DaniMartExtras, Too

ALTERNATIVE NEWS NETWORK

REAL NEWS March 04

Posted by Xaniel777 on March 4, 2012

TODAY’S NEWS : March 04, 2012

 

 

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WELCOME TO THE ‘ BETTER LATE THAN NEVER ‘ EDITION of today’s news. Suffered unknown problems once again from unknown sources. Can’t understand it, ” I’m such a nice guy. Who would want to bother ME??” I ASKED AS THOUGH I DIDN’T REALLY KNOW.  ~~ Xaniel777 

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Arrests Coming !A March 31 Deadline By The Gnostic “Illuminati” Faction

 

Uploaded by  on Feb 21, 2012

Ben Fulford (Feb 20 2012) ~ A March 31st Deadline Has Been Delivered To The Committee Of 300 By The Gnostic “Illuminati” Faction….

Much of this report, I did not understand… Why is the Pentagon involved? Who speaks for the Pentagon? Will the puppet President be arrested? If so, when? When will we see Geitner and Bernanke go down, in flames? What about the notorious George Bush, Jr and Sr?

When are we going to have the pleasure of watching them handcuffed and put where they belong? We read this news and get excited, but all signs of this being reality are hidden from us, by the state-controlled media sources. We are sick of being slaves!

We are sick of the controls and we are tired of legislation which further restricts our movements, while granting more unconstitutional authority to the nefarious government! Anyone who delves into the facts finds one conspiracy, after another and trillions and trillions stolen by those who have the power and the control over everything from the CIA to the United Nations.

We keep asking, ” When is this going to come to an end? Finally! “

END

 

Netanyahu Wags the Dog

 

From  ROY TOV

Mar 03, 2012

On March 5, 2012, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet US President Barack Obama in the White House.

The name of the game will be “attack on Iran’s nuclear installations,” with each participant wanting the other one to be the aggressor. Israel’s options are limited; the only chance Israel has to win such a war is by utterly destroying the decision making bodies of the Iranian regime.

The Islamic Consultative Assembly, the Guardian Council, the Presidency, the Supreme Leader institution, the military headquarters; all must be gone so that no one would be able to block Hormuz or order the bombing of Tel Aviv following the initial Israeli strike.

These relatively few and concentrated targets would become the target not of Israel’s Air Force planes, but of Jericho missiles. It must be missiles, because the long fly time of planes would give the Iranian regime a much better chance of taking defensive steps.

On October 28, 2011, I analyzed the situation in Israeli Defense Ministry Acknowledges Defeat; the article followed a comment on Israel’s incapability of defeating Iran in an interview given by Major General Amos Gilad, head of the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Diplomatic-Security Bureau.

A missile attack is a dangerous bet; Netanyahu would prefer to see America attacking. For his part, Obama would prefer that the job be done by Israel, while the United States would come in afterward to restore order in the Middle East and secure for itself cheap oil for another generation or two.

In their meeting, both poker players would try to outsmart each other. Following his raging public discourse at home, Netanyahu’s message to Obama would be simple: “hold me back, or I’ll attack.” Obama’s discourse is much more intriguing: “Yes and No; Attack and Don’t Attack,” he is saying, contradicting himself time and again. Will Netanyahu wag the dog?

Netanyahu

             Benjamin Netanyahu

Yes and No; Attack and Don’t Attack

President Obama discourse includes almost mutually exclusive statements. He said that he is “not bluffing” while claiming Iran should not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

In parallel, the US Ambassador in Tel Aviv said that the USA keeps all options open; this statement obviously includes the military option. Obama said in a recent interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffery Goldberg that there is an option of a “military component” when dealing with Iran’s nuclear plans, though he wasn’t specific. This sounds almost like Israel’s position.

Yet, the same Obama has repeatedly declared that the sanctions on Iran should be given a chance and that attacking first would transform Iran into the victim. To the Israeli ear, Obama sounds like Shimon Peres.

The actual president of Israel may seem active, but his political career was finished in 1981, when he and Menahem Begin competed against each other in what became the hottest campaign in Israel’s very short history. Labor was trying to return to power after it lost it for the first time to the Likud Party in 1977.

Following two despicable events during his campaign, a comedian working for the Likud, Sefy (nickname for Yosef) Rivlin, was invited to run the Likud television campaign. He conducted a successful personal campaign against Peres. Its motto was “Ken VeLo,” namely “Yes and No” in Hebrew.

Peres was presented answering “yes and no” to everything he was asked (“Do you want sugar in your coffee?” “Yes and No! Yes and No!”). The combination of Peres’ shaky reputation with the funny voice used by Rivlin and his very disturbing eyes transformed Peres into a clown forever.

Peres never won an open political campaign again. Obama—who is facing a reelection campaign later this year—sounds on the Iranian issue like Sefy Rivlin in 1981. “Yes and No; Attack and Don’t Attack.”

