I still feel like I’m not taking privacy seriously enough. I haven’t gotten a VPN yet because that requires pay and I am too lazy to try to get money. (I wish there were free (in pricing) VPNs.)
Privacy has become a very important issue in modern society, with companies and governments constantly abusing their power, more and more people are waking up to the importance of digital privacy.
In this community everyone is welcome to post links and discuss topics related to privacy.
much thanks to @gary_host_laptop for the logo design :)
Snowden was the kickoff for me. Once I saw how the NSA was collecting virtually all internet data, storing it in Utah for future decryption efforts, I knew we actually lived in 1984 times. Assange also had a strong impact, demonstrating that the free speech “protections” of liberal democracies were empty lies.
Off topic, but it is worth letting you know that in 99% of cases, a VPN is going to do nothing. There are still many other ways to identify you other than your ip address, and the only difference is that instead of your ISP taking your internet logs, your VPN is taking internet logs.
For me, one of several reasons I used a VPN is because the absence of dedicated servers in a video game I play can lead to creepy users getting a player’s IP address and DDoSing them or creepily telling the entire server what city/region a player lives in.
Probably the same time I started turning leftist, in middle school I was sort of a tech-bro bleeding-heart libertarian but sometime in high school I started looking at socialist texts. My trust in silicon valley was pretty dependent on my trust in capitalism as a whole.
I started taking privacy seriously when i first learnt about Echelon network in the late 90s. I wondered why so many resources would be used for surveillance, and why governments would be secretive about it. Then i started reading on anarchist history and political repression and somehow it ticked.
Since then, following many political trial against militants has only reinforced my analysis. Privacy is not (and should not be) a way for an individual to shield oneself from the consequences of misbehaving with their peers, but rather as a popular self-defense tool against the State apparatus. Nation States only exist to maintain/enforce oppression and force everyone to live in a single unified way: they can’t do that if they don’t know what everybody’s doing.
I started to reclaim my privacy back in 2016 when I switched from Windows to Linux. Today, I only use Windows for gaming and photo editing (Adobe Lightroom are still the best out there for me).
When it comes to VPN, I have used Mullvad VPN for years now. Super cheap (only 5 EUR per month) and privacy friendly.
But VPN only encrypts your connections and points your IP to somewhere else. If you want to take your privacy seriously, you need to take some actions and not only focus on the VPN part. For an example, Facebook, Twitter, Google Chat, Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, Discord, and more are really, really bad for your privacy.
Instead, use XMPP or Matrix for chat options. If you want an encrypted service yet get better privacy than WhatsApp, use Telegram. Signal uses servers from big tech companies, but yet Signal are still better than WhatsApp.
Mastodon instead of Twitter and Facebook. Revolt or Mumble instead of Discord. Invidious, Piped, youtube-local, or NewPipe instead of YouTube. ProxiTok instead of TikTok. And so on.
Use containers for Google and Facebook services in a browser.
I guess you get the idea 🙂
I feel inspired to make a privacy-focused
Those are good advices.
I am more worried about masking sensitive info though. The struggle with lying is a trait found in Autism that could screw me over.
I also struggle with routines because of ADHD; so I may commonly fail to change my behavior. This could be problematic.
Linux is great for gaming in the overall sense. Unless you play one of those games that for sure is not playable on Linux, in which case I personally don’t care for those games since I have plenty of games to be entertained. Sometimes we want or need to use specific programs and the best thing to do is limit our exposure, harden privacy. In which cases I suggest trying to be anonymous when using Twitter or Discord, and other social networks and prefer to have them on a browser tab instead of downloading an app to minimize the amount of the system information they can get. Of course all that along with going to their settings and harden it for privacy too per your use-case. There is some social networks that in my eyes are a prohibited no matter what like facebook, and others that my use went from 100% to 10% like with google. 10% being YouTube and Maps. For VPN, well, is tricky. 1st is not always really needed, it has its uses. Many don’t really need it. 2nd you’ll want to avoid the free ones but there is a workaround like getting it along with other services like ProtonVPN or paying for discounted lifetime accounts when you see those promos. That way is way cheaper but is still a pay service.
