These days, it seems everyone wants your data. From hackers to corporations to governments, just about everywhere you look someone is buying, stealing, or grabbing your data. In many cases, the types of information these entities collect might seem harmless. But what happens if several of these data collectors partnered together to share data? What if they used the data they have about you to create a profile. What if your data painted a picture that wasn't accurate or, possibly, dangerous to your liberty?
In reality, that's exactly what's happening. Corporations and governments are partnering at an alarming rate to share data and profile everyone on the planet. If that sounds like the plot to a new Tom Clancey novel or some insane ranting of a conspiracy nut, spend some time doing searches on your favorite search engine for terms like 'CIA partners', 'NSA partners', 'Big data', 'CISPA', etc and you'll quickly see that the 'conspiracy' is dangerously real.
The scariest part is that the profiles of us that are created are often far from accurate. For example, did you know that if you were a Ron Paul supporter in 2008, the FBI thought you were also likely to be a domestic terrorist (or one in the making)? Obviously, that's not true of most Ron Paul supporters but it illustrates how personal data linked to us can lie That's why destroying the link between our data and ourselves is vitally important.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting a series of articles on how to be anonymous on the Internet. We'll start with the basics and work up to the more advanced techniques and we'll be using all free, open source, tools to do it. I'll warn you ahead of time that it's not an easy task and it's one where one single mistake can completely destroy your anonymity. But it's a path worth following if you're seriously interested in your privacy.
So check back in a few days for my first installment of the series. And feel free to give feedback as we go along. If all goes well, by the time we're done, all of my readers will be completely anonymous to me.
And that's just the way I like it!