The (Anti-capitalist) Crypto-Anarchist’s Guide to Alternate Safety on the Internet
So, what's the current state of affairs online?
This image was taken by me on December 11, 2022.
"An image of my laptop, displaying a web page with a domain which was registered in 1994."
Ah! welcome, Netizens. Well, let's get started then. It's no secret, especially around here; the internet has become dull, corporate, and capitalist. Even worse than that, so-called "internet safety" companies are using buzzwords and drilling very much false ideas about actual internet safety into the skulls of everyone. In this article, I will cover how to practice non-capitalist crypto-anarchism and alternative safety on the internet.
I cover this in more depth in my manifesto, which is available here on my website.
Here are some things you should know.
This image was adapted from an image on the Wikimedia Commons by me for use on this website.
"A cropped and darkened version of a modern anarchist flag, the red-and-black bisected flag."
This probably won't come as much of a surprise, but big tech is trying to bullshit you. On top of that, big tech will continue to attempt to bullshit all of us. One of the best solutions to this I've been able to come up with is what I call non-capitalist crypto-anarchism.
Crypto-anarchism isn't necessarily a new concept; it stems out of the much older cypherpunk movement. The idea is that we can and should use technology, cryptography, and the internet to achieve anarchism. Basically, we should use what we have available to us online as a means to achieve a better digital and real world for everybody. However, I take issue with the notion that we need to rely on Web3 technology such as cryptocurrency to achieve this. In short, my take on the concept is free from corporations and capitalist ideals.
An Introduction to “Corporate Internet Security” and Why It Does Not Protect You
"Corporate internet security" is the name I have given to the phenomenon of big tech companies creating security software that can also intentionally or unintentionally act as spyware. I will be covering how you can recognize it, understand it, and protect yourself from it. Now, I understand a lot of Yesterweb Zine readers are very tech-savvy. However, I will be writing in basic terms to aid in comprehension for anyone who isn't well researched on the topic.
Companies have always come up with clever, aggressive marketing tactics. It's no new idea to market computer security prouducts like antivirus and firewall software on the internet; certain products like VPN software and paid antivirus software are outliers, however. When it comes to "protecting yourself online," the main tactic companies use is the fear of "hackers" or "being spied on." Hacking and being monitored on the internet is a well documented phenomenon, but it very rarely targets specific, random individuals.
Here's how you can recognize deceptive marketing in relations to security.
The bottom line is, if you're being marketed some sort of special, exclusive feature that you either don't understand, is too vauge, or they didn't explain, someone clever from marketing is probably trying to bullshit you. The best example of this is in VPN sponsorships, where companies get content creators to ramble on about their "military-grade encryption" and how they "hide your ip address." I will touch on IP addresses below, but here's what you need to know about encryption and why "military-grade" doesn't mean stronger. Most encryption is SHA-256 encryption, and SHA-256 encryption is also military-grade. SHA-256 encryption is considered to be the golden standard, and marketing it as "military-grade" just because it's also that is a very manipulative marketing tactic.
I'd also like to cover internet protocol addresses, more commonly known as IP addresses. Corporate internet security has been drilling this weird idea into everyone's head that your IP address is a deeply unique, personal, and private identifier, one which can reveal your personal information and easily allow so-called hackers to access information from your private life; this simply isn't the case, as your IP is more a digital house number than it is a digital version of a social security number or some sort of backdoor into your devices. Your IP likely changes frequently, reveals little about you other than the city you're in, is not private information, does not make hacking any easier, and is not something you need to hide. Every website you visit already has your IP address because that's how the internet works. Though there are some attacks that can be performed on people with their IP address, they require a large number of people to pull off and won't affect you for more than a few hours at most. Don't get too concerned about it. If you're worried about your IP address being exposed, someone is probably bending the truth one way or another. If you want to change your IP, just unplug your router and plug it back in a few seconds later.
So, you want to know what you can do to actually protect yourself.
Instead of a VPN, opt for the Tor browser. It's free, generally easy to use, and nothing can be traced back to you if the correct measures are put in place. Do not use a VPN and Tor at the same time. Tor relies on onion routing, and is widely considered to be the most private privacy solution out there.
I suggest everyone take a look at the Neocities page called "Spyware Watchdog" here. It might be one of the best resources out there for learning what will help versus. what will hurt when it comes to protecting your privacy online.
And to conclude,
Thank you for reading my first article. I deeply appreciate the opportunity to write for this zine. I plan to write more articles in the future. This is my debut in journalism, and I would like feedback. Should you wish to get in touch with me, there is contact info on my Carrd. Thank you.
It's been a pleasure. Synnnn out.This article was created by Synnnn