responsive documents "but they were exempt under a provision that covers materials that, if disclosed, might reasonably interfere with an ongoing investigation." That may imply, contrary to Carrier IQ’s suggestions, that its software isn’t for monitoring and spying, that the FBI views it quite differently, and already makes use of some Carrier IQ data. Of course, Morisy notes that there is another possible explanation: the FBI could be investigating Carrier IQ itself following these allegations, and it won’t reveal the data for fear of compromising that investigation. Either way, it at least raises some significant new questions concerning Carrier IQ and how its data is being used.
Update: Carrier IQ has come out with a response insisting that it has never given out info to the FBI. I would imagine that’s true, but it’s besides the point. The issue is whether or not the FBI uses Carrier IQ data that it receives via the mobile operators.
Uncertainty over the future of the eurozone runs high, despite last week’s high-on-hot-air agreement on moving towards greater fiscal union. And that uncertainty is driving European banks into a severe liquidity crunch that could cause the region’s entire banking system to collapse, analysts fear.
The early warning signs of such a liquidity seizure are already showing up in the troubles that European banks face in raising short-term liquidity. French, Italian and Spanish banks have run out of collateral (typically US Treasures) that they put up to finance short-term loans, and have been forced to pledge their gold reserves in order to secure dollar funding, reports The Telegraph.
Some European banks have resorted to selling foreign assets to meet their capital requirements; others have cut back on their lending to industry.
Money is to the economy what blood is to the human body. So long as both are circulating smoothly, they’re doing fine. But when liquidity starts to choke in the veins of the economy, as is happening now, it points to a coming seizure. Which is the worry that keeps bankers and analysts up at night these days.
Investors are beginning to lose their faith in the banking system, and have begun a ‘bank run’ that could snowball into a full-blown crisis.
The “collateral crunch” has come about because the banks’ traditional means of raising funds are running dry as investors, worried about the survival of the euro, are pulling out their savings or are easing up bank bond purchase.
Essentially, what this signals is that investors are beginning to lose their faith in the banking system, and have begun a ‘bank run’ that could snowball into a full-blown crisis.
An intergovernmental treaty among up to 26 European Union countries on stricter fiscal rules will be finalised by March 2012, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said on Tuesday.
"Early March at the latest, this fiscal compact treaty will be signed," he said in a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
A review of the adequacy of the 500 billion euro ceiling on the euro zone’s combined bailout funds will also be completed by March, Van Rompuy said.
The so-called fiscal compact is designed to allow closer surveillance of countries’ spending, in an effort to prevent a repeat of the euro zone’s debt crisis.
“Finally elites get have thier way with the european population, who are happily busy in bashisng muslims, baning veils, yet european bankers are saying ALL YOUR ASSES BELONG TO US”