The surveillance state wants to track your every move. It aims to have access to all information and because it has sickened the society on which we all depend, it's dangerous to us all.

I call it The Mold.

It seems to fit. Mold spreads far and wide with spores and with tendrils and grows wherever it can. It saps energy from everything. In the information age The Mold innovates at amazing speed. Whatever Snowden shared is probably obsolete by now.

To get free from The Mold, we need to create clean rooms, spaces where it can't grow because there's nothing for it. An encrypted file is a clean room with privacy made possible by software and cryptography. Tails is another kind of clean room.

Privacy lets you gather and process information out of the reach of The Mold. Privacy provides the ability to act and think and meet in ways the surveillance state doesn't like.

Anonymity is what you need to share your findings.

Both take work to attain. Each has immense value.

Why are they important? Because the world has a bad case of The Mold. The symptoms are becoming undeniable. Feedback loops have been broken, due process is corrupt, checks and balances aren't working. The Mold is there too.

We must use our clean rooms to gather evidence and make it available so that scientific principles can operate.

Only through privacy and anonymity can we escape The Mold and regain freedom.

Today, I'm turning toward the tools of getting privacy and freedom online. Whatever might be going on in the legacy world, I believe we should seek the ideal and work to improve what's possible. This begins with finding a more private way to use the internet. Giving up some convenience to improve freedom is I'd say a good trade.

Are you tired of being tracked all the time but don't know what you can do it about it? Are you willing to spend an evening improving your privacy online?

In this article, you'll learn how to get a high level of privacy online. You'll be able to visit many websites without ads following you around and read what you like without alerting your internet provider and government that you are waking up.

The tool we're going to use is called Tails. Tails is an operating system that includes Tor for anonymous browsing and other tools for anonymous chat and email. If you're not sure what an operating system is, that's what Windows and Mac OS are. An operating system makes your computer work at a basic level so you can run apps, web browsers and other programs. Since Tails is an operating system it can be comprehensive about setting up privacy for you.

Before you start, you'll need a computer of course. It can be an old Windows laptop or desktop or it could be a linux box. The new M1 Macs don't work, neither does a Raspberry Pi or mobile device.

Then you'll need two usb flash drives of at least 16gb capacity. This process may take an hour or two, but if you're here you probably believe the enhanced privacy is worth it.

To start visit and click Get Tails 4.27 (or latest version).

The website will ask which operating system you're installing Tails from. This is necessary because you would use a different program to put Tails on your flash drives if you're using Windows, Linux or Mac.

So click on the button for your operating system and follow the instructions. Leave this article open as I'm putting an overview here, but when in doubt follow the directions from the Tails website. The first step will be to download Tails, which can take a while since the software is 1.2 GB.

Then you'll verify the 1.2 GB file, which ensures that what you downloaded wasn't modified to be less secure in some way.

Next, you'll install a program (like balenaEtcher or GNOME Disks) to write the 1.2gb file to the USB flash drive in the correct way. It won't work if you just copy the big file over, the files inside it have to be unpacked so that your computer can boot from the drive later. You can do this once, but if you want to have a backup of your Persistent data, then do it with the other drive as well while you're at it.

Once the file has been written to at least one USB flash drive, you'll restart your computer and make sure it boots from USB flash drive. This can be tricky because computers vary in how they are made to boot from anything but their internal hard drive. Some web searching may be involved. Often you have to hit a button like F10 or Del right on the very first screen you see after turning the computer on.

When your computer boots from Tails, you'll see a black menu that proceeds after a few seconds, then a grey screen for a minute with a few white dots showing progress and a more familiar looking that lets you attach Persistent storage and configure other options. I'm not going to cover Persistent storage except to recommend that you set it up so your Tails remembers your Wifi password and any files you might want to save.

Once the Tails software is booted up on your computer, you'll need to connect to wifi using the menu on the upper right. Not long after, a window should pop up that connects you to Tor and then opens up a Tor browser.

We're done. The Tor browser is like Chrome or Safari but with a high level of privacy. Try it out by visiting some share it as much as you like.

