Protection, Privacy and Playoffs

I'm not generally a privacy nut when it comes to my digital life. That's not really a good thing, as I think privacy is important, but it often can be very inconvenient. For example, if you strolled into my home office, you'd find I don't password-protect my screensaver. more>>

Dealing with Boundary Issues

The other evening a bunch of us were sitting in a friend's living room while a series of photos scrolled across her TV. The photos were a screen saver served up by her new Apple TV box. Some of the pictures were of people, birds, flowers, cats and other typical stuff. more>>

Privacy Is Personal

Try to nail two boards together with your bare hands.

Can't be done. You need a hammer. But the power is not the hammer's. It's yours, because the hammer is your tool. As a tool, it becomes part of you. That's what tools do: they enlarge your capacity for action and effect.

That capacity is called agency. To have agency is to operate with effect in the world. more>>

A Machine for Keeping Secrets?

[I can't begin to describe all the things Vinay Gupta does. Fortunately, he does, at more>>

Consent That Goes Both Ways

Whatever your opinions about Do Not Track, set them aside for a minute and just look at what the words say and who says them. Individuals—the people we call "users" (you know, like with drugs)—are the ones saying it. In grammatical terms, "do not track" is spoken in the first person. more>>

Stuff That Matters

I'm writing this in a hotel room entered through two doors. The hall door is the normal kind: you stick a card in a slot, a light turns green, and the door unlocks. The inner one is three inches thick, has no lock and serves a single purpose: protection from an explosion. more>>

Dolphins in the NSA Dragnet

There's an old quote from Jamie Zawinkski that goes: "Some people, when confronted with a problem, think ‘I know, I'll use regular expressions.’ Now they have two problems." Even people like me who like regular expressions laugh at the truth in that quote, because we've seen the consequences when someone doesn't think through the implications of a poorly written pattern. When some people write a bad pattern, they end up with extra lines in a log file. When the NSA does it, they capture and retain Internet traffic on untold numbers of innocent people. more>>

A Bundle of Tor

I don't know how many readers know this, but my very first Linux Journal column ("Browse the Web without a Trace", January 2008) was about how to set up and use Tor. Anonymity and privacy on the Internet certainly take on a different meaning in the modern era of privacy-invading software and general Internet surveillance. more>>

Protesters with "Yes we scan" sign

NSA: Linux Journal is an "extremist forum" and its readers get flagged for extra surveillance

A new story published on the German site Tagesschau and followed up by BoingBoing and has uncovered some shocking details about who more>>

A Pain in the Person

At what point will we say "enough"? more>>

Tor — Anonymity On-line logo

Anonymity On-line

We've covered Tor in LJ before (see Kyle Rankin's "Browse the Web without a Trace", January 2008), but that was some time ago, and this subject seems to be more timely with each passing day. Also, with Tor being at only 0.2.x status, it still qualifies as software in development, so I'm justified in featuring it this month. more>>

Electronic Frontier Foundation

EFF delivers HTTPS Not Quite Everywhere

In the early hours of June 18 the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Tor Project released a beta of a Firefox extension dubbed “HTTPS Everywhere” with the intention of providing encryption of user data when visiting certain sites. According to the official announcement, “HTTPS Everywhere” will provide SSL encryption to sites like Google Search, Wikipedia, Twitter and, and Facebook. more>>

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