Don't Fear Internet Anonymity Tools

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by ronjor, Aug 16, 2004.

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  1. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    eWeek
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2006
  2. Dazed_and_Confused

    Dazed_and_Confused Registered Member

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    Agreed. That's precisely why I use Anonymizer for all of my internet surfing needs. ;) All internet traffic (not only browser activity) is routed through their secure server using SSL. For the most part, this is all transparent to the user, except at times it can slow things down to a degree.
     
  3. eyespy4u

    eyespy4u Guest

    Yes but Anonymizer may have already been backdoored by big brother. I wouldn't doubt it, seeing where it is closed source.
     
  4. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    The anonymity tool mentioned in the article, Tor looks interesting but the latest builds are for Linux/Unix only (there is an old one for Windows). However those who use a Linux system as a firewall for their network should certainly consider this as an extra privacy measure.
     
  5. Paranoia_Fan

    Paranoia_Fan Guest

    Hi,Paranoid2000,

    After reading your recommendations in another thread,I downloaded and installed Jap.Very nice.

    Unfortunately,it only listed I.E. as an option for a configurable browser.I wouldn't dream of using I.E.-infact,it has been royally dispatched from the O.S.

    Any means of "forcing" it to work with Firefox?

    Apologies if you've answered that a million times before.Just feed me a link,that'll suffice.

    Many thanks.
     
  6. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    Paranoia_Fan,

    JAP will work with any browser (and since it's Java, with several OSes too). I'm using Opera which is routed via Proxomitron and then JAP. You just need to configure your browser to use a proxy at address 127.0.0.1 port 4001. I believe this is done via Tools/Preferences/Connection using the Manual Proxy Configuration option in Firefox - I'd suggest using these settings for HTTP and HTTPS but leaving FTP to reduce traffic load on JAP (I use a download manager which is configured to bypass JAP for this reason).

    Glad to hear you seem happy with it - do bear in mind that there are multiple mixes available and switching to a different one (Regensburg and Dresden-ULD notably) can get you better performance. Good luck. :)
     
  7. Thanks Paranoid2000.

    I already run Proxomitron,so it's good to hear both can run alongside one another.
    I'll check out the Regensburg and Dresden-ULD "mix".

    Cheers,mate.If you don't mind my saying,I do find the advice you give is accurate.I think you really know your stuff.

    mmmm..hope I don't sound like a cyber-stalker.
     
  8. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    With Proxomitron, you should keep your existing browser proxy settings (127.0.0.1 port 8080) and instead configure Proxomitron to use JAP at 127.0.0.1 port 4001 (Proxomitron's proxy test will report it as unavailable - this can be ignored though). Also consider reconfiguring your firewall to block direct web access by your browser and Proxomitron (only allow them to access JAP) - that way even if you ever come across a web page that manages to fool your browser into making a direct connection (breaking your anonymity), the firewall should block it.

    Also, if you have not already done so, add the OpenSSL DLLs to Proxomitron so it can filter HTTPS traffic (see The Dangers of HTTPS for more details).
    *considers using further anonymising proxies* :D
     
  9. Dazed_and_Confused

    Dazed_and_Confused Registered Member

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    And why should that bother me? o_O
     
  10. eyespy4u

    eyespy4u Guest

    Well why not have a camera put in your living room so the police can watch your every move? After all your not doing anything illegal, right? This has been a concept discussed by government and police.

    While your at it why not allow insurance companies to put a GPS tracking unit on your vehicle, so everywhere you go can be tracked and recorded? For insurance purposes only of course.

    Why not allow random strip searches, of women at airports? You don't have anything to hide, right? Why just limit them to airports?

    And you could also just sit back and allow every product you buy to be tagged with tracking devices, like Walmart is now doing, along with other major retailers. Which are not shut off when you purchase their products.

    Better yet, why not just sign an agreement with the government that states "I hereby agree to give up all my privacy rights to you, because i'm not doing anything wrong or illegal in any way and therefore don't require any privacy from you in any way."

    I'll tell you why, because some of us still value their privacy and realize that no matter what you are doing, as long as it is not illegal in any way, it is no one else's damn business, that's why.

    Some of us don't feel government has the right to collect information on us, without our knowing about it, and keeping those records indefinitely. Why should a government be allowed to collect information on our private lives under the guise of looking for terrorists or law breakers?

    But with the new Victory act looming on the horizon it looks like many more of our freedoms will just be stripped away, again. As if the Patriot act was not enough. So just be prepared to kiss your privacy good bye if your not willing to fight for it. But given the 'who cares' attitude i've seen when it comes to privacy rights, i doubt it many will do much anyway.
     
  11. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    eyespy4u,

    Good point. If the government is going to take away my privacy, they should at least make me famous. Preferably rich and famous. That would be a fair trade: Privacy for Wealth and Fame.
     
  12. Dazed_and_Confused

    Dazed_and_Confused Registered Member

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    Personally, I don't have a problem with any of that. :eek: You've been watching too many late-night movies. :D And I don't think that in general my government goes around spying on the public using terrorist hunting as an excuse. But you of course have no proof that any of this is happening, so why worry about protecting yourself from something that might not (and in my opinion, probably not) even be happening!

