I wanted to make this post to try and raise awareness about internet privacy and censorship among communists, as this seems to be often overlooked in these spaces.

By using big tech services, such as Google’s endless arsenal of “free” services, Apple, Amazon, Meta and Microsoft, you are letting these companies learn everything about you: your interests, the people you talk to, the places you go to and your political interests. And as is well known nowadays, all of these companies are lapdogs for western intelligence agencies, handing over all of that precious data to them and censoring dissent. I hope you can clearly see the problem here. As a communist, this presents a massive threat to your freedom of speech, freedom to protest and even your safety, especially if you live in the imperial core.

I urge all comrades to stop using these services, by switching to private and open source alternatives, and to use additional measures to protect your privacy such as TOR or a trustworthy VPN like RiseUp, Calyx or Proton.

You can find more resources here:

Also be advised that using “alternative” services can itself be used as a datapoint, furthermore it’s easy to set them up as a honeypot.

Amicese
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I don’t trust VPNs. They’re just glorified proxies.

SovereignState
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Can someone help elaborate on the claim that TOR is an op? I’ve considered using it but claims that it was created by the FBI have scared me away…

I mean, Edward Snowden used it to escape the NSA, so I use it with no fear at all

The core principle of Tor, onion routing, was developed in the mid-1990s by United States Naval Research Laboratory employees, mathematician Paul Syverson, and computer scientists Michael G. Reed and David Goldschlag, to protect American intelligence communications online.[13] Onion routing is implemented by means of encryption in the application layer of the communication protocol stack, nested like the layers of an onion. The alpha version of Tor, developed by Syverson and computer scientists Roger Dingledine and Nick Mathewson[14] and then called The Onion Routing project (which later simply became “Tor”, as an acronym for the former name[15]), was launched on 20 September 2002. The first public release occurred a year later.[16]

In 2004, the Naval Research Laboratory released the code for Tor under a free license, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) began funding Dingledine and Mathewson to continue its development.[14] In 2006, Dingledine, Mathewson, and five others founded The Tor Project, a Massachusetts-based 501©(3) research-education nonprofit organization responsible for maintaining Tor. The EFF acted as The Tor Project’s fiscal sponsor in its early years, and early financial supporters of The Tor Project included the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and International Broadcasting Bureau, Internews, Human Rights Watch, the University of Cambridge, Google, and Netherlands-based Stichting NLnet.

It’s a govt project and is used by the govt for secret communications and getting info from journalists in countries where networks are censored. They allow a certain level of illicit behavior on the network because it masks their own activities. But due to the inherent security of the system, it’s still one of the safest networks out there. Just don’t do terrorist shit or get into cp.

One of the lessons of the present book is that any organism is held together in this action [social homeostasis] by the possession of means for the acquisition, use, retention, and transmission of information. In a society too large for the direct contact of its members, these means are the press, both as it concerns books and as it concerns newspapers, the radio, the telephone system, the telegraph, the posts, the theater, the movies, the schools, and the church. Besides their intrinsic importance as means of communication, each of these serves other, secondary functions. The newspaper is a vehicle for advertisement and an instrument for the monetary gain of its proprietor, as are also the movies and the radio. The school and the church are not merely refuges for the scholar and the saint: they are also the home of the Great Educator and the Bishop. The book that does not earn money for its publisher probably does not get printed and certainly does not get reprinted.

In a society like ours, avowedly based on buying and selling, in which all natural and human resources are regarded as the absolute property of the first business man enterprising enough to exploit them, these secondary aspects of the means of communication tend to encroach further and further on the primary ones. This is aided by the very elaboration and the consequent expense of the means themselves. The country paper may continue to use its own reporters to canvass the villages around for gossip, but it buys its national news, its syndicated features, its political opinions, as stereotyped “boiler plate.” The radio depends on its advertisers for income, and, as everywhere, the man who pays the piper calls the tune. The great news services cost too much to be available to the publisher of moderate means. The book publishers concentrate on books that are likely to be acceptable to some book club which buys out the whole of an enormous edition. The college president and the Bishop, even if they have no personal ambitions for power, have expensive institutions to run and can only seek their money where the money is.

Thus on all sides we have a triple constriction of the means of communication: the elimination of the less profitable means in favor of the more profitable; the fact that these means are in the hands of the very limited class of wealthy men, and thus naturally express the opinions of that class; and the further fact that, as one of the chief avenues to political and personal power, they attract above all those ambitious for such power. That system which more than all others should contribute to social homeostasis is thrown directly into the hands of those most concerned in the game of power and money, which we have already seen to be one of the chief anti-homeostatic elements in the community. It is no wonder then that the larger communities, subject to this disruptive influence, contain far less communally available information than the smaller communities, to say nothing of the human elements of which all communities are built up. Like the wolf pack, although let us hope to a lesser extent, the State is stupider than most of its components.

This runs counter to a tendency much voiced among business executives, heads of great laboratories, and the like, to assume that because the community is larger than the individual it is also more intelligent. Some of this opinion is due to no more than a childish delight in the large and the lavish. Some of it is due to a sense of the possibilities of a large organization for good. Not a little of it, however, is nothing more than an eye for the main chance and a lusting after the fleshpots of Egypt.

There is another group of those who see nothing good in the anarchy of modern society, and in whom an optimistic feeling that there must be some way out has led to an overvaluation of the possible homeostatic elements in the community. Much as we may sympathize with these individuals and appreciate the emotional dilemma in which they find themselves, we cannot attribute too much value to this type of wishful thinking. It is the mode of thought of the mice when faced with the problem of belling the cat. Undoubtedly it would be very pleasant for us mice if the predatory cats of this world were to be belled, but—who is going to do it? Who is to assure us that ruthless power will not find its way back into the hands of those most avid for it?

  • Norbert Wiener: Cybernetics (1961)

While I agree with the overall sentiment here, with respect to organization, be careful not to alienate yourself from the masses.

If you’re not discussing illegal or quasi-illegal activities, I actually encourage you (and myself) to use sites that are not privacy-oriented. Get on TikTok, get on Reddit, get on the apps, sites, and services where the masses congregate.

I understand the impulse to try to pull the masses away from these admittedly toxic places, but we can’t help them on their journey of radicalization if we move onto obscure platforms where they can’t see us anymore. That doesn’t mean we don’t encourage them to join these platforms, but we can’t lock ourselves in to these platforms.

And for shitposting obviously post wherever you want.

Agreed. At the very least, use Tor when doing anything that could get you in trouble, even if it isn’t illegal (including something as basic as frequenting Lemmygrad in a highly anticommunist country), because there’s no guarantee that it won’t affect you in a few years as the second Cold War continues

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