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  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 6:00 pm on July 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , activists, , experts, , , , , snowden, , , Telegram,   

    Wolf In A Sheep's Clothing: Privacy Experts Or Privacy Traitors? 

    Ever since Snowden’s revelations in 2013, there has been a surge in so-called privacy experts who have established their names in the privacy world.

    Who are these experts? Why would I listen to them? Why should I trust them?

    What I’ve noticed is that many of these so-called “experts” don’t follow the philosophy they preach to others. They just happen to have adequate knowledge about privacy but they don’t usually do anything for their own privacy.

    These are the privacy missionaries with Facebook accounts, Twitter accounts, Reddit accounts, Github accounts, LinkedIn accounts, Gmail accounts, YouTube accounts, Telegram accounts and so on.

    What the hell is a privacy-oriented individual doing on Facebook? Posting anti-Zuckerberg memes for likes?
    What are they doing on Twitter? What is Snowden doing on Twitter? Did he not know about GNU Social or Diaspora? Does he still not know about the Fediverse?

    Why do privacy activists still use Telegram? Do they not read the news? Do they have some secret anti-FSB powers that I don’t?

    I see these privacy activists and I hear what they are saying, but I’m not sure if they believe in their own words. Are they magically untouchable, whereas I’m not? Does Twitter not violate Edward Snowden’s privacy like the rest of it’s users?

    There’s this guy called TheHatedOne on YouTube, that posts privacy-oriented videos. Apparently he’s quite famous on Reddit as well. I haven’t watched his stuff. I browse YouTube every single day. But I haven’t watched this guy’s channel. I mean, why should I? He’s talking about privacy on the world’s most invasive platform. And I don’t think he’s making money either. Probably has a patreon or something like that.

    Why are these privacy experts using Twitter and YouTube? I thought about it. They have a message for the people. They want to inform and educate the people. It’s a noble cause.
    But if you want to make an impact on your audience, you’ll have to switch platforms some day. This is inevitable. People can only take you seriously for so long before they begin to have doubts on your authenticity. Show them how it’s done. Create a GNU Social account and make your regular posts there. Peertube has been around for over a year now. Post your videos on a peertube instance.

    Why does a large portion of the privacy community gather on Reddit? There have been alternatives for a while now. Why haven’t they made a switch?
    How much sense does it make, to discuss your methods of evading surveillance on the largest surveillance platform on the internet?
    Does the NSA, FBI, CIA, FSB, GHCQ not browse the /r/privacy subreddit? Is that it?
    Does Reddit not know the various methods used by a certain community of privacy enthusiasts to evade it’s tracking mechanisms?

    What’s the use of preaching about animal rights and veganism if, at the end of the day, I go home and have nice steak for dinner? Do animal rights not matter while I’m eating the steak?

    I’ve been thinking about this for quite a while now. I decided to type my thoughts on this matter, quite aware that there will be no change whatsoever. It’s just that the hypocrisy in the entire situation is quite intriguing. And it’s going to hurt the cause. You can’t expect to change the general population by constantly mingling with them and acting like them. You have to take a stand; stand out from the rest, do what’s right and show them how it’s done. Otherwise it’s just another show. I believe Hollywood has better actors.

  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 7:16 am on May 4, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , snowden, , ,   

    How I Got Into Privacy 

    Privacy for me came more as a necessity than a choice.

    When you give people a choice, there’s a 90% chance that they’ll slack on the options.That’s why most of the governments and corporations in the world are exploiting privacy. People have become lazy. People stop thinking about what they’re signing up for. People begin to trust blindly. Because they don’t consider the options. They follow the herds, like sheep.

    Have you ever come across a slaughterhouse? There’s a couple of goats munching on greens outside, focused solely on the delicious meals before them. And every hour or so, the butcher will come out, pick one goat and take him inside. Or even worse, if the goats happen to be from the Asia, the butcher will slaughter them right on the pavement, in front of the other goats. What do the rest of the goats do? They keep munching, grinding their jaws, completely oblivious to their dying mate and his cries for help.

    This is the current situation of privacy across the globe.

    I got my first laptop in 2011. It was an HP Pavilion DM4 1600us. It came with Windows 7 Home Premium preinstalled. I also got a 512kbps internet connection with a well-known ISP who gave their own routers and landline phones as a great package deal. Except, it wasn’t.

