Privacy Workshop #3 - You Are A Channel
I once read, but can sadly no longer locate, my favorite Kurt Vonnegut quote. I'm going to try to reproduce it the best I can:
"When you write, you can't have the whole world looking over your shoulder or address 7 billion people all at once. I always write for my sister." (KV's sister died at a young age.)
Further study of this attitude will be rewarded. The longest term relationship I have in my life had with a woman was 5 years long, and by the end of it I was so paralyzed as a writer trying to impress her parents with success that I was losing it a little bit. They didn't antagonize me at all, but I needed some success and now gosh darn it! lol, me. fml.
In constast to that, I have realized I am writing Privacy Workshop for my brothers and their wives. I have been to the point of wanting to pull my hair out in front of them to punctuate my sentences over these things, I'm not getting through. One of my own brothers refused to read a probably 500 word letter, dismissed it completely, no time for things like this. I was begging him to look at the world in a different way for the sake of his kids and also to look at his christian suburban lifestyle in the mirror. These are recyclers, supporters of vulnerable african children, actual caucasers for bernie sanders, they are trying, these are not jerks. I really, really like them, but when it comes to this stuff it is like they are frozen in time, sleepwalking.
But I am very, very worried about them and their kids. Not today and tomorrow, but, for starters, when they are going to be teenagers. American citizens no longer have any political rights, they have all been done away with. American citizens have no right to privacy. The entire country is one huge fishbowl, like China is going to be.
This entire series comes from my love of my brothers, my deep fears for the future of the actual children and my willingness to defend what I believe are the best parts of American and western culture from forces that clearly wish us ill.
Instead of pulling my hair out in some kind of bushido self-shaming to convey the deepest of emotions, I started privacy workshop as basically public emails to them(they know how to find my public writings lol, that's not the problem) that they would never read. It's because it's clear it was important I write as much as I can of what I know, to them, in a way that would be most likely to be there for them in even worst case scenarios.
Privacy workshop is dedicated to my brothers and their wives, who have really helped me out in life when I needed it on more than a few occasions. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I was completely alone in this. Everybody needs brothers. Ok, different topic lol back to work.
You Are A Channel
However, Americans no longer have rights, as also demonstrated from numerous angles in Privacy Workshop #1:
And Americans no longer have news:
In my opinion, these, along with the giant stack of utter contradictions and willful ignorances that make up American culture(tm) at this point, are the warning signs of fascism and extreme, late-stage across-the-board cultural rot. (see note 1 and 2, below, later)
But what culture? People complain about the decay of a civilization but what exactly is rotting? What is worth protecting from rot? A street demonstrator arguing for the preservation of some or another protection of the biological ecology upon which we depend maybe even one that had been in place for 50 years without quarrel or an academic arguing for the right of a human being to question their ruler with mere words without fear of death are on the same side of a coin.
Western Culture and Eastern Culture
When I say Eastern, I mean China. Here is a picture of what it is now like to live in China, where humans have no rights whatsover and they will roll you over with tanks if you question the government and out of control corporations have polluted everything to a level where it is like an ubiquitous state-enforced comedy prop.
Does that sound/look like freedom? (actually, surprisingly difficult to find information on the actual events at tiananmen at the moment, well at any rate they crushed those who were sitting down holding hands with tanks, fired heavy machine guns into crowds with expanding bullets, they mentally torture anyone who gets even remotely out of line....)
The Eastern system does not care much about freedom. Compared to China, other systems that could also be called eastern but which have a more balanced view than the PLA's absolute, utter, paradigmatic totalitarianism. They are like a cartoon made by someone to explain to someone what totalitarianism means, and the cartoon is actually really really predictable. The ruling class does whatever they want and becomes the richest people on earth and everyone is forced to think they are, like, the cream of the cream of Chinese genetics, and then everyone else is on suicide watch. That is the Eastern system in 2018.
