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Privacy

Safeweb Turns Off Free Service 316

An Anonymous Coward writes: "Seems like Safeweb was the last one to cancel providing free anonymizing service. Rest in peace, Safeweb, I loved you a lot. With Anonymouse down and Anonymizer.com restricted, are there any free services left for those suffering from corporate oppression?"
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Safeweb Turns Off Free Service

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  • Sweet Irony (Score:5, Funny)

    by yatest5 ( 455123 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:21AM (#2584682) Homepage
    I totally dig the fact that the submitter of this story was 'anonymous coward'...!
    • Re:Sweet Irony (Score:4, Informative)

      by sllort ( 442574 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:32AM (#2584746) Homepage Journal
      I totally dig the fact that the submitter of this story was 'anonymous coward'...!

      I dig it too, because that's the real irony. Anonymous Cowards here aren't, because their IP addresses are still subject to subpoena, and there's a 2 week long window where Slashdot stores the IP address as an MD5 hash, which can be easily defeated. Think Church of Scientology.

      The only way to make AC posts truly "anonymous" is to post through an anonymous HTTP proxy that instantly "forgets" the source IP address. This is what Safeweb provided, and now it's gone. The irony is that the Anonymous Coward who posted the story probably isn't Anonymous.

      Of course, there are still other anonymizers, but Safeweb was the best known.
  • noproxy (Score:5, Informative)

    by DMDx86 ( 17373 ) <news.fortbendisdsucks@com> on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:22AM (#2584686) Homepage Journal
    Noproxy [noproxy.com] still works. There is also a list of free services at antiproxy [antiproxy.com]. I personlly run my own CGI Proxy on my home server while I am at school.
    • how about The Cloak [the-cloak.com] Does it count??
  • by Brento ( 26177 ) <brento@brentoza r . c om> on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:24AM (#2584691) Homepage
    Seems like Safeweb was the last one to cancel providing free anonymizing service. Rest in peace, Safeweb, I loved you a lot.

    Hmm, you loved it a lot, but you're not willing to pay, eh? Sounds like the tombstone of every other dot-com. What's the surprise here? When people realize that you have to pay to play, maybe the dot-com economy will change. News flash, folks, if there's something good, and you love it, you need to chip in and contribute. If you don't, as they say on public radio, nobody else will.
    • pay and be anonymous at the same time? just tell me how.

      yeah, pay cash and wear a mask.
      • pay and be anonymous at the same time? just tell me how.

        Donations, man, just like church. (You DO go to church, don't you?) I don't give my name at church, but they get money from me every week. (Well, every couple of weeks.) Support the system, and it supports you. You don't have to be anonymous to support it - you can give your name when you support it, but it's not directly related to the services you consume. Now subscriptions, on the other hand, that's not anonymous, but donations are.
        • SafeWeb did not solicit donations, or provide a pay-for-play service for individuals.

          It was not any of the user's fault.

          What are we supposed to do, put cash in an envelope, write "SafeWeb" on the front, and drop it in a mailbox?

          If SafeWeb was cash-strapped, they could have notified users as such, and provided ways to contrinute and/or subscribe.

          They didn't. Who are you going to blame?

        • Go to the USPS and buy a money order.


          Mail money order to them in an envelope.

          Don't put a return address on the envelope.

          • The new USPS regulations prohibit the delivery of mail without a return address.

            It's easier to just throw your money into a lake.
            • The new USPS regulations prohibit the delivery of mail without a return address.

              What the hell are you talking about? I rarely put a return address on anything. Mailed a bunch of stuff out just the other day without return addresses and all got to their destinations just fine. I've yet to see anything about return addresses being required. Without some sort of proof, I've got to say, you've been misinformed...
      • It depends why you want to be anonymous. If it is because you are terrified that 'they' know you are alive, then tough - 'they' know that anyway.

        If it is to stop 'them' tracking your web browsing, then what's the problem?
        1: They store your User/pass along with credit card details
        2: You sign in, they mask your IP through their proxy.
        3: (not really a step but...)They keep no record linking your user/ip to the sites you browse.

        The only problem is if you don't trust the company to not store the info. If this is the case, then the anonymising service would be useless even if free.

