Category: privacy and anonymity

more password stupidity

password generator

A recent exchange of email with an old friend gave me cause to revisit on-line password/passphrase generators. I cannot for the life of me imagine why anyone would actually use such a thing, but there are a surprisingly large number out there. On the upside, most of these now seem to use TLS encrypted connections …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2019/07/15/more-password-stupidity/

add my name to the list

At the tail end of last year, Crispin Robinson and Ian Levy of GCHQ published a co-authored essay on “suggested” ways around the “going dark problem” that strong encryption in messaging poses Agencies such as GCHQ and its (foreign) National equivalents. In that essay, the authors were at pains to state that they were not …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2019/07/10/add-my-name-to-the-list/

openvpn clients on pfsense

In my 2017 article on using OpenVPN on a SOHO router I said: “In testing, I’ve found that using a standard OpenVPN setup (using UDP as the transport) has only a negligible impact on my network usage – certainly much less than using Tor.” That was true back then but is unfortunately not so true …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2019/07/07/openvpn-clients-on-pfsense/

one unbound and you are free

I have written about my use of OpenVPN in several posts in the past, most latterly in May 2017 in my note about the Investigatory Powers (IP) Bill. In that post I noted that all the major ISPs would be expected to log all their customers’ internet connectivity and to retain such logs for so …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2019/06/26/one-unbound-and-you-are-free/

re-encrypting trivia

Back in June 2015 I decided to force all connections to trivia over TLS rather than allow plain unencrypted connections. I decided to do this for the obvious reason that it was (and still is) a “good thing” (TM). In my view, all transactions over the ‘net should be encrypted, preferably using strong cyphers offering …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2018/07/07/re-encrypting-trivia/

multilingual chat

XKCD cartoon about multiple chat systems

I use email fairly extensively for my public communication but I use XMPP (with suitable end-to-end encryption) for my private, personal communication. And I use my own XMPP server to facilitate this. But as I have mentioned in previous posts my family and many of my friends insist on using proprietary variants of this open …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2017/10/14/multilingual-chat/

a letter to our dear home secretary

Dear Amber So,”real people” don’t care about privacy? All they really want is ease of use and a pretty GUI so that they can chat to all their friends on-line? Only “the enemy” (who is that exactly anyway?) needs encryption? Excuse me for asking, but what have you been smoking? Does the Home Office know …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2017/08/02/a-letter-to-our-dear-home-secretary/

using a VPN to take back your privacy

network diagram

With the passage into law of the iniquitous Investigatory Powers (IP) Bill in the UK at the end of November last year, it is way past time for all those who care about civil liberties in this country to exercise their right to privacy. The new IP Act permits HMG and its various agencies to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2017/05/12/using-a-vpn-to-take-back-your-privacy/

free Dmitry Bogatov

Dmitry Bogatov, aka KAction, is a Russian free software activist and mathematics teacher at Moscow’s Finance and Law University. He was arrested in Russia on 6 April of this year and charged with extremism. He is currently held in a pre-trial detention centre, and is apparently likely to remain there until early June at least, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2017/04/27/free-dmitry-bogatov/

pwned

I recently received a spam email to one of my email addresses. In itself this is annoying, but not particularly interesting or that unusual (despite my efforts to avoid such nuisances). What was unusual was the form of the address because it contained a username I have not used in a long time, and only …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2017/03/18/pwned/

show me yours

As Theresa May moves from the Home Office to Number 10, it is perhaps timely to reflect on public attitudes to surveillance as evidenced in Liberty’s campaign film “Show me yours” in April of this year. In the film (shown below), comedian Olivia Lee pursues members of the public with the intention of taking details …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2016/07/13/show-me-yours/

jibber jabber

For some time mow I have been increasingly fed up with the poor service offered by SMS on my mobile phone. I’m not a hugely prolific sender of text messages, and those I do send are primarily aimed at my wife and kids, but when I do send them, I expect them to get there, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2016/03/30/jibber-jabber/

guest network

Last month Troy Hunt posted an interesting comment on his blog about the problems around the etiquette of allowing guests onto your home wifi network. In his post, Hunt notes that guests can be deeply offended at being refused access. This is understandable. If they are guests in your home then they are probably close …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2016/01/24/guest-network/

sign this now

I am a paying member of both Amnesty International and the Open Rights Group. Both those organisations, along with many other Civil Rights organisations, technology companies and concerned individuals are signatories to an open letter to Governments across the world demanding that we retain the right to strong encryption in order to protect our privacy. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2016/01/11/sign-this-now/

idiotic

Today’s Register has an article about the UK Internet Service Providers Association written evidence to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill. I don’t wish to comment on that evidence here, Adrian Kennard has already provided much useful comment on the failings of the Draft Bill. My purpose in this post to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2016/01/07/idiotic/

knees and other jerks

On sunday, the motherboard intially reported that, in the wake of the Paris atrocities of November 13th, the French Government was proposing to ban Tor and free WiFi. As it turns out, this is not strictly accurate. The report was later corrected – thus: Correction: The initial headline and copy of this article suggested that …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2015/12/08/knees-and-other-jerks/