I agree with most of the suggestions here, but I’m not sure why Telegram, a proprietary application that is not E2EE by default (and whose encryption is their own standard anyway) is touted as a privacy-friendly chat app alternative.
You get monitored by Facebook in WhatsApp thanks to metadata and Facebook are trying to somehow detect what you have sent to provide personalized ads.
Telegram are built on privacy and security. Except for the metadata, you will not be monitored and the non-personalized ads are only visible in huge channels (like Pavel Durov’s own channel) and groups. I am a member in Pavel’s channel and I have seen zero (0) ads so far. Guess they haven’t released this feature yet?
If you want E2EE in Telegram, stop using cloud chats and only focus on secret chats. They are working on adding secret chats to the desktop versions.
I am really looking forward to Telegram releasing the source code for MTProto as soon as Russia stops wanting the source code for themselves (Pavel’s words, not mine). We all know how Russia is.
Everything else except MTProto are open sourced.
I’m sorry to disagree. Matrix and Signal both offer end to end encrypted group chats, while telegram has done zero progress on this issue since it launched, that is before signal was even born from textsecure, chatsecure and redphone.
Telegram even did not open source their server code nor offer to federate. Worse than Signal. And finally, if you review their changelog, they just focus on addictive features: animations, glitter and “rounded edges” so to speak. This and a ton of minor usability improvements that make it super slick to use.
For me, Telegram is the new Twitter and the new Whatsapp, all together. With zero encription on server side. How far is the time when some data leak or theft happens? How far until all this huge chat history is used for data mining, marketing profilation, and finally, for violence against minorities or activists?
I don’t have the mentally strength to look for further sources.
Thank you for all the sources. I’ve just finished reading them. Those tell me that they look to have good intentions, but don’t reply to the fact that their “encrypted cloud chats” mean “we store all your content encrypted but we keep the key for you”, and essentially: “we won’t look at it”.
However, they really can look at it. And at some point, Durov will change his mind, will die, will go bankrupt and sell all the databases, or maybe not. But you can’t rely on this “maybe not” when we are talking about privacy or security (imo privacy is just a subset of security)
Thank you :)
Yes, they do have the power to decrypt your data and peak into it, but why should they? Pavel and his brother created Telegram mainly for privacy. Source: https://www.businessofbusiness.com/articles/why-telegram-founder-pavel-durov-made-the-worlds-most-anti-authoritarian-messaging-app/
I would love to see that you can self-host Telegram and also see the source code for MTProto. So far, they don’t have done this. On their FAQ page, they say “yet” to making Telegram self-hosted and federated. With other words, they haven’t decided if they will make Telegram self-hosted or not yet. Source: https://telegram.org/faq#q-can-i-run-telegram-using-my-own-server
I love privacy and I also love self-hosting. So much, that I am building my own services in order to not use other services, for an example a weather service. But I do trust Pavel because Telegram are awesome (duh) and because his purpose of Telegram and because he is informing his users and others in his channel about stuff (bonus link: the Telegram Geeks channel).
The future has not been written yet, but if Telegram continues to be this awesome, the future for Telegram is quite bright.
For me it was the Edward Snowden revelations and seeing the horrible abuse of Julian Assange by the American government.
Not just the American Government; Europe played a part in this too.
Tor is free, and arguably better for privacy than a VPN.
It’s better for privacy but has other trade-offs. It’s slower than most VPNs and often blocked by hosts. I have nothing against Tor, but each have their own use cases.
Approximately at the same time I joined Lemmy
Also there are some free VPNs (Proton VPN and RiseupVPN) but they are slow AF (maybe because a lot of people use them?)
@Matheo_bis @Amicchan That’s right, the free VPN servers are almost 100% full. Web browsing is so slow that I can’t use it.