Friday, March 27, 2015

The Bill of Rights

 Privacy is affected in many ways.  The Bill of Rights subjects to the privacy of not only conducting your own religion and assembly at your own place without being detained but also after you are being detained to testify for a crime that you haven't seen or have no more details to add.  Also, the freedom of having your own thoughts or ideas as long they do not affect a third party (freedom of speech), the right of bear arms (as long as you have a valid gun license) and the freedom of deciding whether a militia, navy or army man should stay at your house while the nation is “under peace.”  Certain rights impose the fact that we are still free but some of them, such as the freedom of speech are a double edged sword.  If one speaks badly about certain things just because it is his thought, and someone sensitive just feels annoyed or hurt, you could be in trouble.

The same goes for the government.  If the government thinks you have hurt them, your freedom of speech is no longer free, and you will be punished for it.  It depends a lot how people, entities, and governments take your argument.  Of course, this is more prevalent when there is an abusive system.  People, then rather not even express their opinions and there is where freedom of speech lacks.

Since after 9/11, not only we can see a proliferation of abuses not only to the Bill of Rights but also seen on top-secret papers exposed by whistle-blowers such as Chelsea (former Bradley) Manning and Edward Snowden as well as by journalists such as Glenn Greenwald and Julian Assange dismantling horrific projects and operations from the NSA as well as from the Five Eyes (intelligence alliance compromising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States).  Little by little our freedoms are diminishing for the name of “National Security” with freedom interfering Acts as the Patriot Act (especially Section 215), Net Neutrality, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other mass-surveillance programs.  People need to wake up before it is too late, because we are now facing the end of “our own control” times.
We are rapidly and nefariously losing our freedoms for the name of “security” selling us a plethora of dystopia realities fabricated by false-flag operations such as the endless wars we are facing now as well as producing horror propaganda orchestrated by a shadow unified government with terrorists groups using their best weapon:  media disinformation.  We need to act and we need to act now because as Benjamin Franklin once said:  “Those who give up their liberty for more security deserve neither.”

Friday, March 20, 2015

Meet The Hidden Web


Also known as the Dark Web, Deep Web, Darknet or darkweb, whatever is left out of search engine indexes is located in these darknet. Despite the name used, according to, the deepweb is made out of 96% of all content, far more webpages than the World Wide Web. What we cannot see with our "naked" eye (or in this case with traditional methods) is known to be unkown, but thanks to services such as Tor or I2P, we can actually experiment the full potential of information flow.

Now, how can we know what is indexed and what is not? Well, for the most part it is very hard to know without delving yourself into the darknet itself, but some of it can be found in the "robots.txt" file of some websites. As previously stated in one of my Blogs, the robots.txt file can be easily accessed, for example, on this website.

When connecting to the deep web, you can determine it is non-indexed because the websites are randomly assigned and have a .onion extension after their domain name; for example, DuckDuckGo's search engine website is http://3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion.

How to Access It

Like everything on my Blog entries, I do not condone anything illegal or foolish. Use the darknet as your own discretion. You can find horrific, ugly things as you can also find beautiful lost pieces of information.

 The way to access the .onion sites is through Tor. As previously stated in my numerous Blogs, Tor was invented by the U.S. Navy in the mid-90's and it provides a pretty anonymous access to the Internet as well as I2P and .onion sites as well (darknets). Not only people who want to hide their "activities" can use Tor but also countries like Egypt, Lybia, Afghanistan, etc who don't have a complete access to the Internet and information.  Also, a lot of criminals such as paedophiles, hitmen, cyber-criminals, cyber-bullies, drug and gun dealers access the darknets as well as black markets to sell their good in an anonymous way.  These last uses are the reasons why darknets are considered dangereous.

There are easy and fast alternatives such as the Tor Browser which takes care of the tedious install and proxy configurations but it is not guaranteed that Tor will be 100% anonymous "out of the box". Further configuration is always required.