        Oh, and if you're not happy about giving them your CC number, send a cheque.
      • If you don't, as they say on public radio, nobody else will.

      But even if you do chip in, other people might not (they tend not to online), and you can kiss your one annual subscription/donation goodbye. It's this last point that really puts me off paying up front for online services (many of them do ask for annual or multi-month commitments), even though I do agree with your point that if you use and don't pay, you're complicit in kiling them.

      I'd be more inclined to pay monthly in arrears for services that I've already used. Sure, that's not such a good deal for the service, but it might be the best way for them to survive.

    • Umh, I may have missed something, but what else could I (we) have done to contribute than use it? The business model apparently was to sell advertising space... and I don't have anything to advertise, so best I could do was to use it, and be viewed as a potential marketing target (ie. more users, more they can charge advertisers, just like magazines and newspapers).
      Or was there some premium pay-to-use service available?

      Note too that I was to pay for Freedom (by Zero Knowledge), but since they halted development of linux-version (they did have beta-version for older kernels... but I had upgraded to 2.4.x series) I couldn't. And now it would be a moot point since they threw in the towel.

      Finally, like someone else said; the problem with paying is the damage to anonymity. It is kind of hard to take payments without getting the ability to track down the user. ZK did go to lengths to work around the problems, but it's not a trivial problem.

    • Ummm, re: public radio...

      I thought that was supposed to be supported with tax dollars. Tax dollars that are collected and spent even if I don't use public radio/TV.

      Yes, I understand the position these stations find themselves in with money always being cut or diverted. And no, I'm not completely heartless. Although I probably won't ever contribute to my local stations because nowadays they have too many thinly-disguised commercials!

      GTRacer
      - Needs to be AC every now and again...

      • Ummm, re: public radio... I thought that was supposed to be supported with tax dollars. Tax dollars that are collected and spent even if I don't use public radio/TV.

        Nope, public radio is no longer allowed to accept government funding. Hasn't been for years. It's 100% listener-supported. For example, KUHF here in Houston is allowed to broadcast from the university campus, but that's about the only freebie they get. The government-funded thing is a common misconception.
        • Are you sure? From CPB's own website [cpb.org]:

          Less than half of the industry's total income comes from tax-based sources such as federal, state, and local governments. Sixty-one percent of the income is from private sources such as businesses and memberships.

          ...and...

          How much does the federal government contribute?
          In 1999 Congress appropriated $250 million to CPB, approximately 11.6 percent of the industry's total income.

          ...or this...

          By law, 95 percent of the funds allocated to CPB go directly to benefit viewers and listeners either through Community Service Grants to stations, programming grants to producers, or other station-related activities.

          Are you telling me that NONE of this money makes it to any public radio stations? Where I live, the public TV and radio station share the same facilities.

          But I could be wrong. I have been wrong before...

          GTRacer
          - Still missing Dan Hickman and "Metro".

          • This graph [npr.org] might help clear it up - it's a chart from NPR showing their funding sources.
            • The only direct government funding...

              Does this take into account state and local government funding?

              And how does that graph match your claim that "...public radio is no longer allowed to accept government funding. Hasn't been for years. It's 100% listener-supported."

              2 percent isn't zero. Not trying to be anal, but I'd bet doughnuts to dollars, some fraction of my local, state and fed tax dollars are propping up public radio and TV here.

              GTRacer
              - And at the $90 level, we have this tote bag...

  • CIA Investors (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rsimmons ( 248005 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:24AM (#2584694) Homepage
    Isn't it funny that one of Safeweb's [safeweb.com] main investors is a company controlled by the CIA [cia.gov] called In-Q-Tel [in-q-tel.com]. Here [safeweb.com] is Safeweb's investors page.
    • Since In-Q-Tel's website seems to be having problems at the moment, here [google.com] is the Google cache of their about page.
    • The CIA wants to provide anonymization so that people in other countries with oppressive regimes can get unhindered and anonymous access to information. But "anonymous access to information" probably has a bad name in Washington right now, with all that fear and speculation surrounding terrorism.
      • It's more likely that the CIA is investing in SafeWeb so that they will have access to the surfing logs of users who want to do things anonymously. While SafeWeb permits you to surf without your employer or ISP logging your tracks, it also becomes the hub through which all your "anonymous" activity must pass. It would be no problem for SafeWeb to log your activity and pass it on to friendly investors. By tracking only users who are interested in anonymizing their activity, SafeWeb and others act as distilleries to purify their logs down to only "suspicious" activity. Exactly the kind of logs spook organizations would be interested in.
    • Re:CIA Investors (Score:2, Informative)