Some people clearly would like to see this system take over completely. In this world, a mere ten years from now, my nieces and nephews would have no political rights, facebrak would be a sort of government entity tracking them with a 'social contract number' related to their unique social security number, and facial recognition, biometric id and ubiquitous surveillance down to the nano level would make them effectively caged animals, biologically tied to a system they are biologically incapable of resisting as their own bodies are so built so deeply into the walls themselves that any attempt to extricate themselves would be construed as some form of a crime, maybe even terrorism. If you're part of the bridge and you leaving the bridge makes it collapse, well then aren't you on the same level as the mad bomber? The same may one day be said of employees and companies, which is of course batshit insane, but has that ever stopped totalitarian system before? Nope.
I am arguing at this very moment for the preservation not just of my favorite values of the USA, but for my favorite western values, which we could just summarize as 'The Value of the Individual' and/or 'Human Rights.' The forces that seem to be occupying the higher realms of power in the USA, and which seem to be slipping into other western countreis, is that human rights are not worth it. From the point of view of a banker or a general, he needs to see people in 'tranches' or 'units' and any stragglers or outliers are waste or worse, obstacles, or worse, outright resistance in the form of enemies of the state.
Everything awesome in western culture, and much of what is awesome in eastern culture, comes from individualism. The wright brothers, Steve Jobs, JK Rowling, you name it, there are a lot of people who without any backing from any 'liberation army(sic)(tm)' or hedge fund or ancient tribal cult or even an inventors club, invented things that built everything we consider progress or technology. Sure there has been some corporate innovation and of course darpa, but that's not what invented the wheel and that is not how inventions get made. And the priorities of these corporations and military entities tends to be, especially in recent years, only in those areas that improve the ability of a few people to manage many, as we are seeing with the our personal computers.(see Privacy Workshop #1) In recent years even western companies have tended to produce only products that allow for further centralizations of population control mechanisms, i.e. terminator seeds, ISP non-privacy laws, facebrak itself, the NSA's bulk collections, phone tracking, unnaccountable private security acting as secret police etc. etc. etc.
These recent developments are all Eastern in nature and are a direct threat to our entire tradition, and makes me wonder who is really behind them. At the very least, if there is conflict with the eastern system, and we don't have access to all of the best parts of the western system, including diversity, innovation, legal curiosity, factual journalism and history, well then there is no reason to fight. We should just save ourselves the trouble and sign up for our social ID with the People Liberation Army(sic)(tm).
I have identified in my brothers and their wives after many hours of conversation that it is their firm desire to remain living in the 1997 world. In this world of dialup internet, 80386 processors, low res cameras, low frequency trading, and humans still possibly having a chance against computers at chess, and climate change that was only the vaguest of rumors, something like what I wrote about in Privacy Workshop #1 and Privacy Workshop #2 only happened to black people, south american migrant workers, and native americans mostly although fringe groups like the branch davidians come to mind. The concept of political repression in the united states was a fringe concept and was exercised mostly through the drug war. COINTELPRO might not have been a big deal and everything like MKUltra or the october surprise were very speculative.
As the years progressed towards 2013, what was once buried came to light, as such things always do. Nearly every potential american conspiracy was proven true and undeniable, betting on an official government source who claimed there was nothing to see here has now become the ultimate fools bet. What used to be a separate news and 'conspiracy' section is now just all conspiracy. Really, check out all the news on something like reddit/r/politics, nearly every article in todays paper is about whether there was a russian conspiracy, or a russian-trump conspiracy, or a democrat conspiracy to frame trump in a russian conspiracy, or both, and any actual attempt at real politics 'i.e. we are building broad support for this idea in congress to pass this bill for this reason' is simply unheard of. Nearly every bill is passed at midnight on a Friday before a holiday and all the senators who voted on it leave town within the hour as if they are trying to evade any responsibility.
And then when you bring up any historical fact of 9/11, the same people obsessed with the daily attempt to catch trump breaking laws he is obviously breaking, immediately switch hats and now there can't be a conspiracy that big, CERTAINLY someone would have talked or something would have leaked out, reverting to a near child-like gullibility. Again, this is paradigmatic totalitarian doublethink taking over brains like a rot takes over a tree. You can almost see the neurons holding two separate ideas, sizzling, smoking, irritating the brain with the obvious festeromg of two facts that can simply not be reconciled.
