In many parts of the world, like North America, using Wikipedia is taken for granted; hell, there are even Twitter accounts to track government employees editing the internet’s free encyclopedia while on the clock. But in other places, like Turkey or Syria, using Wikipedia can be difficult, and even dangerous.
For example, Wikipedia is still blocked in Turkey after the government restricted access to the site during a crackdown on dissident elements after a failed coup. Syrian-Palestinian digital activist and Wikipedia editor Bassel Khartabil is believed to have been executed by the Syrian government.Read more
Dark web users may not be as anonymous as they think. There are a high number of potentially privacy-busting connections between the dark web – hidden online networks that require special software to access – and the regular “surface” web.
“The dark web is maybe not as dark as it seems,” says Iskander Sanchez-Rola at the University of Deusto, who led the investigation into the Tor network, a dark web network that uses encryption to conceal users’ identity. The group found close links between the dark web and surface web. More than 20 per cent of the 1.5 million dark web pages they analysed imported resources.Read more
A newly discovered malware capable of cyberespionage and remote takeover is targeting Mac computers, delivering its payload by opening up a backdoor connection to a command-and-control web server via the encrypted Tor network.
The malware arrives disguised as a drag-and-drop file conversion application called the EasyDoc Converter, which is found on many credible third-party sites, according to an analysis from Bitdefender, whose security researchers uncovered the malware. The program is neither verified nor digitally signed by Apple. In reality, the program's true purpose is far more malevolent.Read more
According to leaked documents France's Ministry of Interior is considering two new proposals: a ban on free and shared Wi-Fi connections during a state of emergency, and measures to block Tor being used inside France.
New bills could be presented to parliament as soon as January 2016. These proposals are presumably in response to the attacks in Paris last month. The new measure is justified by way of a police opinion, saying that it's tough to track people who use public hotspots. The second proposal is a little more gnarly: the Ministry of Interior is looking at blocking and/or forbidding the use of Tor completely.Read more
Tor, the world's largest and most well-known "onion router" network, offers a degree of anonymity that has made it a popular tool of journalists, dissidents, and everyday Internet users who are trying to avoid government or corporate censorship.
But one thing that it doesn't offer is speed—its complex encrypted "circuits" bring Web browsing and other tasks to a crawl. That means that users seeking to move larger amounts of data have had to rely on virtual private networks—which while they are anonymous, are much less protected than Tor. A group of researchers may have found a new balance between privacy and performance.Read more
Belarus has moved to block access to all Internet anonymizers in the country, including Tor. The country's Communications Ministry published a new decree that mandates how access to certain online resources should be limited by Internet providers at the request of the state. Some of the limitations deal directly with anonymizing services.
The state inspection, upon discovering Internet resources, anonymizing services, that allow Internet users to access online resources whose identifiers are included on the limited access list, will add the identifiers of these Internet resources and anonymizing services to the list as well.Read more
A new kind of point-of-sale malware similar to that which struck Target is being sold in underground markets. The malware was found on VirusTotal, a website where people can submit malware samples to see if one of several dozen security applications detects it.
It had also been advertised on an underground carding website, where people buy and sell stolen payment card data. Retailers across the USA have been hit hard by malware that scans the volatile memory of computers connected to point-of-sale systems, which handle card payments. It appears to share some of the same source code as Dexter and other characteristics of Chewbacca.Read more
All August Germar asked for fund his privacy-focused router project. But as the attention and controversy around his Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign snowballed over the last five days, he found himself at one point with 82 times that amount—and now with nothing.
Kickstarter suspended the crowdfunding campaign for Anonabox, an initiative to sell a tiny router that would run all a user’s online traffic over the anonymity network Tor. The idea tapped into an explosive demand for simple privacy technology. But as funders shoveled more than half a million dollars into the project, they also began to pick apart Anonabox’s claims of creating custom hardware.Read more
Mozilla is starting a new initiative that the company says is designed to incorporate more privacy enhancing features into Firefox and the other Mozilla products. The project involves collaboration and will involve Mozilla running a group of high-speed Tor relays, as well.
Privacy has become a major issue for users across the spectrum, not just the security conscious or paranoid. Nowadays, consumers are seeking out privacy enhancing tools and shunning those that infringe on their expectations of online privacy. Especially the NSA revelations of the last 18 months also have helped make privacy a key concern for enterprises and their customers.Read more
Today Facebook unveiled its hidden service that lets users access their website more safely. Users and journalists have been asking for our response; here are some points to help you understand our thinking.
I didn't even realize I should include this section, until I heard from a journalist today who hoped to get a quote from me about why Tor users wouldn't ever use Facebook. Putting aside the (still very important) questions of Facebook's privacy habits, their harmful real-name policies, and whether you should or shouldn't tell them anything about you, the key point here is that anonymity isn't just about hiding from your destination.Read more
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