The internet isn’t real. Cyber warfare isn’t real either, and security just a hype. Merely security software vendors and secretly security consultants trying to shock and scare everyone so they can sell their products and services … True. Do not rely upon security promoters, their followers and investors who exploit dependency by fear, uncertainty and doubt.
Do take note that the internet has become a panopticon with many observers:
- The property logic instilled by the US via ICANN enables advertising-funded economic models that reward players who can most effectively target users by compromising their privacy. There is a shitload of malware that can hijack or attack your machine when browsing around in the wilderness called the internet. Big profits.
- Not only that, the internet is severely militarised, with the 5 eyes countries and their allies, and China as major players. Both mass surveillance and targeted attack are used, and intercepted information is commonly (and secretly) used for non-military goals such as business development advantages and law enforcement.
- Censorship is also everywhere. Nations restrict access by their citizens for various economic, social, ideological and/or religious “reasons”. You may not think it, but the US censors the entire internet supposedly in defense of intellectual property rights. Using its jurisdiction over domain registrars, it has seized thousands of websites, often based on mere allegations of “infringing activity”, thereby reversing burden of proof.
Governments, commerce, orgs, experts cooperate to foster crises under guise of opposition to get us to hop on their bandwagons. And we do need protection. We are in an ongoing struggle to protect ourselves from existing threats as well as from that attempt. GNU free software is not in the role of “rescuer”, but it can put our freedom (to act), our power, back into our own hands as well as serve our obligation to bear responsibility for the commons against its inside and outside enemies.
And clearly there is no such thing as an authoritative definitive one-size-fits-all guide for keeping yourself safe on the interwebz. These pages merely contain notes taken during 4 years of opnewblood.
- A (more) secure machine/host
- Secure your router
- Defense from mass surveillance
- Censorship workarounds
- Defense from malware
- Encrypt everything!!!!!
- Safer browsing
- Clean all teh things!
- Private conversations
- Let the dogs out!
If we did make it a “guide”, we would be in that role of “rescuer”, lying and cheating you out of finding something that works (better) for you (sooner). Because it all depends. On the hostilities towards your purpose or cause in your local context and the bigger geopolitical context, on your levels of trust in whom and what, on your awareness, skills, knowledge, on your resources. And what worked well one or two years ago, may have been replaced or branched off from. Those make all the difference. Guides can be useful for shopping though. Find one that has (re)useful loot for you:
-  A Beginner Friendly Comprehensive Guide to Installing and Using a Safer Anonymous OS
-  How to post anywhere without being traced by cops (US)
-  Take Back The Tech (to End Violence Against Women)
-  Resources for the global digital safety training community
-  S.A.F.E. – Securing Access to Free Expression
-  A DIY Guide to Feminist Cybersecurity
Questions? Do Ask. More information, changes, suggestions, corrections? Do Give. And do forgive our wordplay and humour. It is what keeps us alive in a world where death is inevitable.
“I meant,” said Ipslore bitterly, “what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?”
Death thought about it.
CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.”
~ Terry Pratchett, Sourcery