If you did not know the information in Privacy Workshop #1(skip this section if you knew it all I guess, I don't want to preach this to the inventors of Tails or Qubes, for instance), this in a way means that you too were stuck in 1997. It indicates that all of your mental processes for keeping up with the world, a world that makes the tech that is in your hand, pocket or bed right this very second, were hopelessly out of date. If you did not know every single breach and privacy risk listed in that article, and further if you did not know of the existence of Epstein's island mentioned in Privacy Workshop #2, then this is evidence that you at that time(ipso facto, now) were deeply, horribly, misinformed.
One cannot transform from this state to an operationally informed one overnight anymore than a proper wizard could be trained without going to hogwarts in the harry potter world. Sacrifice and study for knowledge and power is simply the way it goes, there is no shortcut. I am definitely calling a lot of people out here and saying that if you want to have any say or voice or power or contribution in the now full fledged struggle for the survival of western values, in which you as a person matter at all or have any rights at all whatsoever, you are going to have to step up your game. It is going to take effort. It is going to take work. It is going to take learning of difficult concepts. It is going to take changes in your day to day processes.
And you are going to have to spread the word, because at this point we are way behind and the word has not gotten out and even the FBI agents and Marines allegedly responsible for defending the western values enumerated in the Constitution of the United States seem to have forgotten their oaths, and this is not going to happen from one person like me getting super-popular like Taylor Swift or Neil Degrasse Tyson and going on tv shows and listing oversimplified bullet points and spouting rehearsed witticisms.
No, if you want to be an individual and maintain your individual rights and the integrity of the culture that gives you all of the actual freedom that you enjoy and really actually don't want to live without, you are going to have to get off your a** and get busy and change your life, you're going to have to adapt.
It is going to be difficult.
(and btw how easy do you think it is writing these essays or how easy was it for me to self-teach myself how to be a network admin by reading several million stack-exchange forums (where only 2% of the information I had to sort through was relevant lol) while dealing with eternal corporate stupidity, I'm not suggesting anyone here do anything I haven't demonstrated I am not myself doing over the course of many years now. And not just me, there are a lot of people out there who are up to speed, but those people )
There are 2 kinds of truths, the first is where no one cares if you know it, like a tomato gardening technique, the second is where someone is really trying to get you not to know it, like how exactly the NSA bulk collection functions or how many israeli agents of the mossad are currently operating in the united states.
I like to deal with the in between are where it is both public and they want you not to know it, but ultimately it isn't within their power to keep it secret anymore due to the internet, ala The Isle of Little St. James or how to use encryption. Indeed, knowing that the government doesn't want you to know something, doesn't that make you want to know it more? Like a lot more? (lol, if you're not like this your brain must be wired a lot differently than mine)
So today I'm going to start at the beginning with what may even be things you already may be using, but this workshop starts at the beginning.
#1 Private Search
#2 Virtual Private Network(VPN)
#3 Secure Non-corporate Email
#4 Personal encryption
#5 Disk level encryption
#6 Passwords and keys stored securely
Since You Are A Channel (#youareachannel), that means you are broadcasting to the totalitarian and otherwise evil, data-sucking entities of the world every second you are in their sight, which means whenever there is an active internet connection to your location and an active device (or device that can secretly be activated...) our priority, for the next few lessons, is going to be in scrambling your channel as much as we can so that your entire life doesn't show up in someone else's spreadsheet. The further we go, the more worthless their spreadsheet will be in regards to you, which is what you want(review #2 if this seems like a lot of work or seems in any way an overreaction)
First, we need to make it so the rulers of the world can't read your mind on any given day by searching through your searches. Fortunately, a bunch of people did the work to make an effective tool just for this:
Until I hear that the company that runs this is the cia or infiltrated by borneo or some such, and I have heard nothing like that, simply searching without everything going on your permanent record is, in my opinion, a core human right that you should demand for yourself. With gorgles new political enforcements of who knows what kind, and their ability to personalize information at you or filter what they don't want someone like you to know, using gorgle services is simply a complete anathema to privacy workshop as anything other than research into the monstrous nature of gorgle itself, which should be done in an environment isolated from your personal computing. (We will get to creating sandboxed environments in later workshop.)
