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Adam Stoner

27 EpisodesProduced by Adam StonerWebsite

This is an audio version of my website, adamstoner.com. About Adam Stoner I graduated with 1:1 BA (Hons) in Radio Production from the University of Gloucestershire in 2016 and have been producing radio, digital, and design content for the UK's children's radio station, Fun Kids, ever since. I'm i… read more

8:27

Encryption, security, privacy

Over the past few months I've become increasingly more security and privacy conscious. This has led me to upgrade the tools I use on a daily basis to ones that support my ethos and make some kind of further statement about the world I would like to live in. In this post, I write about the tools I now use and share some thoughts on the society in which I use them.

US Attorney General William Barr claims that 'making our virtual world more secure should not come at the expense of making us more vulnerable in the real world', failing to recognise that the virtual and real world are the same thing. Contrary to the popular retort, claiming back my privacy and caring about security is not about 'having something to hide', it's about having something worth protecting: everything. If you had told someone at the dawn of the world wide web that almost every mode of interaction would be mediated by it, they'd probably have called you crazy. It is specifically because they encompass everything we do that security around our digital lives is of paramount importance.

We live in an unprecedented era of surveillance where corporations are joining the State as a privacy and security adversary. These companies are eager to jigsaw the minuscule breadcrumbs of your life in order to sell your data and attention to advertisers. We've seen companies abusing their power or being so lackadaisical with the data they gather – frequently with only de-facto consent – that it ends up in the hands of others who are happy to abuse it. Given enough time, becoming the subject of a data breach is almost a given. How severely it impacts you depends on how well you protected your other assets.

Recommendations

I have moved from...

  • Microsoft's OneDrive to the end-to-end encrypted, zero-knowledge cloud-host, Tresorit
  • Adobe Lightroom CC to Apple Photos – which still isn't brilliant. If you have any suggestions for a full-featured privacy-enhanced photo management tool, please do let me know!
  • Apple Notes to Standard Notes, which has a powerful longevity statement and privacy manifesto – I've purchased their five year license
  • WhatsApp, which faces some questions around the efficacy of its encryption, and Messenger, mainly because it's another Facebook company, to Signal and iMessage
  • Roundcube, hosted by my domain registrar, to the inexpensive, encrypted, zero-knowledge email host ProtonMail

I have adopted use of...

  • NordPass as my password manager
  • Two-factor authentication for everything that will allow me to turn it on, secured in Authy
  • physical security USB key for the things that need the most protection
  • Nord VPN, always-on on my iPhone, iMac, and MacBook
  • DuckDuckGo as my search engine
  • Brave for as my desktop browser with a range of tweaked settings including DNS-over-HTTPS and fingerprint obfuscation
  • Trezor, a hardware wallet for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin

I have turned on...

If your interest has been piqued, I've created a Twitter list that curates the messages of my favourite tools. Feel free to subscribe to it and dig around to find tools that work for you or to email me with suggestions, tips, or to chat further about this topic. I'd love to hear what you think.

For privacy to be widespread it must be part of a social contract. People must come and together deploy these systems for the common good. – A Cypherpunk's Manifesto

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