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How to remove personal information from your digital photos

Information is stored in every digital image, in the form of EXIF tags, and you can extract it using Windows Explorer or with the help of even the most basic image editing software. In the case of mobile phones, your pictures may even include location information thus giving others an idea of the exact geographic coordinates where that shot was taken.

How to Remove Camera and GPS Data?

If you are planning to share your personal photographs over email or on a public website (like Tumblr/FB), it may sometimes make sense to remove the camera data and the location information from the images before putting them online.

There’s a free Windows utility called QuickFix that can help you here. Simply drag-n-drop the photographs in the QuickFix window and click the Clean Metadata button to remove all identifiable information from the photographs. It creates a new copy and won’t overwrite your original photographs.

QuickFix will not only delete the EXIF data and the GPS location information from your photographs but also the IPTC and XMP tags that may have added by the photo editing application.

Microsoft also offers a free utility called Pro Photo Tools that you may use to edit as well as delete common metadata from digital photographs including the GPS location.

An Alternative Way to Remove EXIF Information

If the photographs are in one folder, you can easily remove the EXIF data from one or more of these photographs using Windows Explorer itself without requiring any additional software.

Select all the images files, right click and choose Properties. Now hit the Details tab and click on the “Remove Properties and Personal Information” link. The next screen will give you an option to remove the various metadata that is embedded inside the pictures. Simple.

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Should We Trust Police Officers?
Are police officers allowed to lie to you? Yes the Supreme Court has ruled that police officers can lie to the American people. Police officers are trained at lying, twisting words and being manipulative. Police officers and other law enforcement agents are very skilled at getting information from people. So don’t try to “out smart” a police officer and don’t try being a “smooth talker” because you will lose! If you can keep your mouth shut, you just might come out ahead more than you expected. Related article: 
46,000+ American citizens are currently serving time for crimes that they did not commit  

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Don’t Google If you’ve been following the NSA tracking story, you’ll know that Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft (which owns Bing) were all reportedly sending data to the government. (An accusation they have all denied, of course.) If you don’t want your search history recorded, try DuckDuckGo, which promises not to track or store your searches. (Although it does use your searches to improve its algorithms.) The service’s traffic has increased 50 percent since news of the PRISM program leaked.

Chat in private

Gchat, iMessage, and their ilk are eminently snoopable. If you want to have a real private conversation online, Quinn Norton at ProPublica recommends an encrypted chat service like Cryptocat. To use it, simply download the browser plugin, create a name and a chatroom, and invite whoever you’d like to talk to. As Norton notes, Cryptocat “is hands-down the easiest way to get started with end-to-end encryption, where only you and the person you’re talking to can see the message.”

Use this guide as a starting point, but let us know below if there are other good services you use to keep your data safe and secure.

Exploiting the Tor browser bundle

Tor is a well-designed and robust anonymity tool, and successfully attacking it is difficult. The NSA attacks we found individually target Tor users by exploiting vulnerabilities in their Firefox browsers, and not the Tor application directly.

This, too, is difficult. Tor users often turn off vulnerable services like scripts and Flash when using Tor, making it difficult to target those services. Even so, the NSA uses a series of native Firefox vulnerabilities to attack users of the Tor browser bundle.

According to the training presentation provided by NSA contractor/whistleblower Edward Snowden, EgotisticalGiraffe exploits a type confusion vulnerability in E4X, which is an XML extension for Javascript. This vulnerability exists in Firefox 11.0 – 16.0.2, as well as Firefox 10.0 ESR – the Firefox version used until recently in the Tor browser bundle. According to another document, the vulnerability exploited by EgotisticalGiraffe was inadvertently fixed when Mozilla removed the E4X library with the vulnerability, and when Tor added that Firefox version into the Tor browser bundle.

Read more:
The Guardian

The NSA targets TOR users


XKeyscore is the collection system the NSA uses to scoop up internet data and analyze it. It has been described in NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden as a crucial tool that the NSA can use to monitor “nearly everything a user does on the internet.”

