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TOR: Anonymous Browsing or "Yes Virginia, there is an NSA"

Discussion in 'Blogs' started by SeptemberMage, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. SeptemberMage

    SeptemberMage LaMOE Monkey

    Ok, I'm sure that most of you reading this post are, like me, a little concerned about privacy, or the lack thereof. So I am going to share my experience with setting up some security without getting too technical and confusing myself.

    I have always been interested in the use of anonymous proxy servers but there has always been one problem; Who runs these proxy servers? the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, the Russian Mob, who knows? So I have always avoided them, and continued along my way. Because there was no real need I thought. Now I have reconsidered the need for privacy and anonymity and have to confront the problem.

    To do this I have settled on using The TOR project. I am not using Microsoft products anymore, So I can't tell you what to expect if you are using Windows VISTA, XP, etc... Nor can I tell you if it will work with Internet Explorer or how to set it up. Though I imagine it would work I can't tell you. I want to start by saying that because it's important to bring this up first.

    This is something I think is important to consider while you read the rest of this. I have no freaking idea who wrote the code for Internet Explorer, or Windows VISTA, I know they work for Microsoft but what does that mean? They could be from anywhere, they could be anybody, they are anonymous programmers and COMPANY MEN. Maybe they were shipped in from some third world country, they could be NSA, Bill gates cousins, hell they could be reanimated ZOMBIES locked in a basement with electrodes up their butts: regardless of who they are their loyalties DO NOT LIE WITH YOU. Ok, Now that that is over I can tell you what I am using, and what I think of it so far.

    First I am using Firefox as my web browser. I am running Ubuntu as my Operating System. That means No Internet Explorer and No Microsoft Windows.
    I have installed TOR with Privoxy and SwitchProxy plug ins for Firefox... what is all that? What a great question, and the great answer is You can look it up. And I don't mean that to be funny, yes you can look it all up, you can also get the names of all the people involved in the TOR project, the names of the guys who coded the programs etc... You can actually know who these people are. I like that aspect very much. Not that I know if they will take your calls or answer your emails, but they might.

    I have been testing it all night to see if it is hiding my IP address as it should, there are a few places that you can only access using TOR, the first I tried was the one at Harvard University, though there are several: MIT is part of the network and other universities all over the world. Anyway so I have been opening random websites that report IP information to you and then running Whois on the various addresses these websites seem to think I am using. They report different addresses, so it seems to be working. According to them I am accessing their websites from all over, U. Mass, Romania, U. Michigan, Speakeasy network, etc...

    I still want to verify that the information leaving my computer is encrypted, but that will have to wait, Im just too tired to go inot that right now. Anyway, Ill write more later. Night all.
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