Mt Baker ascent 2018, final section from Easton Glacier route
We have much to do. Begin your journey to digital online privacy and security, and join with me as we learn about Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and a better way to use technology. Me being a mountain goat, you will see quite a bit of mountaineering images along the way here, from my adventures when away from keyboard doing goat things. I suppose I can call it a great excuse to get outside and look for better desktop background and screensavers… refreshing to say the least to see many of the beautiful, big mountains we have here in the Pacific Northwest.
Watch journalist Glenn Greenwald’s short presentation on why privacy matters. Greenwald was one of the journalist who covered the Snowden leaks in 2013, and articulates well why we should all care about privacy.
What does FOSS mean? Why should I care?
It stands for Free and Open Source Software. This could be anything from an Operating System (OS) such as many of the Linux systems, certain phones, or software applications (apps) and programs. Systems such as your typical Microsoft Windows, Apple or Google, and most of the apps you use, are Closed Source Software, meaning no one but that company can view the Source Code of the software. The source code is what makes up the app or system, and all of its function. This means that they have full control of the device if it’s your Operating System, and either partial or full control if it’s an app you’re using.
Since you are not able to view the source code of your version of Windows, then Microsoft can write any code that they wish and install it on your device at any time. Things like turning on cameras, microphones, keystroke logging, screen recording, and many more terrifying invasions of privacy. Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and many others not only control their apps and devices (recording keystrokes, emails, messages, videos, documents, gathering data from all of the sensors like location and other telemetry) but also give direct access to much if not all of that content to our federal government justice and intelligence agencies.
But I have nothing to hide, and I don’t do anything illegal, who cares?
When you know you are being watched, you behave differently. Over a long enough time period, you actually think differently. You actually self censor, without the need for any big tech company to police your ‘wrongthink’. In a free society, privacy is an important pillar and arguably a necessary component. You may not have anything to hide from a legal standpoint, but you have everything to protect. We lock our doors at night to protect our privacy, not to hide anything. We put doors on our bathrooms, not because we are hiding what we are doing, but wish to have privacy. Increasingly, we see the corporate and state merger through our big tech oligarchies and government, and I have bad news; all the tools of our enslavement are already rolled out and in place. All that needs to happen is for a few switches to get flipped to shut you out and coerce you into anything the state wants.
“Saying that privacy doesn’t matter because you have nothing to hide, is like saying that freedom of speech doesn’t matter because you have nothing to say.” -Snowden quote
We believe in using better technology than what our big tech bros want us using. Better for many reasons. Most Linux systems are free, they contain little to no bloatware (apps that come pre-installed on a device that often most people don’t need or use) and most importantly, you are in control of the device, not Microsoft, Apple or Google. You determine when you want to install an update, what apps can be added or removed, etc.
With phones, we have found GrapheneOS operating system to be ideal due to their user friendliness and the team’s focus on the device privacy and security above all else. Ironically, the only phones we can install them on currently is a Google Pixel device, models 4 and higher. GrapheneOS removes the Google layer of software, wiping the device clean down to the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) level and installing a clean and minimalist system that gives the user full control. The best part is that the software is free and open source, and feels and functions just like any other Android phone.
Currently our mission is to increase awareness of the massive surveillance programs that exist through big tech and government, and we offer easy, consumer ready solutions instead of just complaining or giving up. I put off trying Linux for many years, my only regret using it was not using it sooner. You’ll find it’s probably easier than you might think. We offer training through a course called DHAC (Digital Hygiene and Awareness Course) as well as private one on one consultation and support.
If you’ve read this far, welcome, the journey ahead is not hard, and doesn’t have to happen all at once. In this arena of technology and privacy, you learn by doing, don’t put it off thinking you’ll ‘get to it one day when I learn more.’ From my own experience, I recalled having the thought that I shouldn’t try any of these privacy preserving techniques until I had a better grasp of things, but this is not a good approach, you will never feel ready. Just start taking the steps outlined on this site as you can, knowing that you WILL make mistakes, we all make mistakes daily. The goal is to gain awareness and comfort thinking through privacy strategies by simply trying these various apps, hardware and services out first hand. Within a month or two, you will look back and likely be shocked with just how far you’ve come if you can maintain any interest in technology.
Also important is to view this website as not just a resource for information, but also a two way street for information flow. Anyone who has knowledge of any of these areas, I strongly encourage you to reach out to us to help educate us to improve the site for others. While we do sell some devices and services, the primary mission for us here is to increase awareness of our current technology for free. Our DHAC course and sales of hardware, such as phones, give us some funding to continue research and development of better ways to spread the good word of Free and Open Source Software technology to the people.
Check back often for updates as the site rolls out and new content is added.
In my previous line of work for the military for over 20 years, my unit’s motto was ‘De Opresso Liber’ or ‘Free the Oppressed’. I feel very much so that through technocratic happenstance, we are being oppressed, and I wish to enlighten others and enlist them to take meaningful action against any oppression or suppression of free thought and ideas. Our country was forged through blood, sweat and tears in many forms to achieve what I argue is the greatest country on planet earth. We can only save this constitutional republic if we possess the knowledge and motivation to overcome the oppressors that seek to change or harm this nation. Get prepared for the digital fight for your very life here, and contribute anything you can to preserve this great nation by giving your time, talent and treasure to defending it. We are always seeking any like minded individuals who are looking to join our mission to educate others about technology for good.
Visit our ‘Resources and Links’ page, it offers a series of FREE technical guides and the most amount of information on the site, give it a look and see how you can apply these strategies to you own digital life, and be sure to share these with others.
For the latest tips, tricks and other technology related news,
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