Law in the Internet Society
This can be a thread where we teach each other self defense.

This is how I encrypted my web browsing.


1) Download Putty from Columbia (or anywhere, it's free.)

2) Follow this guide

3) Paraphrasing from the above guide (which has helpful pictures), you set up Putty to connect to Cunix (Columbia's SSH server) and establish a tunnel along a certain port. The guide above uses 5150, but it can be any number between 1025 and 65535. You should come up with your own. We'll call it X.

4) You log into Columbia's SSH server using your Uni and password. Once you are connected, the tunnel is active. Leave that window open.

5) In Firefox: Options-->Advanced-->Network-->Settings. Select Manual Proxy configuration. Enter localhost in the line titled "SOCKS proxy." Change the port to X. Select SOCKS v5. Hit OK and you are done.

You can search around for what to do for Mac and Linux systems. Obviously, anytime you want to use the tunnel, you will have to open Putty and log onto Cunix. I think it's simple enough like this, but there's probably an easier way too.

-- ShawnFetty - 03 Nov 2011

I use the following Firefox extensions: NoScript? Ghostery Better Privacy

I also keep the default setting under Options to accept no cookies, and only make individual exceptions (under "Exceptions") for sites that won't work without them, and for those, I make the exception to allow a cookie for the session only. It's actually not that much work, beyond adding any necessary exceptions once.

NoScript? also requires some attention to allowing certain javascripts without which certain sites won't function, but the protection from malware is worth it, and it also blocks privacy-related stuff as well.

Ghostery and Better Privacy need little to no attention, they just work in the background to block various pernicious tracking devices.

Also, for Thunderbird users, there is an add-on called Enigmail which is an easy way to add PGP capability to your Thunderbird client.

-- DevinMcDougall - 03 Nov 2011

Great tips so far. Big +1 on NoScript? .

I've also started using TorBrowser? , which is a package that both puts you on Tor and it incluses Aurora, which is a pretty slick browser. It can be downloaded here.

Also, to make sure that you're using HTTPS, I'm going to give a plug to my EFF peeps and HTTPS Everywhere, a Firefox plugin that makes sure you are using https to access websites.

Also, re: browser identifiability, i.e. cookie-free identification, check out EFF's Panopticlick test. What you'll find is probably what I found, which is that your browser is unique. This is another reason to block JavaScript? and/or use Tor. (Check out a paper available at that site for more details.)

-- BahradSokhansanj - 04 Nov 2011

One privacy issue I'm very interested in: encrypted network backups.

Dropbox, a popular backup solution, is not private. My current approach is encrypted my files locally using TrueCrypt? , then putting them in Dropbox, but this is unwieldy.

I would like to be able learn how to use a combination of rsync, ssh, and server space to sort of "roll my own" encrypted file synchronized backup system.

I use Windows for the time being, so rsync won't work natively. Thoughts on this? Has anyone set it up?

Or other ideas for encrypted online backup would also be most welcome.

Many thanks!

-- DevinMcDougall - 10 Nov 2011


This search engine allows you to use google without the search bar becoming a spying device.

-- ShawnFetty - 10 Nov 2011

Detecting CarrierIQ and removing it.

-- ShawnFetty - 01 Dec 2011

So, I recommended Scroogle above, but it suffers from occasional downtime, which is unacceptable in a search engine.

Lately I've been using Duckduckgo. You can read a review of their privacy advantages here. I've had a good experience with it so far.

If you use Firefox, you can change the address bar's default search engine by:

1) typing about:config, and skipping the warning dialog

2) In filter, type keyword.url

3) Double click keyword.url

4) type


-- ShawnFetty - 02 Feb 2012



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r10 - 07 Sep 2012 - 18:15:29 - IanSullivan
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