It's privacy week

It’s privacy week and the theme is “privacy in your hands.” We'll be attending a bunch of Privacy week events (I'm personally looking forward to Tuesday's talk about ransomware). So, with privacy on my mind and my mind on privacy here is a couple of recent stories and tools have bubbled up which y’all might be interested in.

Facebook’s TOR site reaches 1 million hits a month

In 2014, Facebook launched a TOR hidden web service so that people could access Facebook in a way that maintains their privacy from others who might be looking or listening. Sure, it’s not going to stop Facebook from tracking you, but it will confuse others and help you get around a bunch of filters.

Usage of Facebook’s TOR service has been steadily increasing and in March this year they had over one million users accessing their TOR address.

Sounds like great news to us. New Zealand Internet users should, and do, have the right to use tools like TOR without fear of being cast as deviants or criminals. TOR is a useful tool to help give you confidence that what you do online is private and not anyone else’s business (unless you want it to be). It’s excellent to see that one million people a month are using tools like TOR for normal, everyday activities showing that TOR isn’t just for criminals and buying off-prescription pseudoephedrine (or so I’m told).

Have I been pwned

As it’s privacy week one of the topics that is bound to come up is mandatory breach disclosure and whether organisations should tell you when they lose your info. A worthy debate, and an issue that many New Zealanders are keen to see progressed.

In the meantime why not register your emails with Run by Troy Hunt, an Australian infosec expert, HaveIBeenPwned collects all the datasets from data breaches that have been dumped out in the public (e.g. Patreon, AshleyMadison, Adobe), and matches them against their registered datasets of email addresses. They then email you saying that your data has been breached so you can do something about it.  For those of you that don’t want to register, there is a web form on the homepage you can use as well. Cool aye!

Troy has build such a trusted a recognised brand that after 100 data breaches being loaded in, last month he got his first that was a self-submission from a company who lost customer data. 

Hacking Humble Bundle

Sometimes, a good book can come in handy. For a couple more days you can get the Smart Girls Guide to Privacy and 12 other books for US$15 through Humble Bundle (a fundraising site that sells groups of books or games with profits going to charitable causes). It’s a good set of books which are digital rights management free (a rare and useful thing) and can be downloaded in different ebook formats as well as pdf.
But be quick - it runs out 6am(ish) Thursday NZ time.


Happy privacy'ing everyone!