Security, Privacy, Fighting Surveillance and all this

Introduction

In 2013 Edward Snowden proved that the NCA (= National "Security" Agency) on behalf of the US-Government uses the internet to spy on every living human being on earth. Do you want proof?

Glenn Greenwald, "No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the Surveillance State", Hamish Hamilton, 2014

Laura Poitras, "Citizenfour", documentary film from 2014

Edwar Snowden, "permanent record", Metropolitan Books, 2019

So, has the surveillance come to an end? - No, exactly the opposit: not only the NSA, GCHQ and other intelligence and security organisations but also Amazon, facebook, Google, ... are doing their own surveillance by collecting all the data they can get, using algorithms to generate profies of everyone, offering services based on these data and analysis to other companies and so on.

If we all do not protect us against this use and abuse of our data, the future might be very different and we all might be completely controlled by these data mining companies.

Katie Collins, "Edward Snowden says Facebook, Amazon and Google engage in 'abuse'", London 2019

Edward Snowden Calls Amazon, Facebook, Google Business Models 'Abuse':

 

Secure Your Privacy: VPN-Connections

VPN means Virtual Privat Network. Every place on earth has its own and unique IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. These addresses are like post codes: if someone knows your IP-address, he knows where you are.

If you create a VPN-connection to a server in another country, it is like an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the VPN-server. One can only see the IP-address of this server. It is possible to use serveral cascading VPN-conections to mask a computer.

ProtonVPN offers free VPN-conections. Read more about ProtonVPN, how to get and how to use it.

ProtonVPM: Understanding the VPN Threat Model

VPN for Smartphones: Go to Google Play Store, search for protonmail, choose protonmalil and scroll down. At the bottom you will find the link to the newest (05/01/2020) protonVPN for Smartphones. Install it, create your account, start protonvpn and use it.

 

Secure Your Privacy: ProtonMail

If you want to send secure e-mails you need to encrypt them and you need an e-mail-provider who can not read your e-mails. Imagine you are a whistleblower like Edward Snowden and you want to contact a person, e.g. a journalist. It is obvious that you can not use your normal e-mail-address, because it is unsecure. Then you might use ProtonMail. Read about the security details of ProtonMail. ProtonMail is free and available for computer, smartphones and iPhones.

ProtonMail: The ProtonMail Threat Model

Find the solution for your e-mail-client here, for computers, smartphones, iPhones and other devices.

 

Why Proton?

Many organisations are offering VPN-services and e-mail-encryption. Some services are free, other commercial. I chose Proton, because Proton Technologies AG in Geneve, Switzerland, is founded by scientists, physicists, engineers, developers and recearchers from CERN.

 

Secure Your Privacy: Enigmail and OpenPGP

With Enigmail you can use OpenPGP to encrypt your e-mails. For further details please read this article:

See below or go to: How to encrypt e-mails (PGP Encryption)

 
 
 

Secure Your Privacy: Search Engines

Everyone knows Google, but nearly no-one knows what Google does with all your data. For sure Google uses all data they can get. There is no need to surrender all your data to Google, there are very good alternative search engines:

duckduckgo

Qwant

 

This might be an alternative solution: Academic Signiture

 

How to encrypt e-mails (PGP Encryption)

E-mail encryption is in particular necessary, if you send confidential information, e.g. passwords, personal data or secrets, to avoid that a third party gets these confidential information and misuses them. A not encrypted e-mail is like a post card: everyone can read it. It is better to send a letter, i.e. an encrypted e-mail.

First you need to find out how to enable encryption in your e-mail-program. Here I focus on PGP encryption. Find the solution for your e-mail-client on the OpenPGP-website.

You are using Mozilla Thunderbird or a Mozilla-based e-mail client like Seamonkey. In this case you may install Enigmail and follow the instructions in the User Manual. Additionally you need to install GnuPG (Gpg4win) on your computer to create your own pair of keys.

The first condition for sending an encrypted e-mail is, that the receipient has got a privat key and a public key and that she/he has published his public key. Second, you e-mail-client has to support pgp-encryption.

  • download or copy&paste my public key into a text editor
  • save this file as *.asc, e.g. "martins-public-key.asc
  • import this file into your e-mail-client

Now you can send me an encrypted e-mail. Please send me your public key in the attatchment of your e-mail.

E-mail Encryption and Smartphones

One of the best e-mail-clients for smartphones is K-9 Mail. You can manage multiple e-mail-accounts and together with OpenKeyChain you can generate Keys and encrypt your e-mails.

Both programs are available at Google Play Store. Simply search for "K-9 Mail" and "OpenKeyChain".

For further details visit the websites and read the documentation.

 

Martin Blasczyk: my Public Key

If you want to send me an encrypted e-mail, olease use my pulic key:

-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
Comment: This is a revocation certificate
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=QfR+
-----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----

 

Additional information