Even though Tor had some issues with bugs, security flaws and potentially NSA's surveillance and spoofed relays to spy on people, it is not wise to judge the whole Tor project because of some rotten potatoes in the past.  A lot of flaws were and are being fixed everyday as well as other software in the market. After all, Tor is also based on software and protocols which are being fixed and improved all the time. Also, it is not safe to consider Tor as a bullet-proof for all your "hidden" activities, but it is a good choice as an extra security layer to have in your security arsenal.

Where to Look

Once you connect to the Tor Network, you can find who are in the network acting as relays.  Each relay are the people helping your connection being more secure. The entry and exit nodes (you and the server) are the only who knows about the site you are trying to visit (not the relays) and they also think your connection comes from another country.  Also, it is important to note that the only unencrypted part is from the exit relay to the destination.

All of this is only to understand a little how Tor works, but let's get to how to surf the deep web.

For starters, let's first find a starting point. To find a starting point, we need either 1) an .onion site with a list of other sites or 2) a search engine for deep web sites.  The reason why the first one is not very reliable is because the list is always out of date and the links might not work. The original one is called CoreOnion.

1) There are sites that lists, or at least, tries to list the most up to date links. Some of them are: The Hidden Wiki, Tordir, and the Onion URL Repository (You will need to be running Tor to enter to these sites).

2) You can also look at search deep web engines for .onion sites. Some of them are: DuckDuckGo, DeepSearch, and Abyss. (You will need to be running Tor to enter to these sites).

Once you have a starting point, you can surf on your own discretion. You will find a lot of information just about anything, and I mean ANYTHING.

Deepweb and Censorship

One of the reasons governments cannot shut down the deepweb entirely is because governments also use it to hide their activities and make them more anonymous in order to avoid infiltration, eavesdropping and data leak. As anything in this world: one tool which is used for the good of humanity can and will be always be used as all things evil. Even though there are tons and tons of criminal activities in the deepweb and lots of them are being shut down such as "The Silk Road v1 and v2", it is impossible to shut them all at once without bringing down the Tor network.

The Repercussion: In Numbers

Since the military, governments, navy, airforce and secret societies also use the I2P and Tor networks to hide their daily "secret" activities, it would be a total loss for all of them if they shut it down. Governments always try to keep control of the darknet by shutting down criminal content most popular sites but they re-open soon after with a new random .onion address, or better yet, a mirror somewhere else. The repercussion, however was not a lot comparing with the profit. For example, The Silk Road v2 had approximately 1 million members and was making 1.2 billion in yearly profit. When the Silk Road was shut down by the F.B.I. on November 5, 2014, they sized about 26,000 bitcoins (equivalent to 4 million U.S. dollars at that time). Bitcoins is the anonymous form of purchasing services and goods in black-markets through the darknet. Used as BTC in the stock exchange and now (by April 6, 2015) it is worth 258.19 U.S. Dollars. Suprisignly, Silk Road's operator made $80 million in commissions from its members. When the silk road re-opened its value went 3 times what it was worth both in members and financially.

Net neutrality and Last Thoughts

After the EFF winning over net neutrality on March 12, 2015, ISPs and Cable companies don't have access to a lot of their client's control but since they lost the battle (but not the war) they are finding new ways to supress their clients' browsing actions which is not included in the Net Neutrality rules. For example, Comcast is currently performing DPI (deep packet inspection) techniques to ensure they alert governments (if asked) if a customer is using Tor.  Since, they deeply analyze their customers' packets, they can determine who is using Tor and who isn't. One easy (but not bulletproof) way to avoid this is to use Tor Bridges. Since using Tor relays which are indexed from the Tor network, if Comcast (or other ISP company) has access to this list, they can easily determine who is using Tor thus blocking access to it so the customer cannot access any site through it.  By using bridges, they cannot determine if their customer is using Tor because the bridge address is not listed as "public" in the Tor network, thus they cannot discern between a Tor or non-tor connection. They just don't know what it is. Bridges are being used in highly-oppressing countries, countries such as China, Hong Kong, Lybia, Egypt, Labanon, Syria, etc. to bypass their government Firewall.  They also use Proxy Chains which intercorrelate their connections and bounce it through a series of proxies to anonymize traffic even further.

