Monday, June 3, 2013

How to Hide Your Digital Communications from Big Brother

J.P. Hicks
Activist Post

Big Brother is hoping to eliminate anonymous digital communication, but a new messaging protocol may provide privacy advocates a way around their snooping government no matter where they live.

It couldn't come at a better time as governments increasingly demand access to private communications.

In fact, an FBI whistleblower recently revealed that all digital communications are being recorded and stored by the U.S. government.

Since most emails, instant messaging, and all voice calls (land line, cell or Internet) run through central service providers that database all user activity, the government has easy access to this information upon request, secret subpoenas or even backdoors to these services to view private communications in real time.

The Associated Press was recently violated by the Department of Justice who, with a secret subpoena, forced service providers to hand over phone records of AP's reporters and central offices.


The U.S. government claims the authority to track, trace, and database all electronic communications in order to keep us safe. Despite the obvious intrusion of privacy, it clearly has the intent to spy on all communications and is actively seeking expanded legal cover and technological advances for full spectrum digital surveillance.

Large central service providers make this nefarious goal possible.

But as the government cracks down on Web privacy, a new decentralized communication protocol called Bitmessage has emerged to offer an easy way for people to send and receive encrypted messages.

What is Bitmessage?

Bitmessage is a peer-to-peer encrypted messaging protocol that allows people to communicate anonymously.

Bitmessage's official description is as follows:
Bitmessage is a P2P communications protocol used to send encrypted messages to another person or to many subscribers. It is decentralized and trustless, meaning that you need-not inherently trust any entities like root certificate authorities. It uses strong authentication which means that the sender of a message cannot be spoofed, and it aims to hide "non-content" data, like the sender and receiver of messages, from passive eavesdroppers like those running warrantless wiretapping programs. (Source)
Based loosely on Bitcoin's open-source protocol, Bitmessage utilizes the computer power of decentralized users to process the messages making them essentially impossible to track. Addresses are made up of 36 random characters as opposed to a name and other personal information that email services require.

Example Bitmessage address: BM‐2nTX1KchxgnmHvy9ntCN9r7sgKTraxczzyE

In their white paper, the Bitmessage developers emphasize that privacy was their main motivation for creating it:
Hiding one’s identity is difficult. Even if throw‐away email addresses are used, users must connect to an email server to send and retrieve messages, revealing their IP address. 
...if just one of those organizations is run by a government agency, and if they have certain network hardware in place between users and destination servers, then they would be able to perform a targeted man‐in‐the‐middle attack of ostensibly secure communications at will... 
What is needed is a communications protocol and accompanying software that encrypts messages, masks the sender and receiver of messages from others, and guarantees that the sender a message cannot be spoofed, without relying on trust and without burdening the user with the details of key management.
The addresses not only emphasize privacy but guarantee sender verification:
While certainly more cumbersome than an email address, it is not too much to type manually or it can be made into a QR‐code. Users have already demonstrated this to be acceptable as Bitcoin addresses are similar in format and length. This address format is superior to email in that it guarantees that a message from a particular user or organization did, in fact, come from them. The sender of a message cannot be spoofed.
Though it may sound complicated, Bitmessage makes it easy for anyone to communicate anonymously. Once the program is downloaded on your computer, you just need to set "Your Identities", "Passphrase", and "Addresses" in your Bitmessage folder which is much like a Bitcoin "wallet".

Then it works similarly to email where you choose from one of your "From" addresses to compose a message to "Send" to another address. The message's encryption is then "processed" by the peer-to-peer network of servers and delivered to the recipient's "wallet" (Bitmessage folder) on their personal computer. The "stream" or "proof of work" takes roughly four minutes to process the message to the recipient.

Bitmessage also offers a "broadcast" feature for mass announcements. So if you run an organization, website or blog with a newsletter, you can send anonymous "broadcasts" to subscribers. Meanwhile, subscribers can sign up without giving out their email address or anything that links them to the information.

Just as Bitcoin has the potential to displace centralized currencies, Bitmessage may be the future of free and private communication. As the government increases its Big Brother spying on average citizens, Bitmessage proves that freedom will always find a way.

Watch the video below for more information about Bitmessage:



Get started with Bitmessage here.

Another great resource for how to get started with Bitmessage:
http://cryptojunky.com/blog/2013/03/09/setting-up-and-using-bitmessage-an-encrypted-communications-platform-based-on-bitcoin/

J.P. Hicks is an entrepreneur, info-activist, pro blogger, editor of BlogTips.com and author of Secrets to Making Money with a Free Blog. Follow @ Twitter, or like on Facebook.



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25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will definitely give it a whirl!