    At the time, I’d just bought a new phone. The Nokia X2-00. It’s still lying on my table, quite dead now. It lasted longer than my laptop; being in daily use until late 2017.

    My first browser was Internet Explorer. But I quickly moved on to Firefox, then later, Comodo Dragon.

    This entire setup – the laptop, the OS, the ISP and their proprietary router – was a privacy disaster. That’s the summary. I endured it till 2016, when I made some massive changes and got an entirely new setup.

    I want to share some highlights of my journey from 2011 – 2016 with my Windows laptop and 512kbps terrible ISP.

    In 2011, I had just moved to one of the world’s most oppressive countries on the planet. I knew the ISP was tracking my internet usage through their proprietary router. But even if I’d had my own router, they’d still have tracked me; with them being the ISP.

    Here’s a rough timeline from 2011 – 2016.


    1. Installed adblock plus, ghostery, Web Of Trust extensions on Firefox
    2. Searched for a free browser VPN extension. At the time, I thought this would hide my traffic from my ISP, as well as hide my real IP from any websites that I visited
    3. Installed Splashtop OS and tested it
    4. Downloaded Ubuntu and Linux Mint.
    5. Installed Virtualbox. Installed Ubuntu and Linux Mint to check them out
    6. Created my first private online identity. Accounts on Hotmail, Gmail, Facebook, Google+, Yahoo, YouTube. Posted my first YouTube video before deleting it a few days later
    7. Read HuffingtonPost, ArsTechnica News daily


    1. Installed Comodo Icedragon and Comodo Dragon and made them my primary browsers
    2. Installed Comodo Internet Security
    3. Created my first universal pseudo-identity on Gmail, Outlook, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, MySpace. Was quite popular


    1. Created my 3rd online persona on a rather isolated social network
    2. Started reading news of the Snowden leaks. Didn’t pay much attention
    3. Browsed several tech websites religiously


    1. Started paying attention to the Snowden leaks. Did more research and downloaded as many leaked documents as I could find
    2. Deleted my first universal pseudo-identity and cleared up all associations with it
    3. Created my 4th online persona
    4. Browsed MalwareTips daily; installed several softwares with giveaway keys


    1. Created multiple online personas
    2. Joined Reddit, BleepingComputer, Imgur, Yandex etc
    3. Joined beta of Protonmail and Tutanota
    4. Joined MeWe.com
    5. Started using the Tor Browser
    6. Installed GlassWire firewall, learned to block connections from Windows Firewall


    1. Watched my laptop die
    2. Switched ISP’s
    3. Got my new netbook
    4. Got my new smartphone
    5. Upgraded the netbook from Windows 8 to Windows 10. Was still slow and laggy
    6. Installed Manjaro as my first Linux distro on my netbook
    7. Installed Elementary OS
    8. Installed Solus OS
    9. Installed Fedora
    10. Tried to install Qubes, Whonix, Debian, Subgraph, Sabayon, Lubuntu and failed
    11. Joined the Fediverse. Created my first account on Quitter, LoadAverage, Shitposter Club, JoinDiaspora and Hubzilla
    12. Quit Reddit, Imgur, MeWe etc
    13. Stopped visiting a load of websites such as HuffPost, Arstechnica, BleepingComputer and so on
    14. Deleted my first private online identity and all associated accounts
    15. Installed the latest update of Samsung Marshmallow via adb.

    Phew! That’s a long journey in discovering the ultimate privacy threat model that I could work on.

    There have been a lot of changes and improvements since 2017. I’ll leave that discussion for another day.

    Privacy is a learning curve. You have to start somewhere and work your way into the dark. Looking back at how far I’ve come, it required persistence. And the worst part of all that is, I had to go on a hunt to find what I was looking for. It wasn’t readily available. It took several months and years of patience to get things working. And it’s not perfect yet. There’s still a lot to be done. But finally, I feel free like a bird. I’m not bound by any corporate or government surveillance system.

    Dear Mark Zuckerberg, Dear Sunder Pichai, Dear Twitter, Dear Microsoft, Dear Google, Dear Facebook, Dear NSA, Dear GCHQ, Dear 5 eyes, 9 eyes, 14 eyes, Dear Politicians, Dear Government Surveillance Agencies, and to everyone who is involved in the spying, surveillance and oppression of innocent citizens across the globe, my middle fingers have got something to say to you:

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