Protect Your Internet Communications With the Tor Project

The whole situation with the NSA and internet surveillance is a major invasion of our privacy.  I know some people say if you are not doing anything wrong, it shouldn’t bother you.  My attitude, I do many things in the privacy of my home that are perfectly legal, that I would not want the world to see.  The same thing applies to the internet, I might just be saying sweet nothings to my wife or gossiping about the kids, perfectly legal, but I don’t want some government official reading them.

One possible solution that you may consider is the Tor Project.  CNET called the Tor Project “hard core” and potentially even “overkill” when it comes to secure browsing.  Tor is free software that allows anonymous browsing and encrypts data transport and doesn’t reveal a user’s location or how long they were browsing.

Peter Zaborszky, the owner of BestVPN.com, told TheBlaze that encryption for data transmitted over an Internet connection, would “take thousands of years to break, and even if the NSA had quantum computers, it would still take them years to decode”,  TheBlaze recommended TOR.

The Tor Project explains how it works.

Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location. Tor works with many of your existing applications, including web browsers, instant messaging clients, remote login, and other applications based on the TCP protocol.

The Tor Browser will block browser plugins such as Flash, RealPlayer, Quicktime, and others: they can be manipulated into revealing your IP address. Similarly, we do not recommend installing additional addons or plugins into the Tor Browser, as these may bypass Tor or otherwise harm your anonymity and privacy.  The lack of plugins means that Youtube videos are blocked by default, but Youtube does provide an experimental opt-in feature (enable it here) that works for some videos.

While Tor has some limitation, it also has some real applications and I am considering using it for some uses.

Howard

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3 Responses to Protect Your Internet Communications With the Tor Project

  1. Barlow says:

    A few words of caution here.

    Should a person start using TOR or encrypting his communications with others, he may very possibly draw the attention of the federal government that he or she is worried about to begin with.

    A lot of stuff may simply fly under their radar, they do however look for sudden changes in habits, like all of a sudden your emails are encrypted, or your browser habits change…. as in they can’t suddenly be tracked. This will make them very curious and now…. you are being “looked” at. Doing these things will flag you for attention.

  2. bordermat says:

    Good post on Tor. But, the privacy issue that I see is that, while you have perfectly legal pursuits on the internets now, what is there to prevent those activities from being made illegal. And then retroactively prosecuted.

  3. Security Guy says:

    One thing that I have noticed from people who have denied for years that this has been going on is they usually say that government doesn’t have the people to monitor everyone. That’s true if you think of it as 1 real live person monitoring 1 or 10 others. But that is not how it is done now. The monitoring and caching is done by computers. If certain key words are heard or seen in the communique it is flagged for checking by a live person. There are reportedly 4 or 5 HUGE facilities for this in the USA. One is near Bluffdale, Utah. I have heard there are others in Maryland and Georgia. The rest I have not heard locations on yet. And all of these have what has been described as infinite storage capacity for all electronic communications because they are made for continuous upgrading and expansion. These facilities are not for monitoring foreign communications but domestic, that has been leaked by employees at these facilities. Stalin, Mao, Hitler only dreamed of these capabilities. Every call and email is intercepted and stored for future reference.

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