Killing Palestine

Palestine is not the main topic in the agenda of the upcoming meeting. On October 31, 2011, Palestine was accepted as a full member by UNESCO, which became the first UN agency to recognize it as an independent country.

In retaliation, Benjamin Netanyahu immediately imposed sanctions on Palestine. Among them was the withholding of $100 million in revenues such as custom duties from being passed over to the Palestinian Authority. Politically, the latter is part of the State of Israel, which thus controls all Palestinian monies.

Then, on November 27, 2011, an unexpected thing happened. Netanyahu said at a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that he was considering releasing the money and that the cabinet would convene over the coming days to discuss the matter.

He explained the reversal of his former decision on the suspension of Palestinian activities at the UN, coupled with the fact that Fatah-Hamas reconciliation does not appear to be on the horizon.

The following Wednesday, the decision was taken. The cabinet (formed by the eight senior ministers of Netanyahu’s government) ruled that Israel would both transfer the withheld October tax funds and refrain from delaying taxes collected for the month of November.

Days later, on, December 4, 2011, it was disclosed that Netanyahu’s change of mind had been imposed by Germany (see Sanctions on Israel Redeem Germany). Yet, Palestine’s victory was not complete.

Since then, the Palestinian Authority—fearing to lose its budget again —is keeping an extraordinarily low profile at UN institutions, with no other UN agencies expected to follow UNESCO in the recognition of Palestine anytime soon. Netanyahu blackmailed Palestine out of the agenda.

Israel’s Bluff

                        Israel’s Bluff | Wagging the Dog

Wag the Dog

“Wag the Dog” is a 1997 film starring Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman, which describes a situation in which the “tail wags the dog.” An unnamed President of the United States is caught in flagrante with a young girl scout less than two weeks before the elections.

A hired political gun (De Niro) is brought in to take public attention away from the scandal. He decides to construct a fake war with Albania, hoping the media will concentrate on this instead. He contacts a Hollywood producer (Hoffman), who helps construct a theme song, build up interest and fake some footage of an orphan in Albania. In the end, with the President reelected, the producer is about to call the media to “set them straight,” when the President’s aide has him killed to save his political boss.

Already in 2009 I commented in Wag the Dog: Would the US attack Iran? that the 2003 American attack on Iraq resembled the Wag the Dog scenario, with Israel seemingly having wagged the USA into war.

I asked then if Israel was attempting to Wag the Dog again, though this time sending the dog to attack Iran. In 2012, this is as relevant as then. Moreover, this year, Netanyahu can exert substantial pressure on Obama through the American-Jewish vote in November’s presidential elections.

US President Barack Obama

          US President Barack Obama 

In the first meeting between Netanyahu and Obama, in May 2009, the Israeli leader placed Iran at the top of the mutual agenda, while Obama talked about a freeze on settlements in the West Bank and possible solutions leading to an independent Palestinian state.

The day after tomorrow, both leaders will meet again. Nobody knows the results of this dramatic meeting, but everybody knows the agenda is centered on a possible attack on Iran.

The Palestinian issue is almost forgotten, mainly due to the abovementioned Israeli pressure on Palestinian leaders. There is no doubt we will witness the most sensitive moment in the careers of the two leaders, a moment that will define the years to come for all of us.

Almost three years after the initial Obama-Netanyahu meeting, it is clear that the tail has at least defined the agenda. Both leaders are fighting for their political future. One arrives aggressive and confident, while the other closely resembles a clown. Will the tail succeed to wag the entire dog?

The Cross of Bethlehem

Ro’i Tov, Corinne …

Recently, I’ve been declared a Political Prisoner in Bolivia; I’m not the only one. The website Free the Truth provides more information on other political prisoners by yet another Western country which enjoys misguiding coverage by Western media. I’m held in Bolivia illegitimately, violently and against my will; please make this public in any possible way. Please don’t let Western terror rule. I live in daily terror here, please help make my situation public.

 

END

 

Geithner arrested? 116 major bank resignations? What The Finance is this?

 

From examiner.com

Video: Last week Geithner was arrested

Carl Herman's photo

Nonpartisan Examiner

Judge Napolitano testifies of Treasury Secretary and Federal Reserve-insider Timothy Geither’s arrest in this 4-minute corporate news show. American Kabuki list the daily-increasing bank resignationsDavid Wilcock and Benjamin Fulford explain and document history and deceit at the top of US and global finance, leading to current and imminent arrests.

What does this mean?

Anyone with intellectual integrity and moral courage can affirm that the Federal Reserve system is guilty of financial fraud at its core. The “emperor has no clothes” reason is they lie in omission and commission with a fiduciary responsibility: they create debt for what we use as money, charge the 99% increasing aggregate interest, and then tell us this is responsible leadership for the public good.

