Tools to Use to Avoid Uncle Sam’s Snooping
The US Government has recently been caught unlawfully monitoring the Associated Press. From what I can gather, the government was looking for the contact that leaked some information regarding a cyber-attack. Read more about that political stuff here. So what can you do to prevent this from happening to you as a photo journalist? Well don’t do something stupid, but if needed here is a list of some undercover software to keep your work under wraps.
TrueCrypt: This software creates virtual disks and will not display or allow access to the data contained without your password. On their website they state, “We have not implemented any ‘backdoor’ in TrueCrypt (and will never implement any even if asked to do so by a government agency), because it would defeat the purpose of the software.” This software is also great for hiding your special photos you don’t want your buddies finding.
Tor: Tor allows you to stay anonymous while browsing the web by simply rerouting your connections through various nodes or hops. Basically your connection is routed all over the place through data links before it loads your page. Your internet speed can be slower, but it is a small price to pay for security.
VPN: A Virtual Private Network allows you to have a hidden link to an outside server / connection. Your computer’s IP address is hidden while in use and uses the remote connection’s instead. You can be in Canada and logged into a VPN in the USA giving you a local IP address. This can be used to view certain streaming video sites while not in the country they allow access to; you simply trick the site with a local IP.
Dead Drop / Strongbox: Strongbox is a system used by the New Yorker to allow anonymous sources to deliver information, messages, and files. The setup requires you to use the web browser, Tor, mentioned above, and is powred by Dead Drop. They have a nice privacy promise. If you are looking to pass some information along to a news source and want to stay in the shadows, this is a nice option.
Burner App: Burner allows you to have a single use cell phone number. I am not 100% sure how secure it is on the back end, but at least you can place a call without having to worry about that annoying client having your cell number.
Proxy Server: A proxy server is a system or application that requests resources from another server, acting as a middle man: a simple go between from your computer to the internet. It can be used very easily to hide what sites you are going to by only showing the connection to the proxy locally. This is a great tool if your work blocks certain sites; however, the IT department will see you are connected to a proxy and might wonder what you are doing.
[Via Fox News]