Don’t Miss Our Next Cryptoparty!

If you weren’t able to attend the Cryptoparty we held this month, you missed out on a lot of tools and knowledge you need in order to operate in the cyber world as part of the partisan resistance. Never fear—we’re looking to hold another one after the first of the year. They’re completely free, with food, drinks, and excellent networking and discussion, all in a very casual and laid-back environment—and they only last a few hours. In short, you have nothing to lose by attending, and everything to gain.

If you weren’t able to attend the Cryptoparty we held this month, you missed out on a lot of tools and knowledge you need in order to operate in the cyber world as part of the partisan resistance. Never fear—we’re looking to hold another one after the first of the year. They’re completely free, with food, drinks, and excellent networking and discussion, all in a very casual and laid-back environment—and they only last a few hours. In short, you have nothing to lose by attending, and everything to gain.

At the last Cryptoparty, we went over some of the beginning steps to protecting yourself, your identity, your group, and your communications. We’ll be going over some of the same in the next one, but we’ll also be expanding that and dealing with more topics. If you attend the next one, here’s what you’ll be learning:

  • What the Tor Browser is, why you need it, and some of the more interesting links on the dark web for patriots. We’ll help you get it installed, configured, and set you up with some starter links and tools.
  • What i2p is, and how it can offer you more resources on the dark web. We’ll help you get this installed and running as well.
  • Communication channels on the dark web. You’ll leave with some new ways to communicate a little more under the radar.
  • What a live operating system is, and how it can protect you. Bring a flash drive, and leave with a fully-functioning live TAILS distribution.
  • How to “disconnect” from the surveillance state as much as possible
  • How to encrypt emails. You’ll leave with a set of GPG keys…and the keys of some new contacts.
  • How to choose a VPN, email provider, and other tools.
  • Open source alternatives to the bloated, spying software you’ve been using all your life.
  • How to make your mobile device more secure.
  • MUCH more.

You owe it to yourself and to the people you work with to attend. Cryptoparties are designed for people to ask questions, to openly discuss concerns and ideas. Bring your questions, your laptops, your flash drives and external hard drives. You’ll leave with a whole host of new tools and tricks, and a lot more knowledge that will help you in your operations.

If you’re interest in attending our next Cryptoparty, email us! If you’ve got an area of expertise and are willing to share your knowledge with the group, let us know.

What a Data Breach Means to You

We keep hearing about “data breaches” and “hacks” from various companies. Even government entities are not immune, as far too many have found out in recent months. But what does that actually mean? As long as your credit card, SSN, or mother’s maiden name isn’t taken, is it really that big a deal? The short answer is yes. It matters more than you know—and not just for you or your group, but for your kids. Over at Patrick Henry Society, I break down the latest data breach, which took place at a popular toymaker.

VTech, a company in Hong Kong, might sound familiar because they sell all manner of electronic toys for kids, some of which allow them to chat with parents via an app on the parents’ phone. Many of these toys require an online account to get updates or more software for the toys, and the company encouraged parents to put a headshot of their child on the child’s profile as an avatar. The problem is that VTech got hacked, and almost 5 million accounts were breached. That includes everything from parents’ home addresses, to their kids’ personal information…and the headshot they put on the site.

Put it all together, and he knows who your child is, where he or she lives (and possibly where else she spends her time), how old she is, what she looks like, and when her birthday is. Since he also has your name and location, it’s a quick OSINT job to find anything he wants.

  • Zillow or Redfin will show him photos of the inside layout of your home.

  • LinkedIn will show your employer, and from there it’s a fairly easy jump, combined with other social media, to figure out the general hours you work—which means the general hours you are not with your child.

  • Facebook will net him just about anything he wants. I tell people all the time: Show me 30 days of an average person’s Facebook page, and I can tell you with a fairly high degree of accuracy where they will be at any  given time. More importantly I can tell you where your kids will be, which is what the predator is interested in too.

  • Instagram and Facebook will give him all kinds of photos of your kids. Next time you are about to post a photo of your precious little angel, think about a predator having it, sending it to his sick friends, or posting it on a website for any other predator to download too. (By the way, if you think that making your timeline set to “Friends” keeps those photos safe, think again. I need to write an article showing you how easy it is to look at anyone’s photos, whether you’re friends with them or not.)

That’s by no means an all-inclusive list. That’s literally 5 minutes of internet surfing. This is yet another reason to protect your information. Whether you’re in a group or not, whether you’re engaged in freedom fighting or not, none of that matters. Protect yourself, protect your kids. This weekend we can show you how.

7 Secure Email Services You Should Leave Gmail For

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e talk a lot about privacy and anonymity at TOWR, and for good reason. Today we’ll look at the criteria for a solid email service, and list seven secure email services that meet that criteria. If you’re still of the opinion that you “have nothing to hide” and don’t care if the government or hackers look at your emails or accounts, then you should consider Glenn Greenwald’s advice:

Over the last 16 months, as I’ve debated this issue around the world, every single time somebody has said to me, “I don’t really worry about invasions of privacy because I don’t have anything to hide.” I always say the same thing to them. I get out a pen, I write down my email address. I say, “Here’s my email address. What I want you to do when you get home is email me the passwords to all of your email accounts, not just the nice, respectable work one in your name, but all of them, because I want to be able to just troll through what it is you’re doing online, read what I want to read and publish whatever I find interesting. After all, if you’re not a bad person, if you’re doing nothing wrong, you should have nothing to hide.” Not a single person has taken me up on that offer.

(For those who are looking for more ways to answer the “I don’t have anything to hide” argument, you can read this thread on reddit. It’s got some fantastic counterpoints.) If you’re on board, let’s get started.

Continue reading “7 Secure Email Services You Should Leave Gmail For”

RSVP For Cryptoparty Now!

Feedback has been great for the Cryptoparty this weekend (directions and times at the link). If you’re planning to come on Saturday, please shoot us an email at TOWR@whiterose.us so we know how much food to have. Keep in mind this event is open to the public, so it will be a good opportunity to not only learn how to make your online dealings and communications more secure, but also to meet people in the area. As always, practice personal OPSEC when meeting new folks.

The Cryptoparty is FREE, so bring your laptop, your smartphone, power cords, a flash drive, and any questions you might have. Please let us know you’re coming before Thursday by sending an email to TOWR@whiterose.us. You can do so from an anonymous email if you like; we don’t need your personal info. We just need a head count.

Thanks!

Tradecraft for Patriots: The Chess Game

In this second installment of our series on Tradecraft for Patriots, we’ll talk about what you’re protecting and what you’re up against. It’s no secret that the government does not agree with what you do. There’s a reason why they want your life open for inspection and your guns taken away. Their objective, of course, is control. Tradecraft makes it that much harder for them to achieve it.

Counterintelligence is the information gathered and activities conducted to protect against espionage, infiltration, surveillance, and other nasty things. It’s used by governments to protect against other state actors, but it’s also become one of the favorite activities of our own government against its citizens—especially us, patriots who stand against tyranny. TOWR, and many other patriot or III% groups, are not anti-government. We are anti-tyranny, and only seek a return to the constitutional form of government that adheres to the limits set by the Founders. That doesn’t matter, however. Patriots stand in the way of their agenda, and that makes us targets.

It all becomes a chess game, where the stakes are far higher than losing a piece on the board. It requires strategy, analysis, and a lot of careful planning and thought.

Continue reading “Tradecraft for Patriots: The Chess Game”