I teach college-level economics; the facts of a debt-based “monetary system,” unpayable and increasing aggregate debt, and increasing per capita interest costs is conservative textbook information. If you want to understand, I’ll walk you through here.

There’s more to the charge of financial fraud at the top of US economic and financial policy, of course. I recommend the documentation of Matt Taibbi and David DeGraw to dive-into details of the crimes, and Ellen Brown and American Monetary Institute to explore solutions.

Is current news of Geithner and bank “leadership” resignations evidence of an “emperor has no clothes” breakthrough? The people I work with, and I, don’t know. What we do know is that until we have justice with the 1%’s crimes centering in war and money, we’ll continue to document the facts and demand their arrests. These crimes kill millions, harm billions, and loot trillions of our dollars every year.

Until we have justice and policies for 100% of Earth’s inhabitants, it’s just another day of civic activism.

My resources:

Part 1: Why Occupy? A government/economics teacher explains 

Part 2: How a government teacher easily proves Occupy’s claim of US War Crimes

Part 3: How an economics teacher presents Occupy’s economic argument, victory

Part 4: Why everyone should Occupy US 1% corporate media: they lie 

Important history that makes crimes in the present easy to see and understand:

Occupy This: US History exposes the 1%’s crimes then and now (6-part series)

END

 

Facebook will Require Social Security Number for Member Log In

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{ XANIEL’S NOTE : And should this prove to be true, my family and I and many, many of my friends I’ve talked to so far, will be removing our Facebook accounts just before this requirement takes effect.

How far are they planning to go? Next they will require your D.N.A. to log in. Do we really need ‘ MARK ZUCKERBERG’S ‘ social network when there are others out there and new ones popping up all the time.

We’ve, ( I, family and friends ),  also decided to remove our Google accounts if they follow suit, as they have given hint to. ( Their just waiting to see if Mark can pull it off with little or no resistance ! ).

Facebook and Google have gotten so full of themselves that they figure that you’ll give them every  piece of your privacy ( while making you feel obligated to do so ) and they do it so that they can share/sell to anyone including any government. ( as they have proven to do already without our knowledge! )

 We helped these idiots grow and get as big as they are now, and we can just as quickly wreak them by boycotting them and their services !

WE THE PEOPLE RULE… not them !! If WE THE PEOPLE drop them and their services, watch how fast they’ll do the PEE-PEE DANCE to get us back ! }~~~ Xaniel777

Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg at the 37th G8 summit in 2011.

Born

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg

May 14, 1984 (age 27)[1]

White Plains, New York, U.S.

Residence

Palo Alto, California, U.S.[2]

Ethnicity

Jewish

Alma mater

Harvard University (Dropped out)

Phillips Exeter Academy

Occupation

CEO of Facebook

(24% shareholder in 2010)[3]

Known for

Co-founding Facebook in 2004;

becoming world’s youngest

billionaire as of 2008[4]

Net worth

increase US$ 17.5 billion (2011)[5]

Religion

None (Atheist)

Relatives

Randi, Donna and Arielle

(sisters)

Awards

TIME Person of the Year 2010

Website

Facebook.com/MarkZuckerberg

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From FREE WOOD POST

February 29, 2012

By 

February seemed to be the month of Facebook, with new updates and new privacy settings. Today, Facebook announced a new procedure to address the recent wave of spam that has plagued the website. Starting April 2nd, users will be required to enter their social security numbers to log in to their Facebook accounts. Facebook’s media relations department released this statement.

The new member log in format will be both safe and efficient for our users who fear having their Facebook identity stolen. The requirement for users to enter their social security numbers during log in, will completely take away the element of spam from unauthorized access. With cooperation from the United States government, we have compiled a database to verify that each person’s social security is accurate. Also, the last four digits of each users social will be displayed in their info section of their profile. Further upgrades to security are currently being planned, and will be announced as more information is given.

The announcement will for sure create outrage across the internet, where tensions are already high due to Facebook’s new privacy policies. Google has also hinted to a similar procedure to verify user identification.

Calls to the Facebook corporate offices have not been returned.

END

 

Facebook in new row over sharing users’ data with moderators

 

From THE TELEGRAPH

Emma Barnett

By Digital Media Editor

March 03, 2012

Close up of a woman hand holding an iPad checking her Facebook page

                                               Facebook. Photo: Alamy

The social network was criticized last week after gossip site Gawker exposed it as employing third-party content moderators in the developing world for one dollar an hour.

Facebook responded saying: “No user information beyond the content in question and the source of the report is shared.”

However, new evidence seen by The Telegraph, shows that these moderators, who have to deal with the distressing images and messages which are reported every day, and are clearly able to see the names of the person who uploaded the ‘offensive’ content, the subject of the image or person tagged in a photo – in addition to the person who has reported the content.

