Online invisibility

The following information is intended for good people who have a morally legitimate reason to avoid being detected online. The drawbacks of publishing this info will be discussed in the post “Ethics and online invisibility“.

Several of the tactics below are taken from “The Art of Invisibility” by Kevin Mitnick, a book that will get you flagged by the NSA if purchasing it. You are already flagged just be reading this article if not accessing it through Tor. Consider not sharing this article. Just remember the content and spread the information here through word of mouth.

First, with cash if possible, buy a cheap laptop from which you will only do anonymous activity. When buying it, don’t wear a conspicuous disguise. Don’t turn it on at home or near where you live. One option is to locate a public WIFI network that can be accessed from a nearby site where there are no cameras, if such sites still exist in cities full of surveillance.

For example, if you sit in a cafe and use the free WIFI in the library next to it, the cafe probably got (secret) surveillance cameras, and there will be lots of CCTV and IoT cameras in the area surrounding the cafe, including the busses, trains and trams in the vicinity. Anyway, change your MAC address each time you connect to free WIFI.

Install Tails on the laptop (or an even more secure operating system if that’s available).

A better option than using public WIFI is to pay a stranger, maybe a beggar on the street, to go into a store where one can buy a personal mobile hotspot that allows you to connect to the Internet using cellular data. Then you don’t have to use a public WIFI network. But never use a personal hotspot in a fixed location for too long.

And check that the hotspot device is made by a truly independent firm (not a front company for the NSA); a firm that actually refuses to install secret hardware trackers in the hotspot device.

Be disguised when hiring a person to buy a hotspot, without him/her seeing your car. Give the person cash: 200 dollars for the hotspot and another 100 when he/she returns with it. He or she can also buy a laptop worth $400 if paying him/her $500 when giving it to you. If the beggar gets the impression that you will track him down and beat him up if he disappears with the $400, then that’s better still. Pretend to be connected to the mafia, for example, but don’t scare him too much. Showing him your gun, if you have one (in a state where it’s legal), might be counterproductive.

Never turn on the hotspot, your anonymous laptop, or a secret burner phone when being at home (or near where you live).

Never turn on your personal non-secret phone or personal non-secret laptop in the same location where you turn on your anonymous laptop or burner phone or anonymous hotspot.

Never turn on a burner phone when being close to any other cellular devices you own. Leave your personal non-secret phone at home when going out to either use a mobile hotspot or public WIFI.

Wear a cap, sunglasses and a fake beard, change the license number of your car, and dislocate all of its GPS and bluetooth location trackers if using a car for so-called “wardriving”. It means that you drive around to find a WIFI network that’s either not password protected or easily hackable.

Bitcoin

Get a couple of anonymous e-mail accounts using Tor. Never use your personal non-anonymous e-mail account when being on the Dark Web.

Normal e-mail providers require mobile phone verification. One can still use them if getting a burner phone and refill cards obtained securely: purchased in cash by a third party who cannot be traced back to you.

To get Bitcoin online, you need at least two anonymously created e-mail addresses and Bitcoin wallets. Create an e-mail account on for example protonmail.com and one on tutanota.com, using Tor. You can also use any other “max anonymity” e-mail provider that doesn’t demand that you verify your identity. Don’t give them your (real) phone number when signing up.

Convert anonymously purchased prepaid gift cards to Bitcoin. However, Bitcoin in itself is not anonymous. So run Bitcoin through a laundering service. Laundered Bitcoin can be used to: pay for VPN service and future purchases of data usage on your portable hotspot or burner phone.

On Tor, set up an initial Bitcoin wallet at paxful.com or other Bitcoin wallet sites. Some sites broker deals in which you can buy Bitcoin with prepaid (MasterCard or Visa) gift cards.

Use services called tumblers which take Bitcoin from a variety of sources and mix—or tumble—them together so that the resulting Bitcoin retains its value but carries traces of many owners. Take a chance on not getting scammed when using a tumbler service.

Then deliver the partly laundered Bitcoin to a second Bitcoin wallet that you set up by opening a new Tor circuit. After this second laundering process, you are safe enough, but only if nobody recognized you when paying a stranger to buy prepaid gift cards.

If governments ban gift cards, and ban cash, then the game is over. All resistance will be impossible. The window for resistance can today be closed very quickly if a government and its corporate business leaders decide to do it, cf how Parler got shut down by Amazon.

After using a gift card destroy it by cutting it up into very tiny pieces. Leave no partial fingerprints, no DNA. Bleach it. Then throw the bits in different dumpsters far from your home.

Use laundered Bitcoin to pay for the best VPN and other (online) services you need, but basically don’t trust that any VPN provider will refuse to hand over data if the government asks for it.

Tradecraft

NSA or companies like Amazon that are associated with NSA can track keystrokes on your anonymous laptop. Consider using a Chrome browser plug-in called Keyboard Privacy.

To avoid keystroke analysis, use different types of see-through plastic overlays on top of the keyboard. One can also make the keys a bit bumpy, by putting glue, layers of tape or silicone and very sticky putty on top of each key. Change the location of each material each time the keyboard is used (when wardriving for example). The way you normally write sentences must also be completely changed, since computer programs can discover patterns, words and phrases identifying your normal style of writing. Write like a child, a drunk, an imbecile, with random errors and mistakes, containing no unusual words. If you often use a phrase or idiom in your ordinary life when speaking or writing, don’t use that when communicating secretly. Better still, don’t write down anything. Rely on mnemonics instead.

Physically remove the internal mics in your anonymous laptop and burner phones. If needed, use an external mic and a voice scrambler. NSA probably stores voice samples of everyone associated with radical subcultures. Smart activists will never talk to anybody when wardriving, at night, in the fog, when it’s windy, to avoid drone mics and lip-reading cams in cities or in forests.

Sensors in a burner phone can recognize your pulse, your gait when walking, and the way you hold the phone.

They can also track locations even without a GPS in a burner phone, if getting access to it, by comparing the movement and direction records of the (gyroscopic) sensors in the burner phone to a database of already registered motion and direction sensor records (of several hundred million non-anonymous phones, including your own personal non-secret phone).

Assume that CorpState elites will see to it that all phones get secret (motion/direction) sensors and hidden tracking apps. After Covid-19 all new phones may contain hidden surveillance hardware and software, including a secret microphone and a secret microscopic camera embedded in the screen itself; a cam and mic that of course deactivates automatically the moment somebody opens the phone to check its electronic interior.

First rule: the phone is the cop.

Second rule: intelligence agencies can put nano-sensors in your clothes and shoes. Wear brand new shoes and clothes – stored in a sealed watertight bag hidden in a secure place (outdoors) – before wardriving.

Third rule: don’t call from a public phone in the streets and never act in a way that indicates to surveillance officers that you are trying to hide something. So, in the streets for example, don’t look back to check whether you are being followed.

Fourth rule: don’t leave any trace indicating that you know specific counter-spying tradecraft. If intelligence officers notice that you have used any kind of special counter-spy tactic it will reveal that you are trying to avoid them.

Fifth rule: if you can’t deal with the above in a “Zen” way, don’t get involved in the so-called “Great Game” of intelligence and counterintelligence.

Finally, all the above proves how difficult it is to hide in today’s surveillance regimes in the West. As somebody once said: It’s only when you move that you notice how you have already been chained and shackled. With drone and IoT surveillance the entire world is quickly becoming a prison, if nobody resists it, right now.

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