Millions of People Are Taking an Interest in Cryptography

I see this as a good thing. I will suggest that everyone who ever uses the Internet should be familiar with the reasons for using cryptography. Cryptography may sound complicated, but actually using these systems is easier than ever.

Cryptography used to be the exclusive concern of techies, geeks, and the CIA. Today, however, it seems that everybody wants to be a crypto-expert. And the recent surge in BitCoin and other crypto-coins has further accelerated people’s interest in cryptography.

Encrypting messages and data is one of the easiest ways of improving the security of both, guarding against theft and exploitation. Given this, and how easy it is to encrypt information nowadays, it’s really worth taking it seriously.

Sam Bocetta’s latest article in the TutaNota Blog details why cryptography matters and how it works. You can find the article at: https://tutanota.com/blog/posts/interest-cryptography.

Facebook Launches “Did You Know” Questionnaire To Gather Even More Of Your Data

There’s no doubt bout it: Facebook is one of the major privacy-invading companies on the Internet. Perhaps it is THE MOST PRIVACY INVASIVE. Now an article in the Facecrooks web site describes Facebook’s latest method of surreptitiously obtaining your innermost thoughts and feelings

Quoting from the article:

“There’s no doubt about it: Facebook knows a ton about how you tick. From the content we share to the photos we post, the world’s largest social network possesses a vast array of information about how we think and feel. However, it wants to know even more. That’s why Facebook is launching a new feature this week called “Did You Know,” where you can answer questions about yourself related to your dreams, goals, feelings and more.”

You can read the full story at: http://bit.ly/2j0GJ5i.

Why Do You Have Two Telephone Numbers? Use an Amazon Echo Instead.

According to a recently published U.S. Health Department report at http://bit.ly/2icwvuw, 50.8 percent of American homes don’t have a landline telephone. Instead, the residents use a cellphone as their only phone or use a computerized VoIP phone or other, alternative telephone device. The number of landlines in homes has declined in recent years and apparently will continue to fall. There’s simply no need to have both an old-fashioned wired home phone and a cellphone. Having duplicate phones is unnecessary and expensive.

Perhaps even worse is the difficulty of anyone trying to call you when you have two or more telephone numbers. If they know you well, perhaps they know to call one number during certain hours of the day and a different number at other times. If they don’t reach you on the first number (and they should be able to do so), the caller then has to know to call a second number.

I have been using a cell phone as my only telephone number for several years. However, I recently slid backwards: I added a second “phone” in my home. Admittedly, it is not a normal telephone. I use it mostly for outgoing calls, so my callers never need to be concerned with which number is needed to call me. The new “phone” provides high-quality audio, a built-in speakerphone, and, if appropriate hardware is used on both ends of the conversation, video calling. The new device also performs many other functions besides making telephone calls. Best of all, there is no need for telephone wires connected to the house nor for a monthly bill from the local telephone company. In fact, my new device provides free calls after the hardware has been purchased.

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Volunteers Around the World Build Surveillance-Free Cellular Network Called ‘Sopranica’

Most people in the United States—and increasingly, around the world—carry the most sophisticated surveillance devices ever created in their pockets day in and day out. Although smartphones have enabled governments and corporations to track our movements and monitor our conversations with unprecedented ease, these devices are also an incredibly useful personal tool and have become an indispensable part of modern life.

Sopranica is a do-it-yourself grass roots project to create a competitive community-oriented cell phone network. “Sopranica is a project intended to replace all aspects of the existing cell phone network with their freedom-respecting equivalents,” says Denver Gingerich, the programmer behind Sopranica. “Taking out all the basement firmware on the cellphone, the towers that track your location, the payment methods that track who you are and who owns the number, and replacing it so we can have the same functionality without having to give up all the privacy that we have to give up right now. At a high level, it’s about running community networks instead of having companies control the cell towers that we connect to.”

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7 Reasons Why VPNs Might Die Out by 2020

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have been a standard tool for anyone seeking online privacy for years. However, a new article by Christian Cawley in the MakeUseOf web site says that VPNs are becoming less and less effective. This is not to say you should give up all VPNs immediately but it does show that privacy online is slowing being eaten away. The article is available at: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/reasons-vpn-might-die.

How Much Your Lawmakers were Paid by Lobbyists to Vote for Rescinding Net Neutrality

Keep in mind we have the best politicians in Washington that money can buy.

The Verge has compiled a list of the lawmakers who voted to betray you, with each listing also including how much money they received from the telecom industry in their most recent election cycle.

Is your Senator or representative on this paid list? You can find out at: https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/29/15100620/congress-fcc-isp-web-browsing-privacy-fire-sale.

Gutting Net Neutrality is a Death Knell for the Resistance

Interesting article by Sarah Kendizor in the Globe and Mail:

“Last week, the Federal Communications Commission announced it was planning a sweeping rollback of net neutrality, allowing corporations to decide what content is available online while pricing most citizens out of equal access to information.

“For nearly a year, America has stood at the crossroads of a damaged democracy and a burgeoning autocracy. If net neutrality is destroyed, we will cross firmly into the latter, and our return is unlikely.”

I suggest everyone who ever uses the Internet should read this article at: https://tgam.ca/2zKkmYY.