Embedded in the code they found rules describing what XKeyscore is focused on monitoring. The rules indicate that the NSA tracks any IP address that connects to the Tor web site or any IP address that contacts a server that is used for an anonymous email service called MixMinion that is maintained by a server at MIT. XKeyscore targets any traffic to or from an IP address for the server. The NSA is also tracking anyone who visits the popular online Linux publication, Linux Journal, which the NSA refers to as an “extremist forum” in the source code.

Tor isn’t the only target of XKeyscore, however. The system is also targeting users of other privacy services: Tails, HotSpotShield, FreeNet, Centurian, FreeProxies.org, and MegaProxy.

Tails is an operating system used by human rights activists, as well as many of the journalists who have access to the Edward Snowden documents, to protect sensitive computer activity. It runs from a USB stick or CD so that it’s not stored on the system, and uses Tor and other privacy tools to protect user activity. At the end of each session, when the user reboots it, Tails erases any data pertaining to that session—such as evidence of documents opened or chats—except for data the user has specifically saved to an encrypted storage device. The NSA clearly regards Tails as a sinister tool, however, referring to it in one comment in the source code as “a comsec mechanism advocated by extremists on extremist forums.”

The XKeyscore rule for monitoring Tails users indicates that it is designed to identify users searching for the software program, as well as anyone “viewing documents relating to TAILs, or viewing websites that detail TAILs.” 

XKeyscore additionally tracks the addresses for web sites that use Tor Hidden Services to hide their location on the internet. Sites that use Tor Hidden Services—part of the so-called Dark Web—have a special Tor URL that can only be accessed by those using the Tor browser and who know the specific address. Tor Hidden Services is used by activists to host forums discussing their activity, though it is also used by sites selling illegal drugs and other illicit goods.

Read more:
Wired 

SPREAD THE WORD, one of the most effective ways to take action is to raise awareness around these issues. And it won't cost you a dime. Simply repost this link into your social media accounts, leave in comments and email the link to your friends.

“These programs were never about terrorism: they're about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They're about power.”
― Edward Snowden

“There simply can be no honor in claiming you are protecting the country, if you are shitting on the Constitution while you do it.”
― Morgan Clements - Publisher GlobalIncidentMap.com

QUOTES:


“The way things are supposed to work is that we're supposed to know virtually everything about what they [the government] do: that's why they're called public servants. They're supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that's why we're called private individuals.”
― Glenn Greenwald

Anarchist quote:


As the word "anarchy" etymologically signifies the negation of governmental authority, the absence of government, it follows that one indissoluble bond unites the anarchists. This is antagonism to all situations regulated by imposition, constraint, violence, governmental oppression, whether these are a product of all, a group, or of one person. In short, whoever denies that the intervention of government is for human relationships is an anarchist.


But this definition would have only a negative value did it not possess, as a practical complement, a conscious attempt to live outside this domination and servility which are incompatible with the anarchist conception. An anarchist, therefore, is an individual who, whether he has been brought to it by a process of reasoning or by sentiment, lives to the greatest possible extent in a state of legitimate defence against authoritarian encroachments. From this it follows that anarchist individualism — the tendency which we believe contains the most profound realization of the anarchist idea — is not merely a philosophical doctrine — it is an attitude, an individual way of life.

Emile Armand, in Anarchist Individualism as Life and Activity (1907)

Don't ask your government for your Privacy, take it back:

Browser Privacy:  HTTPS Everywhere, AdBlock Plus + EasyList, Ghostery, NoScript  (FireFox), NotScript (Chrome)
VPNs:  Private Internet Access  (US),  BTGuard  (Canada),  ItsHidden  (Africa),  Ipredator  (Sweden), Faceless.me  (Cyprus / Netherlands)
Internet Anonymization:  TorTor Browser BundleI2P
Disk Encryption:  TrueCrypt  (Windows / OSX / Linux),  File Vault  (Mac).
File/Email Encryption:  GPGToolsGPGMail  (Mac),  Enigmail  (Windows / OSX / Linux)
IM Encryption:
  Pidgin + Pidgin OTR
IM/Voice Encryption:  Mumble, Jitsi
Phone/SMS Encryption:  WhisperSystemsOstel,  Spore,  Silent Circle  ($$$)
Google Alternative:  DuckDuckGoStartPage
Digital P2P Currency:  BitCoin
Live Anonymous/Secure Linux:  TAILS  Linux


