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Peter Says Stuff | Come for the Banter; Stay for the Bullshit

Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy Data Privacy Day! - Security Setup

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Passwords and Managers
3. Browsers and Add-ons
4. Email Providers and Clients
5. Data Encryption
6. Anonymity
7. How-To's
8. Notes

Part 1. Introduction

In light of revelations about the NSA's role in illegal domestic surveillance (x), and this terrifyingly hilarious photo inside a US army base (fig. 1), downloads of anonymity programs and browsers such as Tor (The Onion Router) have skyrocketed as people become more aware of what the government is doing and what "privacy" actually means. In fact, usage of Tor is up by over 100% and the so called "Dark Web" has risen to the Scroll to bottom spotlight. This surge, however, has been met with a downside - a false sense of security. The aim of this post will be to share the methods I use to keep information private and methods that one could use to attempt to remain anonymous on the internet. (Later posts may, if the need arises, be centered around specific security aspects)

Now this being said, there are a few disclaimers:

  1. The most obvious - I choose to share information about me on the designated page not because I do not know how to be secure, but because I am willing to share this much. I am also willing to stand by my convictions, thus I sign my name. That being said, incognito personas are fun and I maintain a few.
  2. There is rarely, if ever, total security. Someone wiser than I once said "a false sense of security is worse than being unsure"[1]. The point of this post is to give you the tools to try to be secure. 
  3. These are just the tools I use, if you want to complain, use the comments section or, as will be linked to throughout the post, read some other article. 
  4. Finally, I am no expert in the academic sense of the word, rather, I am an enthusiast who wants to learn and share what he has learned. As such, don't take my explanations with the same rigor as you would Jacob Appelbaum or Bruce Schneier.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Nietzsche, The Fear of Death, and Life Affirmation

As much as I respect Friedrich Nietzsche, the interpretation of his works on the inevitability of suffering and the affirmation thereof are, more often than not, fundamentally flawed and present a view of the world and of humanity's attitudes toward death that is not only ahistorical, but antithetical to Nietzsche's concept of life affirmation.

Now before I begin, we need to understand two view points. The first being Nietzsche's (and contemporary's) idea that suffering is inevitable and trying to change that fact is merely a denial of life, and the second being historical views towards suffering and death.

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