Story 2015-08-01 G31R Chatting in secret while we're all being watched

Chatting in secret while we're all being watched

Anonymous Coward
in security on (#G31R)
Micah Lee from The Intercept wants to remind you that all your communications are being spied on, and offers tips on how you can chat securely and anonymously, particularly with journalists, as NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden did. His tips amount to: using Tor, Jabber, and OTR (Off-the-Record messaging), while creating disposable accounts that can't be linked back to you. He includes some specifics for various operating systems, and a number of important tips and caveats, such as:

* Use Tor when you create your chat account, not just when you use it.
* Never login to that account when you're not using Tor.
* Don't choose a user name that might betray your real identity - don't use a pseudonym that you've used in the past. Make up a random user name that doesn't have anything to do with you
* Don't re-use passwords.
* Be aware of which contacts you communicate with from which secret identity accounts.
* Don't give any other identifying information to the chat service.
* Don't use your Tor IP address to login to a chat account that's publicly associated with you.
Reply 4 comments

Or, ya know... (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2015-08-01 17:40 (#G4S0)

My sister was thinking of whistle blowing. It was really more of an incompetence thing than anything really serious.

She asked me how to do that anonymously. I thought about it a minute. She's email savvy, but not tech savvy... All those anonymizers can be tricky, and who knows which have been compromised... Just seemed like a lot of hassle.

Put it on paper and drop it in the mail.

Re: Or, ya know... (Score: 2, Informative)

by on 2015-08-01 21:38 (#G556)

but even snailmail requires careful attention - fingerprints, handwriting, phrasing -and- printers can be identifiable, in addition to hints given by postmark. of course it all depends on the level of attention you think someone will give to tracking you down...if someone is going to put the effort to find you through the tor network, they're likely to be able to use the above to find you through mail too.

But my communication is boring (Score: 1)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-08-03 12:06 (#G98S)

And dull. No one cares about what I say or do. No one cares about what most people say or do. The NSA is not out to get you. If they are, its already too late and the techniques listed here are worthless.

Re: But my communication is boring (Score: 2)

by on 2015-08-03 13:48 (#G9HH)

The article pretty much deals with this aspect. Endpoints are easy targets, TOR isn't perfect, etc.

But, if you aren't already a target of the NSA, but are going to do something you don't want them tracing back to you ( like leaking NSA secrets) ,and you know that they are capable of ( because you already work for them and know what their state of the art techniques), then it works great!!!111.

Of if you just want "casual secrecy" Then it works great too.. What is casual secrecy, you might ask? You know when you have a boring life, but want to pretend that your secrets aren't boring, and in the act frustrate the heck out of any one who wants to communicate with you. Its a great way to lose friends.