Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Online Privacy & Security

Health Insurer Anthem hit by Hackers, up to 80 Million Records Exposed

The second largest health insurer in the US has been the victim of what could be the largest data breach in the healthcare sector to date. As reported by the Wall Street Journal at (paid subscription required), the healthcare insurance provider admitted that hackers managed to break into a database containing the personal information of up to 80 million people, including customers and employees. Anthem says both current and […]

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The Federal Trade Commission Warns that Smart Gadgets Could be a Huge Security Risk

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a new report (at that illustrates how vulnerable that makes us, urging consumers and businesses to make safe use and design of the gadgets a priority. The gadgets mentioned vary from home thermostat and lighting controls to driving monitoring devices used by insurance companies to baby monitors and wearable fitness gadgets — that can connect to the Internet and to each other. You […]

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The Onion Router: a Raspberry Pi based Tor Wi-Fi Access Point for Easy Anonymous Internet

Do you get the feeling that you are being watched online? Would you like to have the best possible online security all the time? Would you also like to add security to your Internet-connected devices that don’t offer encrypted connections, such as Chromecast for your television or OBI for your VoIP telephone? With a TOR-based router (See Note#1 below), you also can access Hulu, Netflix, HBO, or your favorite team’s […]

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A Plan to Block Mass Surveillance by NSA, GCHQ and Others

The intelligence agencies of the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom (collectively known as the “Five Eyes”) collect and share huge amounts of data electronically. All of these countries spy both on their own citizens and foreigners alike. In addition, the United States has relationships (including various levels of intelligence data sharing and assistance) with Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, […]

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Your Computer and Smartphone could be Held Hostage

If you unwittingly download malicious software, your computer and even your smartphone could be locked, unable to do anything. It’s called ransomware, a type of malicious code that leaves its victims feeling personally violated. Some versions destroy your data if you don’t pay, while others merely threaten. Some will encrypt your device, scrambling everything it contains until you pay a ransom. Some versions of ransomware display a fake FBI alert […]

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6 Secure Communication Apps You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

If you are using one of the popular online chat programs, your texts can be monitored by most any snoops. BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook Chat, Skype, Snapchat, Viber and WhatsApp are all insecure and iMessage is only partially secure. However, five other chat products are very secure, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). You can learn about each product in an article by Harry Guinness at

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Your Computer Knows You Better than Your Family, Friends or Spouse Will Ever Know You. It Has All Your Secrets

By studying just 10 “likes” on someone’s Facebook page, a computer can build a more accurate picture of a personality than a work colleague, Cambridge University researchers say. Examining 150 “likes”, it can be a better judge than a parent. At 300, they have more knowledge than a spouse. Lead author Wu Youyou said: “In future, computers could infer our psychological traits and react accordingly, leading to socially skilled machines.” […]

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Why You Want to Use Open Source Software

Software developed by corporations is usually the property of the company that produces it. Those companies usually keep the source code secret, considering it to be trade secrets. However, this proprietary software also means the producing company can easily insert malicious code or secretly collect information about the user and, even worse, allow others to see that information. One example is Skype, a company acquired by Microsoft. Recent documents released […]

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