Do you have a need for a bit of privacy when online? Do you want to be a ninny moose? Well, Tor can help you with that.
From Tor’s website:
Individuals use Tor to keep websites from tracking them and their family members, or to connect to news sites, instant messaging services, or the like when these are blocked by their local Internet providers. Tor’s hidden services let users publish web sites and other services without needing to reveal the location of the site. Individuals also use Tor for socially sensitive communication: chat rooms and web forums for rape and abuse survivors, or people with illnesses.
Pay attention to what I’m going to say now… You do NOT have to be a software pirate, a hacktivist, or a foreign operative of some sort to need a bit of privacy. It’s perfectly legal and normal for you to want to protect your privacy when online. You don’t paint your name, address, and phone number on the side of your minivan, do you? You don’t exchange personal data with the clerk at the mall shoe store, do you? Do you tell every caller who calls you on your phone the numbers of the last 10 people you spoke with?
Of course, you don’t do those things. So, why should you do them on the Internet. Your web browser, in many cases, is not your ally in your ongoing effort to protect your privacy online. Often, it is giving away all kinds of interesting info about you with every link you click on. That’s just how it was designed. It’s not an evil conspiracy by the government to track your Internet movements. Although, it is possible for them to do that should they want to. When TCP/IP and the WWW first came about, browsers were required to do these things to function.
If you want a tool that can give you a bit more privacy when you need it, try Tor. Read HERE to understand a bit better how Tor works to protect your privacy. BE AWARE, though… Tor is not the do-all, be-all privacy tool. It has foibles. However, it’s better than having your rear area totally exposed out there in the breeze. Below I will briefly explain how I got Tor up and running in Slackware and Arch Linux using Firefox and Seamonkey browsers with the Foxy Proxy Basic addon.
- Download the libevent SlackBuild from SlackBuilds.org.
- Build and install libevent from the SlackBuild.
- Download Tor for Slack 13.37 in x686 or x86_64 versions from Linux Packages | Slackers.it.
- Install the package using pkgtool.
- Start Tor at startx using Xfce’s Session Manager GUI front end. (or start Tor as a service in Slack – /etc/rc.d)
- Download and install the Foxy Proxy Basic addon for FF and Seamonkey.
- Add new proxy in Foxy Proxy – Socks v5, 127.0.0.1, port 9050.
That’s it. You can start the Tor service by typing “tor” in Run Program (Xfce) or at the command line in terminal. Once it’s running, you can use the Foxy Proxy button to turn on the Tor proxy. Once you’ve done that, you can test by using THIS site.
- Install Tor from Arch repos using Pacman.
- Add Tor to your daemons – (/etc/rc.conf, daemons: …tor…).
- Follow steps 6 and 7 above to configure FF and Seamonkey.
There you go. Simple in Arch, huh? This is wee bit of a project for a neophyte Linux user, but it’s not really that difficult. In Slackware, there are always different ways to do things. If you’re running Slackware, odds are you ain’t no neophyte. In Arch, it’s easier to install and set up. Plus, there’s a Tor section with step-by-step in the always EXCELLENT Arch Wiki to help you.
Enjoy your privacy. Remember, practice safe intercourse, er… I mean Internet.
Later… gotta’ go pirate* some vids now. Just kidding!
* The author in no way supports theft of copyrighted materials of any type. A creator’s output is his own to do with as he pleases. If he chooses to freely share, that’s wonderful. If he chooses to limit the sharing and protect his creations by using copyright or other laws, that’s his right also. Taking something that isn’t yours without permission is stealing. Can’t get much plainer than that.
+ Some further reading should you be interested
–> EFF’s Top 12 Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy from the Electronic Frontier Foundation
–> Copyright – Fair Usage
–> Internet Privacy