I have used Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman as a case study for cell phone interception in my classes for several years. Only now do I have the full story of how the world’s most notorious drug trafficker was brought down due to his reliance on electronic communications. If you have an interest in how government agencies exploit cell phone activity you should read Hunting El Chapo by Andrew Hogan. The technical specifics are dated but the concepts, like link and network analysis, are not. Continue reading “Book Review: Hunting El Chapo”
Note: This is a guest post from my friend Scrappy. We’ve met in person a couple of times and he has really impressed me with his dedication to privacy, and pushing the limits of Privacy.com. He wanted to share some of his experiences and I am very appreciative.
Ever since I listened to Episode 15 of the Complete Privacy & Security (CPS) Podcast I have been hooked on private payments. For those of you that are new to the privacy world and have not heard of privacy.com, it’s a free service that allows an individual to create masked debit card numbers. These can be used to make purchases without companies knowing who you bank with and your individual debit/credit card numbers. Continue reading “Extreme Uses of Privacy.com”
In my search for iOS-friendly VPNs, I ran across of Mullvad VPN a review by ThatOnePrivacyGuy. If you follow TOPG you know he doesn’t suffer shoddy VPNs and is extremely exacting in his review methodology. He’s also beholden to no one, and if it ain’t right, he’ll say so. I don’t agree with everything he says, but if he says something is “easily has one of the best VPNs [he’s] ever seen or used,” it’s worth taking a look at. My review of this VPN probably isn’t going to tell you much that you can’t learn from his, but there are a couple of features that I wanted to shine a bit more of a light on. Continue reading “The Most Private VPN: Mullvad VPN”
I used to spend a lot of time in South Carolina’s capital city. I had regular work trips to Columbia, usually lasting two to three weeks at a time. I hadn’t been back in several years, but recently I had the opportunity to spend a weekend there, and something has changed. Columbia has implemented a very broad public surveillance system. This post will touch on the Columbia SC surveillance system and discuss some of the implications this raises. Continue reading “Columbia SC Surveillance Safari”
I am and always have been fan of note-taking applications. I am a prolific note-taker, and while I like taking notes on paper, I don’t always have my favorite notebook on hand. So, I resort to taking notes on my phone. For a while I used Codebook Secure Notebook despite it’s $3.99 cost. The ability to encrypt my notes made the cost worth it, but they lost me when a password manager was rolled into it. When iOS rolled out its encrypted version of Notes, I migrated to this. iOS’ Notes have become overly complicated, so I’m been looking for a replacement. Recently several podcast listeners wrote in about Standard Notes, so I gave it a try. Continue reading “Encrypt Your Thoughts with Standard Notes”
Recently my iPhone dropped below 10% and the low-power mode indicator popped on. As soon as I plugged the phone in I switched off low power mode and then wondered why I was in such a hurry to do so. So, I look into iOS low power mode to see exactly what it is doing. What I found surprised me, and made me realize I should probably leave it on more. Continue reading “Privacy Hack: iOS Low Power Mode”
My search for an alternative, iOS-friendly VPN has led me to NordVPN. I have had my eye on NordVPN for quite some time. It is recommended by https://www.privacytools.io/, which is a strong recommendation. Nord has over 2,100 servers in 59 countries. It also offers a ton of features including VPN-chaining, a kill-switch, and Tor-over-VPN. NordVPN is also very affordable, coming in at $69.00 for 1-year of coverage and $79.00 for a two-year subscription. Continue reading “NordVPN: iOS-Friendly VPN Option”
A Kidnapping in Milan is a book that I’ve meant to read for a long time. I finally got around to it a couple of months ago. Readers of this blog would doubtlessly enjoy this work. It touches on several major themes that I talk about here and on the podcast. Make no mistake – this isn’t a technical manual, nor is it written from the viewpoint of a privacy advocate. This is the story of how some very focused investigators unraveled a mystery using modern (2004+) technology. You don’t have to be a fortune teller to read between the lines of A Kidnapping In Milan and pick out techniques to use as part of your own operational security. Continue reading “Book Review: A Kidnapping In Milan”
In my quest for “backup options” to the security and privacy tools I use daily, I have recently rediscovered Brave. I tried it a few months back at a reader’s request. At the time I didn’t really give it the chance it deserved because Firefox met all my browsing needs and my attention was probably elsewhere. Recently, in the interim between the launch of Firefox 57 and the release of the new NoScript, I gave Brave a second chance. I’ve found there’s a lot to like about it, and it is officially my “backup browser.” This Brave review will explain its features and how to use it. Continue reading “Privacy & Security Browser: Brave Review”
Please see my updated post on Private Internet Access for iOS.
As regular readers here know, I have used and advocated for Private Internet Access for quite some time. A couple of months ago my subscription was nearing its end, and I wanted to shop around a bit. While I don’t have a single complaint about PIA, I have recently come to the realization that I need to stay flexible in my choices. I don’t want to be scrambling for a replacement if the day comes that PIA is no longer trustworthy or no longer meets my needs. This is part of a larger push to have pre-selected alternatives to the apps and services that I rely on for privacy and security. With this in mind I headed to https://www.privacytools.io/ and began my search for an iOS-friendly VPN. Continue reading “The Search for a New iOS-Friendly VPN”