Law in the Internet Society
After class last thursday we discussed some very simple steps you can take to resist (corporate) surveillance while browsing the web. Below is a writeup of prof. Moglen's suggestions.

Step 1. Install Firefox

Firefox is a Free and Open Source web browser available for most operating systems (including Android).

Step 2. Set it up

Start Firefox and go to Edit -> Preferences and look critically at the settings to restrict what you store and what you share.

Step 3. Install an Adblock plugin

Adblock Edge and Adblock Plus block ads. Not only does this make the web load faster and look better, it prevents your browser from informing advertising companies about you and your browsing behaviour.

Note that you only need one of the two. The only difference is that by default Adblock Plus does not block what they call "non-intrusive ads," and Adblock Edge blocks everything.

Step 4. Install NoScript

When you visit a website your browser downloads and executes all the code that the website tells it to download and execute. It connects to content delivery networks to retrieve pictures and some code to make the website look nice, it connects to advertising companies to retrieve ads, it connects to market research companies to get some trackers, it connects to social media websites to get the like/tweet/plus/pin/etc buttons, and so on and so forth. In the process your browser informs these companies about you and your browsing behaviour.

NoScript prevents your browser from retrieving and executing code from untrusted sources. Note that this will interfere with your browsing experience for a while because you will have to authorize each website you trust.

For more ways to resist surveillance visit I recommend PRISM Break.

-- BastiaanSuurmond - 12 Oct 2014

Also I remember prof. Moglen talked about TrackMeNot, which obscures the search terms you used on google, yahoo etc by randomly searching for other words when you conduct a search.

-- SjoerdOppenheim - 13 Oct 2014

In addition to these plugins, I also use Privacy badger:

which complements Adblock Plus and eliminates more advanced cross-site tracking mechanisms.

Another aspect of defeating surveillance is end-to-end encryption. If you would like to start encrypting your email, two good friends of mine have implemented a PGP-based encryption method that runs in your browser (there are issues with this, but they have done a good job to mitigate many of them). Check out

and let me know if you want an invite.

I am also happy to give a simple demonstration of GPG and its various plugins.

You can then send Moglen encrypted messages using his key:

which I am sure will delight (or annoy) him. You will fortunately have deniability with respect to either motive.

-- AbhiShelat - 14 Oct 2014

I may make this its own topic, but thought it should certainly be posted here as well. Micah Lee posted a very absorbing read today describing the steps he took to communicate securely with Edward Snowden and journalists with whom Snowden worked in preparation for his big leak. It includes references (with links) to a great deal of software used to accomplish this task and seems like pretty essential reading for anyone interested in this topic.

-- TomLawrence - 28 Oct 2014

For those in the grip of the KotU,ND who wants to disable spotlight sending your location to Apple every you use it, I found these instructions:

Disable “Spotlight Suggestions” and “Bing Web Searches” in System Preferences > Spotlight > Search Results.

Safari also has a “Spotlight Suggestions” setting that is separate from Spotlight’s “Spotlight Suggestions.” This uses the same mechanism as Spotlight, and if left enabled, Safari will send a copy of all search queries to Apple.

To disable this in Safari, you’ll also need to uncheck “Include Spotlight Suggestions” in Safari > Preferences > Search.

-- SjoerdOppenheim - 07 Nov 2014



Webs Webs

r6 - 13 Dec 2014 - 19:27:58 - SjoerdOppenheim
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform.
All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
All material marked as authored by Eben Moglen is available under the license terms CC-BY-SA version 4.
Syndicate this site RSSATOM