      by cetan ( 61150 )
      Here's a more detailed analysis of the CIA/Safeweb bedding:

      http://cryptome.org/riaa-anongo.htm [cryptome.org]
    • Re:CIA Investors (Score:4, Interesting)

      by John Carmack ( 101025 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @05:01PM (#2586323)
      I have a very interesting tale about this.

      One of the suppliers to Armadillo Aerospace told me about an experiment that he tried. He was looking over the logs to his (very low traffic) site, and he wondered how an anonymized hit would show up in the logs. He went through Safeweb, and saw a properly obscured address in the logs.

      One hour later, he also got a hit to the same page from cia.gov.

      I'm sure this isn't standard practice for every access, but his site was probably on a hot list of some sort due to the aerospace content.

      John Carmack
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just wear tinfoil on your head... it totally eliminates the corporate oppression! It really works! I used to be oppressed on a daily basis. But ever since I started where the tin foil hat, people avoid me like the plague! I've even seen people cross the street to avoid walking by me!

    Finally! The power is mine!

    • Even easier, (for those without easy access to tinfoil) is to not shower for a few days... that always works for me... :P
    • Just wear tinfoil on your head... it totally eliminates the corporate oppression! It really works! I used to be oppressed on a daily basis. But ever since I started where the tin foil hat, people avoid me like the plague! I've even seen people cross the street to avoid walking by me!

      People aren't avoiding you 'cause of the tinfoil hat. It's the swoosh brand on your forehead that freaks 'em. They haven't been sufficiently assimilated [adbusters.org] to want one of their own. Yet.

  • SilentSurf are (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jon Chatow ( 25684 ) <slashdot@jdforrester.org> on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:25AM (#2584702) Homepage
    ... avaliable from here [noproxy.com] and here [silentsurf.com].
  • by Ratface ( 21117 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:26AM (#2584704) Homepage Journal
    AFAIK the majority of anonymiser services have gone underground to the extent that they tend not to want to advertise their services, working instead by word of mouth. Personally I wouldn't even want to be a user of an anonymising service where the operator/s weren't in some way known to be to be trustworthy.

    There's possibly more safety in diversity when it comes to anonymising services. (Though that is debatable)
  • Hiding in crowds (Score:5, Informative)

    by iamcadaver ( 104579 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:26AM (#2584705)
    There is still work being done with AT&T's crowds [att.com]. Basically, the caveat is that you have'ta share the load if you wanna use the service. Good karma there.
    • Apparently, the download 'feature' is disabled...
    • by vscjoe ( 537452 )
      There is a very simple mechanism by which lawyers will likely put an end to that: if you are part of a software "crowd" and someone in that crowd does something, you will be held at least in part responsible; the necessary connectivity information can probably be obtained from ISP logs and electronic wiretaps even if the source of any particular request cannot.

      In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the legal system or Ashcroft wouldn't try to claim that you should be suspected of terrorist activities simply because you are using software like AT&T's crowds software. Since that kind of software doesn't ship with every PC and requires at least a bit of skill and effort to install, you will be part of a small minority if you do.

      • There is a very simple mechanism by which lawyers will likely put an end to that: if you are part of a software "crowd" and someone in that crowd does something, you will be held at least in part responsible.

        Only if you have reason to believe that something illegal is being done, and you do nothing about it.

        On the other hand, you're participating in a barter system, and therefore have to obtain the identies of the others in the "crowd", so you can send them 1099-Bs to report their barter income.