Anonymous said...

this app is amazing. very simple to use even for the novice. I am dumping today traditional e-mails for all friends who willing to switch.

Anonymous said...

It may be prudent to look like a regular shmuck who is on the internet as usual and have a regular account that you use for the 'regular' people in your life, to cover the other.....just a thought. If you drop off completely it may draw attention...just saying.

Anonymous said...

All email providers sell your personal information.
This provider is not different.

clothcap said...

Checkout Unsene
https://www.unsene.com/

Only niggle, recommends Chrome, google's browser. Google is a globalist company with the crook Gore on the board, and co-operates with the nefarious CIA in tracking people.

Anonymous said...

How do you know this for sure was yours sold?

Anonymous said...

Simply using it will define you as guilty of something, in the eyes of the current regime. Simply put, you are not allowed to have privacy. Privacy is considered a national security risk.

Anonymous said...

I suppose it is too much to hope for Linux and Mac OSX versions.

Anonymous said...

They have it for Mac and Linux. Go to bitmessage.org and you'll find the download.

abinico said...

If the govt allows this, then it is no problem for them to crack. Years ago I developed an email system that included encryption with some special twist which I will not reveal. Anyways, we got a visit from the MIBs - yeah, really - men in black - they told us we cannot do this - and we didn't.

Anonymous said...

"Nice try but in all actuality there are no such real things as secrets, for a true and *real secret* is absolutely not known by anyone, ever so, cause if one being knows about it, then how is that a secret when that being can always communicate with other beings, and lets not forget about our Spiritual Qualities, sometimes we just know things without ever even being told, Spirit is always aware, your consciousness is Spirit driven always" :) u.g. phoenix :) ps. even echelon cannot truly deal with our spiritual natures...spirit is the infinite catalyst. (:

Anonymous said...

Won't help for long. The digital spy center going up in Utah is designed (I believe from what I've read so far) is in defense of the increasing popularity of secure tunnelling (encapsulating data with encryption so it's unreadable, in a sort of 'tunnel'). Basically a normal computer would take 1k years to crack an encryption. The computing power being built at this facility will probably do it in seconds.

Ed said...

Might be fun to send baseball scores, movie reviews, etc., etc. just for fun, or maybe a routine that calculates value of pi, or square roots of prime numbers, you get the idea...

Anonymous said...

Point of origin and point of delivery along with routing, kind of gives the game up before you start ? Most if not all encryption requires a master key or the algorithm and registration. The few that have hung out there with their own versions of encryption such as PGP, again should be considered suspect. The fed does not mess around and is more than willing to negotiate terms with a developer or advocate, with some very persuasive arguments.

Michael said...

the only thing you can really do is look like everyone else.

Check out this video, a little behind but it will get you in the correct frame of mind to deal with discussing contextualized privacy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG0moesXmQg

And this video regarding thing that governments have done to defeat anonymity, brought to you by the folks who created TOR. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwMr8Xl7JMQ

Anonymous said...

So even with bitmessage it doesn't guarantee 100% that you will be safe from being anonymous and not have to worry about Anyone knowing what is going on?

esra star said...

I have nothing to hide.

Unknown said...

Ha... nothing to hide, so they can bend you over however they want? Fool.

Anonymous said...

Nothing to hide does not mean that they cannot "make it up" and prosecute you anyway.

Anonymous said...

One of the most disturbing things about this, is that they would go to such great lengths to monitor our entire country and beyond. The paranoia behind this means they have something to protect something to hide not us. If you look at history every despot, crazed ruling gov religion etc is highly paranoid in fear of loosing control and grips on it's power.Every single one in a system of control over the people. On a microcosmic level a psychopath is highly paranoid over the people he/she controls.To loose control means to loose the power, and power is the game. This intrusion into our individual rights to privacy is a neon flashing sign, officially telling us all that we are not free anymore. We are free to do as we are told, and are being watched to make sure we do as we are told. This has nothing to do with protecting us or terrorists. I'm cynical too, that this program will do anything more than bring attention to you, that you may have some thing to hide that may threaten their power. When most users would use this as a protest against their intrusion and nothing else.

Anonymous said...

"If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear." Goebbels.

esra star, would you trust him? Trust no govt that monitors its citizens under the guise of protecting them. The citizens are not the ones that need to be monitored. It shows that the govt doesn't trust us. If they don't trust me, why should I trust them.

A question: Is PGP still secure for email and computer encryption?

Anonymous said...

Yep same thing here, tried and it was not allowed. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Blowfish

Anonymous said...

paranoid freaks

Anonymous said...

What does this have to do with the cyberterrorist group anonymous? if nothing, why use their image? I don't trust this software because of it

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