SECURITY

“OPSEC” (Operational Security) on the World Wide Web

Guest post by ‘restoringBrad’

World Wide Web- Buckle up, it could be a bumpy ride!

ISP: ISP (Internet Service Provider)

It’s the company you pay to provide you with access to the internet.

Some ISP’s will record, to some degree, everything you do. Some state they do this in order to provide you with better service, a more personalized experience, etc. Some may be recording everything you do.

IP Addresses (Dynamic vs. Static)

Shortly after we got onto the internet back in the 1990’s (yep- the stone age of the web) we switched from dial-up to broadband. Every time we connected to the web, we were assigned a new IP address (Internet Protocol Address).

(An IP address identifies your computer on the internet and allows you to retrieve web pages, download stuff, etc.)

This is, for internet purposes, your computer’s address. Similar to how your street address is how you receive mail and packages, your IP address is how your computer works on the web.

Dynamic IP Address

When your IP changes every time you get online, it is called “dynamic”.

A few years after switching to broadband service, I was working tech support for the same company I had internet access with. Word came down that “dynamic” IP addresses were being done away with and would be replaced with “static” ones that would never change. IP addresses would be tied to the modem or router the ISP provided.

Back in the day, this seemed to be a counter-intuitive policy as there would always be a now limited number of available IP addresses for new customers to use. When IP’s were dynamic, you released your IP address when you logged off the internet and it “returned” to a pool where it could be reassigned to someone else when they logged on.

Static IP address

When your IP stays the same every time you get online, it is called “static”.

One of the rumors was this change to static IPs because dynamic ones made tracing online activity too difficult as it was hard to verify who was using a given address at a given time. Now, that’s not a problem. With a static IP, logging what you do is much easier. This was confirmed to me in 2008.

Something to consider is that every website you connect to learns your IP address. It is how the information your computer needs is sent to it. An amazing amount of information is required just to load a webpage.

When you try to view a webpage, the server which hosts that page has to know your IP address so that it can send required information to your computer. Usually, logs are kept that show what IP addresses accessed what content. Again, consider the criminal and civil cases where a person’s online activity was used against them.

 

Search Engines

Some search engines have a reputation for recording every search you perform, as well as what links you clicked on.

I don’t think I need to mention any specific names here… you get the idea. Most of us have heard news reporters mention someone’s internet search history as having been accessed after someone is accused of a major crime like a mass shooting.

 

Web Sites / Policies

Each one has its own policies. Some are more notorious than others, some more infamous, but it boils down to the stated policies of the website you are going to.

A certain MAJOR social media site (FB) recently came under fire for their relationship with an analytical firm that not only accessed the information for people who consented, but appears to have also accessed the information of the consenting person’s friends as well- without notifying those friends or gaining their individual permission.

Another example:

Several HUGE sites were recently apparently taken over by a single company ( oath.com ). Not everyone using these sites (and there are millions of users) has been notified of this company’s “privacy” policy. I received notice weeks ago when trying to log in, but my wife who uses one of the same websites still has not been notified.

It appears to apply to:
Yahoo
Tumblr (owned by Yahoo)
Flickr (owned by Yahoo)
AOL
Huffpost
TechCrunch
Verizon
Flurry
and more ( oath.com/our-brands/ )

If I read this new policy correctly, it states:

*They are going to record and track every single thing you do across all of their websites, as well as on sites that do not belong to them but upon which they have placed “beacons or other technology” in order to “understand your activity “on and off” of their services.

*They will analyze and store ALL communications content including comments, photos, voice inputs, videos, emails, messaging services, and attachments.

*They will collect information from your devices such as device specific identifiers, IP address, cookie information, mobile device and advertising identifiers, browser version, operating system type and version, mobile network information, device settings, and software data.

*They will assign unique identifiers to every device you use to access their sites and the sites they don’t own but have placed beacons on.

*They advise they will lump all of your activity into a single unique identifier and will be able to do all of this and more even if you are not signed in.

They refrained from disclosing what sites they have placed beacons upon, and they refrained from advising how long they intend to keep all of this information.

They do however advise that they intend to share this information when you interact with services they offer to partners. This is information about you. What you do, what you are interested in, where you go online, whom you exchange emails with, what is in those emails… they will know more about you than you do.