  • So? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Quasar1999 ( 520073 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:26AM (#2584706) Journal
    Why not do it yourself? Its not all that hard to mask your IP, or pull a couple of the same tricks spammers use to spam people... anonymously at that...
    • by sydb ( 176695 )
      Tell us how, then, if your sitting behind a corporate proxy and firewall?
      • Re:So? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Quasar1999 ( 520073 )
        If you are sitting behind a corporate firewall, then why do you need the ability to post anonymously? Why aren't you doing your job (whatever it may be), and if you must say negative things about your employeer (which is the only reason I can think anyone would want to post anonymously while behind a corporate firewall), why not do it from home?
        • by sydb ( 176695 )
          And if your sitting at home, your traffic can be monitored by your ISP. Most people use anonymizers to bypass corporate proxies, because they don't want the corporate security people knowing what porn, sport and travel sites they've been surfing.
    • what spammers use:

      -open mail relays. For http this would be things like proxy's (~=safeweb)
      -throwaway accounts. You can use them as well. Note that that is not truly anonymous, they can stil track where you are coming from (ip+time+callerid)

      the reg [theregister.co.uk] had nice acticle about this a short while ago. "Do-it-yourself Internet anonymity". they have a article [theregister.co.uk] about safeweb as well.
  • JAP (Score:4, Informative)

    by seite-f00f ( 458255 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:26AM (#2584709)
    http://anon.inf.tu-dresden.de is still beta but
    working...
  • by tony_gardner ( 533494 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:26AM (#2584712) Homepage
    So you're sending your credit card details to an anonymising service. How long will you stay anonymous?
    • by ethereal ( 13958 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:31AM (#2584741) Journal

      Contrariwise, no anonymizing service is going to be able to retain legal services to fend off attacks on anonymity without having some form of income. So either some wealthy benefactor pays for "free" anonymity because they believe in it, or else everyone has to chip in to preserve their own privacy.

      • no anonymizing service is going to be able to retain legal services to fend off attacks on anonymity without having some form of income

        Au contraire. If they are charging you (or advertisers), they are making money out of something that authorities try to paint as 'illegal activity'. Like Napster and n+1 other companies. If they are not, they are not benefiting from 'breaking the law' (as it's now jokingly termed), and perhaps had better legal standing.

        Napster has/had enough money to hire the lawyers, and much good did that do to them. They got the image of a company helping thieves, and got the brutal beating.

        Money is useful, sure, but obtaining it from users is not without its problems. :-/

    • Even if you're not paying, it's not really anonymous; they have your ip adress at the least.
      • Even if you're not paying, it's not really anonymous; they have your ip adress at the least.

        This is very true. Look at the lengths you have to go to to keep your email anonymous through the various anonymizing protocols/services. The truly paranoid will use multiple servers so that there is no single point of failure -- and cracking the chain requires a significant amount of resources. As with anything in the privacy/security/encryption arena, anything can be cracked, it is just a matter of the amount of time and resources that can be devoted to cracking and the amount of convenience that you are willing to give up for this security.

        If you're just looking to bypass the corporate filtering-proxy, it won't take rocket science. If you're paranoid and don't want 'them' tracking you, well, that's another story... 'they' have infinite resources and time... ;)
    • You don't have to be anonymous going in, only going out. They have your IP already, they might as well also have a username. As long as that info isn't sent through with the outgoing request you are still anonymous
    • So you're sending your credit card details to an anonymising service. How long will you stay anonymous?

      Exactly why we need government backed (so it's accepted) digital [cybercash.com] cash [ecashservices.com] (a.k.a. e-cash [digicash.com]) (cash so it's anonymous).

      Any bets how soon that will happen, post 9-11?

      (Yes, I am aware of the downside [miami.edu].)

  • by Vicegrip ( 82853 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:27AM (#2584718) Journal
    I like to use sneakemail [sneakemail.com] for hiding my true email address from the multitude of lists and webpages I sometimes use.
  • Alternatives? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jacoplane ( 78110 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:28AM (#2584721) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps there are still some free alternatives [google.com]. I haven't tried any of those listed though. Maybe someone can provide some feedback.

    The other possibility of course is to use something like Freenet. Although nobody is totally anonymous on freenet, at least everyone is almost anonymous, which I feel is much better than the current situation. Of course, big-brother types will disagree and claim it is far too dangerous.
  • by Tassach ( 137772 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:32AM (#2584747)
    OK, so a bunch of anonymous email servers have gone down, either because they can't pay the bills or they are afraid of lawsuits. Get over it.



