If you’re reading The Daily Anarchist, you understand the nature of rulership and you probably understand that a free, open Internet is the state’s enemy. In the end, either the state controls all Internet traffic or the Internet undermines rulership and the state withers away.
It was kind of strange to see the news stories last week on Apple tracking all of their iPad users. The story came in just as I was looking at notes for this article on Apple tracking Mac users.
MACS CALL HOME
There is a little-known feature built into Mac operating systems called Location Services. This feature provides a way for websites to locate you (if you let it). Interestingly enough, it also calls home to Apple a few times a day… probably to pinpoint your machine on an Internet map. We’re not sure how far back this feature goes, but it is for sure in Mac OS 10.5 and 10.6.
The good news is that there is an option for shutting it off in version 10.6. If you have an earlier version, I’ll suggest that you use a nifty little program called LittleSnitch to prevent unauthorized outgoing connections.
TURNING IT OFF
As I say, the phone-home feature can be turned off under Mac OS 10.6, and here’s how you do it:
1. Click on the Apple symbol at the top-left of your screen.
2. Choose System Preferences
3. Choose Security
4. Choose General
5. Choose Disable Location Services
Once you do that, your machine will stop calling home to Cupertino. But, as I say, you should install LittleSnitch to be sure that neither Apple nor others will abuse you that way.
One of the programs I recommend for the protection of your personal computer is TrueCrypt. It is well-designed, easy to use, and free. (But I’ll have more to say about “free” below.) TrueCrypt encrypts your hard drive, but does so in a way that provides both maximum usage and maximum functionality.
I think that most Internet users with an interest in privacy have heard of Tor, the system of what is called onion routing.
Onion routing is a technique for repeatedly encrypting and forwarding data through several network nodes called onion routers. Each router removes a layer of encryption to uncover routing instructions, then sends the message to the next router where this is repeated. Intermediary nodes are prevented from knowing the origin, destination, and contents of the message. (Exit nodes know both the destination and the contents.)
So, Tor is a very clever technology, and it is free, so why isn’t it used more? And why then, should anyone pay for an anonymity service?
You may have heared the term “VPN.”It stands for Virtual Private Network. Now, presuming that you already understand what a computer network is, I’ll proceed to explain the Virtual and Private parts.
A private network would involve separate physical cables between offices. The cables would be connected between certain computers and those only – no outside connection at all. This would create a “private network.”
In this article I want to give you a quick explanation of why we recommend that you avoid Google, their web mail, and other web mail services.
We’ll start with Google’s fall from grace. It began as a clever new company, and has since become the newest member of the dominating class.
I am always disappointed to see how few liberty folks know what a PGP key might be, much less have one to share. This is a huge omission, and I aim to fix it.
Seth asked me to put together a few short pieces on simple steps to Internet Security. So, I will be giving you a few simple things to do to make yourself safe – one step at a time. These will be easy things.
I suppose I should add that one of these steps will concern a product that I sell, but there is really no way around that – it is a necessary product and we went into this business because it mattered, not because we wanted a quick buck.
But, today we begin with step number one.
For several years I’ve heard people compare the current condition of the United States, and the West in general, to the fall of the Roman Empire. I sometimes object to this because the comparisons are usually unfair and uninformed. Rome – both Republic and Empire – was built upon slavery, as was Greece. Our Civilization is built upon a commercial model, which is completely different. People sometimes complain about being “wage slaves,” but that bears little resemblance to the actual slavery of the classical world. (I should probably add that the United States is not an empire. It is a hegemon, not an empire.)
The results you produce in life are inversely proportional to the degree to which you are intimidated.
— Robert J. Ringer
Fear is, perhaps, the greatest daily enemy of mankind. It wages a continual war against our minds – much more so than many of us either realize or understand. It is ambient in the minds of most humans; perhaps in all of our minds, to one extent or another.