Bonum Certa Men Certa

Personal Identification on the 'Modern' Net

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Sep 24, 2023

Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer.

It’s Getting Harder to Do Anything on the Web That Doesn’t Demand Personal Identification. E-Mail, Included.

The Surveillance State wants to know everything people are saying to each other and it wants to know who is saying those things.

I noticed that the list of E-Mail providers that doesn’t immediately pop up and demand a phone number, which can be linked back to you, has fallen off a cliff.

Most also seem to be blacklisting burner phone number apps.

I’ve got a wide variety of E-Mail accounts set up across at least ten different E-Mail sites.

Why? Because it’s hard to tell when or if one will “go bad” and start demanding my phone number, like Discord would.

Ironically, Microsoft Outlook is one of the ones left that doesn’t have a hard demand for a phone number right away. So you can set up an account. But then the next time you log into it, it says a phone number, for “recovery purposes”, will be required within the next seven days.

This loophole means you can set up a throwaway and then use it as a “recovery email” to set up accounts at Vivaldi Mail and Proton Mail, and GMX. Then once the Outlook account demands a phone number, you just let Microsoft go ahead and delete it.

The authoritarians haven’t quite figured out how to stop Americans from using Proton Mail yet, so they’ve gotten their flunkies to brand an E-Mail service “Alt-Right” tech, something that they also slandered Brave, the Web browser, with.

You created the Outlook Mail from a privacy-respecting browser through a VPN tunnel, so Microsoft never really learned who you are, and then you told the other E-Mail provider about this throwaway account that they’ll never check again, and you access the other E-Mail account through a VPN, or Tor, (or both) each time.

For now there are still some things you can do, even if you have to take the long way around, to avoid personally identifying yourself to get an E-Mail address.

Almost every time I run into something that demands that I personally identify myself to use it, like Google Search, or Discord, I say “Bother.” and then, if it’s not actually all that important, I just leave it alone.

Interacting with surveillance monsters when you don’t need to or when there is a workaround is just dumb.

If an attacker with global presence wants to find out who you are, they probably eventually will.

But what is going on with all of these Web Disservices like “Social Media”, E-Mails that demand credit cards or phone numbers, and “IRC replacements” that are not VPN-friendly, is that they want it all in one place, where nobody is going to have to do any additional work to find out who you are, because the “flow” is automated.

I was talking to my mother, who is very right-wing, and thinks almost all abortion should be illegal.

I told her how they caught that little girl in Nebraska who had an abortion that would have been legal months prior, and how they dragged her off in handcuffs, to prison, screaming.

I said “VPN or Tor aside, it is more than likely, if she had simply not used Google or Facebook or her iPhone, they never would have known, much less proven it. But because she did, it required minimal effort and it lowered the bar for the prosecution. They got her chat and search records within a day, printed them out, and took her to court.”

And these are State people, right? Nebraska! Not even feds!

Look how easy Google and Facebook and iPhones made it.

You want to “fragment” your online presence and make each piece somewhat cumbersome to get and re-assemble.

I guarantee you that nobody at that Prosecutor’s office would have known how to take her to court had she been using SearXNG to look for abortion clinics (instead of Google), a VPN or Tor (to avoid ISP logging), and the Tox messenger (instead of Facebook saving her chats about the abortion).

Some people carry an iPhone, that constantly broadcasts their location, to the abortion clinic. It would also tell Apple and the carrier that she was there long enough to get the abortion. Then the prosecutor would have that too.

This is exactly the kind of case that the police love. It falls right into their lap and now they’ll hang you. You supplied the rope.

I was having some thoughts about Immigration “asylum”. I was wondering how long it can be before women fleeing prosecution for an abortion go to Canada and claim political asylum from the United States.

If they go to another US State, the Constitution says we have to turn them over. So this is like the Fugitive Slave Act all over again.

My ex in Washington State bought a Toyota Prius. He was telling me about all the spyware in it.

I have a car insurance company that wants to know everywhere I go, or else they charge a lot more. But, like anything else running on the phone, they don’t know anything if the phone is shut off, or not in my pocket for a particular trip. You don’t just lose your insurance if the battery dies or you went out for a drive and forgot to take the phone with you.

There’s nothing in my 2008 car that tells anyone where you are. It’s all on the phone. If you don’t want anyone to pinpoint you (except maybe license plate scanners on the expressway, which are avoidable because their locations are public information), you can deal with the problem at the source. Your phone!

But this Toyota tells the company where you drive, how many miles, exactly where you’ve been. And he gets text messages, from the car! About what he’s doing.

Then the dealership calls him and says “Well, your car says it’s time to come in for service.” And the dealership knows what the car knows, because the car is leaking everything to Toyota.

In my 2008 car, there’s a little sticker. This sticker says when it’s time for my next oil change. (One year or ten thousand miles, because I use special high grade synthetic oil and extended drain filters now.)

You match the odometer to the sticker and you know when to service the car.

It’s like, totally amazing. They absolutely MUST add 5g to this at some point so I can get texts from the car! /sarcasm

They don’t add any of this stuff to the car to help you. You are paying for this so that they can spy on you and give your data away.

Every time you jump into your Toyota, it will leak all of your information to the company. They’ll even know if you’re speeding or not wearing your seat belt.

You think being texted about oil changes is creepy?

Imagine when you start getting tickets in the mail for speeding or not wearing a seat belt that one time, and there was no traffic stop!

The laws are coming! Maybe even the car will video record you without your belt on, driving it, and attach it to the package it sends the police.

They already have cameras all over them. The insurance company will love it when they can pull the footage and blame you for something. Your own car blabbed.

It’s for your own good!

The State is mother, the State is father!

You will cooperate with the State for the good of the State and your own well-being.

You will confess to the crimes to which you have been accused.