    If you feel that strongly that the world needs anonymous, untraceable email, stop whining and do somthing about it. Set up a server, host it somewhere, and let people know where it is and how to use it. If you can figure out how to make it make enough money to cover expenses, more power to ya! Free services are great, if someone else is paying the bill. It's a different story when you're the one signing the checks. If you really believe this kind of service should be free for everyone, put your money where your mouth is and underwrite the venture, otherwise shut the F*** up.

    • And the first step in fixing the problem is noticing that there is a problem and publishing this fact so that people can get on and deal with it. So why don't you stop whining about people who are doing exactly that.
    • If you feel that strongly that the world needs anonymous, untraceable email, stop whining and do somthing about it. Set up a server, host it somewhere, and let people know where it is and how to use it.

      The world has already got anonymous, untraceable email in the cypherpunk and mixmaster remailer networks. If you really want to help out, set up one of these servers and announce yourself on alt.privacy.anon-server. If you want to know more about these systems, the best web page these days is probably here [privacyresources.org].

      Of course, you should be aware that doing so will get you a lot of flames, a lot of network abuse, and such. Why? Because a lot of people don't know how to deal with real, hardcore anonymity. The people who run the remailers are dedicated privacy advocates who believe in the right to speak without fear, even if that enables some evils (spam, harassment, etc) and even if they have no control whatsoever over the data flowing through their servers.

      Think about that: would you be comfortable providing an encrypted, anonymous service so powerful that neither you nor the FBI/NSA/etc would ever know about the kiddie porn and terrorist plots that could be flowing through your computer if, in return, you helped dissidents and human rights workers communicate without fear of reprisals from hostile governments and corporations? It's a tough call, but I'm certainly glad that at least a few people have the guts to publicly answer that one in the affirmative.

  • by ajuda ( 124386 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:35AM (#2584758)
    Why do we need anonymizing services (essentially hacks) when excellent substitutes are in the works? Projects like Freenet [sourceforge.net] are providing new protocols which are specifically designed with anonymity in mind.

      • Why do we need anonymizing services (essentially hacks) when excellent substitutes are in the works? Projects like Freenet

      In the works, as you say. If you're a Freenet developer working in an oppressive anti-privacy regime like China, the UK or the USA, can you (currently and effectively) use Freenet to discuss Freenet development?

      Until then, anonymity is a huge boon for "criminals"; and by that I mean not just what the FBI means by criminals, I mean people doing ethical work that has been criminalised in some extreme and corrupt jurisdictions. Oh, wait, maybe I do mean what the FBI means...

  • let me think (Score:2, Informative)

    by subnet533 ( 529772 )
    Megaproxy.com is another free service and one of the only ones I can find that runs behind https. Does anyone know of any other web based proxies that run behind https?
  • ssh (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spock the Vulcan ( 196989 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:37AM (#2584773)
    You could do what I do - run squid+sshd at home, set up a tunnel with ssh port forwarding from your office to home:
    ssh -C -L 3128:<home-ip>:3128 -N <home-ip>
    and then set localhost:3128 as your proxy. Of course, this is assuming you have an always-on connection at home.
  • Orangatango (Score:3, Informative)

    by de_boer_man ( 459797 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:42AM (#2584806)
    Orangatango [orangatango.com] provides a great method of surfing anonymously for extremely reasonable prices. I love their "MailBlox" email anonymizer.

    Orangatango is based on a pretty cool idea: Rather than my computer negotiating a connection with every site I want to connect to, my computer negotiates a connection with Orangatango, and Orangatango does the rest. To the outside world, it looks as though Orangatango is making all of the requests. Maybe it's not a unique idea, but they have implemented it extremely well.

    Yeah, I know that I have to give them my credit card and that makes my connection ultimately traceable through one means or another, but it's a far cry better than surfing directly through my ISP.

    They have additional benefits other than just the anonymization as well. It really is "the web on your terms" as Orangatango claims. They're worth a look! Check them out.

    Before you ask, I'll answer that no, I am not affiliated with Orangatango. The only reason that I know about them is that I applied for a development position at Orangatango a year ago. I've kept my eye on them (as well as my browser pointed at them) ever since.

