A Refresher Course from EFF on Email Anonymity

Picture: Opencage.info (CC)

Considering that even top generals, senators, journalists and military brass are subject to the unreasonable searches being commited daily by the Surveillance State, it is important to be aware of the risks and act accordingly. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is your staunch defender and advocate, and have once again posted the methods for remaining anonymous online using a Tor onion browser, pseudonymous webmail and end-to-end encryption.

Tips and step-by-step instructions available at EFF:

So, just how do you exchange messages with someone, without leaving discoverable records with your webmail provider? This is an important practical skill, whether you need to use it to keep your love life private, to talk confidentially with a journalist, or because you’re engaged in politics in a country where the authorities use law enforcement and surveillance methods against you.

The current state of anonymous communication tools is not perfect, but there here are some steps that, if followed rigorously, might have protected the Director of the CIA, the Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan, and their friends against such effortless intrusion into their private affairs.

Anonymous online communication is a valuable tool for journalists, whistleblowers, dissidents, and Directors of the CIA. As you can see, it is still quite hard to do and do well, and few people will have the discipline necessary to ensure that their webmail provider can never disclose their IP address or inter-account linkages, because the provider will never see the identifying information in the first place.  Technologists all over the world are hard at work, improving the usability of all sorts of anonymous online communications tools, and we look forward to the day when all people who need to exercise their freedom of expression can do so safely, simply, and anonymously.

In other words, Don’t Be a Total Petraeus!

Breshvic

It was a typical day in junior physics class at Fairfield High School when things took a turn... to the atypical! Mild-mannered Breshvic's seething distaste of physics broke through its last tensile straw as the very fabric of spacetime holding him in place tore like the flimsy wet blouse of an amateur porn artist! Young Breshvic found himself disembodied, floating wildly in a place with no shape or form, but more directions than previously revealed to him, and not easily explained in this format! Had he gone to that ethereal void of wraiths and gods? Had he crossed over to the land of dead? HAD HE GONE UTTERLY MAD? Had he simply fallen asleep during another lecture? NO! It was in this astral plane between reality and dream, nexus of dimension, the OMNIVERSE, that he first learned to use his powers, clawing madly to survive against nightmarish demons and malevolent cosmic shadows!
  • BuzzCoastin

    I use Tor with varying frequency for anything secret (aka: illegal)
    but it’s too damned slow for big files
    I use a VPN everyday
    but I don’t really have any secrets from Big Homelander
    and if I did
    I certainly wouldn’t use Gmail or it’s ilk
    (got that Big Homelander?)

    PS: some email accounts bock your access through TOR
    Hushmail is one, Google always has some impediment to logging on too
    Google also blocks or impedes TOR searches
    cause it’s all about freedom from censorship

  • alizardx

    good EFF article, recommended. As for tor-google… try getting a different proxy from tor. Or use dudkduckgo. IMO, even “legitimate” business-confidential (e.g. NDA discussions of tech projects) is good enough reason to take electronic privacy seriously.

  • Ospinasmith
  • ajsilver

    Ha! Tor was developed by ONI; look it up.