Moreover, there are currently no security measures in place stopping these moderators taking screen shots of people’s personal photos, videos and posts.

When challenged about the data displayed on the screenshots shown to The Telegraph by an ex-Facebook moderator, a spokesman for the social network said: “On Facebook, the picture alone is not the content. In evaluating potential violations of our rules it is necessary to consider who was tagged and by whom, and well as additional content such as comments…Everything displayed is to give content reviewers the necessary information to make the right, accurate decision.”

The former Facebook moderator, 21 year-old Amine Derkaoui from Morocco, has shown The Telegraph several screenshots of what these outsourced workers see when deciding if a piece of content is suitable to be on the site.

Derkaoui, who was employed by oDesk – the company Facebook used to employ outsourced content moderators, claimed here was no decent security at all through the content system and looking at each report – was like “looking at a friend’s Facebook page”– that’s how much information was on there.

He has since looked up information online about the people he had been moderating.

Security experts are concerned about the amount of personal information Facebook is allowing these poorly paid third-party workers in the developing world access to.

Graham Cluley, of the British internet security firm Sophos, said: “When people report content on Facebook, I don’t think they expect all of their details to end up in India, with someone who doesn’t directly work for Facebook…By sharing information about a Facebook account holder, there is obviously the potential for abuse and blackmail.

“Some of the photos that people post, which under Facebook’s rules may be deemed inappropriate, such as your children running around naked or a mum breastfeeding, could still end up on the open internet, if a moderator, who is able to copy the images, publishes them.”

Cluley is calling for Facebook to improve its content moderation system as it currently relies upon people to report offensive material, which is not always done as quickly as possible.

“There is a lot of obscene material on Facebook which stays up there for a long time, until someone spots in. The company needs to improve the moderation so that there is some kind of in-built scanner which will prevent the awful stuff from going up in the first place,” he explains.

Philip James, a privacy specialist at Pitmans law firm, says the onus is on Facebook to ensure it improves the security around the content system which these third party workers are using so they cannot easily take screen shots of people’s information.

“Facebook should be carrying out better due diligence on the systems its third party contractors are using to ensure they are secure and not open to images and information being easily exported by these workers,” he explained.

Derkaoui, who now works for a New York-based technology company Zenoradio, having quit his oDesk job out of protest against the poor wages, was never explicitly told that the site he was moderating was Facebook, (as the social is secretive about the obscene material which people upload every day). He is now calling for cash-rich Facebook to increase the wages it pays these workers.

“Facebook has to increase these wages. One dollar an hour is the lowest wage at oDesk and I believe it must be the worst salary paid by Facebook. They also have to recruit people to do this job from around the world, not only those from the third world… And they need to keep users’ data private too.”

The social network has not made a comment about these third party workers’ rate of pay.

A spokesman for the social network said: “These contractors are subject to rigorous quality controls and we have implemented several layers of safeguards to protect the data of those using our service.”

Facebook refused to tell The Telegraph whether or not it was still using oDesk’s services. And oDesk failed to return any calls on this subject.

Last week Derkaoui revealed to Gawker the bizarre set of content rules which Facebook uses when deciding whether or not a piece of content is allowed.

For instance, an image containing “any OBVIOUS sexual activity, even if naked parts are hidden from view” must be deleted – while “deep flesh wounds”, “excessive blood” and “crushed heads, limbs”, are acceptable as long as no insides are showing.

He said the poorly paid work of content moderation was extremely distressing.

“The job was upsetting – no one likes to see a human cut into pieces every day,” Derkaoui told The Telegraph. “No one from oDesk or Facebook appeared to care about the psychological condition of the moderators.”

Facebook has not made a specific comment on this point.

Derkaoui added: “I was paid one dollar an hour, plus small commissions for four hours a day. Generally with four hours of work, you can get six to seven dollars a day. We worked during weekends too.”

While Facebook has its own internal content moderation team, outsourcing this type of work is considered normal across many technology firms, as the companies grow so fast.

Facebook now has more than 850 million members, employs more than 3,200 full time people and has just moved into a huge new campus in the US – which can hold 9,000 members of staff.

When it floats later this year, it is expected to break technology records, with a $100bn valuation.

RELATED ARTICLE :

The dark side of Facebook  02 Mar 2012

END

 

Twitter is selling old tweets you thought had vanished

 

From 12160.info

James Φοίνιξ

now.msn.com

Twitter has made a deal with a company called Datasift that gives the firm access to people’s tweets going back 24 months. (Regular users can only view a few days of their past tweets.) According to a Daily Mail report, Datasift will allow its partners to wade through the flood of tweets for insights trends as they relate to everything from brands and business to public opinion and finances. Good to know all those dusty tweets about Rebecca Black, the Casey Anthony trial and the Oct. 21, 2011 rapture are being put to good use.