    • by stevey ( 64018 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @12:12PM (#2584984) Homepage

      Orangatango is based on a pretty cool idea: Rather than my computer negotiating a connection with every site I want to connect to, my computer negotiates a connection with Orangatango, and Orangatango does the rest. To the outside world, it looks as though Orangatango is making all of the requests. Maybe it's not a unique idea, but they have implemented it extremely well.

      That's what us computery people call a Proxy [lycos.com], or Proxy Server ...

  • When you pay for an Anonymizing Service, they know who you are. Other people may not be able to directly track you but the Anonymizing service can....which means all they have to do is tell the people that want to know. How much do you trust your paid Anonymizing service?
  • by zarathustra93 ( 164244 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:54AM (#2584881) Homepage
    Good god, if you want to surf for pr0n, do it at home. What is so hard about that? While at work, you should be doing your job and not spending your whole time surfing the internet. I know this isn't a popular opinion, but chances are that your employer has hired you to do something other than surf. This isn't the man trying to smack you down afterall :-)
    • It's not that black and white, I'm afraid.

      As a contractor, I often work at a client site, and often those sites have what I consider to be some excessive filtering/blocking rules. For example, at my current client, all web-based email accounts are blocked-- and contractors are not, as a general rule, given email accounts on the client's corporate domain.

      Now, awareness of the dangers of email attachments is commendable, but I should also note that this same client standardizes on MS Outlook as an email client, and as such has twice been taken out by Nimda-- in spite of the blocking of services like Yahoo mail and Hotmail.

      So, by using a proxy like Safeweb, am I subverting the client's security policies? Perhaps. But by blocking my email access somewhat arbitrarily, are they hindering my effectiveness as an outide contractor? Absolutely.

      Who's right? Depends on who you ask. But, I believe that all concerned parties sometimes have motivations that are at least a little bit more complex than surfing porn on company time.
    • I put up an anonymizing proxy somewhere and ran it for a year or so. Threw out the logs after analysis. But found out that most of my traffic was from United Arab Emirates. They used the site for surfing porn, which is blocked by their country. They also used it for reading news that I doubt they can easily get there.

      So if all it means is that some rich Arabs can get easy access to porn, so what. It might just mean that someone from a religiously repressive and sexually repressed society learns that if you look at porn, it doesn't make you blind, it doesn't turn you into a rapist, and if your spouse/SO shares your tastes, it could even enhance your sex life. And the 5% of the time they were reading news sites might just give them a wider view of the world. All of which might make their country, eventually, more tolerant. So you can whine all you want, but sometimes the inability to surf porn is the man smacking people down, and sometimes the ability to surf porn is a sign that freedom exists, regardless of whether exercising that freedom at any given time is wise or tasteful.

    • How about a word from one of the "Web Nazis."
      I'm one of the lucky few that manages one of these oppressive machines, and well, unfortunately we need them.
      I hear a lot of whining about folks not being able to surf what they want. When we check our logs, we see that they are trying to get to p0rn, ESPN.com or spend company time looking for other jobs. We have had several sexual harrasment suits as a result of people being caught surfing p0rn, and no company wants to deal with that mess. Yes, I agree sometimes it does get in the way, but it's not that hard to open up sites as required.
      After all you're at work to do that, work. Sure surfing makes lunch a little more enjoyable, but deal with it. This is an HR issue, take it up with them if you have a problem.
    • Good god, if you want to surf for pr0n, do it at home. What is so hard about that?

      Uh, because it's easier to hide it from the boss than from the wife?

  • by libertynews ( 304820 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @11:54AM (#2584883) Homepage
    Life costs money. It ain't free. Bandwidth costs money, as do computers, support people and lawyers. If you have no income you cannot maintain a service, no matter how 'popular' it is. If something is useful to you, then you ought to be willing to support it monitarily. Otherwise it is going to go away.

    TANSTAAFL
  • are there any free services left for those suffering from corporate oppression?"

    What a pile of crap! I understand invasion of privacy, but you are just paranoid!
    Big brother is watching you, the illuminati can hear you through copper wires! If you are that paranoid, my friend, the best thing for you to do is move to siberia and become a hermit.

    Quite frankly, no one is watching, and if they are (we're talking millions of transactions a second. Something no one would do for under $80k/year), you probably don't do anything that would attract their attention. Quit freaking out!
    • You're kidding right? "No one is watching"?