Additionally, you can use a VPN with Tor and Bridges to ensure more layers of anonymity, since by solely using Tor does NOT guarantee 100% anonimity.

With the emerge of a new, faster (even more controlled) Internet and free Internet such as Kim Dot Com's MegaNet, it is hard to conclude that Tor will be long enough to live our end of times.  Perhaps, a less centralized, non-IP address based network will be used for Freedom Fighters as the rest of the civilization will be using a faster but more controlled (and censored) Internet like the emerge of the Internet v2, which is already in progress and perhaps will be using HTTPS/2 (founded by Google).  It would be soon be a matter of speed and reliability vs privacy. The decision, hopefully, will be ours to make.


Exploring Onionland: The tor .onion Darknet
DarKnet or DeepNet: What is it and how to access it?
Going Dark: The Internet Behind The Internet
Deep Web Links
How FBI brought down cyber-underworld site Silk Road
BTC in Dollars - Current Stock Price
EFF wins over Net Neutrality

Friday, March 13, 2015

Keeping yourself off of the Radar of the NSA. Only fiction? Part 2

Our privacy deminishes every day, day by day and the facts stated on part 1 of "Keeping Yourself Off the Radar of the NSA" is only the tip of this huge iceberg.  The recommendation I gave for part 1 was to use Tails, even though it is not bullet-proof and the person who has the most knowledge wins in this cat and mouse game.  In part 2, we will go through more risks which increase everyday while getting more complex as well.

On this week, we not only found out about software surveillance but also hardware and network-based data mining through big and wealthy corporations as well as the net neutrality law which, by the way, temporarily won the battle but certainly not the war.

Last week, we found out about a vulnerability on Linux systems which are taking advantage from physical DRAM memory chips to gain kernel access to the system.  We also found out how Apple is sending the voice recordings consumers send to "Siri", the iPhone Intelligent Personal Assistant, to third party companies for advertisement and other undocumented purposes.

Further last week we have found out about certain phone brands such as Xiaomi Mi 4 is preloaded with malware by the manufacturer's customer ROM which then they denied and stated that those phones were fake replicas.  But don't worry, not all news are bad news in regards with surveillance.  Earlier this year, we have also found out about new ways to make it harder for governments and corporations to track our digital fingerprints.  The British multi-millionaire Kim dot Com did not only invented a secured end-to-end encrypted way to chat with your friends, but he is also now reinventing a new non-IP based "Internet" called "MegaNet" which, he states, will defy the whole surveillance essence.

But this is not the only attempt of defy tyranic global spies.  There are also other systems right now which are in Beta testing that will be used to form their own Internet and share information as free as people want it, because, after all, information should be free for the world to use it, manipulate it and see it however they would like as long there is no harm to others.

If you watched documentaries such as "Track me if you can" and "Terms of Conditions May Apply" (2003), you will realize that we have no or little control over our privacy. Even secret programs are out there that can track our identity by just finding our walking pattern. How are we then safe from the prying eyes?

From hardware, to software to global surveillance to secret programs to track people and break our privacy, we are in a dystopian world where our only weapon is knowledge.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Keeping yourself off of the Radar of the NSA. Only fiction? Part 1

What if I tell you that it is almost (if not) impossible to keep yourself out of the Big Brother's radar?  What if I told you that even though you take the most paranoid precautions, you are still caught on the net along with the other fishes? What if I told you that everything you have found out, everything you know about keeping yourself more secure is totally useless and you are hopeless when it comes to keep your data and digital prints safe? Well, let's dive into some facts....

