Introductions to privacy, security and anonymity

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by spongepipe, Jun 3, 2009.

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  1. spongepipe

    spongepipe Registered Member

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    Hi there!

    I found this forum the other day, whilst trying to find out more info on how I can protect myself online. It's been quite informative, but I'm still very patchy with regard to knowing 'the basics' and what I need to know as a bare minimum.

    I've tried to look for adequate explanations and guides that would give me an introduction to these areas, but am struggling - can anybody offer their suggestions?

    By the sound of things, I would like to use a VPN service, but I don't know what to look for when choosing a service. I'm in the UK, I blog on some occasionally sensitive issues and I don't trust my ISP to not reveal my identity to the local dog catcher, let alone anybody else. Plus, I just think that the idea that my ISP records all my traffic is beyond the pale.

    I'd like to be able to protect all of my home network, not just one system.

    On top of this, I'm on a bit of a shoestring - what's the difference between some of the fairly expensive services I've seen advertised ($15-25+ per month) and some of the (much) cheaper ones ($5-10)? What's the difference between a VPN and an SSH tunnel? What's SOCKS? What's the difference between a shared and dedicated IP (what advantage is there to using a dedicated IP?)?

    Finally, I've seen a couple of services that look affordable and perhaps offer what I want. Does anybody have any comments about them?

    metropipe.net
    prq.se/?p=tunnel&intl=1
    findnot.com (seems to be down at the moment)
    purevpn.com
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
  2. SteveTX

    SteveTX Registered Member

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    Oh, read this. It will help you discover the questions to compare the VPN providers. Anonymity Myth #2: Anonymity is the same no matter where it comes from.

    Also, discover the difference between anonymity and privacy. There are only 3 or 4 anonymity providers on the net, all other services are merely providing privacy. Anonymity Myth #5: Privacy is the same as Anonymity And none of those 4 you listed are anonymity providers.

    To cut to the chase, the anonymity providers are krypto hippie (friends), jondos (good but slow), and xerobank (the team I'm on).
    Metropipe is not a multi-hop service. PRQ is a joke, and is simply relakks / pirates, and is not anonymous at all and super leaky. Findnot is a vpn provider that is unstable and relies on security through obscurity, single hop. purevpn is another fly-by-night. If they don't have security researchers working on their team, you can safely assume your information is exposed somewhere, because this is not simple stuff, anonymity is a young science and is easy to lose if your provider isn't doing a lot of upkeep every day.

    cheap services are cheap and will give you privacy but not anonymity. KH is fantastic, kind of expensive but i heard they will be doing a pay-as-you-go service. Jondos is slow and is not a vpn, browser only. xerobank is fast, full vpn, and works on all your machines at the same time, but is $35 per month currently.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
  3. chronomatic

    chronomatic Registered Member

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    Look into Tor. Basically it can provide the best possible anonymity, but it can be slow. However, for basic HTTP applications it would work well.
     
  4. spongepipe

    spongepipe Registered Member

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    I've looked in to Tor and it's way too slow and unreliable for my needs.

    It seems to be that the methods available can be applied proportionally to the needs of the application - I mean, if I was a Chinese subversive, I would perhaps expect that I'd want a service that fully protected me from the attentions of the Chinese government, or if I was a downloader, I'd want to hide myself from the attention of US or EU civil legal institutions.

    But I'm in the UK and I only really want to use it for blogging critically about local issues - I don't feel that I need to be protected from the attention of, say, national government authorities. I'm sure that my blog, if it was in the US, would be protected by the US Constitution, which should prevent any unwanted attention from local authorities trying to make enquiries, shouldn't it? In that instance, I'd be fine with a service that presents me to the world as being in the US, wouldn't I?
     
  5. spongepipe

    spongepipe Registered Member

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    I've decided I'll try out the PRQ service. My only reservation is that it is EU-based.
     
  6. stap0510

    stap0510 Registered Member

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    Being EU-based is not a good sign, let me tell you that my friend.
    You know that data-retention is a hot item now within the entire EU?
    You know that later this year The Netherlands will put a law in power that will force every Dutch ISP to do data-retention for 6 month or so?

    Were you aware of such facts?
     
  7. spongepipe

    spongepipe Registered Member

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    Well, yes... Here in the UK, we already have data retention for 12 months on all communications data.

    My understanding of PRQ's service however, is that they do not log IPs for connections to their VPN service (as I understand it, Sweden's data retention law still does not require it to log IPs, which is something that the EU is challenging the Swedish government about?). I am perfectly happy for them to keep a record of my payment to them for their services - I don't care who sees that I am paying to keep my activities private, just so long as I have my privacy. I'm not about to give it up to a bunch of bureacrats just because they say so!
     
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