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Getting Around The Man and Keeping Your Privacy Onlinexkigy0sd80r3c8jmigyh7pz6nk3m9i0xGetting Around The Man and Keeping Your Privacy Online

(English → Afrikaans) View original
Translators:

In light of the recent Facebook privacy settings drama, I thought that this would be a good time to evaluate what control you (or others) have on your online presence. Our very own intern Matt150px1ta2tn0tqejsy3veoagywk7f1y6hew put together a toolbox of “Circumvention Tools”. Tools for handling online privacy, censorship and getting around online road blocks.h7dopz7z5yhgr6hj6dpbwv31st6yci1j

By nature, this can be a sketchy area, so know that none of these tools are perfect by any means when looking at how to address these issues. And just because they’re listed here doesn’t mean we endorse or have tried them, we just want to let folks know what’s available. Security needs vary organization to organization and individual to individual, so we encourage you to vet circumvention and security tools thoroughly before depending on them in any way.5yx2ewfw946orpb8a52juyngdevvoauj

That being said, these are very real problems that a nonprofit or an individual can find themselves having to deal with and there are many reasons why you should at least know what’s up. First of all, anyone can see and track what you’re looking at online. Internet providers, websites, blogs (boo!) can track what you’re looking at. Because every computer is tied to a specific IP address, it’s actually fairly easy for someone to do. 21r0okfrl8hslv4lmvyqs1zazsl1xvdqSecondly, for some organizations, like Google, it’s a large part of their business model. They track what you search for and look at to give you more relevant search results.6ak82s0uzkf2wvf1pch46ddvxo1isgep

But it’s one thing to track what someone is doing online and a whole other to take action against them based on what they’re doing. Controversial nonprofits and organizations have a legitimate security issue to consider when looking at how they leave a footprint online. For example, if your organization works for freeing political prisoners and your IP address is tracked to a website categorized by the government as “terrorist” don’t think that nothing will happen. ud7vll0ke1zma2cmas0w17zwxdloj4d4While this might sound conspiracy-theory-esque, I just want to use an extreme example to illustrate the point that there can be real dangers when people follow you online and more importantly when you don’t know about it or what you can do. Direct action organizations, protest groups and people advocating for a controversial cause need to know that (just like everyone else), their wanderings and actions online are there for anyone to see.mkpv6u7yh04wec5te25qei7fi335zfpb

Tracking where someone goes online isn’t the only way that you can be taken advantage of online. Anyone who followed the protests in Iran over the presidential elections knew that Twitter and YouTube were far richer in content for real-time news than traditional news media. nudtpg4ly9svbbw9oy1etduhxx9pk9dxThe fact that a government can choose to block sites like this effectively cuts off the vocal cords of a group of people while at the same time stopping others outside of the situation from knowing what is going on. While this also might seem like an extreme example, simply the fact that this is possible must leave you wondering what’s up and what you can do about it.ib3mb9g6v0dnaniru5layag9vg25xlf6

Luckily, there are tools out there that can help you out. Some tools like Freegate, Gpass and Your Freedom work against these kinds of censorship measures to allow people access to sites they wouldn’t be able to view otherwise. While tools like Tor and UltraSurf work to hide your IP address so your actions are lost in the intertubes. And again, remember that these tools are not perfect. aw19biwrv5q2lh1dbamxdadf5ovmpp7qIn many ways it’s like an arms race between the tools that work for you and the tools that work against you. It’s only a matter of time before one catches up with the other.dxopo9ir23vtwvvndawnlfsqjbfe90nd

Now that I’ve got you a little paranoid, I say go and check out a few of these tools and see what you think. If all of these online privacy and censorship issues make you a little uncomfortable (as it should!), know that it’s a real issue and that your privacy, identity and access to content online are hot commodities.r0c98myrsglv8i7sdl687n9w3v1qtfqb

What issues have you seen come into play around these issues?xdawdh5l9kphy6l991ocnlw8l4asjjr7

What do you do to protect your control over your online presence?74xwk7vzufrjaoqnjdvv0i63r7ov7za5

What tools are missing from the toolbox?x891iqnp8swm7z3zflyg6vw1xvjh6i5u

Your paranoid toolbox-er,33p65lc17wj8e6zha1hk4u2vxm9jelo8

Matt150px1ta2tn0tqejsy3veoagywk7f1y6

(original) View Afrikaans translation

In light of the recent Facebook privacy settings drama, I thought that this would be a good time to evaluate what control you (or others) have on your online presence. Our very own intern Matthew put together a toolbox of “Circumvention Tools”. Tools for handling online privacy, censorship and getting around online road blocks.

By nature, this can be a sketchy area, so know that none of these tools are perfect by any means when looking at how to address these issues. And just because they’re listed here doesn’t mean we endorse or have tried them, we just want to let folks know what’s available. Security needs vary organization to organization and individual to individual, so we encourage you to vet circumvention and security tools thoroughly before depending on them in any way.

That being said, these are very real problems that a nonprofit or an individual can find themselves having to deal with and there are many reasons why you should at least know what’s up. First of all, anyone can see and track what you’re looking at online. Internet providers, websites, blogs (boo!) can track what you’re looking at. Because every computer is tied to a specific IP address, it’s actually fairly easy for someone to do. Secondly, for some organizations, like Google, it’s a large part of their business model. They track what you search for and look at to give you more relevant search results.

But it’s one thing to track what someone is doing online and a whole other to take action against them based on what they’re doing. Controversial nonprofits and organizations have a legitimate security issue to consider when looking at how they leave a footprint online. For example, if your organization works for freeing political prisoners and your IP address is tracked to a website categorized by the government as “terrorist” don’t think that nothing will happen. While this might sound conspiracy-theory-esque, I just want to use an extreme example to illustrate the point that there can be real dangers when people follow you online and more importantly when you don’t know about it or what you can do. Direct action organizations, protest groups and people advocating for a controversial cause need to know that (just like everyone else), their wanderings and actions online are there for anyone to see.

Tracking where someone goes online isn’t the only way that you can be taken advantage of online. Anyone who followed the protests in Iran over the presidential elections knew that Twitter and YouTube were far richer in content for real-time news than traditional news media. The fact that a government can choose to block sites like this effectively cuts off the vocal cords of a group of people while at the same time stopping others outside of the situation from knowing what is going on. While this also might seem like an extreme example, simply the fact that this is possible must leave you wondering what’s up and what you can do about it.

Luckily, there are tools out there that can help you out. Some tools like Freegate, Gpass and Your Freedom work against these kinds of censorship measures to allow people access to sites they wouldn’t be able to view otherwise. While tools like Tor and UltraSurf work to hide your IP address so your actions are lost in the intertubes. And again, remember that these tools are not perfect. In many ways it’s like an arms race between the tools that work for you and the tools that work against you. It’s only a matter of time before one catches up with the other.

Now that I’ve got you a little paranoid, I say go and check out a few of these tools and see what you think. If all of these online privacy and censorship issues make you a little uncomfortable (as it should!), know that it’s a real issue and that your privacy, identity and access to content online are hot commodities.

What issues have you seen come into play around these issues?

What do you do to protect your control over your online presence?

What tools are missing from the toolbox?

Your paranoid toolbox-er,

Matt



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