Twitter opens old posts for sale  If you thought your old (embarrassing, awkward and regrettable) posts on social networking site Twitter had vanished or were out of reach for anyone, 

What you should know about Twitter’s data sales

(REUTERS) – Twitter users are about to become major marketing fodder, as two research companies get set to release information to clients who will pay for the privilege of mining the data.

Boulder, Colorado-based Gnip Inc and DataSift Inc, based in the U.K. and San Francisco, are licensed by Twitter to analyze archived tweets and basic information about users, like geographic location. DataSiftannounced this week that it will release Twitter data in packages that will encompass the last two years of activity for its customers to mine, while Gnip can go back only 30 days.

“Harvesting what someone said a year or more ago is game-changing,” said Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy for the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in San Diego. As details emerge on the kind of information being mined, he and other privacy rights experts are concerned about the implications of user information being released to businesses waiting to pore through it with a fine-tooth comb.

“As we see Twitter grow and social media evolve, this will become a bigger and bigger issue,”
http://news.yahoo.com/money-twitter-selling-data-163950544.html

END

 

How to Use the Internet in Stealth Mode

 

From Poor Richard’s Blog

February 17, 2012

Kyle Gonzales  |  International Man

via wariscrime.com

The Key to Staying Private When Big Brother is Watching

“For the first time ever, it will become technologically and financially feasible for authoritarian governments to record nearly everything that is said or done within their borders – every phone conversation, electronic message, social media interaction, the movements of nearly every person and vehicle, and video from every street corner.”

This was from the opening paragraph of a Brookings Institution report (PDF).

Does that send chills up your spine? If so, don’t read the rest of this article: you might not touch your computer for a week.
As I discussed in the case for e-mail diversification, planting your electronic flag is certainly an important part of the “online privacy equation”, as it gets the storage and routing of your e-mail messages out of jurisdictions which are not respectful of your privacy.

However, there are additional concerns that you should be worried about.

Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the western world are required by law to track nearly everything you do online. While the US government has been trying to hide their electronic wiretapping program as a state secret, the EU made theirs public by passing the Data Retention Directive of 2006.

Article 5, under “Categories of data to be retained”, lists the gory details of what is tracked. This is required for home phones, mobile phones, Internet telephony and e-mail. And depending on the country, this information will be kept for 6 months to 2 YEARS.

Under the Data Retention Directive, here is what is being tracked in every e-mail sent:

  • Your name and address

  • The name and address of everyone you send e-mail to

  • The time and date you logged on and off of your Internet service, along with your IP address and username

  • The time and date you sent your e-mail

  • Your computer’s operating system, hardware, and other identifying information

Other EU countries are taking electronic surveillance even further. Denmark, for instance, passed a law in 2007 tracking all Internet access, not just e-mail and VoIP calls. And Sweden, while delaying implementation of the Data Retention Directive, passed a law in 2008 to record all Internet and phone communications which cross their borders.

Forget about authoritarian governments, democratically elected ones are tracking your every move online.
So how do you gain some manner of privacy in this environment?

By creating your own private network across the Internet.

How to make the Internet your own private network

A virtual private network (VPN) allows users to access private networks (like the corporate network of your employer) by creating an encrypted “tunnel” across the Internet between the user’s computer and the private network. The encryption ensures that any information shared between the user and the private network is kept safe from prying eyes.

It is similar to the encryption between a secure website and your web browser, except it protects all the traffic sent over that network (including things like e-mail, instant messaging, and Skype) and not just web traffic.

A number of service providers are taking this to the next level. They allow users to connect to their networks via a VPN “tunnel”, then access the Internet through their private network.
How does this give you more privacy?

  • Over your regular ISP network, all of your traffic is being monitored. The ISP can see what sites you are connecting to, who your e-mail provider is, what chat services you are using, and so forth. When you enable your VPN “tunnel” to access the Internet, the only thing your ISP can see is your connection to your VPN service provider, not anything else. (Your connection to the VPN service provider is highly encrypted, so your ISP cannot see what is happening “inside” the tunnel.)

  • A VPN also provides protection when using unencrypted “free Wifi” networks that you may use at coffee shops and airports while traveling. It is much easier than people expect for hackers to break into these networks and steal your usernames and passwords. But if you are using your VPN “tunnel” to access the Internet, hackers will not be able to see where you are going online, and all of your information will be protected.

    Also, most Internet sites and services you connect to are monitoring your connections to their servers.

Google, for instance, records the IP address with every search you make in their search engine. Most websites also record the IP address of your computer when you browse their web pages. Chat networks, e-mail providers, all record the IP addresses of those who are accessing their network.

When your Internet connections pass through the provider’s network, these sites will not see your computer’s IP address. Instead, it will only see your VPN service provider’s address.

