Computer Security & Viruses/anoymous

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Question
hi..with so many articles about it, there is nothing but confusion about how to stay anoymous online. i have win 7 and hi speed via a phone line; dsl. i have nothing to hide but the idea of being watched, recorded, etc., just sort of makes you paranoid. so, what would you recommened about how to get online and nobody knows who you are? thank you!!

Answer
Staying anonymous with total assurance that it is working is impossible because we know from Edward Snowdown's leaks that the NSA pays companies lots of money in exchange for letting them snoop, and we know that many companies have accepted these deals. I expect the spy agencies of other nations also have figured out that money talks. In addition, we know from history that governments have often offered the providers of Internet services a deal they never refuse -- cooperate or go to prison. They also can cave in and allow snooping by companies or individuals if they get sued and face loss of their business on account of huge dollar amount judgments against them.

Even encryption is no solution because we know know thanks to Snowdown's leaks that the NSA has ways to defeat most forms of encryption. Some people have recommended using encryption techniques developed by nonprofit organizations on the theory that nonprofits won't take NSA money in exchange for installing back doors into their encryption software that allow snooping. However, even nonprofit organizations are run by people who don't want to go to prison or be forced into bankruptcy.

The bottom line is that the weak link in achieving anonymity is the human link. How do we know whether money or fear has compromised anyone? And if anyone who provides Internet services is brave enough to resist, how long before he or she ends up unable to provide these services because of being in prison or hiding out in an embassy?

So is privacy dead? Many experts agree that we are kidding ourselves when we think we can avoid the prying eyes of any organization that has the money and power to compromise or imprison anyone who stands in their way. The solution, in my humble opinion, is to fight back with "transparency." Do what we can to shine the light of publicity on the doings of governments and other powerful organizations. To read more about transparency, and how to participate, see http://davidbrin.com/

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Carolyn Meinel

Expertise

I cover Windows, Linux, TCP/IP and Ethernet security questions. I do not cover Mac, smart phones, or other networking issues.

Experience

Books by Carolyn Meinel: wrote a chapter for The Hacking of America book (see http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1567204600/happyhacker) My article Code Red for the Web for Scientific American was reprinted in the book Best American Science Writing 2002 (see http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060936509/happyhacker). My book The Happy Hacker: A Guide to Mostly Harmless Hacking is now in 4th edition with a Japanese edition (see http://happyhacker.org/hhbook/).

Organizations
IEEE, AAAS

Publications
See a list with some online links at http://cmeinel.com

Education/Credentials
MS, Industrial Engineering, The University of Arizona Took a course in computer forensics at the University of Texas at Austin/

Past/Present Clients
DARPA, SAIC, Palmer Labs

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