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Privacy, privacy, privacy

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“Please, come into my home nameless government agent. Yes, I have no issues with you looking through my letters, my computers, my phone, my messages, my photos and my emails. You want to store copies on your own servers forever? Fine, fine, take what you want, what a wonderful use of my tax money!” That’s effectively the situation that’s happening every second of the day while you’re online. Without being told, or warned, or asked, it appears all of our internet traffic has been stored away by government agencies in a number of secret programmes around the globe.

It’s all done to protect us, you understand, despite the documented misuse of this information – and that’s only the leaked cases we know about – and the almost zero documented cases of it actually stopping anything, but unlimited government surveillance is here. Thankfully with FOSS we have the tools, know-how and organisation to block prying eyes and protect sensitive data.

In many ways, the tinfoil hat brigade were right all along, but it’s not just a matter of protecting your privacy, many of the techniques are just good practice. And securing sensitive information will help if equipment is stolen or hacked. So even if you’re fine with the government having unfettered warrantless access to all your data, there’s still reason to defend yourself.

This issue we’ve focused on ways for you to protect yourself on and offline. We’re using the stalwart Tails and Tor in one hand, while in the other we have Kali Linux and encryption in its many forms. Together they offer an industrial-strength set of security solutions.

Once you’re feeling more secure about things, we have a host of practical projects this issue: build a custom coffee machine with bespoke touchscreen for your artisan espresso, get accurate time through GPS, build a blog with Cassandra from Apache, leverage Jenkins for big data, automate Linux with Bash scripts, discover terminal shortcuts, get the best 3D printer and much more!

Issue 216, October - on sale now

Stop the hackers!

Protect your privacy! Stand up to big brother, GCHQ and the NSA by locking down your systems, browsing and communications. Use unbreakable encryption everywhere, super-strong passwords and discover the tools hackers use to protect themselves from discovery.


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