Campaign Against Internet Anonymity

The Pentagon has just updated its strategy on cybersecurity. But as the updates were rolled out last month, there is one crucial item that may have escaped the attention of many – the strategy on Internet anonymity.

Robert LenzWhat many didn’t realize is the smart move by the Department of Defense to use the newly updated strategy to openly attempt to reduce the level of Internet anonymity that is often enjoyed online.

According to the Department of Defense, Internet anonymity enhances “malicious cyberactivity” by both state as well as nonstate groups. While the latest move is widely seen as the boldest ever attack on the web’s secrecy, the Defense department has always expressed its opposition against anonymity on the web. It is in 2009 when then DOD chief information officer Robert Lenz spoke sternly against Internet anonymity, saying it needs to be driven out of the Internet. He even went ahead to refer to the need to kill anonymity as the most important priority for the country.

Now the new strategy has apparently identified quite a number of problems with Internet anonymity. For instance, the government cannot identify and punish cybercriminals because they are shielded by anonymity. It’s also difficult for Pentagon to effectively respond and stop cyberattacks.

Internet anonymity is the typical double edged sword. While it serves as the best protection and cover for criminals and people with malicious intentions, it also protects honest individuals against unfair government or corporate retaliation for simply expressing their opinions on matters that affect them.


Anonymity creates the best platform for freedom of expression to thrive. Remember free speech is a fundamental component of democracy which is key for a balanced and fair society. Honest individuals out to express unpopular views can only do so in the comfort of anonymity because it’s always obvious that not everyone will tolerate their views. Those against them are ever eager to identify and punish or even eliminate them.

This is why Internet anonymity is a serious necessity for the honest persons whose only desire is to voice what they feel should be expressed for the greater good of everyone. Think about the journalists and bloggers who took cover in the anonymity of Tor to hide their identities when expressing their views online during the revolution. These are people who stood up to fight for democracy. Internet anonymity gave them the comfort and space to do it.

Without Internet anonymity, the freedom of expression plus the healthy political activity that it often guards will also go away. The consequences of such a move will be fatal and the impact dire. Even the businesses that are currently supporting the eradication of anonymity will begin to feel the detrimental effects of an internet void of anonymity.

While the problems cited are valid, the notion that anonymity should be driven out is one that must be approached with caution. Freedom of expression and healthy political activity are fundamental pillars to any society that wants to make progress. Instead of killing these key pillars, the Pentagon may want to consider strategies that identify the criminals without necessarily punishing the genuine individuals who are voicing their honest views online. They must always be protected and Internet anonymity is their supreme protection.

Protect Your Smartphone Against Security Threats

As a smartphone user, you should take care of your device more than physically. It is of great importance to keep it from any concrete damage; however, what most users forget is, there are much more serious threats that they have to protect their smartphone from: hackers.

laptops and tabletsLike your wallet, your device contains private information including credit card and bank account numbers or other financial details. Due to the lack of internet security and anti-virus app installed on your smartphone, it is a vulnerable target for hackers other than computers, laptops and tablets. Once you’ve been caught off guard and your device has been infiltrated by hackers, they can either steal your personal information or infect your smartphone with viruses like malicious software or malware, which slows down any devices’ system and speed.

For you to effectively protect your smartphone as well as your personal data from the biggest internet security threats like hackers and scammers, you could carry out yourself the preventive measures below.

1. Get Internet Access through a Secure Wi-Fi Network

If you are one of those smartphone users who enjoy surfing the net while connected to a public Wi-Fi network, you’d better quit it because you put your device and its data at high risk of being hacked every time you do that. Wi-Fi networks that are not password-protected let hackers around your area snatch your data fast and easily whenever you get connected to them.

If you’re connected to an unsecured Wi-Fi network, it’s best you avoid doing any online shopping and banking transactions. Those data thieves can obtain any of your financial information once transactions have been completed while you get internet connection from a public Wi-Fi network. You should therefore make sure that your connection comes from a secure Wi-Fi network to avoid data theft and other internet security threats.

2. Install an Anti-virus AppSmartphone security

Whether you’re using an iPhone or an android phone, you can easily find an anti-virus app to protect your data upon checking your device’s app store. As a matter of fact, a simple free anti-virus app can be of great help to alert you to viruses that might be a gateway of hackers to collect private information. But if you really want to be complacent about the absolute internet security of your smartphone and data, you could find a lot of paid anti-virus apps at very reasonable prices.

