In Memoriam

Today is the fourth anniversary of Len Sassaman‘s passing. Len was a gifted programmer, he was a passionate privacy advocate—Len pioneered and maintained the Mixmaster anonymous remailer software for many years—and he was a very, very kind person. He was also a friend. Len was the first person to walk me through setting up OTR …

Introducing “Subresource Integrity (SRI) Manager” for WordPress

Subresource Integrity (SRI) is a proposed W3C standard that Web developers can make use of to protect their websites from being used in JavaScript-based DDoS attacks, such as the one recently suffered by GitHub.com. It’s not yet widely supported by browsers but is harmless to add to your pages for browsers that don’t support it. …

How to bypass Mac OS X’s Gatekepeer and run arbitrary programs as a non-admin user

Gatekeeper is Apple’s name for a feature in Mac OS X that prevents a user from opening certain programs based on a few different security preferences. (Under the hood, it’s actually part of Mac OS X’s security assessment policy subsystem, which you can manipulate from the command line with the spctl command if you have …

“The right to be forgotten” is not a legitimate right, and actively promotes abuse at all levels of society

An excerpt from an email I’ve been writing: As for “the right to be forgotten,” I strongly disagree that this is important. First of all, no one has “the right” to be forgotten. The framing of this as a “right” is incredibly dangerous because it is by definition a way to describe other people’s memories …

HowTo: Download movies, games, books, and other digital media freely and anonymously using BitTorrent with public proxies

Note: This guide assumes you never used BitTorrent before, and that you want to start learning about it with a safety focus from the outset, but it does assume you understand basic computer and Web lingo like “website address” and “downloading.” If you’re new to BitTorrent and don’t care about staying private, then LifeHacker’s “A …

How would you design an online social network that was hostile to abusers?

Everyone realizes that the Internet’s public squares have a harassment problem. No one seems to know what to do about it. I argue that’s because they don’t know how to think about online harassment and abuse—or even power, more generally. I argue that I do. But don’t take my word for it. Take my ideas, …

“How I Explained Heartbleed To My Therapist”

This is an important post by Meredith L. Patterson: “Remember back around April or May, when you had to change your passwords on all the websites you use? Facebook, Yahoo, LinkedIn, everywhere?” He nods, vigorously. “Do you remember hearing the word ‘Heartbleed’ back around then?” A blank look. Maybe I should have worn the T-shirt. …

How to: Securely configure Mac OS X for network packet sniffing with Wireshark

If you’re anything like me, you often run into a computer problem or five that could be diagnosed more quickly by taking a peek at activity on the network. The best general purpose tool for inspecting network activity has gotta be Wireshark. It’s an industry-standard, open source packet sniffer that you can use for fun and profit. But on many Mac OS X builds, the default configuration for packet capturing is less secure than it ought to be. Here’s how to fix that on your Mac.

Unlike Twitter itself, Predator Alert Tool for Twitter is a private-by-default, public-by-effort application.

I’m still hacking away on Predator Alert Tool for Twitter, but I’ve just finished putting some final wax and polish on the user interface for warnlist privacy options. What’s really exciting about this is that, unlike Twitter itself, in Predator Alert Tool for Twitter, “private” actually means what it says on the tin. When you …

Artist devises face mask of his own face, makes many copies, sells them at cost, all to protect the residents of his home city of Chicago from surveillance

When you wear these [“URME Surveillance”] devices the cameras will track me instead of you and your actions in public space will be attributed as mine because it will be me the cameras see. All URME devices have been tested for facial recognition and each properly identifies the wearer of me on facebook, which has …