Anews podcast - episode 37

  • Posted on: 14 November 2017
  • By: thecollective

Welcome to the anews podcast. This is episode 37 for November 10. This podcast covers anarchist activity, ideas, and conversations from the previous week.

Editorial: Nietzsche Would be Laughing
TOTW - Privacy

This podcast is the effort of many people. This week this podcast
* was sound edited by Linn O'Mable
* has an editorial by chisel
* was written by jackie
* was narrated by chisel and dramatically declaimed by Aragorn!
* We thank to Aragorn! and gigawatt for their help with the topic of the week

Contact us at

To learn more
Introduction to anarchism:
Books and other anarchist material:
News and up to the minute commentary:



The prodigals have returned to Camp Strugglismo it would seem - but will Camp Strugglismo accept them? All will be revealed on the next episode of Anarchy Is A Soap Opera


Scene One: it was was the best of times and it was the worst of times. Nixon and Bush were like looming clouds, blocking the fireworks of the Fourth of July. The prodigals were holding hands on the streets of Seattle, remember Spain 1936.

Prodigal A: *screams at top of lungs* KILL WHITEY! Also, will you marry me?

Prodigal B: No! I won't take your hand and marry the state! Baby! I. AM. AN. ANARCHIST.

Prodigal A: But we're all hypocrites.

Prodigal B: Baby, what's that confused look in your eye? C'mon, It's time to throw bricks through the Starbucks window with Camp Strugglismo.

Prodigal A: But my fixed-gear is still in the kitchen.

Prodigal B: I believe in myself and my father's new ford.

Prodigal A: Will you be my co-conspirator?

Prodigal B: You're a spineless liberal!

Prodigal A: *watches in awe as Prodigal B leaves Prodigal A all alone, all alone.*

*eating popcorn, enraptured, totally not crying a bit* Why Prodigal B, why?! … WHO HURT YOU?!

book your own fucking show


i would but currently have trouble w keeping attention focused on a task and all alone, maybe some other time tho ?

do you want to fight?

How will the container tags for firefox help with online security or privacy?

It's suppose to isolate your tabs from one another. So like for example, you could have 2 gmail accounts open in 2 tabs instead of using two windows and they are isolated from the other tabs open in your browser. They claim you can't be tracked outside of those container tabs. I'm not sure how true it is though given it has also been claimed you can't be tracked in incognito mode even though that's not true. The arch wiki has an article describing things you can do in firefox to enhance security.

Thank you

In my understanding, the container tabs separate your browser cookies into separate environments. So if you put Facebook into one container tab, and open a search engine in another container tab, then Facebook will not be able to track what you look up using the search engine.

It's a harm reduction tool. You are still providing any information you input into Facebook directly to a corporation that will definitely sell it to advertisers, and possibly provide it to law enforcement/intelligence agencies. Firefox tabs can be used to minimize how much extra information you betray in the process.

Thank you. Are the privacy add-ons useful?

Good podcast this week. Thanks.
Have I got this right, if I haven't been using Tor and/or a vpn since I started using the net, then I'm already traced? Surely, the point of Tor or a vpn is a person who wasn't anonymous can now begin their anonymity, assuming both are safe to use? Although, isn't it the case that if the surveillance state wants your details, it has enough clout to get them whatever you Also, the internet of things is going to make it even harder to remain anonymous and still function in the mainstream: anyone heard of China and its 'Social Credit' scheme: sort of the Black Mirror: 'Nosedive.'

that talk about privacy myths and options too.

>Surely, the point of Tor or a vpn is a person who wasn't anonymous can now begin their anonymity, assuming both are safe to use?
Yeah, that point sounded defeatist to me. Technical point tho: Tor is much better for privacy than VPNs (VPNs, however, can better for security, depends on your threat model). Tor Browser will do things like isolate website cookies from each other, disable browser features that can be used to track you, etc.. A VPN basically just makes the VPN company your new ISP (anything that Comcast or whoever could see, the VPN provider now sees).

>Although, isn't it the case that if the surveillance state wants your details, it has enough clout to get them whatever you
"Security" and the related concepts aren't discrete binary states, it's a question of making it expensive for your adversary to compromise you. So yes, if you are edward snowden, using Tor Browser isn't enough. But you're not, so it probably is, because your local PD or website ad services can't break Tor.

>Also, the internet of things is going to make it even harder to remain anonymous and still function in the mainstream
Oh yeah, shit's about to go downhill fast in this regard. You basically can't buy a new TV without IOT functionality any more, and Chinese factories have started putting trackers into things like cellphone chargers.

There's this piece somewhere called something like "Drones Have Blind Spots Too". I can't find it, but it was basically saying: the Snowden revelations have made everyone too paranoid. They've "deterred" a lot of stuff by creating an image that the government is more powerful than it really is. But in fact, people are getting away with all kinds of shit all the time. Shoplifting for example.

Still, I wish I had a better sense of how great the danger really is - and for whom. I hear a lot of people saying "it varies with threat model", but they rarely specify what "threat models" imply what levels of security need, or how to determine what threats one should be concerned about... If you're a random anarchist who doesn't go much beyond posting on forums and hanging out at infoshops, should you or shouldn't you be worried about the NSA linking your IP to anarchist sites? What if you're also a torrenter, or order drugs on the darknet? What if you're also a hacker? What if you're doing serious direct action offline, but not leaving a digital footprint on it? ... It's pretty obvious that Mr/Ms anarchist-forum-visitor has less to worry about than someone who can successfully hack the Pentagon or runs a multi-million-dollar drug marketplace, but not so much how to determine the level of security "needed".

This said - I think there's a big difference between the type of threat posed by dragnet surveillance and big data, and the type of threat posed by an adversary (pigs, hackers, criminals, evil ex) going after *you*. And probably a difference depending if they're already after you *personally*, or if they're after "whoever did such-and-such".

From what I understand, the dragnet surveillance crap depends on the ability to aggregate a lot of data and look for "patterns" using algorithms. The algorithms so far aren't very reliable, and all too often, they rely on people volunteering their data. A little bit of obfuscation - using anything that hides your IP, avoiding or partitioning off things like social media - probably defeats this.

On the other hand, a targeted campaign against an individual usually involves a lot more sophisticated tools - digital fingerprinting, examining things like post length and vocabulary, tracking how quickly someone scrolls down a page, sending targeted malware, social engineering, hacking the target... at which point the standard stuff (Tor, VPNs etc) won't cut it. But how do you know when you're being targeted, and how do you know what kinds of activities are likely to attract personal targeting? Are there known effective counter-measures to the more targeted kind of stuff? And if so - at what point in the deviance hierarchy should someone start using them?

There's another type of threat which I think is under-considered, which is basically: algorithms are stupid, pigs and governments are stupid, pigs and governments put too much faith in algorithms which are stupid, and as a result, the state imagines all kinds of patterns as dangerous, which in fact are quite harmless, and which we'd never think to conceal. A lot of these are things which indicate deviance from the norm. The AI connected to CCTVs in city centers often registers things like walking against a crowd, seeming agitated, lingering too long in one place, having hands in pockets, and talking to oneself as "threat profile" elements. So, someone who "seems odd" is likely to get flagged by AI and pounced on by cops or wardens or whoever, whether or not they're up to anything. This itself is a pretty good reason to minimise the threat surface in relation to these spaces, unless you're looking for confrontation or trolling the cops.

The issue of privacy should be more visceral, like if you have a gunshot wound don't go to a hospital unless you can prove the shooter was attempting property theft, otherwise you're a felon :)

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