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Re: [gNewSense-users] basic questions about gNS

From: Ted Smith
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] basic questions about gNS
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2009 20:26:17 -0500

On Mon, 2009-02-16 at 16:45 -0500, Bubba cakes wrote:
> Thanks, Ted.  I do have Evolution, and I already use it for Calendar
> and Contacts.  So I'll see about using an email address with it.
> My thinking on a proxy server is that it's a computer that I connect
> to in order to send emails that are not linked to my IP address.  I
> know nothing.  I thought it was a way to become insulated from prying
> eyes.  
> I believe that there are US Constitution breakers who spy on internet
> users.  For example, Homeland Security, that US Federal tobacco, drug,
> and firearms agency, (I forget its name), etc.  Just on principle, I
> would like to be anonymous when I use my computer to contact
> companies, friends, and information sources.  Not that I have anything
> to hide, I just don't like the current U.S. slide toward fascism.  So
> I'm becoming more private.
I sure as hell wouldn't put it past them. Less the ATF than the NSA, but
yeah, the Constitution isn't really important anymore, it seems.

Gmail is a proxy server in that regard, but your original IP will both
be logged on Gmail's servers and probably included in the email.
Anonymous email is hard to come by -- though Mixmaster, the level II
anonymous remailer, should be in the repositories. Be warned, it's a
b**** to set up.

It's much easier to protect your email from prying eyes by encrypted it.
I suggest you set up GPG with Evolution (it's easy to do that) and then
get the people you email with on a regular basis to set up GPG as well,
if not with Evolution, than with Thunderbird and Enigmail (thunderbird
will work everywhere, even on non-free systems).

Remember, there is a difference between anonymity and encryption.
Anonymity protects a hostile third party from knowing who you are and
who you're talking to; encryption doesn't protect against that, but does
protect a hostile third party from knowing what you are talking about.
Consider the use case carefully before setting up any security measure.

Good luck.

- Ted
> On 2/16/09, Ted Smith <address@hidden> wrote:
>         On Mon, 2009-02-16 at 16:23 -0500, Bubba cakes wrote:
>         > Hi, all,
>         > I hope this is the right list...
>         >
>         > I have some basic questions, and I wonder if this is the
>         place to ask
>         > them.
>         >
>         Probably as good as any. :)
>         > I want to know about internet security, how to keep my
>         computer from
>         > being infected with viruses, spamware, spyware, adware,
>         > whatever-ware...
>         >
>         > Is there a program that I can run to check all my files and
>         drives for
>         > security problems?
>         >
>         > What about a firewall?
>         >
>         > Actually, I don't know what I need.  I'm a construction guy,
>         and need
>         > you computer guys to tell me what to do.
>         >
>         You don't need any of the above.
>         Going through the list, there's no such thing as viruses,
>         adware,
>         spyware, whatever, for GNU/Linux. This is for a combination of
>         reasons
>         -- the system isn't a very alluring target for bot herders,
>         but it's
>         also built much more securely than Windows, so it's much
>         harder to
>         infect.
>         By default, gNewSense doesn't have any network services
>         active, meaning
>         there's no reason to use a firewall.
>         If you really want to run security programs, I suggest
>         chkrootkit and
>         rkhunter. They are programs that install themselves to run
>         automatically
>         every so often and report on how vulnerable or 'hacked' the
>         system
>         looks. They can have a lot of false positives though, so
>         unless you want
>         to learn more about security, I wouldn't bother with them.
>         > I would like to be able to browse the internet without being
>         monitored
>         > by anyone.  I would also like to send emails without
>         receiving ten
>         > freakin advertisements based on words I just sent to
>         someone.  Is this
>         > possible?
>         >
>         In a sense. However, I don't think you're meaning exactly what
>         you're
>         asking.
>         You could set up Tor (there's a detailed guide on doing that
>         on
>         <>, follow the Ubuntu/Debian
>         instructions) for
>         anonymous browsing, but if you just want to avoid ads, then
>         just install
>         the Adblock extension for Firefox (I believe the package is
>         called
>         adblock-plus, but if you just searched adblock in Add/Remove,
>         you'd find
>         it). Additionally...
>         > Is it possible to use the internet and email (Gmail) without
>         somebody
>         > always reading/monitoring my activities?
>         >
>         Not really. Email is a clear-text protocol. Your email
>         provider will be
>         able to read any emails you send via them, unless they are
>         encrypted.
>         Setting up email encryption is a more complex task that would
>         make this
>         a very long message, so I'll just refer you to the vast amount
>         of guides
>         on google. Note that it isn't particularly hard, just
>         complicated.
>         In terms of ads directed at your email content, there's no way
>         to stop
>         google from gathering data from you if you use their service,
>         but you
>         can stop seeing them if you set up an email client like
>         Thunderbird or
>         Evolution.
>         > Is Gmail email using a proxy server? (I think it is, but
>         don't really
>         > know.)
>         >
>         No, definitely not. What do you mean by "proxy server",
>         though?
>         _______________________________________________
>         gNewSense-users mailing list
>         address@hidden

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