[ aleksandaraleksandar @ 27.01.2006. 21:34 ] @
Google This: You Don't Need Search Engines To Protect Your Privacy
In a world where governments are prying open every Internet, Email, and Search provider's cookie jars, it's time to stop whining about it and take matters into your own hands. Make yourself invisible.
It's easier than you think. Simply download anonymizing software, change the proxy server port in your web browser's Options, and surf. Yahoo, Google, MSN won't know who you are, so any searches you execute, forum arguments you start, or porn destinations you visit will be strictly between you and whichever deity you please.
How does anonymous surfing work? Once you've set your browser to the port named in the instructions, the better software ships browser packets through a cluster of proxy servers that pass it around "randomly," so it's nearly impossible to follow. No server can tell you anything about the data's origination or destination. To further enhance privacy, the servers periodically shred what little information they have.
Result: The target server believes that the last proxy server that handed off your request is you. Any attempts to log your activities, scan your system for open ports, perform open proxy tests, reverse DNS lookups or whois checks, will be executed using that last proxy server's IP address, instead of yours. You'll browse untroubled, while your firewall breathes easy from the lack of all those probes.
Traditionally, the hardest part of going stealth was finding software you could trust to not do that SonyBMG-DRM-rootkit-type thing to your system. (If you spend a bit of time researching anonymizers, you'll see what we mean.) But since the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released its latest free version of Tor, that fear has largely been swept aside.
Tor lets you share information without compromising your privacy. Cops use it. Reporters use it. Analysts use it. The Navy uses it. Spies use it. Creeps use it. And, of course, terrorists use it. Before you get all fired up... They all use forks and spoons, too.
More importantly, Tor denies crackers and snoops some critical information, like your network's IP. Without it, there can be no IP tracking, probes for open proxies, or anything else.
As Harry Potter proved, invisibility cloaks can be cool, they do have their drawbacks:
- All that data bouncing slows things down;
- Some servers don't respond well, and;
- Web hosts and network managers (including us) hate them, as they discombobulate web statistics.
While there's little you can do about speed or stats, Tor does make it easy to work with intolerant sites. You simply toggle it off and go about your business.
As for the princes of search engines... If everybody used Tor, they couldn't say they're only protecting customers when rebuffing the US government. For Heaven's sake, there are honest arguments they could use. Who knows? Maybe they'd apply them to the Chinese, French, Germans and Russians, too.