Praxis: Exercise in Tech Savvy
In this post, AM mentions that no one really commented on the IRC chat log. I didn’t because I was doing a facepalm and thinking “duh, that makes total sense, why didn’t I think of that?” And I didn’t really have anything to add, until now.
The following is a practical exercise. Part of this exercise is finding out how to do the things you don’t know. I will not be including any links: discovering information you don’t have is valuable. Fair warning: this will not be easy for some folks. Some will have already done these things. I think you will find the experience valuable even if at the end the only thing you decide is “someone else should be our tech-guy.” But who knows, you may have to fill a role you’re not fitted for at some point. YMMV.
– Go to, dick around with, and use anonymouse.org
—- Look at its email function, remember this later when we discuss TOR.
——— send email@example.com an email through Anonymouse.
——— How might these two things be used together well?
– Register a fresh email account somewhere like mail.com
—- a random alpha-numeric string is maybe a good idea.
—- Don’t use your real name.
—- For a more secure password try an algorithm like the following (you can make up your own):
——— [favorite-sea-creature + the-day-you-lost-your-virginity + color -of-your-second-dog + street-address-of-your-first-residence + an-action-verb]
——— the goal is to create something hard for computers to guess, but easy for you to remember. You can also do something like this: http://xkcd.com/936/
———- Also, if you *MUST* write something down (which you shouldnt’) your prompt is slightly more secure than writing the password itself.
—- Use this address for the GPG set up, and the following tasks.
—- You may or may not be able to use anonymouse for this, FYI.
———- If you can’t, can you deduce why? (Hint, a certain blue-puppet with a fascination with confections may have something to do with it.)
– Learn about and install the following email packages:
—- GPG (this is the open-source version PGP or PrettyGoodPrivacy)
———- Windows users want GPG-Win, Linux users shouldn’t need help.
———- You want GPG not PGP for security reasons.
—- Mozilla’s Thunderbird email client and the Enigmail plugin (maybe nightly-build version)
———- This will allow you to send encrypted messages. Keep track of your private key. Do not distribute/lose it. This set up should function pretty seamlessly with the above programs and packages.
—- Send firstname.lastname@example.org an email asking for its public key.
—- Send email@example.com an encrypted email.
– Learn about and download the TOR browser bundle to a flash drive
– Learn about and register using the brand new email and gpg-key to The Silk Road.
—- This requires that you be using TOR.
—- Also, the web address includes a hash (alphanumeric string), it’s not simple.
—- Don’t buy anything or do something illegal or dumb.
—- Look what the free market and technology are doing. There’s an off-shoot called the Armory that is also fairly interesting.
– Bonus Points:
==== Learn about and install a Bitcoin wallet either on your computer or mobile phone. If you feel like engaging in some radically subversive (but still legal) freemarket activities, check out http://localbitcoins.com/ and make a small purchase.
——— the android wallet is best for this, or you need to have your address so you can text it to the seller.
==== Imagine how such a network may be valuable to you during the Coming Unpleasantness.
After you’ve successfully done these things, consider learning about the USB dead-drop network. Consider adding construction of these to your caching schedule.
Then go do some PT. 😉
Any AARs posted here will be helpful to all. Enjoy!
– Cato, the American.