This is just one example of what information a website can collect, and what they may choose to do with it.

 

Web Browsers

Since the early days of the web, people have been arguing over which browser is safer, better, more private, etc. For a while Fire Fox appeared to be the winner. Their latest update (as of this writing) leaves me wondering though.

Previously, FF stored all cookies in a folder that was easily accessed in order to verify that cookies were being deleted. They were stored in simple .txt form and could be manually removed if for some reason they remained after using the clear history feature in the browser.

Now, they are stored in a manner that makes them difficult to view or remove. Instead of being stored in .txt (opened by notepad) in a folder actually named cookies, now they are stored with a file extension of .sqlite (a relational database management system) among MANY other files and folders in something labeled “Profiles”. This requires the use of a program just to open the file and view the information it contains.

Removing the new version of FF won’t help. I tried it several ways. It appears to leave information on the system so that when one attempts to re-install an older version of FF, it automatically forces the new version back in. From what I have read, the only way to successfully “downgrade” to a previous version is to format the hard drive and reinstall the computer’s operating system along with all of the other software one wishes to keep. Several users have reported the names and locations of the items removing FF left, but also reported that manually removing these items caused their operating systems to crash.

I have to ponder why one of the best browser programs available would suddenly remove much of the ability for users to maintain a higher degree of control over their browsers and systems. Sure, one can click on the clear history button, but now one cannot verify that the history was actually cleared. Remember, cookies are accessible by many of the sites one may visit. It’s a breadcrumb trail of where one has been online.

 

VPN / Routing Programs / Proxy Servers

VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are subscription based services that create a “tunnel” through the internet between your device and their services. This allows you to browse with a greater degree of privacy.

It can conceal your online activity from your ISP, as well as most anyone else who is attempting to monitor you. Some VPNs will even allow you to falsify your geographical location in order to access content that might not be available where you actually live such as tv programs, etc. Some of them keep logs of everything you do.

Routing programs such as TOR, attempt to conceal your location and identity by means of routing your internet traffic through a series of worldwide routers. However, your ISP may be able to determine if you are using TOR, and the traffic leaving your device may be susceptible to interception. The site you are attempting to view may be able to identify you. There is indication that some of the worldwide routers and servers are now in the hands of potentially hostile entities and governments.

Proxy servers are basically a middle-man deal. Instead of a direct connection between your system and the website, you are connected to another computer (server) that in turn connects to the website. This keeps your identity from the website in question, however the proxy server still has all the information as to who is looking for what.

 

Content Providers Such As Netflix

I’m going to keep this short, but Netflix caught allot of flack back in December of 2017 for tweeting that 53 people were watching a particular Christmas program repeatedly.

Sure, most people figured they kept a record of what you have watched, but this startled people into realizing it goes much deeper. Again, allot can be determined about a person based on what movies/shows they gravitate towards.

 

So… Why Worry?

If this stuff is out of our hands, why worry? After all, you’re not a criminal. You’re not doing anything illegal online. You’re probably not involved in civil litigation.

What can happen if some entity has access to some or all of this information? They will know intimate details of your life.

It doesn’t even take a human pouring through gigabytes of data to do this. There are very sophisticated algorithms that do it 24/7/365 in real time.

In 1999, when Windows ’98 was still “new”, my employers were using a facial recognition program that scanned every person entering our very large and public business. It was able to identify people who had been a problem in the past either at one of our locations or at a competitors location who had uploaded their image to the database we all subscribed to. That was 20 years ago. Wonder what they can do now?

Everything you do, everything you search for, everything you purchase online (and in some real life stores), what you watch, what you read, etc., is logged, analyzed, and paints a picture of you and your life that is miles above and beyond anything George Orwell could have imagined.

What we are looking at, commenting on, reading, etc. is legal today, but it may not always be.

An example of this is a certain massive online video site (YT) where users can upload their own videos. Several people who had very large followings have had their videos de-monitized, deleted, and some accounts were even banned for violating the site’s ever changing terms of service.

One channel in particular that I liked had videos that were over 6 years old removed without warning because although they were fine when they were uploaded, the latest terms of service treated them as a violation that would count against account removal.

Yes, that is just a private company. What happens with all of this history about you if we find ourselves with a less free society or a more intrusive government? Now you have a demonstrated interest in something they may frown upon.