Copyright is for the legacy world but if you care this is licensed CC0.

One of my goals with this privacy thing is to be able to research real topics and get to some reasonable version of the truth without fear. Main stream news is garbage but maybe it's a good place to find topics and then get to what's really going on.

I start by searching duckduckgo for news. First result is Fox News, second is CNN. The top story at Fox is Russia invasion of Ukraine appears imminent. Hmmm, that's funny. I thought they were pulling back just yesterday. I'll leave CNN for another time when Fox is too boring. Let's dig deeper.

Now, about Russia/Ukraine I've heard conflicting accounts and giving them some credit, I don't imagine Russia is blood thirsty. There is significant cost on all sides to war. The best theory I'm aware of goes like this..

In the cold war, there was Russia and the US. Russia and communism did the whole domino effect thing into Asia while the US and western Europe put together NATO for mutual defense.

NATOs here all protecting freedom and democracy while USSR and other communist countries are trying to make their thing work but the reliance on central planners makes them quite a bit less competitive. Corruption is universal. The devil is in the details whatever your political system and though representative democracy seems best in theory I don't like much of what I see anywhere. Point is, these two systems fought it out and USSR plain collapsed while the US took the route of becoming a corporate shell of itself.

If you look at a map of Europe and Russia, Latvia and Lithuania are part of NATO but other countries that border Russia like Belarus and Georgia are not. Ukraine has the highest GDP of it's immediate western neighbors so it seems important enough. Finally as of a 2018 article referenced by NATO's Wikipedia page, “NATO currently recognizes Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Ukraine as aspiring members.”

So my understanding is that Russia prefers to have some buffer zone against NATO lands and I'm more likely to believe that NATO (US) is pushing into Ukraine and provoking this response than that Putin is being maniacal and foolhardy. I know I can't trust the usual news suspects so am looking for more information that makes sense. Maybe like the masks that Fauci said not to wear to save it for the front line, there's a good reason for the narrative. Would be great if someone could straight-talk clarify this one. Is this about money? Power? Hackers?

Big news! I have an account on a Diaspora service called Sysad.

And an XMPP account which you can message me at the account or on to get. I don't expect to chat much but maybe. I would be interested to hear from others who've done this in the past. Maybe even doing an interview by email or chat with lessons learned, tips for a newb.

If you came from my post on Lemmy, then hi. I could still use help obtaining an email address so that I can participate in open source coding.

At this point, I find myself like a voyager who has arrived, but it's like the natives are hiding, and I forgot all the heady visions I had on the trip here. It's probably a sign that I'm tired and should rest before getting to the real work.

So much for Yandex. They let me create an account and it appeared to be functional for a couple hours but it has since been restricted. The issue they say is it's vulnerable to hacking. So I put in a captcha and my security question answer but that's not good enough. I must also provide a phone number which makes no sense as a way to secure the account. Two factor authentication would be plausible. Requiring a mobile does reduce their exposure to being used for bots but you know what else does? Requiring a token amount of crypto. So it's another fraud. Maybe I'll have to use a burner phone to do the SMS dance.

In other news, I have a way you can reach me if you can help me with the email or SMS issues. Feel free to DM sparrow22 at!

I need to setup an online identity. I am a real person and while I could supply genuine personal information to open many accounts, that would be pointless. What I want is a level playing field vs those organizations who wish to know everything about me, you, and everyone under the sun. There's no guarantee that I won't be located but if it requires target effort and significant effort/cost, that's good enough.

Next, I'll work on helping others acheive the same freedom. It's not going to be easy, but in order to create sanity in this world we need a little space, a little breathing room to be able to express our true feelings and views on the way the world is.

At this moment, I'm brand new. I created an email address at yandex but am not sure if it'll be accepted widely enough. So far, not so good. If you have any ideas, well I don't even know if comments are accepted here and there's no way to contact me just yet, so the suspense will have to be good enough. See you later!


Hello free people of the internet. Sparrow22 was here.