I have published last year a Blog in how to keep yourself more secure on the net and in the physical ("real") life.  You should know that by the time I have published that Blog with solutions in how to better your privacy, more than a few Snowden's revelations have been surfaced even into the most naive people's eyes. The first thing you should know is that this is a mouse and cat game. This means that when the cat (the NSA for example) is trying to find new ways to push surveillance and autonomous systems to keep track of every single move we do, the mouse (freedom fighters and originalists) are sneakly moving forward finding new ways to keep their privacy a little more... private.

Edward Snowden who is now a refugee, along with the American journalist Glen Greenwald, had revealed some (not anymore) confidential U.S. Government files which pointed out the fact that we, as living beings in this world, are not free anymore.  Having a huge radar and a non-stoppable fierce, we have found out from the Citizenfour movie, that the U.S. is not the only "evil" on this game. Other countries, such as the U.K., Rusia, China, Germany, France, Sweden and Brazil (to name a few) are also joining this surveillance of humans' dystopia.

How everything got changed

In the last couple of years we have not only found out the "secret" surveillance programs and secret projects the NSA and its partners were (and still) using such as Carnivore, XKeyscore, PRISM, Muscular, Tempora and Project 6 (to only name a few).  We also now found out what I believe is the worse of the worst.

For now, the before-mentioned projects and programs work on a infrastructure level of networks (through spying big junks of data from big pipes) helped by Google, Facebook, Youtube, America Online, etc.  We all know how BIG Google is and how they also have access to most of the residential wireless passwords of the whole world via Android phones.  Also, through the Muscular program, we found out how the NSA is able to launch an exploit to any computer they want (regardless of the Operating System) in a matter of seconds. So, they have control over everyone's email, potential visited sites, potential personal information, habits (good and bad ones), data, metadata and every single piece of your life via Internet infrastructure and software. But this is enough for the NSA and its partners to have a total and perfectly shaped profile about their citizens, right? .. WRONG!!

Early last month, we have found out that China was putting Adware (Superfish) to Lenovo laptops by breaking and impersonating HTTPS certificates and also China was blamed for placing backdoors and surveillance software to routers in the past. Whether Superfish was software, now we are facing a new model.  Not only the NSA but also other governments are using hardware to spy on users inadvertently.  Earlier this month another Snowden revelation made a lot of people's jaws drop. This time, hiding "special, deletion-proof" spying software on the most common hard-drive brands, such as: Hitachi, Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba within others.  This poses a huge risk because now we do not and cannot trust not even our own brand new laptops.

Now that we know where we stand it is fair to ask ourselves: how can I protect myself? Is having a VPN, sitting behind 7 proxies or using TOR with a vast number of proxy-chains as well as using a live (read-only) USB drive running a live distro of Tails secure enough?

The Solution?

One thing we know. We know that this is a cat-mouse game and whoever knows more wins.  But this is not quite enough. Whoever is faster by staying up to date, develop the most (cryptographically) secure software as well as having a paranoid (security concious) attitude might be ahead of the game.

What about phones? As we know in the recent news, Gemalto encryption keys were stolen by the NSA and British Intelligence Communities and as we know cloning SIM cards in order to evade some tracking is illegal in most countries such as the U.S. and the U.K.  How can we protect against not only the big monsters of the digital information such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, etc? What about the exploits blindly launched by the NSA to our devices? We could have the best Firewalls and IDS/IPS but are they really enough against any Government which has the top cryptographic and evading software in the world?  What about defending against the spying hardware chipsets, hidden backdoors in our communication media such as routers and perhaps also Firewalls?  How can we also be safe against phone surveillance now that we know our SIM card data (or metadata) is being watched, analyzed and profiled?

The only thing I can think of is to be abstinent, and run a live copy of Tails. Remove your hard-drive, disable services (hardware and software) you don't need,  use and maintain your Firewalls, IDS and IPS, use TOR with Proxychains and of course, avoid doing anything stupid online.