Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex is widely regarded as one of the best computer games of all time, thanks to its immersive dystopian future setting, RPG-style character development, and a story that begins with a New York terror attack (before 9/11 happened), a genetically-designed disease outbreak (before CRISPR), and real conspiracy theories like global internet surveillance (before Snowden).

Deus Ex, 2000
Deus Ex, 2000

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Beyond end-to-end encryption

“With end-to-end encryption, messages are scrambled as they leave the sender’s device and can only be decrypted by the recipient’s device. It renders messages unreadable if they are intercepted, for example by criminals or law enforcement.” – BBC News

“Imagine a letter, right, the metadata is the name and address on the envelope, not the content of the letter.” – George Brandis, Attorney-General for Australia

“Metadata is a term that can mean, it means different things to different people.” – Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s Former Minister for Communications

“Metadata absolutely tells you everything about somebody’s life. If you have enough metadata, you don’t really need content.” – NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker

We kill people based on metadata.” – General Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and the CIA

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Onion routing explained

When you visit a website on your computer or mobile device, you are potentially sharing that information with advertisers, hackers, co-workers and governments. Even though the content you are viewing is likely to be encrypted with HTTPS, your metadata (including the URL and IP address of websites you visit, your IP address, the time and date, information about your web browser and computer hardware) can be collected and stored by anyone eavesdropping on the wire between you and the web server, to be used against you in targeted advertising campaigns, phishing scams, profiling, and soon robot assassination.

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Encrypted Email Backup in the Cloud (Windows)

Is your Inbox full? Do you want to combine mail from multiple accounts into one convenient location? Are you concerned that your private messages are being stored insecurely (i.e. not encrypted) on a server that could be accessed by your co-workers, the government, or hackers?

This tutorial will show you how to download your email messages into a local mail reader (Thunderbird Portable) and backup the files securely (with encryption) in the cloud provider of your choice. I use Microsoft’s OneDrive in my example; you could use DropBox, Google Drive, OwnCloud, a network share, or local storage such as a USB drive.

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The Matrix Trilogy: A Man-Machine Interface Perspective

This essay was written by SFAM, founder of the defunct website on February 4, 2006. See the original at the Internet Archive.

Overview: Since online debate around the Matrix Trilogy has been beaten to death, I’m guessing by now you’ve already long ago made up your mind on whether you liked or hated The Matrix and its subsequent sequels. Truly, whatever you decided is fine with me. As it turns out, I love them and generally think they’re great. And NO, I’m not really interested in having a Matrix Sucks/No You just don’t get it discussion. Please start a new thread in the Meatspace if you’re still interested in such banter. This essay is for something else – it’s about viewing the trilogy, specifically Neo, from a man-machine interface, or cybernetics perspective.

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Preventing VPN leaks on Linux

A Raspberry Pi running OpenVPN with a D-Link DUB-1312 Ethernet adapter
A Raspberry Pi model B running OpenVPN with a D-Link DUB-1312 Ethernet adapter

In a previous post I showed how a firewall app on Android can prevent metadata leaks when you connect to a wireless network but have not yet connected to your VPN. This guide achieves the same goal with OpenVPN or Torguard Lite on a Linux PC, blocking all outgoing connections and then allowing connections only to to the VPN server.

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