Web based anonymizers

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by eyespy, Sep 1, 2002.

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  1. eyespy

    eyespy Registered Member

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    I've noticed quite a few web based anonymizers are now available. I've also read that some of these anonymizers are unsecure.
    Can anybody here recommend a "web based" anonymizer?
    And what might some of the unsecure anonymizers be ??
    I am starting this thread because their hasn't been a lot of postings regarding this topic !!

    bill ;)
     
  2. b glazer

    b glazer Guest

  3. eyespy

    eyespy Registered Member

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    Glazer,
    Most of that string deals with "proxy software" and a minor mention of "Anonymizer.Com". But comments about Anonymizer.com and other anonymizers are the sort of comments I was hoping to see !
    bill ;)
     
  4. Paul Wilders

    Paul Wilders Administrator

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    Well Bill, here you are ;)

    If my memory doesn't play tricks on me, anonymizer.com has been known for having a close relation with the USA Gov. in the near past.

    Apart from that, since I don't have any info on how the info that passes through for example anonymizer will be handled, personally I do have hesitations.

    Since I don't care one bit personally in regard of being anonymous, it's not my expertise - other might jump in.

    regards.

    paul
     
  5. MickeyTheMan

    MickeyTheMan Security Expert

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    Paul, my sentiments exactly the same.
    People want to be anonymous, but then send all info to one centralized server !
    Hardly seems logical to me to put all eggs in one basket.
    In the name of being anonymous, you loose all of it.

    ADDED : Just noticed my keyboard had been acting up again and had made all kinds of spelling mistakes wich i've just corrected ! ;)
     
  6. UNICRON

    UNICRON Technical Expert

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    luv2Bsecure is one of the more knowledgable guys around here on the subject.
     
  7. eyespy

    eyespy Registered Member

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    That makes sense !
    So a proxy would be better than a "web based anonymizer". I've read that some "web based anonymizers" were unsecure.
    So Proxo or Naviscope will do ?

    ty
    bill ;)
     
  8. Checkout

    Checkout Security Rhinoceros

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    Time to resurrect Cerberus... (smile)
     
  9. luv2bsecure

    luv2bsecure Infrequent Poster

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    I received an email asking for advice on this subject. One with a myriad of opinions. (surprise!)....I'll try to make this comprehensive so that the bases are covered.

    Anonymizing Services: There is only ONE that I would trust and I would trust it with my life. Anonymizer.com ... I read Paul's post and he was thinking it was Anonymizer that had the USA govt. connections. Actually, Paul, that was SafeWeb...that after many denials finally admitted that they were funded - in part - by the CIA's venture capital arm IN-Q-Tel. You can find many articles about this on the web, but here is a good one:
    http://archive.nandotimes.com/technology/story/0,1643,500311964-500502084-503543949-0,00.html At any rate, they couldn't handle all the bad publicity and they quit offering the free anonymizing service. They ended up licensing their technology to PrivaSec - a company with a checkered past - which shows now - by seeing who they are promoting on their website at:
    http://www.privasec.com/ and looking on the right side of the page. THAT tells you a lot. Anyway, those who felt the CIA was using SafeWeb for covert purposes got a boost to their theories when it was discovered there was a serious flaw in the SafeWeb technology. They had said the CIA had gone over it with a fine-tooth comb. Well, yes, they probably did and ended up with this on purpose:
    http://www.wired.com/news/infostructure/0,1377,50371,00.html
    So that's the SafeWeb story in a nutshell and a perfect example of the dangers of any kind of "service".....

    But Anonymizer? Lance Cottrell is a crypto pro and recognized as one of the best. He is also active in the computer privacy movement in America. In fact, Lance wrote the MIXMASTER remailing program before launching Anonymizer back in 1995 or 96. Anonymizer offers a "tunneling" service that is VERY secure. It's a hundred dollars a year ($9 a month - a real steal if you ask me) and he gives you the software you must use with tunneling for free. (F-Secure). The basic anonymous browsing and email plan is $29.95 a year. I will close this email with a bio of Lance cottrell to give you an idea of who is behind those servers.

    Anonymous Proxies: This CAN be a good (and free) option. It requires more work because you must find the anonymous proxies and then test them to make sure they are TRULY anonymous. Many look anonymous at first glance, but simply are not. There are some kind souls who update every few hours the anonymous proxies working at the time and their level of anonymity and post the server info on a website. Here is an excellent example:
    http://www.samair.ru/xwww/proxy.htm
    You then just plug the info into your browser under LAN INFORMATION and check "Use a Proxy server" Then just cruise over to: http://www.a861.com/cgi-bin/test-env.pl and it will check all variables to make sure you are actually now browsing anonymously.

    However, one problem with anonymous proxy servers - just as in the services, the proxy servers keep logs and they log wherever you go and they have your IP number. They are only blocking it from others. So you actually have the same problem as you do with the services, except they have no reason to not give out information where an Anonymizer.com is dedicated to privacy. With a proxy server, it doesn't take a lot to call the administrator and ask who logged in and was using their server as a proxy at 12:15 p.m. and visited www.freetibet.com ..... Adding a piece of software called Proxomitron gives you an added level of security and can also enable your browsing, emails, usenet and ftp to be anonymized (much like the "tunneling" from Anonymizer)..