Many times, this IP address will even be in a different country from your own!

So, by using a VPN, your Internet Service Provider cannot track where you are going (other than seeing you connect your VPN), and remote services like Google, Amazon or whatever do not know where you are coming from.

An interesting side benefit: some VPN providers let you choose the country from which websites will think you’re visiting from.
How is this useful?

Well, let’s say you’re an international traveler who is also a Hulu addict. You are in a location where Hulu has yet to negotiate viewing rights (e.g. Canada). So you fire up your VPN and choose to have your traffic appear as if it’s coming from a computer in the USA. Voila! Now you can watch recent US-based TV shows on Hulu through your VPN connection in whatever far off land you may find yourself in.

Not all VPN providers are created equally

For those less interested in Internet entertainment and more interested in privacy, we should discuss different aspects of VPN providers that differentiate them from each other…

  • As discussed in my last article about how the US Patriot Act affects people in other jurisdictions, it is important that your VPN provider is not located within the US or be owned by a US company. While you might gain protection from hackers sniffing traffic at a coffee shop, the US government could still access your information as it transits your US-based VPN provider’s network.

  • An “anonymous proxy” is not the same as a VPN. Most anonymous proxies provide privacy for web browsing only. A proper VPN service will provide privacy for ALL of your Internet traffic, including Operating System updates, VoIP calls, chat networks, and other non-web traffic.

  • Some VPN providers are focused on allowing you to choose your own “exit point” (where your traffic appears to be coming from) while others are focused on mixing and “anonymizing” your traffic within their networks to provide the highest levels of privacy. While having a VPN is better than no VPN, you often have to make a decision between convenience and privacy.

Next steps

Start investigating what other international travelers and privacy-inclined individuals are using for their VPN services. Find out what their primary needs were and how their chosen VPN service “scratched their itch”.

There are three different threads regarding VPNs going on right now in the Technology and Personal Privacy section of the International Man Forum. Become a free member of the International Man Network, and you can join in to discuss this topic and many others.

Special Thanks to Paul Rosenberg from CryptoHippie for his feedback while writing this article. Paul was interviewed by International Man back in July 2011 and you can find that conversation here.


If you don’t have a strategy for dealing with the dangers of the online world, download our Online Privacy report, which will share some common sense steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from the dark side of the Internet. Available to International Man Members at no cost in the member’s area. If you are not yet a member, claim your free membership here.

END

 

Six Tips to Protect Your Search Privacy

 

From ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION

September 14, 2006

By Peter Eckersley, Seth Schoen, Kevin Bankston, and Derek Slater.

Google, MSN Search, Yahoo!, AOL, and most other search engines collect and store records of your search queries. If these records are revealed to others, they can be embarrassing or even cause great harm. Would you want strangers to see searches that reference your online reading habits, medical history, finances, sexual orientation, or political affiliation?

Recent events highlight the danger that search logs pose. In August 2006, AOL published 650,000 users’ search histories on its website.1Though each user’s logs were only associated with a random ID number, several users’ identities were readily discovered based on their search queries. For instance, the New York Times connected the logs of user No. 4417749 with 62 year-old Thelma Arnold. These records exposed, as she put it, her “whole personal life.”2

Disclosures like AOL’s are not the only threats to your privacy. Unfortunately, it may be all too easy for the government or individual litigants to subpoena your search provider and get access to your search history. For example, in January 2006, Yahoo!, AOL, and Microsoft reportedly cooperated with a broad Justice Department request for millions of search records. Although Google successfully challenged this request,3 the lack of clarity in current law leaves your online privacy at risk.

Search companies should limit data retention and make their logging practices more transparent to the public,4 while Congress ought to clarify and strengthen privacy protections for search data. But you should also take matters into your own hands and adopt habits that will help protect your privacy.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has developed the following search privacy tips. They range from straightforward steps that offer a little protection to more complicated measures that offer near-complete safety. While we strongly urge users to follow all six tips, a lesser level of protection might be sufficient depending on your particular situation and willingness to accept risks to your privacy.

1. Don’t put personally identifying information in your search terms (easy)

Don’t search for your name, address, credit card number, social security number, or other personal information. These kinds of searches can create a roadmap that leads right to your doorstep. They could also expose you to identity theft and other privacy invasions.

If you want to do a “vanity search” for your own name5 (and who isn’t a little vain these days?), be sure to follow the rest of our tips or do your search on a different computer than the one you usually use for searching.

2. Don’t use your ISP’s search engine (easy)

Because your ISP knows who you are, it will be able to link your identity to your searches. It will also be able to link all your individual search queries into a single search history. So, if you are a Comcast broadband subscriber, for instance, you should avoid using http://search.comcast.net. Similarly, if you’re an AOL member, do not use http://search.aol.com or the search box in AOL’s client software.

