Letter Re: Privacy from Google’s Prying Eyes

Dear Jim: You don’t have to be a “Secret Squirrel” to be concerned about Google tracking your online searching. Here is a quick and easy way to use Google but not get tracked: http://www.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/scraper.htm The following is a quote from their site: “Not only does Google scrape much of the web, but they keep records of who searches for what. If information about your searching is accessible by cookie ID or by your IP address, it is subject to subpoena. This is a violation of your privacy. Someday Google’s data retention practices will be regulated, because Google is too arrogant …




Letter Re: Rootkit Protection for Your Computer

Jim, Here is some info on what is presently a freeware application which I can quite-honestly classify as in the “Save Your Bacon” category. (it sure saved my rump, on at least one very significant occasion.) It does its’ job, it is small, and it is freeware. My conscience would bother me no end if I kept this gem to myself; perhaps you and/or the blog might benefit from this goody. – Ben L.




Letter Re: Anonymous Web Surfing Resources

Dear Jim, Tor (“The Onion Router”) has been up and running for some time. It’s a free and highly secure system for anonymous browsing. It requires installation of free, open source software on the host machine. Also of potential interest is the current release of Freenet, which supports a “scalable darknet:” A freeware, open source distribution of PGP (named, appropriately, GPG). A GPG for Windows front end. TrueCrypt (a freeware/open source hard drive encryption/steganography program) The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) tools page Hushmail: secure, free web mail Secure, free hard drive/file erasure Disclaimer and warning: Strong cryptography isn’t legal …




Keeping Your Preparations Low Profile

Of all of the aspects of preparing a survival retreat, perhaps the most overlooked in survivalist literature are privacy and operational security (OPSEC). Your preparations must be kept secret from all but your most trusted friends. All of your expensive logistics could disappear in a few hours soon after TEOTWAWKI. Your “hidey hole” could be stripped clean by looters or overzealous government agents wielding “emergency powers.” You must absolutely resist the urge to mention your preparations to anyone who does not have a need to know about them. I am not suggesting that you lie to anyone. That would be …




Letter Re: Preparedness Lessons Learned from The K.T. Ordnance BATFE Raid

Jim, I thought I would give you an up-date on my raid. First, I’m not in jail, nor have I been charged with any crime. Everything that can be written has been written at this time.[JWR Adds: For example, see the discussions at the AR15.com Forums, at LibertyPost.org, 1911Forum.com, et cetera. ] In retrospect, there are some things I should have done, but that I didn’t. (I pooh-poohed some of your preparedness ideas, shame on me. Learn from my mistakes.) 1) Did not stash my extra arms and ammo, and now I don’t have them. 2) Should not have been …




Two Letters Re: Cell Phone E-911 Tracking

I’m an engineer working on E911 systems and I’d like to correct this whole post. I’ve included some references so all your readers can peer review. > #1 The chip does not function unless you either… Incorrect. The requirements typically state for Public Safety and in support of local laws, the mobile station (cell phone) has to handle all network requests for location. > #2 Its not real GPS. There are two separate systems that can be hybridized together. First is the network based system described above that works great in urban areas with lots of compatible cell towers. It …




Letter Re: Cell Phone E-911 Tracking

Dear Jim, Someone wrote about E911 phones and GPS tracking. I worked in that industry, with that specific issue and I can provide some facts. #1 The chip does not function unless you either Dial 911 or turn it to Location On, which shows a circle with a plus sign through it and two end parentheses to its right. It is common to see the circle-plus sign without the parentheses. Check your manual to verify this. It will list this under “icons” or E911. Phones come with them preset to “911 only”, not “on”. Phones from Nextel/Sprint or using location …




Letter Re: Cell Phone E-911 Tracking

Jim, I think this would come under the heading of privacy….or our losing more and more of it on a daily bases. I got a call from my cell phone company today (US Cellular) they told me that I was going to be required to bring in my old phone…the same one I have had for five years… and trade it for one that was capable of being tracked by 911 (these are the [E-911] ones with GPS chips in them.) I told them that I did not want to. They told me I had no choice. They said that …




