Posts tagged “internet

Stop VPN and Tor Bias

In an age where governments spy on it’s own, common carriers such as AT&T and Comcast want to sell your data for profit and the NSA can spy on every communication channel that we have — is it so much to want a taste of anonymity online?


VPNs, Tor and other privacy tools have become synonymous with the “dark web” and online hacking; however, these tools are built to protect users; however, intelligent individuals can also use them to get away with certain activities online.  But what about the sophisticated user, who simply wants to protect his internet traffic from prying eyes and be safe online?  Why do some look at those people as if they are doing something wrong when they aren’t?  It’s simple: they are biased and ignorant.  Not only are they biased, they may not fully understand the technology if they only limit it to one side of the equation.

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I’ve spoken in depth about how VPNs (Virtual Private Network)s work and how I really don’t believe you should connect to the internet, especially any public WiFi without first being connected to one because it sends all of the traffic from your device through an encrypted tunnel to another host that allows you to browse the internet in that fashion, making your traffic look like a jumbled mess to anyone trying to snoop.  (Of course remember to sign up for a VPN provider that doesn’t log, such as Private Internet Access).  So, what is Tor?  Tor is a protocol that was actually implemented by the US government that sends your traffic, encrypted, through a series of relays (relays are formed from machines that are volunteered to the Tor network), usually thousands before reaching the final destination.  Usually browsing the web through Tor is a little slow because of this.


The one thing that a VPN and Tor has in common is that when viewed on a network where no one else uses these tools, your network traffic will look quite different, which could lead to someone believe that you are doing something insidious; however, now that you know how these tools work, you won’t think that way anymore, right?

TLDR; Since our electronic landscape is becoming scrutinized more and more to serve us ads, track us down and garner our personal information without our consent, users have the RIGHT to protect themselves, we’re not all hackers, most of us just want our information we transfer online to be private — deal with it.

Senate votes to undo Internet Privacy laws?

Let’s give a round of applause to our excellent administration, huh?  Crickets.

When you think of lawmakers, you think of people, who have the best interests of the people in mind, not the best interests of businesses; however, this is exactly what we are seeing with the most recent news from Washington.

The Senate voted to repeal a set of rules that were established to keep consumers (me and YOU) data safe by barring ISPs from selling and sharing usage data.  Nowadays, everyone wants to be the next Google or Facebook and have all of your data.  Some companies are straight-forward with what they do with your data, like Google — others are a little more nefarious.  It is clear that this is a move to sponsor more business activities on the sides of AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and others — not protect the people.
Isn’t our data going through enough channels already?  Now, we additionally have to worry about what are ISPs are going to do with our information — while they should be doing nothing more than providing the pipe for access.
This is nothing more than a pathetic money grab.
What should you do?
  • Read/Scan all End-User License Agreements (look for keywords and phrases such as “data”, “share” and “other companies”)
  • Limit what level of access social media accounts have to your data
  • Use a VPN when possible, especially on public and untrusted WiFi (lean more about VPN, here)
TLDR; Senate votes to kill internet privacy, let’s hope the House stops it.

All About Google Home

“Ok Google!  Turn down the lights and make me a sandwich!” — Isn’t this something you’ve been waiting to shout into the depths of your home?  Of course it is, except for maybe the sandwich part.
My friends, the time is here.  Meet Google Home.
We’ve seen and heard the fuss that Amazon’s Echo has made in the digital assistant and smart home world, but it’s time for our friend Google to try it’s hand at it with Google Home, powered by Google Assistant.  That’s right, Google Now and search have been prepping us for this moment and it’s here.  How?  Your voice searches are saved (you didn’t know?) and are used intelligently (not shared) by Google to help power it’s natural language platform that will allow for the Assistant to communicate with you and understand you better.  Doing so simply makes it easier to get the information you need faster based off of the questions you ask.
Google Home will additionally serve as a central automation hub for your home, which will further propel you into the internet of things (IoT).  The device is slated to work with Chromecast, Nest and Philips Hue with certainly more to come.  What does this mean?  While using the Google Home as your hub with you other devices, this will unlock a range of capabilities that will make controlling each of them that much simpler.
The design of the device is simply beautiful and blends in seamlessly with your interior decor.  In the housing are far-field microphone that will help to decipher your voice, in addition to a hi-fi speaker that is designed to deliver crystal-clear highs and rich bass.  On top, there are touch controls that gives the user full control of the device complete with a microphone mute button on the back.
Did I mention that Google Home is hands-free?
Bottom line:  This is what has taken Google 18 years to design, build and create for us.  The future is now and the internet, a recipe, the weather, your to-do list are all literally one keyword away.  Pre-Order yours today, here.

 

No HTTPS in Iran?

The internet used to be a fun place; you would go online share information, buy gadgets, and go on with life.  Now, it seems that almost every government wants to shutdown anything that is free and widely available.  There are  talks that this country would even want to create their own intranet for the public to use.  Reasons behind this could be because information transmitted with https is secure and it seems that governments do want want anything to be sent or received that they cannot view.

There are several sites and applications that this can cause disruptions with:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google Services
  • SSH
  • SSL
  • TLS

Bottom line:  The same thing that Iran is trying to create is similar to what China has in place; regardless of what tries to be done to stifle sharing and virtually eliminate free speech there will always be ways to work the system.  For example, you can always email tweets!