Setting up a private Matrix server.

EDIT - 20200804 - Updated the Nginx stanzas because the newer versions of Certbot do all the work of setting up SSL/TLS support for you, including the most basic Nginx settings.  If you have them there you'll run into trouble unless you delete them or comment them out.  Also, Certbot centralizes all of the appropriate SSL configuration and hardening settings into a single includable file (/etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-nginx.conf) for ease of maintenance.

A couple of years ago I spent some time trying to set up Matrix, a self-hosted instant messaging and chat system that works a little like Jabber, a …

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Neologism: Faraday roundtable

Faraday roundtable - noun phrase - A meeting conducted entirely offline.  All portable devices and computers are powered down, and ideally locked inside conductive and grounded containers to prevent radio transmissions from reaching or being emitted from same.  Similarly, no active computers are permitted at the meeting.  The proceedings of such a meeting are carried out using Chatham house rules.

Named for the Faraday cage.

Building your own Google Alerts with Huginn and Searx.

A Google feature that doesn't ordinarily get a lot of attention is Google Alerts, which is a service that sends you links to things that match certain search terms on a periodic basis.  Some people use it for  vanity searching because they have a personal brand to maintain, some people use it to keep on top of a rare thing they're interested in (anyone remember the show Probe?), some people use it for bargain hunting, some people use it for intel collection... however, this is all predicated on Google finding out what you're interested in, certainly interested enough to have …

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What the loss of the Internet Privacy Bill means to you and I.

It's probably popped up on your television screen that the Senate and then the House of Representatives voted earlier this week, 215 to 205, to repeal an Internet privacy bill passed last year.  In case you're curious, here's a full list of every Senator and Representative that voted to repeal the bill and how much they received specifically from the telecom lobby right before voting. (local mirror)  By the way, if you would like to contact those Senators (local mirror) or Representatives (local mirror) here's how you can do so... When the bill hits Trump's desk it's a foregone conclusion …

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3D printing circuit boards, photography-resistent clothing, and wireless DNI.

Now that I've had a couple of days to sleep and get most of my brain operational again, how about some stuff that other parts of me have stumbled across?

Building your own electronics is pretty difficult. The actual electrical engineering aside you still have to cut, etch, and drill your own printed circuit boards which is a lengthy and sometimes frustrating task. Doubly so when multi layer circuit boards are involved because they're so fiddly and easy to get wrong. There is one open source project that I know of called the Rabbit Pronto which is a RepRap print …

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Announcing the Washington, DC Cryptoparty!

On 14 October 2012, HacDC will be hosting the first #cryptoparty in Washington, DC. Everyone in the DC metroplex who is concerned about privacy, anonymity, surveillance, stalking, journalism, or activism are invited to attend, regardless of your level of technical expertise or field of endeavor. At the #cryptoparty, experts will be on hand to teach you what you need to know to evade surveillance, protect your e-mail from eavesdroppers, protect the data on your hard drives and USB keys from theft, and communicate safely.

The #cryptoparty begins at 5:00pm sharp on 14 October 2012, so bring your laptops, smartphones …

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HacDC: Privacy, anonymity, and operational security.

On Saturday, 8 October 2011 I will be at HacDC giving an impromptu class on personal privacy, online anonymity, and operational security for activists. I will be talking about some of the online surveillance technologies in use right now, risks inherent in organizing online and how to mitigate them, practical cryptography, practical anonymity, and operational security. If you are not familiar with using PGP or GnuPG and would like to generate and distribute a key or learn how to send and receive encrypted and signed e-mail, I can walk you through the process during the class. I will probably be …

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A day late and a dollar short, but we're the ones who'll pay.

For nearly twenty years in the United States a law called CALEA (Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994) has been on the books. To summarize, CALEA set the federal requirement that telecommunications companies (phone companies, long distance companies, cellular carriers, and so forth) had to modify their infrastructures such that various forms of wiretapping of customers had to be possible upon presentation of a warrant. Contrary to popular belief, there are methods of surveillance other than recording a conversation. The simplest involves making a list of every phone number that a particular number calls, when the calls were …

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The people said "No more!" and the TSA said "Shut your pie holes!"

First, I'd like to give special thanks to I/Oerror who's been keeping a hawk's eye on this. I found a couple of the articles for this post on his Twitter feed during my daily news crawl. I wish I had the time to dedicate to scanning feeds constantly for stuff like this.

I haven't been posting about this for two reasons: first, because hearing that stuff like this is going on within the United States of America to decent people who haven't done anything upsets me greatly. There is simply no reason to mistreat people like this, all it …

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The walls are closing in.

Every couple of days - usually on the weekends - I force myself to go on a media fast. If I can get away with it, I don't watch television, I don't look at my RSS feed reader, and I don't let myself get wrapped up in the newswires. These days it's about the only thing that lets me get a good night's sleep on the weekends and makes my blood pressure managable. I'm pretty much a desk jockey these days so that's about the only exercise I get, but that's beside the point.

Many years ago, during the early time of …

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