Hygiene
in The Digital Public Square

You’re less incognito than you think.

Malicious apps, theft, spam, cyber stalking, censorship, surveillance.
There are no foolproof answers to risk online.
But there is advice to help.

Begin
I'd like to have an anonymous conversation

I'd like to have an anonymous conversation

In order to have an anonymous conversation, you need to connect to the network anonymously or via a service that protects your identity to enable anonymity. In general, what you have to look for is a tool or a service that hides your IP address, as explained in the Identity or Location section.

  • Ricochet client is a peer-to-peer messaging app that creates a Tor Hidden Service to enable anonymity for the conversing parties. “Instead of a username, you get a unique address that looks like ricochet:rs7ce36jsj24ogfw. Other Ricochet users can use this address to send a contact request.”
  • Tor Messenger is a new tool that has been just released to the public by the Tor project team. Quoting from Tor Project’s blog, it is a “cross-platform chat program that aims to be secure by default and sends all of its traffic over Tor. It supports a wide variety of transport networks, including Jabber (XMPP), IRC, Google Talk, Facebook Chat, Twitter, Yahoo, and others; enables Off-the-Record (OTR) Messaging automatically; and has an easy-to-use graphical user interface localized into multiple languages.”
  • Bleep messenger is built on top of BitTorrent, a file sharing peer-to-peer infrastructure. There is no central server and connections between conversing parties are made directly, with content encrypted between the parties. It is not, strictly speaking, anonymous as it relies on IP addresses to route a connection through other BitTorrent users.
  • If you want to keep your current chat address and existing contact lists whilst adding anonymity properties to your conversations, install the Pidgin or Adium chat clients and configure them to work over the Tor network. This approach is explained in detail in Chatting in secret while we’re being watched, an article by Micah Lee published in The Intercept. In addition, you should read I want to know about secure chat and ensure that your recipients have performed the same steps.


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