3. Don’t login to your search engine or related tools (intermediate)

Search engines sometimes give you the opportunity to create a personal account and login. In addition, many engines are affiliated with other services — Google with Gmail and Google Chat; MSN with Hotmail and MSN Messenger; A9 with Amazon, and so on. When you log into the search engine or one of those other services, your searches can be linked to each other and to your personal account.

So, if you have accounts with services like Google GMail or Hotmail, do not search through the corresponding search engine (Google or MSN Search, respectively), especially not while logged in.

If you must use the same company’s search engine and webmail (or other service), it will be significantly harder to protect your search privacy. You will need to do one of the following:

  1. Install two different web browsers to separate your search activities from your other accounts with the search provider. For example, use Mozilla Firefox for searching through Yahoo!, and Internet Explorer for Yahoo! Mail and other Yahoo! service accounts.6 You must also follow Tip 6 for at least one of the two browsers.7

  2. For Google and its services, you can use the Mozilla Firefox web browser and the CustomizeGoogle plugin software. Go to http://www.customizegoogle.com/ and click “Install.” Restart Firefox and then select “CustomizeGoogle Options” from the “Tools” menu. Click on the “Privacy” tab and turn on “Anonymize the Google cookie UID.” You must remember to quit your browser after using GMail and before using the Google search engine.8 In addition, be sure not to select the “remember me on this computer” option when you log into a Google service.

If you are using a browser other than Firefox, you can use the GoogleAnon bookmarklet, which you can obtain at http://www.imilly.com/google-cookie.htm. You will need to quit your browser every time you finish with a Google service. Unfortunately, we currently do not know of similar plugins for other search providers.9

4. Block “cookies” from your search engine(intermediate)

If you’ve gone through the steps above, your search history should no longer have personally identifying information all over it. However, your search engine can still link your searches together using cookies and IP addresses.10 Tip 4 will prevent tracking through cookies, while Tips 5-6 will prevent IP-based tracking. It’s best to follow Tips 3-6 together — there is less benefit in preventing your searches from being linked together in one way if they can be linked in another.

Cookies are small chunks of information that websites can put on your computer when you visit them. Among other things, cookies enable websites to link all of your visits and activities at the site. Since cookies are stored on your computer, they can let sites track you even when you are using different Internet connections in different locations. But when you use a different computer, your cookies don’t come with you.11

From a privacy-protection perspective, it would be best to block all cookies. However, because cookies are necessary for accessing many websites, it may be more convenient (though less privacy-protective) to allow short-lived “session” cookies. These cookies last only as long as your browser is open; therefore, if you quit your browser, re-open it, and then go back to your search engine, your search provider will not be able to connect your current searches with previous ones via your cookies.

Use the following steps to allow only “session cookies,” and remember to quit your browser at least once a day but ideally after each visit to your search provider’s site.

We recommend that you use Mozilla Firefox and apply these settings:

  1. From the “Edit” menu, select “Preferences”

  2. Click on “Privacy”

  3. Select the “Cookies” tab

  4. Set “Keep Cookies” to “until I close Firefox” 12

  5. Click on “Exceptions,” type in the domains of all of your search sites, and choose “Block” for all of them

If you use Microsoft Internet Explorer to surf the web:

  1. From the Internet Explorer “Tools” menu, select “Internet Options”

  2. Click on the “Privacy” tab and then press the “Advanced” button

  3. Click on “Override automatic cookie handling”

  4. Set both “first party” and “third party” cookies to “Block”

  5. Select “Always allow session cookies”

screenshot

5. Vary your IP address (intermediate)

When you connect to the Internet, your ISP assigns your computer an “IP address” (for instance, EFF’s web server’s IP address is 72.5.169.162). Search providers — and other services you interact with online — can see your IP address and use that number to link together all of your searches.

IP addresses are particularly sensitive because they can be directly linked to your ISP account via your ISP’s logs. Unlike cookies, your IP address does not follow your computer wherever it goes; for instance, if you use your laptop at work through AT&T, it will have a different IP address than when you use it at home through Comcast.

If your ISP gives you a changing, “dynamic” IP address,13 or you surf from an office computer that is behind the same firewall as lots of other computers, then this concern is diminished.

However, if you have a dynamic IP address on a broadband connection, you will need to turn your modem off regularly to make the address change. The best way to do this is to turn your modem off when you finish with your computer for the day, and leave it off overnight.

On the other hand, if you have an unchanging, “static” IP address, you will certainly need to use anonymizing software to keep your address private; see Tip 6.

6. Use web proxies and anonymizing software like Tor (advanced)

To hide your IP address from the web sites you visit or the other computers you communicate with on the Internet, you can use other computers as proxies for your own — you send your communication to the proxy; the proxy sends it to the intended recipient; and the intended recipient responds to the proxy.