 

We can’t just walk away from the web. That would be almost impossible to do and still prosper in the modern world.

However, please be mindful of what you are putting out there. It stays out there, recorded in many places, aggregated in a few, analyzed constantly, and it tells a very intimate and accurate story about you.

More: Read Part 1 here

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69 Comments

  1. The Matrix comes to mind, the machines and those who think they control them are in charge.
    Welcome to the new world.

    “What we are looking at, commenting on, reading, etc. is legal today, but it may not always be”

    That may not be as far off as many would like to believe.

    1. PS:
      Another good addition to the Article restoringBrad.
      Thank you for the reoccurring nightmare. :-)

    2. NRP,
      Did you see the Guinness book of records has a new record as how high a TP pyramid can be stacked? 25 thousand rolls!
      Stay safe Friend. PS maybe you should try and (topple) the record.

  2. The World Wide Web is still but a small portion of the overall ‘Internet’. Let’s not forget it’s humble beginnings as a secret military project out at Palo Alto RC, called ‘Arpanet’ back in the day. Just that root alone pretty much guarantees that no privacy should be expected.

    On the flipside… I’ve mentioned once or twice that there is a deranged individual in this world who is way too close to me. This individual has made three credible attempts on my life in the past 8 years; last one 12 months ago left me pretty badly messed up. The assailant went back to jail…. after 6 months of a 3 year sentence (Thanks California!), this individual was released to a halfway house. The very instant he got web access he proceeded to destroy my website, leave ugly online reviews of my service, hijack my company email, and get me on the priority pester list for various crematoriums, hospice services, suicide prevention hotlines. — Then the vile death threats started coming, again.

    One of my towns finest, an outstanding detective who I’ve known for many years couldn’t wrap his head around it so he came to my house and spent an hour or so, at my desk, going over this tsunami of digital crap being thrown at me. He copied some files and returned to the station. Yeah, the punk attempted to use a VPN. Some way, somehow they found a static IP that went right to a place where they cross-checked his ass on security camera. At 4 am the next day a Probation Task Force smashed his door and ruined his day. He is now sitting in state prison. I am now sleeping with both eyes closed again.

    I hate the lack of privacy as much as anyone. But in some cases….

    1. There’s a major difference there. That was a single instance, as part of a stated criminal investigation, and I assume they got a warrant. They also had your consent. The assumption (by law enforcement or the public) that just because something is on the internet you don’t need a warrant or probable cause is problematic on both a social and a constitutional level.

      1. Lauren,

        You are assuming that there are competent attorneys and judges associated with this action. Along with somewhat of a measurable level of common sense. Let me remind you……this is the year 2018…….’common sense’ was eliminated back around 2010….catch that?…….so was honest attorneys and judges who found value in innocent people trying to live their life as a law abiding citizen. WAIT…….maybe that’s it…….the populace of the country trying to be ‘law abiding’. There ya go. That’s the problem. McGyver, ya shoulda shot the scum the first time you saw it on the street.

      2. Back in 1991-1992 when I was with a local Sheriff dept., they had a scanner that could pick up cell phone calls. This was back in the day when few people had cell phones, and a high percentage of the calls were drug deals. From what I remember, quite a few busts were made simply from information gleaned while listening to those calls. When I asked if it was legal for us (the department) to be listening in like that, I was told quite emphatically that since there were no wires, wire tapping laws did not apply, and treated like I was a traitor for even questioning the matter.

  3. and the more that ‘they’ push the more that I want to push back. It may be a losing battle but it is one that just generally pi**es me off. It is just plain creepy – the need to know and control. Makes my crazy/nosy neighbor sane by comparison.

  4. Thank you restoringBrad

    I had mentioned this yesterday in the middle of the thread but now this procedure applies more to today’s article on web opsec.

    To Have better IPS anonymity :

    Best thing to do for “Special Research Projects” is to purchase a burner ipad, kindle or touch pad.

    make sure to pay cash and it is even better if you find one at a local pawn shop or small local computer store used.

    Head over to a micky D’s or starbuckies or any establishment like a local bar with wifi that is NOT in your operational area and log onto their public wifi… Make sure you do not take your cell phone with you (can be tracked).

    Also take the battery out of the touch pad when transporting and not using it.