3. Install Apps from Trusted Sources Only

A number of apps from untrusted sources carry viruses with them. And as stated earlier, viruses can be a means of hackers to infiltrate your phone and its data. To avoid these internet security threats, just simply get rid of apps that came from suspicious sources. You can easily identify whether an app is legit through reading reviews left by users, verifying its store’s legitimacy, or checking out the app creator’s official website.

4. Trash Text Messages from Unknown Senders

One of hackers’ ways to get into your smartphone is by sending text messages containing links. For instance, these data thieves write messages as if they’re from your bank that needs confirmation by clicking on links. Be very careful of this modus. Don’t open or click on the links as it’s possible that they might lead you to websites filled with viruses and internet security threats. Trash them immediately before you accidently open them.

Regaining Online Anonymity Through Tor Project

Though total online anonymity may be hard to obtain, using Tor project makes it harder for government surveillance programs or any other party to track the Internet activity of its user. Tor project is the most reliable solution to privacy oriented persons, press reporters, protest organizers, and political activists who are in search of online anonymity.

Anonymity Online TOR

There are several methods of going online by use of Tor network. However, the most famous is the Tor Browser. This is cost free software that helps users to go online via a distributed network. To achieve total online anonymity, users are informed to deactivate all their extensions including JavaScript, Flash, having in mind that this undermines access to some services and sites.

Users can also connect to a Tor network while using other browsers like Firefox and Internet Explorer after making some adjustments to the network settings. There are more programs that enable users to connect to a Tor network such as TorChat anonymous messaging service and the BitTorrent client.

Tor browser is cost-free software that provides online anonymity. The browser directs internet traffic via free, worldwide, volunteer operated network that consists of more than 4000 relays. It conceals the location of the user and other communicated information from anyone doing traffic analysis or internet surveillance.

Tor is aimed to protect the user’s personal privacy, ability and freedom to carry out confidential business activities without being monitored. With Tor, a user can regain access to websites anonymously. The sites accessed will be unable to track them, or alter what they show them on basis of their previous activity simply because they don’t have an idea of who they are or where they are located.

Tor network is also the most efficient censorship circumvention tool that allows its users to access otherwise restricted content or destinations.

When using Tor project, the original data is encrypted and re-encrypted several times after which it is sent via a virtual circuit comprised of successive, arbitrary selected Tor relays. The last relay decrypts the final encryption layer and passes the original information without revealing its source to the recipient. By doing so, the possibility of the original information being comprehended in transit is significantly reduced and, more importantly, conceals its routing.

The internet address of the recipient and the sender are not in cleartext at any place along the way, as a result, any person eavesdropping at any area along the channel of communication, cannot identify the both ends directly. Furthermore, it appears to the recipient that the exit node (the final Tor node) is the source of the information rather than the one who sent it.

online anonymity

The ongoing trends in technology, policy, and law threaten  online anonymity as never before, this is undermining our ability to read and speak freely online. Furthermore, the above trends threaten our critical infrastructure and national security by making exchange of information among governments, organizations, and individuals more vulnerable to internet surveillance. Every new user and relay gives additional diversity, improving the ability of Tor network to bring online anonymity back to the web.

WikiLeaks Has Relaunched

After an internal breakdown among staffers five years ago, WikiLeaks is once again open for business, a file sharing site that allows users to anonymously upload and share documents that contain sensitive and/or classified materials. WikiLeaks reviews and release important information that has otherwise been kept secret from the world.

Julian Assange

Currently seeking asylum in England, Julian Assange, controversial leader of WikiLeaks, has finally managed to get the site up and running again with the recent release of the official beta version. Although, the process has not been without its challenges.

First, the complete breakdown in operations five years ago was blamed on staff members not trusting the motivations of Assange, who then took it upon themselves to deconstruct the anti-secrecy group from within. Also, security concerns have been a top priority for everybody involved with WikiLeaks; the ever changing technological landscape makes internet anonymity a moving target. However, the group has confirmed their renewed efforts to protect the identity of users with a Tor-based system that has been extremely successful, assuring users they can maintain their internet anonymity while leaking sensitive documents.

Additionally, WikiLeaks must keep up with the competition; sites such as GlobaLeaks and SecureDrop are now also providing internet anonymity services for uploading classified documents. Though, Assange addressed these issues by promising a bolder approach to secret leaking, explaining that WikiLeaks is going to focus on complete transparency, while other companies are known for censoring their leaked material. According to Assange, the reformulated WikiLeaks will publish uncensored materials, such as portions of the Snowden documents, of which 99 percent have been kept hidden by all other sources.


Internet anonymity is hard to come by when attempting to leak confidential information. Moreover, users want to be absolutely positive their identities are protected when sharing this information. The new and improved WikiLeaks site promises that, and more, to truth seekers around the world.