Cooperation will be rewarded. Resistance will be punished.

You will cooperate with the State for the good of the State and your own well-being.

You thought trying to browse the Web safely was bad!

Oh child, eventually there will be nothing in this country that isn’t spyware.

The old machines will stop working, and be replaced with newer ones.

You will be “brought into compliance” with the New Order, you see.

You will cooperate with the State for the good of the State and your own well-being.

COVID was a huge disaster for personal freedoms.

They used fear of a virus that’s admittedly worse than the flu, but which everyone got, sometimes several times, vaccinated or not, even if they did crawl into a hole and pull it in after them, to make huge, radical changes to society.

The pharmacist giving me the flu shot this year tried to pressure me to take a COVID shot. I said no. My doctor did the same. I said no.

I will say “No.” one more time than they bring it up.

The media assisted them, including running wall-to-wall coverage about shots that didn’t work, “Hug Condoms”, and loudspeakers at every Walmart telling you to scrub your hands raw, followed by “Well, surface contact is low risk.”

This was never about any virus.

It was about wearing people down to where they would go insane and no longer value freedom or privacy.

Regardless, the “COVID Zombies” are still out there.

I could name five that I know personally that have college degrees and are both sticking their arms out for more shots, as their health strangely fails them, all at once, in their mid 20s through early 40s around the same time as the shots.

The COVID Zombies would tell me that correlation doesn’t equal causation, but they were fine until they got 5 or 6 of these shots.

Two of them are now having problems with their eyes. One of them had his heart basically destroyed. When his doctor admitted that Pfizer’s shot did it and wrote him a medical letter, he still had to drop out of college because the school said he could go get the J&J, which the FDA removed from the market later.

But totally normal that five healthy people have this happen and each time they stick out their arm to virtue signal, it gets worse.

Cataracts and heart attacks.

My dad said he would trade every modern technology to just go back to when the world made sense and was in better shape.

He isn’t wrong.

Admittedly, back when I didn’t fully realize how bad these platforms were and what they would be used for someday, I did have accounts on things like Reddit and Facebook and policies with insurance companies like Lemonade.

There’s no taking that back now even though the accounts are gone. But for my part, I am engaging in lawsuits against the companies. Years later, 7-8 years in some cases, they still pay me damages and agree to delete my information from their records and have partners do so as well. In particular, the Illinois BIPA law has been very helpful in changing the way biometric data has been stolen and abused.

I am fighting with what I can get ahold of, to change some things so that people who continue doing business with these firms are not harmed in all the same ways, but it’s not enough. If you haven’t engaged with these people, don’t, and if you have, delete your account and fight them.

Because if you aren’t fighting them, you are helping them.

I replied, to my dad,

Things are actually getting a lot worse.

When I was in my 20s, Web sites were something written by real people that you visited on the computer. They were informative documents.

If you had a check, you could go to a bank branch with it. The banks now shut down all the branches and the people working there are always looking over their shoulders for the next round of layoffs. In my State, Wells Fargo has been in the WARN Act for almost every month this year.

If you had a bill, you could still pay it with a check through the mail, no extra fee.

Now, the electric and phone company want $5-6 just to send you a paper statement with the return paper coupon instead of just letting them suck whatever they want out of your bank, even if they made a mistake.

Now, if you want your medical records, they demand you use a computer. They will not just print them for you. Although, they often store them in Microsoft Azure, where they get stolen by criminals and dumped out publicly if the “healthcare” provider doesn’t quietly pay them some bitcoins. Then it happens again and again because they often don’t improve their security and the criminals know they will pay.

When you have a bill, you are pressured to use the computer. The Web site often won’t work in a Web Standards-compliant browser, because it’s a Chrome App now.

You want to chat with people, “Get an app!”. And the app is totally packed with spyware of course and demands your phone number, and surreptitiously copies your contacts list and watches your location.

The car insurance company says, “Let us follow you around and see if we like your driving, or we’ll charge you another $600 a year!”. They call it a discount to get the rate you already paid them, only now there is spyware.

Sharing culture is almost gone.

They call it “piracy” and brainwashed people, especially younger ones, with these concepts. BitTorrent will get you thrown off the Internet and sued into the ground quickly.

(How can you steal something with piracy that you would not own if you paid for it?) (DRM)

Even in Free Software, companies like Microsoft and IBM have invaded and are changing it in malicious ways. To install DRM hooks, to sabotage the GNU GPL with shim and systemd-boot, and to lock down the computer and take away the user’s freedom to tinker, even if they are the administrator.

Most of the Web now is just propaganda, a spam farm, or bait.

The American government says they pay for Internet access now if you’re broke because you need it to function. Partially true.

The real reasons, of course, are Chinese or North Korean-style surveillance, of everyone, and propaganda (social media, “news”, etc.), and baiting people to do things that are even dumber than just passively letting them watch you browse, hoping you’ll chat on Facebook or upload files to Cloud Storage that are some sort of crime evidence. Even if that “crime” is an abortion that was legal in America for over 50 years.

Uploading things to “Cloud” storage is a forever expense, when hard disks are cheap, once, and you control them and whether things actually get deleted when you press delete.

It’s being done because it serves a corrupt and autocratic state that has gone totally paranoid about Internal Security.

What should you do? Poke them in the eye.

I always browse and download and chat on IRC over a VPN in the Netherlands. I have an amnesiac browser with all of the “traps” turned off that I can open with split tunneling to pay a bill or something. Then you close it and it forgets everything they told it to store.

I browse with “special” browsers that are very hardened and secured.

Sometimes I overlay the Tor Browser onto the VPN network. Then not only can’t your ISP see what you’re doing, you have some protection for a potentially compromised VPN server.

The majority of the apparatus is set up to deal with the majority. Not the 0.02%.

Be the 0.02%.


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