    Depending on your level of opsec I suggest you park in a remote parking lot with no cameras then walk into the establishment.

    Be sure to pay with cash for food and always wear a baseball cap and glasses.

    I suggest storing your burner device offsite away from your home.

  5. Ken, So they have in bedded “key stroke” in every web site and server and we can’t op out?

  6. It is truly a world wide web. I’m currently in Romania and when I go through immigration my passport pops up with where I’ve been. I open the computer and I’m getting ads for European flights and hotels. I know I’m being monitored and realize there is nothing I can do about it. I figured the first time I commented on this site “they” were aware of me. I also knew that the first time I even visited the site they logged me into a special category. There is not a damn thing I can do about it.

    So what they have is an older veteran who is more interested in bandaids than bullets. Who is politically neutral and couldn’t stand either of our last candidates. I don’t email any of the potentially dangerous to the government sites. In short, I’m just not a threat. I expect to live a quiet life and not cause any trouble. “They” know I’m armed and my only intent to use those arms would be against home invaders. I don’t see how I can avoid the web. Like it or not, We are all apart of it with the possible exception of Being Watched. I hope he was successful in his attempt to drop out. I don’t see how I can do it without a great deal of deprivation. And life goes on.

  7. Hey Brad;
    Thinking your article on Internet Tracking scared all the Commenters off :-( :-(

    1. Didn’t scare me off I just agree with what he is sying and dpn’t see that there is too much more that I can do. I would be interested in hearing more about Firefox as that is what I use 99% of the time and if they have ‘gone down the tubes” then what do you pick?

    2. It’s a disadvantage of having a two-part post–I made most of my comments (other than snide and side-bar comments) yesterday so saying the same things today is unnecessary.

  8. I just don’t want to inadvertently be pulled to the top of the data file, where I’d be noticed. The volume of data available is unimaginable to me. Sounds like there is no way to truly be a grey man and still use the net. Thus my halting entry into my first blog. Oh well, I think I can learn far more by listening than talking.

    1. I wouldn’t worry to much about it. Hate to lose a commenter just because of a particular blog post.

      It’s simply the world we live in. Not everyone is out to get us. 99.9% of data scraping has to do with marketing and advertising products. It’s almost always about the money. Simple as that.

      I wouldn’t let it stop you from participating in one of the best preparedness lifestyle blogs on the net ;)

      1. I agree 100%.

        I wrote about this stuff (and this is a birds-eye level view of it) and I’m here as often as possible. I also comment when I think I can add something appropriate, ask for help on a topic, or crack a joke about NRP and his particular hoarding of a specific item we will all desperately wish we had after SHTF ;)

        Over the years I have perused many of the prepper sites out there. This is the one I keep in my favorites, check as often as possible, and felt comfortable enough to submit something.

        These are good people.

        1. Brad;
          I don’t hoard TP, I just keep an amply amount within easy reach since I’m such an a….. ahhhh nevermind HAHAHA

          1. NRP….well then…NO ONE can accuse you of being “full of chit”………………….

  9. Plainsmedic;
    I’d not worry to much, I’m WAYYYYY!!!!! up on that list, so you’re good to go. :-)

  10. just read this..
    “(Bloomberg) — A couple’s private conversation was mysteriously recorded by their Amazon Echo device and sent to one of their contacts, igniting privacy concerns about the voice-activated gadgets the online retailer wants to make as commonplace in homes as televisions.”

    1. yet another shining (and spooky) example of why we said “no way” from the day we heard about these thing.

      1. rB, there’s that word again, careful you’ll go up the societal demerit list, but way behind some other folks.🔚😨📡

          1. Lauren, funny, I like it. As Bruce Willis said in the first Die Hard “Welcome to the party pal.”

    2. You have here a device which is designed to make assumptions. “Oh, you’re talking about beans? Let’s put beans on your grocery list. You’re talking about pizza? I’ll order pizza. You’re talking about George? OBVIOUSLY George wants to be in on the conversation, I’ll connect you.”

      When they perfect the decision making algorithms most people will stop worrying–that’s when I start worrying.

