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  1. #1
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Finding out what the advertisers know about you


    Two interesting projects are described in this week's New Scientist.

    A team at Carnegie Mellon is developing a browser plugin that will tell you what information advertisers are collecting about you on the sites you visit. Every time you go to a site, the extension will note which advertisers are listening in and what they can deduce about you from your browsing.

    Another team at the Northeastern University at Boston is studying smartphone apps that deduce information about you and call home with it without your knowledge. All three smartphone OS's contain such apps, apparently. The team want to develop an app that notifies you whenever this happens and gives you a chance to stop it.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
    www.hrussman.entadsl.com

  2. #2
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    i am subscribing to this thread.

    as for the last sentence, it seems that Xprivacy is doing that for android devices.

  3. #3
    Linux Enthusiast Steven_G's Avatar
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    Firefox has done this for years.

    Lightbeam for Firefox

    I ran its predecessor, Collusion, in my heavily fortified / customized version of FF with my shields up; just to see what it does. In my case it returned zero results b/c I lock all 3rd party crap down completely.

    The first down side to that is that it breaks some web sites. On most sites I don't care b/c I'm just trying to read. So I just need it to render text and don't care if the page layout is weird.

    On pages, like this one, where I actually want features and functionality I have to prick pinholes in the shields to get stuff to work w/o a bunch of 3rd party tracking crap. Sometimes I have to got through a page's published coding element by element and script by script to get the page working. But it totally borks efforts for advertisers to build a profile on me.

    The second downside is that it actually makes it easier for state actors to track me through browser fingerprinting, if the really wanted to for some reason, even though evercookies don't work on my system.

    This is because I can guarantee you that Panopticlick is 100% correct when it says my browser is the only one on the planet like it. Now I just need to convince ~10,000,000 people to run my version of FF so that we can share a fairly large degree of anonymity by running the same browser; which that, along with some IP obfuscation, is the basic idea behind TOR.

    ____________
    Edit:

    Also, on matters of privacy I'd take anything coming out of Carnegie Mellon with a grain of salt. They are trying to serve too many masters at once. They have also been caught red handed employing at a minimum questionable, if not downright unethical, research methods.

    The million-dollar hole in the FBI 'paying CMU to crack Tor' story
    Last edited by Steven_G; 11-28-2015 at 06:32 PM.

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  5. #4
    Mine seems to send pictures of my weenie when I least expect it.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk

  6. #5
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven_G View Post
    This is because I can guarantee you that Panopticlick is 100% correct when it says my browser is the only one on the planet like it. Now I just need to convince ~10,000,000 people to run my version
    Links in graphical mode stops most of the crap, but will not help with browser fingerprinting ... get one in a few million for that.
    The NIC related information based on java will change the odds for firefox

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven_G View Post
    i am trying this out atm.
    what is supposed to happen when i click on a triangle? it says in the '?': show website profile - but nothing happens, the triangle just gets highlighted.
    am i missing sth?

  8. #7
    Linux Enthusiast Steven_G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihili View Post
    i am trying this out atm.
    what is supposed to happen when i click on a triangle? it says in the '?': show website profile - but nothing happens, the triangle just gets highlighted.
    am i missing sth?
    Not sure, haven't run it. Its predecessor, Collusion, returned no results on my system b/c of all the lock downs. Folks over at the Mozilla forums would know more about it.

  9. #8
    Linux Enthusiast Steven_G's Avatar
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    For anyone serious about privacy this is very disheartening news:

    The attack that broke the Dark Web—and how Tor plans to fix it

    It's also why I don't connect to TOR directly. I own a vtOpenVPN server that is hosted on metal in another country w/ much stronger privacy laws than the US and good sec implemented by the hosting company. The ownership of the vtserver is set up under a dummy identity. When I VPN in to that server I wrap it in an SSL tunnel so it just looks to my ISP like I'm logging in to a website in that hosted IP range. Then, when I exit TOR I use special code to exit 8 nodes at once. This makes it much harder to track me and speeds up my connection greatly; although the newly implemented sec fixes may break that. (I need to test it to see if it still works.) Then, I channel those 8 exits through multiple chained random pathway proxies (up to 8 proxies per exit chain, which distributes my end point foot print over a total of 64 proxies); making me even harder to detect and /or track back.

    Unfortunately, in today's world this kind of malarkey is what it takes to have a fairly private conversation. And you don't have to be a criminal to want to talk in private in a world where Wally World hires aerospace contractors to spy on their employees so they can call in the FBI to bust up unionising efforts. And trust me, I am no supporter of unions at all. But in a free society those folks have the right to organize if they so choose.

  10. #9
    You have entered an invalid username or password. Please enter the correct details and try again. Don't forget that the password is case sensitive. Forgotten your password? Click here! You have used 2 out of 5 login attempts. After all 5 have been used, you will be unable to login for 15 minutes.
    Sigh

    http://i.imgur.com/EA9FZCW.png

    Just love being painted into a corner by a Linux forum. This browser works and logs in

    antiX-forum - Index page

    Untitled Page

    LinuxQuestions.org

    But of course. Not on this heavy flash java site that demands I run what they want. I know the admins and mods have no control over site management here. So one deals with what
    is available. I run into the same here using Dillo Browser also. http://i.imgur.com/dcHqDtS.png
    So like in cool hand luke.

    "What we have here is 'failure to communicate'."


    I can click that login in that screenshot till the forum kicks me out of here for failed log in attempts.

  11. #10
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    -->
    This is not simply a case of the US Government versus privacy freedom fighters. I wish it was that simple. Tor was apparently invented by the CIA so that their operatives could phone home safely. Then it came to be used by whistleblowers, political dissidents and other white hats, and everybody cheered. And then, inevitably, the black hats -- the paedophiles and drug merchants -- moved in. Privacy is a two-edged sword, and the public won't listen to us if we pretend that other edge isn't there or doesn't matter. It's our job to deal with it as a community issue if we don't want governments to do so.

    Tor really belongs to the world of anarchism. I love anarchism but I'm not sure I believe in it. Anarchists believe that society can be self-policing and that it doesn't need an external police force. What has happened and is happening to the dark web is a test of that principle. If the white hats can't deal with the black hats who give tor a bad name, the public will turn against us and we shall all lose our freedom.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
    www.hrussman.entadsl.com

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