Monday, June 02, 2008

Little Brother: are you paranoid enough yet?

I bought and downloaded the audio (MP3) version of Cory Doctorow's book "Little Brother", but you can download the text version for free. I found it fascinating, scary, entertaining and challenging. The book is nearly 12 hours long, and I found it difficult to stop listening. You can check out the Amazon reviews as well.
In the story scenario the school kids use a fictitious Linux distro called "Paranoid Linux" that tries to keep its presence on the net invisible, and uses Public Key crypto for sending secure emails. It's a pity that it would require a severe crackdown on civil liberties to get people to use this kind of email.
One thing you can do right now to secure the privacy of at least some of your data is to install and use TrueCrypt so that if (when) your computer gets stolen, your private files remain private.
What's the big deal about privacy? If your home has ever been broken into, remember how you felt to find that someone had invaded your space. Now apply the same feeling to your personal documents. Do you really want some criminal syndicate getting hold of your credit card statements, or finding out who your business associates are? Do you want your investment broker getting instructions to sell your bonds and send the proceeds to your "new" cheque account that doesn't belong to you?

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