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Category Archives: Internet privacy

Conversion to SSL

The change should be transparent, but this blog has switched over to SSL, or “secure sockets layer,” protocol. You might have noticed that your URL window now says “https:” rather than “http:”. Depending on the browser you use, you may also see a padlock icon with the URL. SSL uses encryption to improve the security […]

Why I went back to Firefox

Unwanted video was the last straw. Few things are more irksome than going to a web site and having a grating and useless video start playing. It’s increasingly common. Unwanted video slows everything down. And if you’re on a cellular or satellite connection, unwanted video eats up your data faster than anything. As far as […]

The new pop-ups and how to defeat them

Remember pop-ups and how obnoxious they were? Then we all got pop-up blockers. But the war wasn’t over. Using Javascript, the anti-social brats who code web pages came up with a new way to assert domination over us: “overlays,” also called “modal windows.” With an overlay, a new window opens up, everything behind it turns […]

Everyday security and the criminal economy

Wikipedia commons Once upon a time, if a thug wanted to take your money, he pretty much had to be close enough to hold a gun on you. Not anymore. These days, somebody halfway around the world can steal from you. Estimates of the size of the global criminal economy approach $1 trillion a year, […]

New leak tells us what we already knew: Google is evil

From an NSA presentation leaked by Edward Snowden Bloggers at the Washington Post have reported on an important new leak by Edward Snowden. This one reveals that the National Security Agency uses Google cookies to identify and target computers on the Internet. This should surprise no one, but we need all the information we can […]

Sousveillance?

Source: Stephanie Mann, age 6, via Wikipedia Periodically I check out the web site of David Brin, a science fiction writer and futurist, to see what’s on his mind. Brin is the author of the brilliant and classic Startide Rising (1983), which won both the Nebula and Hugo awards the year it was published. But, […]

VPN security on all your devices

I have been using VPN encryption on my iMac since October 2011. It has worked great. The company that I signed up with — Private Tunnel — now has apps for iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android, along with the Windows and Macintosh versions. I’ve written about VPN (virtual private networks) many times in the past […]

Narc'ed out by gmail

Click on the image above for a high-res version The media today are focusing on the downfall of David Petraeus, the former CIA director. The Atlantic has a piece on how the FBI snooped on Petraeus and his mistress. It was from identifying information in the header of Google email. All email has a header. […]

Julian Assange

“Facebook is the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented.” — Julian Assange Regular readers of this blog know that one of my constant refrains is that Americans are now the most propagandized people in the world. Whenever I say this, I also say that I’m not just throwing a rhetorical grenade. I […]

How your privacy is bought and sold

Thanks to a WikiLeaks document dump, we now know more than ever about how private corporations are spying on all of us (unless you’re off the grid) and selling the data to whoever will pay for it, including, of course, governments. If you use a cell phone or a computer, you are being monitored. One […]