Three Letter Re: Internet and Search Engine Privacy

Jim: I’ve done a lot of experimenting on this and offer my take: Rule Number One: The U.S. Government is monitoring domestic internet traffic. Anybody visiting Survivalblog is already suspect by the government because of it’s very subject matter. Assume that you are being monitored. Let’s not be naive here please. Anonymizer is obviously monitored by the Government because it maintains logs of in/out IP Addresses. Tor…the Onion Router is the best way to go if you have DSL or Cable high-speed internet connection because there is no central logging. I use it. CCleaner [Cache Cleaner] at http://www.ccleaner.com/ is the …




Search Engine Privacy–And Google’s 30 Year Cookie Retention Iniquity

Part of being a prepared individual is keeping a low profile. I don’t heavily emphasize privacy issues on SurvivalBlog, but I do recommend that you learn how to fly under the radar, just on general principle. My philosophy: Don’t leave big paper trails or bit trails. An interesting article recently appeared at Wired News, titled “How to Foil Search Engine Snoops”  See: http://wired.com/news/technology/0,70051-0.html?tw=wn_tophead_2 For greater privacy, the author recommends using either the Firefox PC browser or the Safari Macintosh browser. He states: “In Firefox, you can go into the privacy preference dialog and open Cookies. From there you can remove …




David in Israel on Practical “Pocket” Cryptography

In the absence of computing power if we are reduced to using tiny QRP [low power] transmitters for communication, then there may come a time where some messages require heavy duty encryption. This is the easiest method I know of the Solitaire card deck encryption method. A group could even generate one time pads which would be starting order for a deck and store them in a secure location. See: http://www.schneier.com/solitaire.html Here is a snip from this site: “In Neal Stephenson’s novel Cryptonomicon, the character Enoch Root describes a cryptosystem code-named “Pontifex” to another character named Randy Waterhouse, and later …




On Cellular Phone Privacy

I’ve been asked by several readers for their advice on cellular phones. First, I should mention that the cellular revolution still hasn’t made its way to the Rawles Ranch. Perhaps it never will. I’d appreciate your e-mails with comments on this topic. (As a non-cellular kinda guy, I will surely leave out some important points.) The general rules of thumb on cellular phones are as follows: All cellular phones are vulnerable to interception–some are just a bit more secure than others. There is no privacy with a cell phone–or in essence with any other radio transmitter. None. Don’t kid yourself. …




Letter Re: Disabling OnStar Vehicular Tracking/Communication Systems, Cell Phone Tracking, and Stocking Up on Prescription Medications

Jim: A few items that are of concern/interest to me as of late are topics that others have brought up. Don’t forget that disabling OnStar may be obtainable, but I surmise that disabling your cell phone would be patently dangerous in a slow slide or SHTF scenario. Learn [the details about] your cell phone, and VOTE WITH YOUR EAR! (Had to get that in there Jim!) I presume that handheld or vehicular mounted GPS  systems would also create some sort of signature or locale while in operation. Is this of noteworthiness? The last unit I bought, I purchased without any …




Letter Re: Disabling OnStar Vehicular Tracking/Communication Systems, and EMP Protection

Jim, I have two somewhat related questions: 1.) Can the OnStar [tracking/communications] system on General Motors vehicles be TOTALLY turned off by an owner? If so, how? And if so, is a professional recommended to do the work? I envision the possibility of the Powers That Be (PTB) simultaneously turning off engines of all OnStar vehicles to create massive chaos if it supports their plan. 2.) If we experience an EMP event, can we carry a spare computer module in protective casing and just replace module in our vehicle and we are off and running again? If so, what is …




Letter Re: Large Volume Liquid Fuel Storage

Mr. Rawles, Many thanks for an excellent web site!  I read it daily with much anticipation.  Your book Patriots is a first-class work as well.    Storing fuel is a must for a survival retreat.  Having said that, how do you get delivered several hundred gallons of diesel (or gas) without raising eyebrows?  I live in the rural Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina on a mountain top.  Very private and quiet, but not a farm.  Maybe it is easier than I presume and nothing would raise flags to delivery folks filling a couple of above ground tanks.  Is there an …