DIY Data encryption. | The Survival Homesteader DIY Data encryption. Protect your privacy from the prying eyes of big government. Download this page in PDF format So, I have been mulling over this whole idea of President (use the term loosely) Obama signing an executive order to “take over” the internet. How could this be done? What does all of this mean exactly? How much is hype and how much is truth? The first thing I found out is that the executive order was signed, and that it looks exactly like a bill that was submitted to Congress. The name you may know is CISPA. I also learned that the bill (and executive order) will create a department that will “work closely with the private sector to create and implement standards for companies running critical infrastructures”. To me, this seems like a bunch of legal double talk. I am not sure where this is going, but I don’t like big government wanting to help me with my internet. I also found out that this order (bill?) will empower the National Security Agency and the military to collect your private internet records. This is a blatant invasion of our fourth amendment rights. All in the name of keeping us safe. Benjamin Franklin once said “He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither. People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.” With that in mind, I thought about ways to at least try to keep as much of my private data safe. Obviously, there are going to be points in which you can’t protect your data, such as when you buy or sell online, when you enter private data on a form of any kind or when you send email (an email is more like a postcard than it is a letter. Anyone with the knowledge can look at what is written). The first thing you can do is create an encrypted space on your computer. There are several programs out there that can do this. Many of these are free. The best ones I have heard of are TrueCrypt, Free OTFE and Gpf4win. I have some experience with TrueCrypt. I installed it on clients systems while I was playing computer tech over the summer. Make sure to get an understanding of the software before you start playing with these. The next thing would be encrypting files that I want to move from one place to another. There are several ways to do this, but I tend to lean towards a form of encryption called steganography. Steganography is a form of encryption that uses the “white noise” in a picture (or other file formats) to hold the data of another folder. There are some good (and free) software in the field of steganography. A few of these are OpenPuff, CypherTune and QuickStego. All of these will encode your file into another file. Then you can upload it and put it anywhere (such as a picture on your website). The last thing I want to bring up is email encryption. Earlier, I said that email is more like a postcard than it is a letter. Because of this, everyone should have some kind of encryption for emails. For email encryption, you can use stego or you can opt for software that will encrypt your emails. Comodo makes great software, many of which are free for personal use. While Comodo Unite isn’t technically email encryption, you can use the vpn server to chat securely and send files. Another one is called Crypt4Free. The third one I want to discuss is iSafeguard free. Both of these are reported to do the job. There are hundreds of other programs out there as well as a hundred different things to do to protect yourself from the power of the dark side that is our government. Be careful and stay safe.