      1. Lauren…I am not at all techie, BUT….in a situation where something / someone is “programmed” to “make assumptions”… of course there is the concerns we have all discussed. However, I do wonder, whoever has designed / is actually controlling this all (and am not so sure it is the maker name on the unit), if these “results”/”assumptions”, are maybe truly designed to “test market” the sheep, and ascertain the “responses”/”indignation”/”compliance”..etc…..It’s an old “saw”, but as Freud said…”there are no accidents”…….

        1. Each time a new device comes out people react. With today’s technology those reactions can be compiled and parsed for data on specific groups and all the way down to the individual. If you live in Dallas, your reactions are likely to be different than someone in Hong Kong. How are your reactions different from theirs? What can “they” do to get the reaction they’re looking for across the board? What are the cultural traditions that make those differences, and how can they be used to get the “correct” reaction?

          There are public groups that run disaster scenarios, but they no longer have to do this on tables and paper. Where did they get the data they use? Governments try to figure out the best way to control their population. Criminals use data collected to determine how the public will respond to an attack, and how to direct public opinion. Over time this collective “they” have amassed vast amounts of data, and finally they have products that can collect this data in real time. And we bought it. Literally. We bought these products, introduced them into our lives, but we have no way to control how the information they collect is used.

          But we know it will be.

  11. Just a little late to the party, but in all.we do are we.really OPSEC?

    Remember the landline phones, the party lines where several households where on a party line and you could listen to your neighbors conversation with whomever they were talking too?

    Not to.mention the.phone companies had more intentions with their updates,than just giving you phone service. And that was in and before the 80’s.

    Alexa will.never be allowed in my home. It is bad enough with having a smartphone or the latest and greatest.TV.

    .A friend of.mine said his left leaning friend received.an Alexa gadget from his kids as a present. Freaked him out so.bad he boxed it up and got.rid of.it. My.buddy laughed at.him and said, Nothing is sacred in this day and age.

    .GF freaked when we were talking about getting ice cream one evening. Her smartphone was off but on the charger.. She grabbed it and up came an ad for an ice cream company.

    OPSEC

    They know. And privacy is a thing of the past

    1. I have recommended to other preppers that whenever they are going to mention/discuss a “sensitive” topic, they should put all of their communications devices out of ear shot first. Preferably in a room with a loud radio playing.

  12. This is something I hate! I’ve been receiving the notifications from Oath, too, saying that I need to agree to their “privacy” policies. (I’m not sure that they know the meaning of “privacy.”) I haven’t agreed (yet), but there’s really not any other viable option, it doesn’t look like. I was hoping that you’d give me one when I read this article. Like many other folks on here, I live a quiet life, never purposefully hurt anyone (even with words, much less with weapons), and am law-abiding. I fear that going to websites such as this put me on a “dangerous person” list, but of course it’s already too late to change that. I just wish that there was a way to opt-out of all of the “for my benefit” tracking.

    1. Wendy
      The way I see it.
      We’ve been tracked for decades. And it.will.only get.worse.
      “A guy.gets.arrested for.flipping off a.red.light.cam?”
      Upcoming 5g, smart meters, purchase tracking, etc.
      There is absolutely no privacy in this world of modern technology.
      it.will.come.to.Brass.and.ashes.

    2. I am very sure…The companies have NO concept of Privacy . They consider every thing their’s to sell for their gain and our loss.

  13. I use yahoo for what I buy. The Oath screen comes up first. I have yet to accept, but probably very soon they will x me out till I do. Time to move on to another email.

  14. Well ,well,,going dark sounds better the more I hear ,,,,,,you know you can live and live well with out the web ,,just need to get your mind right,,,,,,learn to live without all the crap that’s being pushed at you ,simplify simplify,,
    What do YOU really need to live well??????? I have family and friends(sortof ) that have 7-8 figure income and all the crap that money can buy ,, I ask them why? What for? And get the look ‘he’s nuts ‘ ,, And I can’t live without the I phone ,,, fine don’t ask to come to the valley,,,,not even to visit,,,no room in the inn for you ,,,,,not sorry for the rant but got to tell it the way I see it ,,,,

    1. Money to pay for the fancy house they never get to use, and the fancy cars to go with the fancy house, and the vacations that they return from unfulfilled.

