Category: privacy and anonymity

gpg key upgrade

Following a recent discussion about gpg key signing on my local linux user group email list, one of the members pointed out that several of us (myself included) were using rather old 1024-bit DSA GPG keys with SHA-1 hashes. He recommended that such users should upgrade to keys with a minimum size of 2048 bits …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/07/20/gpg-key-upgrade/

fail

My new bank (which is actually one of the few remaining mutuals in the UK) sent me my voting forms for the AGM today (by postal mail). The information pack included details of how to vote on-line should I choose to do so, together with two unique “voting codes” one of eight digits the other …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/06/19/fail/

tor abuse

I have been running at least one tor exit node for about three years now. Over that period I have occasionally had to move provider following one or more abuse reports. Most ISPs like the quiet life, and you can’t really blame them for not wanting the hassle of dealing with complaints from other ISPs …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/05/22/tor-abuse/

stallman likes sharing

The guardian’s series on internet freedoms (or otherwise) continues today with an article by Richard Stallman on the kindle and ebook publishing. Stallman makes a point I’d missed in my own commentary on the kindle when he says: “Many other habits that readers are accustomed to are not allowed for ebooks. With the Amazon Kindle, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/04/18/stallman-likes-sharing/

battle for the internet

This week the guardian, my newspaper of choice, is running a week long series of articles under the theme “battle for the internet“. The reporting looks set to be interesting and is due to cover the following themes: “the militarisation of cyberspace”, “the new walled gardens”, “IP wars”, “civilising the web”, “open resistance”, and (doomladen …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/04/17/battle-for-the-internet/

this video is private

I have just tried to (re)view a youtube video I last looked at a couple of weeks ago from a link that a friend sent me in an email. On clicking the link I got the message: “This video is private. If the owner of this video has granted you access, please log in.” On …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/03/31/this-video-is-private/

that didn’t take long

My last post contained two (non-existent) email addresses in my baldric domain in the extract from my postfix logs. As I said in the post, I had edited the log entry specifically to mask real details. Yesterday, only four days after that post, I received spam email attempts at those addresses. As I have said …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/03/29/that-didnt-take-long/

moxie’s proxy

image of googlesharing proxy

Moxie Marlinspike, a security researcher probably best known for his SSL proxy tool, likes google even less than I do. His googlesharing website says: “Google thrives where privacy does not. If you’re like most internet users, Google knows more about you than you might be comfortable with. Whether you were logged in to a Google …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/01/22/moxies-proxy/

and darkness shall be upon the face of the net

image of the wikipedia blackout page

Today, 18 January 2012, parts of the ‘net went deliberately dark in combined opposition to the SOPA (A Bill to:“promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.” I love the “other purposes” bit.) and PIPA bills currently being considered by the US legislative machinery. These two …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/01/18/and-darkness-shall-be-upon-the-face-of-the-net/

t-mobile resets its policy?

As I have mentioned in other posts here, I run my own mail server on one of my VMs. I do this for a variety of reasons, but the main one is that I like to control my own network destiny. Back in October last year I noticed an interesting change in my mail experience …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/01/12/t-mobile-resets-its-policy/

the amnesic incognito live system

Or “tails” if you prefer, is a live CD/USB distribution based on debian which aims to help you preserve your privacy and anonymity when out and about. As the home website says, tails helps you to: use the Internet anonymously almost anywhere you go and on any computer: all connections to the Internet are forced …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/12/20/the-amnesic-incognito-live-system/

tp-link respond

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the problems I had with a TP-Link IP camera. Today I received a comment on that post from a guy called Luke in the TP-Link support team. In that response he apologises for the difficulties I had and promises to investigate further. His response deserves as wide …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/11/30/tp-link-respond/

no you can’t have my mobile number

image of facebook login page

I guess, like me, many parents will have facebook accounts simply as a means of communicating with their kids. In the past I have used my account as a way of finding out what my kids actually do, or like in the way of music for example. This can be more fruitful than attempting a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/11/23/no-you-cant-have-my-mobile-number/

google buys advertising

In an interesting reverse of the norm, google paid for three full page adverts in the guardian a couple of days ago. Today there is yet another full page ad in the same paper. I assume they have run similar campaigns in other UK newspapers over the past few days, The ads are quite intriguing …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/11/23/google-buys-advertising/

do not buy one of these

image of TP-Link IP camera

  Standalone IP cameras have come down in price quite remarkably over the past few years. It is now perfectly possible to get a camera for between £50.00 and £75.00, and this makes them attractive for anyone wanting to set up simple “home surveillance” systems. I bought one recently just to see what I could …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/11/16/do-not-buy-one-of-these/

do I trust this site?

image of SSL certificate view

Following a visit to EFF to read an article on e-book privacy, I met this: So. EFF uses a wildcard SSL cert issued by a company which was breached earlier this year.

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/11/09/do-i-trust-this-site/

I have a policy

As I have said in many posts in the past, I care about my privacy. I also care about yours. Ironically however, I have not until now codified exactly what I mean by that, nor have I identified what I will or will not do to protect your privacy. This seems to me a little …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/10/11/i-have-a-policy/

irony is not dead

Installing counterize to analyse trivia’s logs has been instructive. I now know that some of my most visited pages are consistently those of a “how-to” nature (in particular, those about postfix, dovecot and, strangely, reflashing the old BT home hub). In many ways this is satisfying since one of the objectives of this blog is …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/03/29/irony-is-not-dead/

click here

The Cory Doctorow article referenced at the end of the post below mentions URL shorteners as potentially dangerous because they completely obscure the actual URL you will be taken to if you click them. By way of experiment I thought I’d post one here just to see how often it is used.

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/01/23/click-here/

damn, I think I got hit by a 419er

I am normally pretty careful about my on-line security and privacy. I take a lot of care to ensure that my home network is nailed down tightly and all the clients and servers on it are also nailed down as well as I know how. I don’t use software which is susceptible to the majority …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/01/23/damn-i-think-i-got-hit-by-a-419er/

google opt out village

The Onion News Network reports: This is not satire……

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/10/09/google-opt-out-village/

it’s not that I’m anti google

I’m just pro privacy. And google just happens to be one of the worst offendors when it comes to breaches of my privacy. El Reg yesterday ran an article pointing to the consumerwatchdog.org ad depicting Eric Schmidt as a “privacy pervert”. Deliciously, that ad is hosted on youtube. But consumerwatchdog have long campaigned about google’s …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/09/04/its-not-that-im-anti-google/

phone home

image of etherape capture

Google’s chrome browser first appeared back in 2008, since when many commentators have sung its praises. Apparently it is “blindingly fast” (well, let’s face it firefox can be a tad slow, particularly if loaded down with a swathe of plugins) “clean”, and “simple”. Until recently I had not tried chrome (for some fairly obvious reasons) …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/08/29/phone-home/

update to autossh – or how ServerAliveInterval makes this unnecessary

I had a couple of comments on my earlier post about autossh which suggested that I should look at alternative mechanisms for keeping my ssh tunnel up. Rob in particular suggested that setting “ServerAliveInterval” should work. Oddly I had tried this in the past whilst trying out various configuration options and I swear it didn’t …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/08/27/update-to-autossh-or-how-serveraliveinterval-makes-this-unnecessary/