Category: privacy and anonymity

May 03 2010

email address images

Adding valid email addresses to web sites is almost always a bad idea these days. Automated ‘bots routinely scan web servers and harvest email addresses for sale to spammers and scammers. And in some cases, email addresses harvested from commercial web sites can be used in targetted social engineering attacks. So, posting your email address …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2010/05/03/email-address-images/

Mar 30 2010

what a user agent says about you

I get lots of odd connections to my servers – particularly to my tor relay. Mostly my firewalls bin the rubbish but my web server logs still show all sorts of junk. Occasionally I get interested (or possibly bored) enough to do more than just scan the logs and I follow up the connection traces …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2010/03/30/what-a-user-agent-says-about-you/

Jan 22 2010

tor server compromise

According to this post by Roger Dingledine, two tor directory servers were compromised recently. In that post Dingledine said: In early January we discovered that two of the seven directory authorities were compromised (moria1 and gabelmoo), along with metrics.torproject.org, a new server we’d recently set up to serve metrics data and graphs. The three servers …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2010/01/22/tor-server-compromise/

Jan 10 2010

are you /really/ sure you want that mobile phone

The launch of the google nexus one “iPhone killer” reminds me just how prescient Dr Fun’s cartoon of 16 January 2006 (see third cartoon down from the top on the right) really was. I just love the way the google employee in the video says at the end that Verizon and Vodafone have “agreed to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2010/01/10/are-you-really-sure-you-want-that-mobile-phone/

Jan 02 2010

using scroogle

For completeness, my post below should have pointed to the scroogle search engine which purportedly allows you to search google without google being able to profile you. Neat idea if you must use google (why?) but it still fails the Hal Roberts test of what to do if the intermediate search engine is prepared to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2010/01/02/using-scroogle/

Jan 02 2010

scroogled

One of the more annoying aspects of the web follows directly from one of its strengths. The web is actually designed to make it easy for authors to cross refer to the work of others – hyperlinking is intended to make linking between documents anywhere in web space seamless and transparent. Unfortunately, this cross linking …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2010/01/02/scroogled/

Dec 12 2009

colossally boneheaded

David Adams over at OS News has posted an interesting commentary on Eric Schmidt’s recent outburst. Referring to Schmidt’s statement which I commented on below, Adams says: I think the portion of that statement that’s sparked the most outrage is the “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2009/12/12/colossally-boneheaded/

Dec 07 2009

privacy is just for criminals

I’ve mentioned before that I value my privacy. I use tor, coupled with a range of other necessary but tedious approaches (such as refusing cookies, blocking ad servers, scrubbing my browser) to provide me with the degree of anonymity I consider my right in an increasingly public world. It is nobody’s business but mine if …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2009/12/07/privacy-is-just-for-criminals/

Oct 28 2009

handbags

It would appear that I may have been unnecessarily concerned about the accuracy of the profiling data held on me by the commercial sites I use. In my inbox today I found the following email from Amazon: “As a valued Amazon.co.uk customer, we thought you might be interested in visiting our website dedicated to shoes …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2009/10/28/handbags/

Jul 05 2009

tor on a vps

I value my privacy – and I dislike the increasing tendency of every commercial website under the sun to attempt to track and/or profile me. Yes, I know all the arguments in favour of advertising, and well targeted advertising at that, but I get tired of the Amazon style approach which assumes that just because …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2009/07/05/tor-on-a-vps/

Sep 12 2008

webanalytics – just say no

I have just built myself a new intel core 2 duo based machine to replace one of my older machines which was beginning to struggle under the load of video transcoding I was placing upon it. The new machine is based on an E8400 and is nice and shiny and fast. Because it is a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2008/09/12/webanalytics-just-say-no/