Posts tagged “NSA

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.

Fingerprint Scanners

iPhone 5S, HTC One Max and surely many more to come are just a few devices that are implementing this “new” fingerprint scanning technology.  The iPhone, for example, uses the technology to unlock the devices and for purchases among a few reasons.  However, how practical and how broad can this technology be stretched?  Will it get to the point where people are getting snatched to use their thumbs?

I believe that this technology is a good step-forward — as with any advance.  However, I still believe that nothing will surpass the traditional pin or password unlock in terms of security and practicality.

fingerprint

Another thing to note is that with the resent uproar of NSA “spying”, some technologists fear this may be yet another way for the government to collect information on it’s citizens.

[Video courtesy of CNET]

Bottom line: Congratulations, we have new technology within our smartphones; however, I do not believe that this is groundbreaking in terms of security, the password still reigns supreme.