The second step after hiding your searches is to summarily encrypt the internet traffic leaving your home gateway using a VPN.
We need to make it so what comes out of your home internet connection is not simply soaked up in bulk, analyzed and used for any purpose. Also so that you cannot be tracked to your physical location. For this we will use a VPN. I recommend 3 sites. As with duckduckgo, and everything, one never knows 100% that the most reputable companies are not just cia fronts. I repeat in response to any whataboutism in that regard that even if some or another single agency has access to your vpn in such a way that they can crack it, your spreadsheet will still effectively be scrambled for most of the other possible vectors, i.e. bosses, serial killers, marketers, etc.
Further, I propose mitigation of this by switching accounts and providers every 3-6 months.
What is a VPN? A vpn is a virtual private network, which extends an encrypted channel of encrypted traffic from your home to a remote location where it is then aggregated with other users of the service to make it appear to trackers as if 10k people are using the same ip address. When marketers see a vpn service address, also MPAA investigators, they throw their hands up in the air. Their spreadsheet is displaying worthless junk data about you. Anyone attempting bulk collection at some or another network node is also going to have junk on their spreadsheet they have to decrypt using supercomputers.
So if you are a police agent spying on someone without a warrant, you go from being someone it basically it takes 3 clicks to see everything you are doing in real time, to a longer process that is at least going to be somewhat annoying to them, which we like. Pretty cool right?
The 5 best pay services, some of these I have used. Installing the app is easy, and with some effort you can make native OS vpn functionality work. I have used Torgaurd and Private Internet Access with success, great bandwidth, great reliability, and I have pirated a metrick sh*t-ton of media without a single hassle.
Each of these services has very explicit instructions for use.
Best practices are
a. use random name and pw, put these in a text document in your documente folder for reference
b. keep all browsers and service applications deactivated until you know your vpn is active
c. keep vpn status in your top toolbar next to the clock
d. set vpn app in settings to kill all traffic if the vpn drops
Setup and use on these very secure email servers that are operated in countries that are not lapdogs of the american military industrial complex.
Why to use email services outside the united states even though you may lose as an american some potential legal protections(probably not, there is no effective check on these powers as of this time, so don't think 702 is really going to help you send an email privately from phoenix to indianapolis or some such lol), but the story of lavabit is extra credit reading that will fill in some blanks about what happens if you attempt to create a private email server in the united states:
With the use of non gorgle/yahoo/hotmail et al, a huge portion of your brain disappears completely from the spreadsheet of any potential overlord or ninja assassin.
Fourth is Veracrypt.
Veracrypt, the successor of truecrypt, also has the potential that someone has infiltrated the developers and made some or another small back door, but we are going to continue to apply what I am now starting to think more of as Mindhawks First Two Law of Privacy....
MINDHAWK'S FIRST LAW OF PRIVACY: Always annoy your surveillors.
MINDHAWK'S SECOND LAW OF PRIVACY: When given the option between a potentially compromised privacy tool and no attempt at privacy whatsoever, the compromised tool will always annoy all potential surveillors more.
Veracrypt gives you the ability to create a file or many files that look like a giant blob of 01010110011010101010110010101 that only someone with the password or 10000 hours of supercomputer time can get into.