    If using anonymous proxies, don't hesitate to "chain" them if you are really browsing sensitive sites (from China for example where there are harsh penalties for visiting certain political sites. Or whatever) You can use a proxy and then chain it with Google (believe it or not!)......Just add the URL after the = at the end of http://translate.google.com/translate_c?hl=en&u= and you have a double-chained proxy. You can triple chain and so forth. It depends on your level of serious eavesdropping or your level of paranoia I suppose. I have at times used only the Google translation proxy and felt perfectly safe. Try the link above and after the = in the Google address go to www.ipchicken.com and - presto - you see another IP -- not yours -- right? That's how it works.

    Utilizing Socks makes things even safer - but this is long enough already. If interested, put "proxy socks" in Google. (Now you know it's getting late!)

    Other anonymizing services are out there - ReWebber with a good one, Iweb, SeigeSoft just went under, and there's others, but I only know Anonymizer on a personal level by understanding the quality of work and the passion of Lance Cottrell on issues of Internet Privacy.

    I know this was long, I am sorry. But, I hope it has helped with a general overview of your two real options in browsing anonymously (or if not with anonymity, then at least with privacy - and there is a BIG difference).

    I am writing a GnomeTome on this topic of anonymous browsing and when it's released at LockerGnome, I hope you give it some consideration. :)

    That's all - sorry again for the length. (I know I am going to catch you-know-what from Checkout.)

    John
    Luv2BSecure
     
  10. luv2bsecure

    luv2bsecure Infrequent Poster

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    I forgot to give you Lance Cottrell's bio - it goes a long way toward letting you know who the face is behind Anonymizer (pardon the pun) - if you are so inclined in that direction. - John

    Lance Cottrell, the president and founder of Anonymizer.com, is one of the world's top experts in the fields of cryptography, security, and online privacy technologies. Cottrell founded Anonymizer.com in 1997 while pursuing his Ph.D. in Astrophysics at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of Mixmaster, the world's most secure and widely-used anonymous remailer. He was also part of the DigiCash API design team and has extensive experience with conventional and anonymous online payment systems.

    In addition to his technical expertise, Lance Cottrell is a leading champion of privacy rights. Through the Anonymizer he established the Kosovo Privacy Project, which allowed individuals to report on conditions and human rights violations from within the war zone without fear of government retaliation. The project received tremendous media attention and emphatic support from Internet users everywhere.

    Cottrell is a frequent speaker at major industry conferences including Comdex; the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference; the OECD; and the upcoming Global Privacy Summit.

    Cottrell holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master's degree in Astrophysics from the University of California, San Diego, where he left the Ph.D. program to focus his efforts on establishing the Anonymizer as the leader among Internet privacy providers.

     
  11. Checkout

    Checkout Security Rhinoceros

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    No - what you get is a karma cookie for an excellent post. :)
     
  12. eyespy

    eyespy Registered Member

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    John,
    excellent post as usual !
    I bow at your feet !!
    ty
    bill :D
     
  13. luv2bsecure

    luv2bsecure Infrequent Poster

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    Ahhh.... Bill and Checkout, you're too kind. Checkout, I seriously was thinking of you as I realized how lengthy it was becoming. Not in a bad way mind you! I just know you have a gift for brevity and are an excellent writer. I was thinking "I'll hear about this!!" Of course, I knew it would be in a good-natured ribbing way, but hey, it's good to remember Usage Rule 17! ;)

    John
    Luv2BSecure
     
  14. Checkout

    Checkout Security Rhinoceros

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    :) I'll have to send you a story and see if you still think so afterwards...
     
  15. luv2bsecure

    luv2bsecure Infrequent Poster

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    Hey Checkout!

    Shoot the story my way.
    I'm always up for a well-spun yarn!!
    IM or email - either one.

    John
    Luv2BSecure
     
  16. Checkout

    Checkout Security Rhinoceros

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    Will do. :)

    Have done. Check your inbox!
     
  17. srfox

    srfox Registered Member

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    I am now using Anonymizer and so far I like it, excerpt that I can't use it while in my yahoo account, although when I turn it off yahoo is back as it was. I really like this feature of being able to turn it off, then on. It was exactly what I was looking for and now that I know something of the man behind this I am more than pleased. I have a question for you. Many people travel a lot and we shouldn't really trust cafe internet access. Now, all of my email is web based. What can I use to secure look at my email while traveling and not leave any traces behind?
     
  18. Pol Pot

    Pol Pot Guest

    www.anonymizer.com is the best I've used. It's $29.95 per year and well worth it. Go to their site and read for yourself----they've been around for quite a while.
    pp
     
  19. srfox

    srfox Registered Member

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    I found another interesting attribute to Anonymizer.com, i.e., I can log in and use the remote Anonymizer in one window while having a regular window up as well. Since I now have a licensed version of it, I can use this feature and I am exploring some of their other options and software as well. All in All an excellent piece of software.
     
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