Finally, the proxy relays the response back to your computer. All of this sounds complicated, and it can be, but luckily there are tools available that can do this for you fairly seamlessly.

Tor (http://www.torproject.org) is a software product that encrypts then sends your Internet traffic through a series of randomly selected computers, thus obscuring the source and route of your requests.

It allows you to communicate with another computer on the Internet without that computer, the computers in the middle, or eavesdroppers knowing where or who you are. Tor is not perfect, but it would take a sophisticated surveillance effort to thwart its protections.14

You also need to make sure that your messages themselves don’t reveal who you are. Privoxy (http://www.privoxy.org) helps with this, because it strips out hidden identifying information from the messages you send to web sites. Privoxy also has the nice side benefit of blocking most advertisements and can be configured to manage cookies. (Privoxy comes bundled with Tor downloads.)

You can also use web proxies like Anonymizer’s (http://www.anonymizer.com) Anonymous Surfing. This option is more user-friendly but possibly a less effective method of anonymizing your browsing. Anonymizer routes your web surfing traffic through their own proxy server and hides your IP address from whatever web sites you visit.

However, Anonymizer itself could in principle have access to your original IP address and be able to link it to the web site you visited; therefore, that service is only as secure as Anonymizer’s proxy facilities and data retention practices.

While there is no reason to believe that Anonymizer looks at or reveals your information to others (we know the people currently running Anonymizer and they are good folks), there is little opportunity to verify their practices in these regards.

Using Tor and Privoxy is more secure because one untrustworthy proxy won’t compromise your search privacy. On the other hand, web proxies like Anonymizer are slightly easier to use at present.

Tor and Privoxy downloads and instructions can be found here:http://www.torproject.org/download.html.en

Conclusion

If you’ve implemented all six tips, congratulations — you’re now ready to search the Web safely. These steps don’t provide bulletproof protection, but they do create a strong shield against the most common and likely means of invading your privacy via your search history.

September 2006

1 For more on the disclosure, see http://eff.org/Privacy/AOL.

2 See http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/09/technology/09aol.html.

3 See http://eff.org/Privacy/search for documents related to Google’s challenge. The logs were to be used as evidence in a case in which the government is defending the constitutionality of the Child Online Protection Act (COPA).

See also http://news.com.com/FAQ+What+does+the+Google+subpoena+mean/2100-1029_3-6029042.html and http://news.com.com/Judge+Google+must+give+feds+limited+access+to+records/2100-1028_3-6051257.html.

4 The search providers’ have so far been unreasonably tight-lipped about their specific practices regarding search logging. For some insight, see http://news.com.com/Verbatim+Search+firms+surveyed+on+privacy/2100-1025_3-6034626.html?tag=nl and http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/breaking_news/15315062.htm.

5 Or your MySpace profile, personal blog address, or other similar personal information.

6 Advanced tip: you could also use two profiles for one browser. For instance, if you run Mozilla Firefox with the -ProfileManager flag, it will let you choose a profile. To learn more, visit http://mozilla.org/support/firefox/profile.

Mozilla Seamonkey has a “Switch Profile” command in the “Tools” menu. Pick a different theme/skin for each profile so you can tell which one you are using. To learn more, visit http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_Manager. With Internet Explorer, you may need to use two separate Windows user accounts.

7 Otherwise, your two separate browsers’ activities could be linked by IP address, as discussed below.

8 Mail.google.com and google.com leave some additional cookies that will identify you while searching, but which CustomizeGoogle (and GoogleAnon) will not anonymize.

Unless you remember to quit your browser, some of those cookies persist even if you logout of Gmail. Future versions of these privacy-protection tools may help fix this problem.

9 There is another Firefox plugin intended to protect your search privacy called TrackMeNot (http://mrl.nyu.edu/~dhowe/trackmenot/).

At present, we cannot recommend TrackMeNot. For one thing, it may actually make it easier for search engines to link your searches together (the fact that you’re using the plugin is distinctive).

Moreover, although it may create some uncertainty about aspects of your search history, it does not hide personally identifying information or the bulk of your most sensitive searches.

For further criticisms, see http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/08/trackmenot_1.html.

10 The search engine may also be able to pick you out of the crowd based on an unusual browser, operating system, language setting, or other atypical HTTP headers. The software recommended in Tip 6 can be used to impede these methods as well.

11 So long as you haven’t logged in; see Tip 3.

12 You can select “ask me every time” if you want more control, although the current Firefox user interface is not very good for this purpose. At this time, the Mozilla Seamonkey browser is more suitable if you wish to have fine-grained control over cookies.

13 You can find out your IP address by visiting a site like http://myipinfo.net. Ask your ISP if you have trouble determining whether your IP address changes.

14 For a technical discussion of this subject, see http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~sjm217/papers/oakland05torta.pdf.

 

END

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