Some best practices:
a. Start sending 300kb empty file attachments with all of your emails, surveillors will have to try to look for secrets in all of them
b. establish a password with your most trusted friends and family, something that could never be guessed, something that comes from a true organic experience if possible from many years ago, and use the same phrase to always encrypt things, that way in any email you ever send them they can easily check to see if one of the 300kb files opens with that password.
c. keep a 'vault' file somewhere in your documents, with an innocuous name. this is the file you open up with veracrypt to get to all your goodies when you need them.
d. keep other similar sized or larger blob files around that have nothing in them, how ANNOYING it would be for someone to have to attempt to decrypt so many files when only ONE of them actually has any chance of anything being in it.
Fifth is Disk Level Encryption
Use disk level encryption. Turn on filevault for mac, both ubuntu and fedora now offer disk level encryption during install. I belive windoze 10 has this feature, but as I will get into later, I spend very little time studying how to secure windows products as they are absolutely, inherently, a priori even, insecure.
Use these features. There will be a slight performance hit but we are not building an optimized gaming or calculating machine, we are building a private machine for your brain to partially inhabit without the invading eyes of other people, institutions, and other entities listed in PW #2.
(My gaming machines are horribly insecure, it doesn't bother me much, nothing is on them. A keylogger even would just tell someone else how bad I hurt other players feelings in DOTA 2, which they might find hilarious and realize I'm actually a pretty cool guy and leave me alone(psych, no))
With disk level encryption, even the physical possession of your computer will not let them have your data easily. For instance if they snoop on your house using some sort of bizarre super-broad warrant, which the FBI does quite regularly now to anyone on their various lists. Or if a thief robs your house, they can't just cut and past your most important information, like your crypto keys.
When they take the copy of your drives back to the lab, guess what, they can't just copy it onto their spreadsheet, they have to first send it to the decryption department. HOW ANNOYING IT MUST BE FOR THEM! (audience cheeeeers!)
Sixth is Secure your passwords and keys using Veracrypt in a vault file on a disk configured with disk level encryption. Then copy this fault file to a usb thumbdrive you carry with you like chapstick.
EXTRA high security practice: sew this thumbdrive into your favorite jacket's lining OR put the thumbdrive inside another carryable object like snowden allegedly did with his rubiks cube.
This concludes Privacy Workshop #3 (whew)
IF you implement these steps, you will have effectively dealt with the fact that #youareachannel by creating your own encrypted channels within the one that has been configured by others to serve your mind to them on a platter. Their spreadsheet of everything they know about you, after these steps, will be shredded, spotty, and increeeeeeedibly annoying to anyone curious about you in a sort of half-assed, speculative, maybe-i-can-mess-with-this-guy kindof way. Fishing expeditions will not even be considered due to the cost and effort involved, or maybe they will, but aren't you glad that it's expensive to try to spy on you? Doesn't that in a way make you feel proud of yourself? Doesn't it give you a feeling of control over your own machine?
MINDHAWK'S THIRD RULE OF PRIVACY: Never do anything a totalitarian government would want you to do, instead do things that royally piss them off in ways that are most difficult for them to enforce.
Enjoy that, my gift to you. And as always if you are feeling generous, I am feeling poor, and like I would love to be able to write like this all day long and give it away if there were a community of people willing to help me do it with some coins:
Let the good vibes get a lot stronger, and accentuate the positive!
note1: That should alert any fringe artist or potentially targeted subculture that it might be a good time to visit paris.
Not kidding. If you know someone like this, tell them so they can get out now. (I am personally not in any way convinced Trump would step down even if convicted of a crime requiring a sentence of jailtime, and would therefore possibly incite a 'civil' violent war which could get very, very nasty. All I know is I don't feel like I deserve the results of that in my life given how hard I've worked to prevent it)
note2: If I didn't rock so hard I would worry that it would have got to me too lol
Update: I am safely in a really neat country where i speak the language and am feeling no particular investigative pressure, although in a way I understand if said country is a little curious about me from time to time. I am basically, typing, and rocking hard live for the people in reggae, rock, country and blues fashion. The end does not appear to be nigh, I will never give up on privacy workshop and I will never give up on this steemit profile. I intend to become a witness and attain the power to salvage it even the event of the worst for the entire steem ecosystem. This idea is too good not to refine, so let's do it.