Letter: Unintended Exposure Through Bank Debit Cards

All, When giving an analysis of bank debit cards and the advantages and disadvantages of their use, we come across quite a bit of useful information. There is indeed a shift from the use of checks and cash towards debit cards. According to the Federal Reserve Payment Study (2013) “Over the years, payments have become increasingly card-based. Card use may have replaced check use for certain payments” (P.6). The use of cards is of great end use convenience to account holders as swiping a debit card is faster than writing checks. Debit cards are almost universally accepted in today’s market, …




Letter Re: Digital Communications Capabilities for Prepared Families, by Prairie Dweller

I would like to add a small bit of information to the fine work Prairie Dweller provided about digital modes in Amateur Radio. One of the things that has kept me from exploring digital modes has been the requirement for a laptop or desktop system, generally running Windows. Firstly, I don’t do Windows. Secondly, two is one, one is none. How will you repair your laptop after TSHTF? How many laptops can you inventory? Do you have large enough Faraday cages? Given the above, I would like to suggest creating your digital mode hardware setup, using a Raspberry Pi B+ …




The Surveillance State 2015- Part 2, by Kass Andrada

Police and government have also been using cell phone jammers in a number of places. The Federal government has discussed implementing in-car jammers in order to enforce anti-texting and hands-free laws,[1] in part, at the urging of articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association.[2] While the FCC insists that use of cell phone jammers is illegal[3] at least one commercial site offers cell phone jammers for use in prisons[4] and at least one corporation has been caught using cell jammers to prevent it’s employees from communicating while on the clock.[5] License plate readers have been deployed in fixed …




Keys = Access = Power, by B.C.

My last parent passed away, and I’m dealing with the estate/inheritance. I was the close child and trustee/executor (personal representative). It’s a miracle that all the siblings are still friendly (though there is still money to be paid out)! I will also warn you that it is a LOT of (thank-less) work. One of the projects was to sort out all of their keys. It was no small task, as my father owned his own business. I also decided to do my keys at the same time. I’ve tried to hit all the points, but it is hard to organize …




Letter Re: Tails for MacBook Users

HJL, Regarding “Tails for MacBook Users: Anonymity for the Survivalist, by Losttribe”, almost every Mac made, since around 2006, has been Intel-based. From a name perspective, the products were renamed with the shift. Earlier product names were PowerMac, iBook, or PowerBook. Intel-based product names are: Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, et cetera. The only two devices that didn’t get a name shift were the Mac Mini and the iMac. You can see full details at these wikipedia links, and to figure out which mac you have, you can go under the Apple Menu to “About this Mac” and …




Letter Re: Regarding the Tails for Mac Users article

HJL, Almost every “Mac” made since around 2006 has been Intel-based. From a name perspective, the products were renamed with the shift. Earlier product names included PowerMac, iBook, and PowerBook. Intel-based product names include: Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, etc The only two devices that didn’t get a name shift were the Mac Mini and the iMac. You can see full details at these wikipedia links, and to figure out which mac you have, you can go under the Apple Menu to “About this Mac” and it will tell you both the model as well as the processor …




Tails for MacBook Users: Anonymity for the Survivalist, by Losttribe

Since the exposures of details regarding the NSA’s communication capture and domestic spying programs, many Patriots wish to keep their identities as anonymous as possible. Examples would be avoiding the tracking of us (who read online blogs, search for articles and information applicable in TEOTWAWKI, and make certain purchases that we feel are not the business of the powers that be) by those who wish to capture and store all of this detail for use against particular individuals and groups, whether it be in our current “big brother” era or future TEOTWAWKI. For many users, reducing your cyber footprint is …




Timeless World War 2 Lessons, by T.W.

After recently reading a number of books on intelligence, subterfuge, spying, and survival in World War 2, I have been led to compile a list of lessons that we can draw on today. Preparation is Key The best spy masters and espionage groups built up networks of contacts around strategic areas before the invasion or war. This allowed one to gain information without being seen as suspicious. If your spy doesn’t know the language thoroughly, errors in translation lead to disaster. A few weeks in language school is rarely enough, but that’s what many operatives received during World War 2 …




Letter Re: Does the Number of the Beast Have an Area Code?

Hugh, The worst part of ditching your tether is seeing how far gone the average person has become. I only write to point out something from the last paragraph. The author said, “The smart phone is a source of knowledge, and knowledge is power. Is it really empowering? Is it really making us more knowledgeable?” Knowledge is not the same as information. Your phone and the Internet, at large, have the power to put a mind-boggling amount of information in front of you. The average person who I encounter doesn’t know why you change the rotation on a ceiling fan …




Letter Re: Prepper Digital Security

Hugh, Just wanted to bring up a point about a couple of the letters to the editor. The article was meant as a primer as to steps that can be taken to digitally secure your data. There is no such thing as a 100% secure data system. It sounds good, but it is unrealistic. With that said, however, you can make it take such an inordinate amount of time to get to the data as to be “virtually” 100%. That is also the premise of DiD (Defense in Depth). You are employing a multi-layer shell of encryption and segmentation around …




Letter Re: Prepper Digital Security

Hi Mr. Latimer, As I read the post “Prepper Digital Security” and then, later, the “Letter Re: Prepper Digital Security”, I kept thinking back to an old XKCD comic strip simply titled “Security”. Both those articles have some great advice in them, but I caution you and your readers from thinking such measures will make you safe. As is often the case in the field of digital security, humans are the weakest link in our defense strategies; I encourage you to keep that in mind. Happy New Year – Z.S.




Letter Re: TruCrypt

Hugh, Of course people should do what they are comfortable with, but TrueCrypt is still safe to use. For those who want the “new and improved” version of what was once TrueCrypt, there is now “VeraCrypt“—and-its-better Users should note that even though it looks and acts like TrueCrypt, VeraCrypt can NOT decrypt files that were encrypted with TrueCrypt. Happy New Year. – V




Letter Re: Prepper Digital Security

Mr. Latimer, I read the article “Prepper Digital Security“, by A.B. and would like to offer a couple of comments. The article mentions the use of TrueCrypt. I was a serious user of this software package until June of this year after Microsoft ceased support of Windows XP. When that happened, the development of TrueCrypt was ended with very little explanation. I run Ubuntu Linux and used TrueCrypt. Now that development has stopped, I cannot get updates so am no longer protected if NSA finds another exploit. The website has the following to say: WARNING: Using TrueCrypt is not secure …




Prepper Digital Security, by A.B.

In this day and age of digital information, our communications and data are open to a world of invasive agencies. Some of these agencies may be your nosy neighbor out to see what you are up to or an activist group gathering unguarded data to send to agencies of various domestic and foreign governments. Many of us in the prepper community have taken some measures of security to safeguard our data. Some people avoid the digital world altogether to dodge this issue, though not all of us are willing to go to that level of abandonment of technology. There are …




Letter: OPSEC

Mr Rawles, I received an interesting letter today that profoundly reminded of OPSEC. The letter was notification of a class action suit against Oregon ARCO stations. They failed to disclose their prices when the station charged a 35 cent debit card transaction fee. While my visits to Oregon Arco stations “south of the river” are quite sporadic, the dates of time are what really got my attention– January of 2011-August of 2013. This seems to prove three things to me– our debit and card purchases are being tracked and cataloged, and perhaps Mr. Snowden is not the ogre he is …