Don't want your information monitored online? Whatever you do, don't Google.
Don’t want your information monitored online? Whatever you do, don’t Google.
 
As always, we also welcome any and all suggestions for going invisible online in the comments below. Here, in no particular order, are a few suggestions:

Use Tor to mask your IP address

Your internet protocol (IP) address is a numerical representation assigned to any device (computers, printers, phones, etc.) that connects to the internet. Outsiders can trace your IP to track who you’ve been communicating with, what websites you’ve been visiting, and especially if you’ve been up to anything illegal, like downloading copyrighted stuff from Piratebay.

That’s where
Tor comes in. Originally developed by the U.S. Navy, Tor is widely used by activists, hackers, journalists, law enforcement, and many others to evade detection. Basically, it’s a system designed to mask your IP address by making its path to the website you want to visit as confusing as possible.
 
It works by funneling your connection through a series of networked Tor computers at random — like a relay race through a dense crowd of people. Each “relay stop” can only see the IP address of the computer directly before it; by the time you finally connect to your destination, your data path should be split among multiple computers around the world. The more users there are on the Tor network, the harder you are to find.

The easiest way to use it is to download the
Tor browser. MIT Technology Review also has a great explainer of how the technology works here.

If you’d rather stick with Chrome or Firefox as your primary browser, you can download the
HTTPS Everywhere extension, which encrypts your connection with major websites to make browsing more secure. While the extension project is a collaboration between The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, it’s not quite as sophisticated as Tor itself. One big downside: Many sites offer limited support for HTTPS, so browsing can be a bit unpredictable.

Consider setting up a VPN Virtual Private Networks more-or-less hide your data from the public domain. VPNs were originally set up to allow remote employees access the company’s secure servers through encrypted tunnels. But average users can set-up their own VPNs to keep their traffic secure, especially when using something like Starbucks’ free WiFi (which crooks can use to glean your password).

You can find plenty of free VPN services out there. One we like is called
 Hamachiwhich is a free tool that allows users to route traffic back through their home internet connection when they’re out on the road. It’s easy to set up, too.

Another VPN service worth checking out is a one-flick app called
  TunnelBearwhich The Next Web recommends. It’s also free though you’ll have to pay a $5 fee if you surpass 1GB in monthly data.


Not only is it neat-looking (its mascot is a bear!), but it also has apps for both iOS and Android.

Encrypt your sensitive emails


Why should you, a non-whistleblowing, non-spy, encrypt your email messages? Well, if you’re sending sensitive information — like social security numbers or bank account information for a wireless transfer — you obviously don’t want that kind of stuff to get intercepted by the wrong eyes.

You can encrypt your important emails in a few ways.
PC World has a great walkthrough that helps you manually encrypt three different things to ensure maximum security: (1) The connection to your email provider, (2) the actual emails themselves, and (3) the archived and cached versions of your emails.

One service we really like is called
Lockbin, which promises to protect messages using FIPS 140-2 encryption libraries. Better yet: It’s free, and you don’t have to register to use it. You just fill out a form with your message and seal it shut with a secret password.

If you’re a Mac user,
GPG Mail is a free service that generates a PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) key to encrypt your messages. Here’s how it looks in action, but you can try it out for yourself here. (Also, if you’re interested in learning more about PGP communication, this is a good place to start.)

On this page:


Don't ask for your privacy back, take it back

Exploiting the Tor browser bundle

The NSA targets TOR users

How to remove personal info from your digital photos


Related: (click link)

Snitches Pictures and locations