privacy

Living Without a SIM Card

4 minute read Updated

A year later. Getting by without a SIM card in my smartphone.

Subscriber Identity Module. That’s what “SIM” stands for. I acquired my first SIM when I was 17 at a T-Mobile outside Chicago when I got my first cell phone, the Nokia 1110, the best-selling phone of all-time.

A few years later I was working in Chicago and almost everyone in the office had an iPhone. But a few people had Android phones. Their phones did so much my dumb phone couldn’t do. Though having grown up in an analog world the idea of the phone doing everything concerned me in that I would grow dependent on it.

Onion Sites Vivaldi Browser Android

2 minute read Published

Surf the Web more privately on Vivaldi browser for Android.

For the last three years I have been living in a predominantly Muslim country where pornography is censored. And I’m not just talking the obvious sites like PornHub. Reddit and Vimeo – both of which contain porn – are also censored.

If not being able to access any of the above websites seems unfree to you consider the fact you too are are being censored on a daily basis. The censorship most of you experience just isn’t as obvious because you’ve grown accustomed to paywalls, cookie disclaimers and the occasional reCAPTCHA.

Moving GPG Keys Privately

4 minute read Updated

How to privately move your GPG keys from one machine to another.

If you’re a software developer working ethically you’re almost certainly using GnuPG to sign your work. And if you’ve been at it for any length of time you’ve almost certainly been forced to switch machines. Unless your aim is to create a new identity for each machine you use (please don’t) you need a simple, repeatable strategy moving GPG keys privately. Let me show you how.

Invisible Arch Linux

13 minute read Enclosure Published

Encrypted system using detached LUKS header with air gapped install.
Caveat lector: This information is intended for entertainment purposes only. When individuals speak of doing “big fist pumps” after their Arch installs successfully boot it can be hard to contain one’s curiosity about the path that led them there. But it’s hard to understand until you try it yourself. This was my journey to first install. It was an encrypted one. In this tutorial I will show you how I repurposed the bomb I took on 30 flights to double-down on privacy using deniable encryption and how you can too.

Secure Your Digital Life

8 minute read Updated

Safeguard your privacy online. Arm yourself with knowledge and use these tips, tools and techniques to secure your digital life.

I’m no Steve Wozniak but I carry a healthy distrust of computers. After hearing of the Equifax data breach affecting the privacy of more than 145 million Americans, learning Uber paid and tried to cover up the loss of 57 million driver and passenger records and seeing the lasting impact of the Meltdown attack I’m starting to understand the gravity this quote from Woz:

Encrypted Internet with WireGuard

9 minute read Enclosure Updated

How to install and configure WireGuard on Manjaro Linux, a step-by-step guide.

One of the motivations behind dual-booting Linux on my MacBook Pro was to take back control of my personal data. Not just because Apple uses faux encryption on iCloud. And not because macOS has been shown to leave users open to eavesdropping exploits. But because when I use my Mac with macOS the operating system gratuitously beams out activity records1, sharing information I’d rather keep private with people I don’t personally know nor have I ever met. And without the ability to shut it off, I find my privacy – the sentient and autonomous nature of my very being – constantly under attack.

In many instances, privacy is threatened not by singular egregious acts, but by a slow series of relatively minor acts which gradually begin to add up.

I've Got Nothing to Hide and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy

In this short guide I’ll show you how to encrypt and route your local Internet traffic through a fast, modern, and secure VPN tunnel called WireGuard using a free and open source operating system called Manjaro Linux. I will explain how to install WireGuard on Manjaro, share a simple means of establishing and testing an encrypted Internet connection, and leave you with next steps and personal experience to help further your understanding and gain confidence getting started.

Beyond Incognito

2 minute read Updated

Block your computer from making requests to known ad and malware servers.

I read an article on Medium titled How to encrypt your entire life in less than an hour. The article provided a number of tips for staying secure digitally. One of the tips was to use the Tor browser because popular browsers such as Safari and Chrome were not private enough – even in private mode.

What the author didn’t tell you was that it’s possible to increase your privacy without switching browsers using Dan Pollock's hosts file. A quick look at the file describes exactly what it does…

Securely Access 08chan on ZeroNet

2 minute read Published

How to use Tor and WireGuard to access ZeroNet without revealing your IP.

Daily Beast reports 8Chan refugees are leaving DARPANet, commonly known as “the Web”, for a new home on ZeroNet and doxxing their IPs in the process.

Getting on the ZeroNet can be done more discretely, however, and it’s not hard if you’re running Linux – even if running Linux on a MacBook Pro:

Alternatives to Firefox on Manjaro Linux

6 minute read Updated

A quick rundown of Firefox browser alternatives you should be aware of.

Last week Firefox suffered multiple zero-day vulnerabilities, prompting renewed interest in a browser discussion thread on the Manjaro Forums.

Ironically the reason I’m using Manjaro in the first place is because macOS itself had several zero-day vulnerabilities recently, prompting me to perform a serious back-up of macOS and all my files on iCloud.

Thankfully switching browsers is trivial compared to switching operating systems on macOS. So herein I’ll show you how to easily install a few different browsers so you can try them out and decide for yourself which you prefer.

Surfing the Uncensorable Web

10 minute read Enclosure Published

Testing the waters of ZeroNet to enjoy a Web without information gatekeepers.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you already know the guy behind WikiLeaks, who was living at an Ecuadorian embassy in London, was recently arrested and now facing extradition to the United States – the country I’m originally from – and the country which forces tax payers to fund the second-largest stockpile of nuclear weaponry ever created.

But perhaps you didn’t know that WikiLeaks was at one point hosted by Amazon. Yep, right up until political pressure caused them to take it down. Afterall, nothing says freedom like a fear of misbehavior in a country with the highest incarceration rate in the entire world. I suppose Julian Assange’s situation could be worse… Maybe, had he also been practicing Falun Gong in China. But I digress. And there’s no telling what’s going to happen.