I thought this just might be useful for you -- so I'd like to point you to:JAP - Anonymity and Privacy
Very briefly: It's a project run by a study group among german universities to provide everyone with the ability to surf anonymously on the internet. The project has a pretty good reputation for definitely NOT giving out any data -- up to the point that german authorities (after several unsuccessful efforts) stopped bothering to even try and make the JAP people hand over usage/access data. You'll find loads of information on their website (like here
).Why is it important?
It's important because a lot of people COULD snoop on you and your surfing habits and regardless of what you do on the internet I believe you should have the right to do it anonymously. This short article is mainly targeted at users sitting in corporate environments with strict website blocking policies in place. Policies which allow users to access brainwashed News Corp sites but prohibit pretty much everything even remotely related to nudity -- whether that's porn, art or anything between.OK, how does it work?
Your average internet connection looks somewhat like this:
The person(s) controlling the "gateway" in the middle is able to block you from accessing sites and (more important) to create detailed reports on your surfing habits. The websites you visit (including when and how long), your forum postings ... everything.
So you might want to use a service like JAP to make sure these people can't spy on you -- which would make it look somewhat like this:
The software is open source, free to download and use. Currently the usage is still free, too. However, if you consider this service any useful you are encouraged to support the project (more details on their webpage
).How can I use it?
Just download the software from their website and follow the instructions. I recommend getting another browser to configure it for the use with JAP. Portable Firefox
run from your USB stick
would be a good choice.Final Words of Warning
JAP does not make you invulnerable. IT forensic experts might still be able to trace your surfing sessions back if they get hold of your PC, although this is pretty unlikely with the "Portable Firefox + USB stick" solution. Also remember that it does not prevent anybody from looking over your shoulder.
JAP will not always work, especially not in enterprise environments (access to the JAP mix network might be blocked). But if you can use JAP it will enable you to get around your company's website blocking policies. Keep in mind that this might be a violation of company guidelines and/or policies. Same might apply for installing software not supported by your company or accessing 'Not Suitabe For viewing at Work' material -- do all of this at your own risk
Act responsibly. Do not download stuff from dodgy websites (JAP does bypass your companys virus scanners). Do not use Internet Explorer with JAP. Make sure you local virus scanner is up to date. Do not use JAP for illegal activities.Other than that?
If you're not totally excited and interested in JAP ... read their webpage anyway. It includes a lot of interesting information regarding privacy and anonymity and is written in a well founded yet pretty 'untechnical' way.