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Wednesday, December 26th, 2007, 9:04 am

Improved Surfing and Browsing Notes

OVER time, I’ve accumulated a few notes about things that I bear in mind while surfing the Web or communicating with people. Here’s a quick breakdown.

Saving Evidence

Corporations, unlike us mere mortals, don’t care about preservation more than the law requires. That’s why the Bush Administration, Intel, Microsoft and many other companies purge E-mails and shred documents without any guilt or hesitation. I should really make copies of everything I cite (I rely too much on the Web Archive). A friend of mine wanted to automate this and create archives of all my posts, plus local copies of cited articles. With wget, these can be sorted nicely by URL, but I never do this. If you have any tips, please leave a comment.

WWW Privacy

A person can always use a proxy if there is fear of having IP addresses harvested. I set up this thing for myself a couple of years ago and I had to make it password protected because lots of people from Asia used up my bandwidth. Then, the only server that ever sees my IP address is mine. You’re essentially passing requests through a trusted middleman.

Since all routers are peers as well, there’s no way to get perfect independence from other people’s vigilant eye. One option is therefore to use Web mail via proxies, but then you’re still relying on the the proxy not giving away its log files (or destroying them every night).

I suppose you may have heard by now about the police demanding encryption keys from an animal rights activist over here in Britain. There’s increased mail monitoring as well, which is why I suggest that people get themselves covered. There’s also that Blogger (Google) incident from last month. Google gave away the IP to the police and used some excuse. Think of mini-microsoft (the blogger) and many others who rely on anonymity. Without anonymity, they will lose their jobs. It seems like an approaching end of an era. Authorities require greater control. They exposed too often, so they misuse their powers.

E-mail Privacy

Have you readers considered encrypting your E-mails? I do this with people who can. If you’re using Thunderbird and there’s an extension called Enigmail that will make it very simple for you to set up. It’s cross-platform too.

Remember that privacy is among your right. Don’t let people take it away from you and essentially treat you like a criminal. With less privacy, you are left powerful and exposed.

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