    I also have no reason to fear any governmental agency. I do, however, have real reason to fear the criminal element. Criminals WE KNOW are everywhere, and they don't make any excuses as to why they do what they do. I don't think most people here install security apps to protect them from City Hall. Anonymizer protects me from REAL threats. I'm not going to lose any sleep over hypothetical ones.

    I don't want to get OT, and I don't want to offend anyone, but IMO someone who fears their own government officials to that degree might consider moving to a different country.
     
  13. eyespy4u

    eyespy4u Guest

    Dazed_and_Confused

    First i would just like to say that in no way am i attempting to start a flame war with you in any way. We're just discussing things like mature adults, right? So please take no personal offense to any of my comments.

    Please excuse me if my speech is somewhat garbled after your response, it is rather difficult to talk when my jaw is on the floor. I can't believe you have no problems with any of the losses of privacy i just mentioned, i guess i'm the one who's a little 'dazed and confused' now.

    If you really have no problems with signing off all your privacy rights to your government officials, then perhaps it is you who should be living in another country, a communist one perhaps? This is the land of the free (USA), well it used to be, but it is still a country where our personal freedoms matter and should be taken seriously.

    I do not fear my government, but i do keep a vigilant eye on their activities and do my best to stay aware of any possible infringement upon our personal freedoms.

    I will not turn this into a political discussion here, but would just like to add, that i am glad that there are others like myself that do care for our privacy rights, because without people who care about our freedoms we would probably end up not too different than those other nations where they have almost none.
     
  14. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    May I please refer anyone who agrees with this statement to the European Parliament ECHELON Report. This should at the very least provide food for thought on privacy issues. (Edit: Phew! Should've checked that monster document in detail first! Start at page 102 for examples of industrial espionage and page 133 for the conclusion. Overall it deals more with the possibility/potential of ECHELON and industrial espionage rather than individual privacy issues).
    Even if this were this case, you still have the possibility of mis-identification and government incompetence (see The wrong stuff: what it takes to be a TSA terror suspect for some examples).
    Replace the word "criminal" with "communist" and relive the joys of the McCarthy period.
    To be honest, I'd lose less sleep over website x knowing my real IP address than I would over having my entire browsing history available for casual scrutiny by my ISP or any legal/quasi-legal (think MPAA/RIAA) entity.
    An understandable point - but one which does indicate a misplaced confidence in the US government. Please bear in mind that bodies like the FBI have been involved in abuses of power before - and the maxim "Power Corrupts". When legislation is passed granting law enforcement new powers without corresponding checks and balances, then everyone should be concerned.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2004
  15. Dazed_and_Confused

    Dazed_and_Confused Registered Member

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    If my government were spying on me for malicious reasons, I would be concerned. If, however, they are monitoring the net for security reasons, I'm OK with that. I really fail to see how that can hurt me. However, those with anti-government views like Ted Kazinsky (sp?) seem to be the ones killing innocent people, not the government.

    Hello, P2K. :)

    I would only agree with the above statement if I were illegally downloading songs. I'm not a criminal, so I have nothing to fear from benevolant governmantal oversight. That's why I us Anonymizer. Protection from criminals. I appreciate 24 x 7 security, even from my government.
     
  16. Ronin

    Ronin Guest

    LOL, love the politics.

    But dazed strikes me as very naive. I suppose she has no problems with letting city hall digitally tracking everything she does in her life as long as the government swears they will use it only for good! :)

    Even the best government is the world will have some bad apples .....
     
  17. Dazed_and_Confused

    Dazed_and_Confused Registered Member

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    If I wanted to (and I don't), I could legally track the physical comings and goings of any person I wanted to. What stores they frequent; their favorite restaurants, bars, friends, etc. I could even take pictures, as long as I do from a public place. Private investigators do it every day for a living. Now a person could take steps to hide their tracks - movie stars try to do this stuff daily to hide from that papparazzi (sp?). I'm sure the government could do the same thing. What steps do you take to ensure a government official (The so-called bad apples in the Police, FBI, City Hall) is not tracking what churches you attend; whatsporting events you frequent, etc? Probably none, right? Because they probably don't care AT ALL about what your doing. Why is your concern on the internet so different?? What are you so concerned about hidingo_O :eek:

    If you had a completely unprotected PC, would you worry more about:

    A: Government - As if they really cared about you., unless there is something your not telling me... :rolleyes:
    B: Criminals - With an unprotected PC, you would be infected / hacked in no time. :(

    I think most would select B.

    That is why Anonymizer fits my needs perfectly. (Notice how I cleverly added that last comment to bring this post back OT :D ).
     
  18. dangitall

    dangitall Registered Member

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    Waco? Ruby Ridge?

    I side with Paranoid2000, Ronin and eyespy4u: I am actually concerned more about governmental interference with my privacy rights than I am with the activities of criminal elements online. Why? Because the latter I can do something about. I do not have the resources or ability to protect myself from Big Brother, but this does not mean that I make it easier for them by using Anonymizer, which was developed with input and funding by the CIA.