      1. Goodbear ,,,years ago I was asked to not come back,to a country club ,,,that was ok with me ,,,my great sin was I violated the dress code ,, a number of times ,,,went so far as to have a three piece suit made out of denim,,,and a sportjacket too ,,, but cowboy boots were ok ,,,,,some folks just have no sense of humor,,,,,,HA HA,,,,after that I always made it a point to fly rather low ,,,like real low,,,,, landing at the airport next to the golf course,,, and of course I keep the power up just in case of a go around,,now that might just be hard on the guy about to hit the ball ,,,HUM,,, life can be fun

        1. That reminds me of a tale my dad used to tell: during WWII while in North Africa in the Army Air Corps they were getting buzzed by some hot shot Aussie pilots -All in good fun of course, until they got tired of it. So my Dad’s captain hopped in one of the twin engine B25 fighter bombers, flew low over their camp during meal time put the B25 into a climb over the mess tent and blew it down. That ended the Aussie’s buzzing game!

  15. last year we had someone that was hacking into our wifi service so i called our local cable company and asked we could get a new ip address it turns out according to the tech that talked to THAT UNDER FEDERAL LAW you cant just switch ip addresses you MUST get a new modem and even then you cant swap em out much and these are HIS WORDS not mine the feds like to be see what you are doing 24/7

  16. Forgot this was part 2 and didn’t read it yesterday. The neighbor behind us is really off the grid. No electric, or water or phone. His son gave him a cell phone over 10 years ago. It is an old flip phone and asks him to call every sat at 1pm. That is the only connection he has to electronics. He has never been on line and pays cash for everything. His cars are so old they don’t have any computer technology. He thinks he is completely anonymous. But 2 things. He loves any kind of guns and is always buying them. So there are many records of that and then I showed him a picture of his house, land and shooting range on google. He was furious. He decided to start tunneling underground!

    1. old lady
      If I recall this correctly “You can RUN,,, but you can not HIDE”. Have you told your neighbor that they have the tech for u.nd er gro und pen atrat ing ra dar? There is a ground unit for archeology, so it leads me to believe that is old t e c h.

      No matter what you do, they know what you are doing, if you are on line or not with all the new technology which is being placed all over the c o u n t r y. Of course the story is they are up g r a d i n g cell s e r v i c e, what a hoot.

      1. They are upgrading cell service and internet service, but not for the common person, only for persons that have a pass code to get in specialized systems… we ran into some” available- but un-available ” services when we traveled across country to south west region , 5 years ago.

      2. We still don’t have cell service where we live. He has to go 10miles down the road to call his son once a week!
        It always pisses me off when I see people running around on tv in Outer Mongolia with cell phones and we have nothing.

  17. Like most people I have been getting a lot of updated privacy notices and guess that it is due to EU regs going into effect so I actually read through a couple of them. It was worthwhile. It seems that no matter if your getting a free version of something or the paid version they may still be collecting and selling your info I was going to upgrade to the a paid version of ccleaner but heck they collect there too but you do get better coverage. I just read Vimeo and they like FB collect info on you and anyone that you share with. Makes a person a little paranoid.

  18. Years ago, maybe in the mid-80’s, long before Google Earth and their revealing satellite pictures on the web, there was a period of time we were experiencing numerous slow, grid like over-flights of my farm. A couple of months after the overflights ceased, we received a packet containing a small aerial view picture of our farm complete with instructions on how to order a large framed photo for a price (we actually purchased one). Guess this was a forerunner of things to come.

    1. Dennis;
      Did you hear of the dude that’s going to jail for flipping off a Speeding Camera? or the one that’s doing 4 years jail time in the EU for carrying a Potato Peeler?
      Talk of things to come…… Ahhhh boy.

      1. Does it remind you of when your parents reminded you to be aware of
        “B I G B R O T H E R”, turd has been living in all our homes for quite some time, all it took was the carrot dangled in front of our faces. Lets see Beta Max, VHS, VCR, DVD then Blue ray, now the latest and greatest 4 HD something something…. then came the pagers for calls, then the phone itself…continuous up grade for newest carrot on the market.

        Heck we like our VCR & DVD/Blue ray but that is where it stopped, yet would not connect it into Hulu or Net Flix,??? After the deal the family of O just did, even more so.

    2. If i ever can scrape the cash together the thing i would like is the commercial version of google earth and the program that links it to a GPS survey station,,, can generate real time maps of anywhere

  19. We have all broken opsec just by looking at this page. If we comment then they are watching that much closer. Opps I mean I love the gooberment.

