Privacy and integrity

Sub pages: My GnuPG keyBehaviourTechnicalFOSS

It’s important!

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights article 12

Don’t misunderstand me!

Too many of my friends think that a person who are anxious to keep his privacy and integrity

  • is equal to those anonymous guy
  • is pro Julian Assange
  • is pro Edward Snowden
  • has something to hide

My friends are wrong!

I think it’s extremely positive if we can avoid terror attacks! But no one can say they are avoided due to the surveillance of ordinary people, like you and me!

I don’t want to have a 1984 society, no Big Brother knowing more about me than I do myself. And for sure I don’t want this Big Brother to be a company like Facebook, Google, Yahoo or Amazon.

Who could believe in the 1880s Berlin that it 50 years later would be fatal to have acknowledged the confession of the Jewish faith?

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Problems to keep your privacy and integrity

When you are online, use public transportation or just have your cellphone turned on you have to major problems to face – behavioural and technical.

Behavioural aspects

Say that you always buy your monthly ticket for public transport with cash in a kiosk that does not have any surveillance cameras and say you do not register your ticket in order to block the ticket if you lose it.

How hard do you think it’s to find out who is the owner / user of the card if you always have your mobile phone with you and always have it turned on? You do not have to be Einstein to realize that this is a pretty simple job even if the GPS device in your phone is turned off.

Say you have your super-secret e-mail account not mentioning your name or address – with whom should you stay in touch? No one can contact you as they don’t know your super-secret e-mail address.

You can use VPN services and add-ons to your web browser claiming to increase your online integrity as much as you like as long as you pull your e-mail account whenever you are using your web browser.

You basically have to accept that meta data is almost as important as the content of your activity.

Read more about behavioural aspects here.

Technical aspects

One of the most important technical aspect is to keep the software you use up to date. This includes operating system, applications and firmware in routers and other hardware.

Do you feel safe when using proprietary systems like Window or macOS? Is a Chromebook, where you store everything in the cloud, a good option? Is Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive the most secure place in the world? Think again!

There is no cloud, it’s just someone else’s computer

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Read more about technical aspects here.

FOSS

You should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer”

Free Software Foundation

FOSS, Free and Open-Source Software, is a good start when you look for higher online integrity. Even if you personally don’t have knowledge to review the source code you can be sure others have.

On the other hand – don’t believe someone just because he is famous. Edward Snowden recommends a messenger app called Signal. Why? Have you thought about what could be on his agenda giving this recommendation due to the fact that he is hiding in Russia? On the other hand, NSA is not more trustworthy!

As free is used not as in free beer I strongly recommend you to support the developer of your favourite FOSS application. Even a small amout from each and one of us can make a huge difference for the developer!