    Perhaps William Pitt put it best: "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
     
  19. Dazed_and_Confused

    Dazed_and_Confused Registered Member

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    Unbelieveable. I forgot the citizens involved in these cases were not criminals, but pillars of the community. Get real. :rolleyes: I surely hope you have better examples.

    I'm talking about threats. Anonymizer protects you from REAL threats. Using anonymizer in NO way interferes with your privacy rights. My use of Anonymizer WILL surely have an impact on my privacy, but will NOT impact my privacy RIGHTS. Those rights are given to you by laws written by the elected officials that you seem to fear. Cell Phones are notorious targets for evesdroppers. I'll bet you've even used one. :rolleyes:

    The question I still have is WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?? How is "Big Brother's" vieweing your surfing habits going to hurt you, as if they really cared. When I go to a professional sporting event, many times they have cameras at all entrances recording all who enter. But I'll bet you go in freely. As if the folks working those cameras are all saints, right?

    My point is Anonymizer protects you from real threats. We know from statistics that criminals do exist. Why should I worry about the CHANCE that my government might be watching where I surf.
     
  20. dangitall

    dangitall Registered Member

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    How many children died at Waco, and what crime had Weaver's 14 year-old son commited that he had to die?

    I neither own nor use a cell phone. I surf to no illegal, illicit or objectionable sites, and I haven't been to a Patriots game in 15 (or more) years. However, I am concerned with the steady erosion of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

    More years ago than I care to remember, I swore an oath to defend our country and its Constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Even though I've long since left the service, that oath still binds me. I would fight for my country ... but for a government I no longer trust? No, I don't think so.

    I am sure that Anonymizer does the job you want it to do and, if you are satisfied with that, I'm happy for you. I just cannot bring myself to trust a privacy service with such close ties to a governmental intelligence agency, especially in these days of the Patriot Act.

    "I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." - James Madison
     
  21. Dazed_and_Confused

    Dazed_and_Confused Registered Member

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    That was a tragedy. But it's a tragedy when people die that are used as human shields in wartime. Is it the fault of the bomb that these human shields died? Or maybe the fault of those that put them into that situation? People need to take some responsiblity for their actions and stop acting like victims all the time.

    But let me make my final comment in this thread by saying considering your fear of govermental entities, I can understand why you might not use Anonymizer. I wish you the best of luck. :)
     
  22. luv2bsecure

    luv2bsecure Infrequent Poster

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    Anonymizer has no ties whatsoever to any governmental agency. None. Maybe you are confusing Anonymizer with SafeWeb which was heavily invested in by In-Q-Tel - which is the tech investment arm of the CIA.

    Just wanted to clear that up. Anonymizer is run by Lance Cottrell - a huge privacy advocate from way back.
    http://www.privacytest.org/advice/bio.shtml

    I agree with your sentiment though about our rapidly eroding rights to privacy in America.

    John
    Luv2BSecure
     
  23. eyespy4u

    eyespy4u Guest

    Hi Luv2bsecure

    I realize you are an expert on web proxies from reading your past posts, and do respect your opinion, but my question to you is, how can you be so sure that Anonymizer has not been backdoored by the Feds? When just about every other organization (phone comanies, banks, libraries, ect...) is now basically required to drop everything and supply the Feds with just about any information the they want about you, and these organizations are not required to notify you in any way. So what is so special about Anonymizer? What is it that would exempt them from similar oversight by the Feds or other governmental agencies?
     
  24. luv2bsecure

    luv2bsecure Infrequent Poster

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    Very good question.

    I trust Lance Cottrell. He was talking computer privacy (with a passion) before most people ever heard of a "desktop computer" or the "Internet"......I say this in response to your question about backdoors in Anonymizer. If you knew Lance, you would know he's the last person who would succumb to pressure - especially from the government to actually "rig" his Anonymizer. He nearly single-handedly defeated Clinton's notorious Clipper Chip.

    Remember, I'm talking about cooperation and true backdoors.

    Law Enforcement has always had the powers to get a subpoena and get information that is available [that's a key] from any ISP. Those powers were broadened in the Patriot Act. However, several companies moved to eliminate all logs within 24-48 hours after surfing. They can't get what they don't have. However, with that said, along comes the FBI's "Carnivore" DCS-1000 packet sniffer with the force of federal law that says it must be implemented by any and all ISP's asked to do so on particular customers. That would include Anonymizer. There is nothing that could be done about that. However, requests for Carnivore use is not nearly as widespread as log requests.

    With all that said, Dazed and Confused is right about one thing: You probably need to be up to some real serious you-know-what to get a Carnivore request. If it's serious stuff you're doing - anonymous chained proxies and all the other slow and nerdy ways to escape attention comes into play. That's where these days, with the serious threats facing our country from radical Islam - I quit playing. And quit helping.

    John
    Luv2BSecure

    .
     
  25. dangitall

    dangitall Registered Member

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    My apologies to Lance Cottrell, Dazed and Confused and Luv2BSecure for the error, but I could've sworn that I'd read that it was Anonymizer that was tied to the CIA. Hmmm ... once again time to check my assumptions, I guess.

    Thank you, John, for having cleared that up.
     
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