The Pros and Cons of Using Tor for Online Privacy

Tor lets you browse the Internet anonymously. But to use it effectively, you should understand what it does and what it doesn’t do. Here’s a concise summary of things to know about Tor. As an online privacy solution, Tor offers lots of advantages. These include: It’s free. It’s relatively easy to set up and use. For most people, downloading and …

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How To: Perform Private Searches Online

Performing online searches using major search engines is a big privacy risk. Here are a few alternative search engines that allow you to search without being tracked. Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! track you in various ways. If you have an account with them, they can correlate your searches with other details you reveal about yourself. And even …

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Tor Unveils Hardened Browser for Extra Security

The Tor project recently released the first version of its “hardened” Tor browser package. This release comes with extra security features designed to provide more privacy and protection against attacks. The Tor browser is a special Web browser package that makes it easy to connect to the Tor network. It is designed to be portable and self-contained, meaning you can …

How To: Use HTTPS Everywhere for Browser Privacy

HTTPS Everywhere is a browser extension that automatically encrypts Web traffic with SSL protection whenever it is available. Here’s how to use it, and what you should know about its limitations. About HTTPS Everywhere Under the HTTPS protocol, data is encrypted so that people monitoring your network connection cannot read what you send or receive through the browser. HTTPS is …

How To: Check That Your VPN is Working

How do you make sure your VPN is actually running — and not leaking data — after you log in? Here are quick and simple steps for checking. Most people probably assume that their VPN “just works” once they launch it. But in certain cases, it may not be. Just because the client program that your VPN provider gives you …

Open Wireless Offers Novel Way to Increase Anonymity

Could opening your wireless router to strangers increase your privacy? That’s what the Open Wireless Movement says to encourage people to share their wifi connections with others. The Open Wireless Movement’s goal is to increase Internet access by providing open wireless networks everywhere. Instead of requiring WEP or WPA passwords to connect to wifi networks, people could simply log in. …

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The Best Blocklists To Use When Torrenting

Block list for torrents are actually quite difficult to find. Luckily, John Tyree, a user from quora.com, created a GitHub project which combines all those iBlocklist lists in to a single one and he hosted the result here: http://john.bitsurge.net/public/biglist.p2p.gz The Details A blocklist is simply a list of IP addresses to block when torrenting. Typically, these lists consist of the IP addresses of …

South Korea Revises Law Affecting Online Censorship

South Korea’s modification of a law that regulates online content could lead to more Internet censorship in the country, critics say. Korea Times reports that the Korea Communications Standards Commission, or KCSC, has revised a law that allows people to dispute online content that may be defamatory in nature. In its previous form, the law only granted the alleged victims …

Using Anonymous Remailers for Email Privacy

Want to send email anonymously? Anonymous remailers provide a solution. Here’s an overview of how they work and where to access them. You can gain some privacy in email by using a provider that doesn’t track you. But that’s different from hiding your identity from the recipient. Anonymous remailers make it possible to obfuscate your identity when sending email. They …

Symantec Reports New Internet Monitoring in Iran

An American security company says Iranian hackers have been engaged in a program to track potential political dissidents for at least the last year. The monitoring program uses malware to spy on computer users and may be targeting people using Tor or VPNs. According to Symantec, the American online security company, the spying has been the work of two different …

U.K. Government Monitors Taxpayers’ Online Activity

Why do government authorities want to monitor Internet users’ online activity? In the United Kingdom, one big reason is to find tax evaders by tracking social media accounts. The Belfast Telegraph reports that HM Revenue & Customs — the agency that collects taxes in the U.K. — has deployed a tool called Connect to monitor citizens’ social media activity. It …

Ostel Provides Encrypted, Private Internet-Based Calls

Making Internet-based phone calls through leading platforms, like Skype, is not very private or secure. Ostel offers a better solution by providing encrypted calls based on open protocols, standards and software. Ostel is an app that runs on the Open Secure Telephone Network, a project that is building a secure network for making voice and video calls over the Internet. …

How Malaysian ISPs Could Censor Content through the Transpacific Trade Partnership

The Transpacific Trade Partnership (TPP) is facing new criticism in Malaysia, where a legislator who opposes the agreement says it could increase Internet censorship. Mohd Hatta Ramli, a member of the Malaysian parliament, said the TPP “would mean that providers could take down Internet content without any sort of repercussions, allowing for potentially widespread internet censorship,” according to The Malay …

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A Review Of Perfect Privacy VPN

Perfect Privacy offers a feature-rich, reliable VPN for those who need privacy — albeit at a somewhat higher price than many of its competitors. While it lacks solid support for platforms other than Windows and Ubuntu Linux, it offers many advanced features, as well as solid performance, on the platforms where it does work.

Pakistan’s Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill (PECB) Law Could Increase Censorship

Pakistan’s Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill (PECB), a draft law that regulates Internet-related technology and content, could radically increase the government’s censorship abilities, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The bill, which was rewritten last April, provides the government with powers to control how people use various types of electronic technology, including the Internet and websites. Here is the document …

Chinese Leader Says Government Does Not Censor Internet

Internet censors in China are defending online censorship practices — or insisting censorship does not exist — ahead of a conference where online privacy is likely to be on the minds of attendees. As Hong Kong Free Press reports, China’s main leader of online censorship, Lu Wei, is deploying euphemistic language regarding the country’s censorship activities. China “manages” the Internet, …

French Police Call for Restrictions on Tor and VoIP Encryption

French authorities are considering a ban on Tor, as well as rules that would require VoIP users to hand over encryption keys, as part of what police say is an effort to restrict terrorists’ ability to communicate privately online. Le Monde, a major newspaper in France, reports that police have requested authority to “prohibit and block communications on the Tor …

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ReCon Identifies Which Mobile Apps Leak Private Data

Detecting which mobile apps are leaking personal information can be hard. ReCon, a privacy tool developed under the leadership of a Northeastern University computer science professor, helps provide a solution. ReCon is an app for your phone or tablet that analyzes information from other apps by monitoring network traffic. It automatically scans emails, chats and other information to identify “device/user …