  20. Story over on Weaselzippers that fits this thread, but not on the digital web, rather a practice quite common among gun owners and preppers (one and the same?). Seems that thieves are targeting cars with NRA and other gun rights stickers.
    Do any of you folks advertise the fact your car may be holding weapons as you shop at your favorite “gun free zone”

    1. Dennis; Nope, just an old plain-Jane puck-em-up truck, you know Gary-Man style…..
      I do like the Signs that display the “Neighbor is a Liberal and believes in No Guns”

  21. I’ve been thinking about this for a long while. My decision to “leave a reply” is based more on surrender than thinking I can somehow remain invisible. That being said, I hope to not really be noticed for anything other than what is routinely collected on everyone. One question: Opinions on smart meters? I’ve read a bunch and don’t like what I see. Recently had a representative come to my home and explain the new smart meters to be installed in the area. I politely declined a new smart meter. He was pleasant but explained; I would be contacted by another rep. and in the end I would lose out and accept a smart meter, if I wanted grid power. I have other options but I really enjoy AC in the summer, so we’ll see how it goes. An article on smart meters would be very helpful. Not just the facts but can a person refuse one and still get power from the grid. Electricity is a monopoly everywhere I’m aware of.

    1. Plainsmedic;
      I have two of them on my home and on my shop.
      Honestly I would rather they be installed than a “Meter Reader” driving my land, walking around taking notes and nosing into everything they see.
      My understanding that here in the Four Corners ya don’t really have a choice anymore.
      We also have “Smart Meters” on the Water here.
      BTW, you ask good questions, and I’m betting have a LOT to share with the BLOG.
      PS; they can collect all the info they want on me, I’m on so many list it’s a HUGE list of list. hehehe Absolutely nada ya can do about it anyways, so if they want to know what underwear I ware, good for them…..

      1. NRP
        Like ive said before, i really feel sorry for any sorry SOB who might possibly be tasked with monitoring me, that is going to be one boring job, the extent of my communications are smiley faces and heart emojis to my sweety with the usual letting eachother know whats up, or the occasional chat with my mom or one of my buds about woodworking or the garden……

    2. Smart meters come with many health issues including a higher incidence of cancer, along with the 5 G garbage we are being bombarded with.. It is possible to build a shield around the meter so it does not give one constant radiation. ..according to some stuff we have been reading and studying up on. Our local monopoly put them on without warning about 4 years ago. We have had issues sleeping ever since… doing all we can personally to mitigate damage..info is that a fine screen will block… the nasty effects… hubby doing our research and is got plans for our meter mitigation in the works…

      1. Check out a site called Less EMF dot yaknowwhat
        They sell all sorts of sheilding products and have some good informational stuff on the site

    3. Plainsmedic
      Majority of the neighbors around us have them, we opted out. When they came through the neighborhood to install them, our neighbor was a lung transplant recipient, bad for his health, dh had health issues from Nam. Told them NO we would not have it installed at our home nor the neighbors because of the health issues they could & would cause.

      We had another blessing we generated solar power back to their power lines and at that time they did not have the meter for solar power producers. When they developed the meter for solar power producers, they once again asked us. Once again I explained health issues and the answer was a resounding–NO. Being in the state of fair sharing(aka Ca), they charge us a monthly readers fee for their people to come read the meter….fine by us.
      They can keep their crappy smart meters where the set their arses every day. lol

  22. AC & Plainsmedic
    We also opted out of the ‘smart’ meter.
    Will give more info on the experience.we had opting out, After Ken does his next article on smart meters. Hint, hint.
    Lol

  23. I use the Brave browser, Duck Duck Go, and Proton Mail. I think that is about as good as you are going to get for regular day to day internet usage. I guess what concerns me is the fact that I don’t really know if these types of measures actually work or not.

    1. The ‘Brave’ browser is gaining traction. I have it installed on my laptop (among other browsers). Lately I’ve been using it regularly on my iPad as my ‘go-to’ browser.

      DuckDuckGo for all my web searches.

      And I agree regarding proton mail. Although I’ve been using hushmail for years for this blog’s correspondence (also a secure email – though a paid annual subscription).

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