      If you are an American you can barely leave your house without being watched. There are cameras *everywhere* these days, many that you can't see, too.

      And internet traffic? That's even easier to monitor, especially at corporations with proxy servers-- sure, most traffic is legitimate, but it's simple to route all traffic to mail.yahoo.com (or any other URL, or a URL containing specific strings, or even upon retrieving a web page to check it for certain keywords) to a standard 403 page-- or better yet, write that event out to a text file. Then when the employee gets a certain number of writes to that file, you look at what they've been up to and talk to their manager.

      The real questions are more difficult. At what level do you allow workers the freedom to use the internet for personal stuff? What does it say about your workers if they intentionally bypass your legitimate security protocols (i.e. using SafeWeb, etc)? And are you better off firing such malcontents, or simply scaring them into submission in the first place?
      • At what level do you allow workers the freedom to use the internet for personal stuff?

        Since the use of company owned computers for company use is such a hard idea for spazdots to grok, here is a simple ananogy:

        Joe: "I'm here to fix your computer."
        Ichimunki: "It's in the den."
        Joe: "Right. Remember, I charge $50 an hour."
        Ichimunki: "That's okay just as long as you fix it."
        ...
        two hours later in the den
        ...
        Ichimunki: "What the hell are you doing?"
        Joe: "Check out the tits on that momma!"
        Ichimunki: "You're supposed to be fixing the computer, not jerking to pr0n!"
        Joe: "Hey relax, I got the computer fixed an hour ago."
        Ichimunki: "You can't use my stuff to surf SlutDot damn you!"
        Joe: "Hey, it's my freedom. Don't oppress me. Here's my bill for two hours of work."
    • Oh great, you had to mention the illuminati!

      Fantastic, now they will be after all of us, one by one we will be expired by seemingly natural causes.

      It is just like when they
  • Gee, I wonder why all these companies are failing... Lets look at their business model, shall we?

    Step 1. Provide a cool, useful service for free.

    Step 2. ???

    Step 3. Profit.
  • SSH to your house? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <(slashdot) (at) (keirstead.org)> on Monday November 19, 2001 @12:34PM (#2585121) Homepage

    I'm surprised no one's mentioned this, since I've ben doingit forever. Anyone with broadband (cable/dsl) has a fast enough connection to simple SSH to their house, and forward ports over the conneciton. Thus, I have my web browser proxy set to 127.0.0.1:8000, whihc is forwarded to my home PC proxy over the SSH connection.

    • I'm surprised, too...because I didn't think of it.

      Did you write the proxy yourself? If so, can you give a little help, or some pointers (or some code), or just a brief explanation of what you did? If not, where'd you get it?

      Could something simple be written in PERL?

      Now I'm really interested in trying this.

      • Try Squid, and port forward TCP 3128.

        Works well.
      • All I do is turn on the proxy server for apache, and use that (see the manpage for details). Squid would work just as well, only reason I don't use that is I already have httpd. running. Then all you do is forward some local port (I use 8000, you could use anything) to the remote proxy port (80 for apache, 3128 for squid, etc). Then change your browser's proxy to 127.0.0.1:<port you chose>, and you're done.

        I'd recomend using an SSH client that supports compression as well (I use Terraterm/SSH in windows) and turn the compression to around 5. That will speed up the latency of the connection between your house and your office.

  • Ah yes, I remember an enjoyable evening using anonymizer. Then a few days later I had the chance to look through our server logs and there it was:

    www.anonymizer.com?url=barely18.com
    www.anonymizer.com?url=teenvixens.com
    ...
  • by josepha48 ( 13953 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @02:09PM (#2585627) Journal
    Try using proximotron (sp) it is a proxy that is used for filtering. It does however mask your user agent and things. Also using mozilla will allow you to prevent unwanted cookies. Basically between mozilla and proximitron (or another proxy) you could essentially mask who you are except your IP address. Things like user-agent and other headers going into and out of your machine are masked. Rejecting cookies and preventint companies like doublecluck from setting cookies or images on your machine also puts up a 'wall of fire' between you and the internet. Lastly I'd put up a firewall and reject all new connections from outside sources (unless your running a service like httpd or ftp or ssh). Many webservers for some reason like to make new connections to my machine after the transaction is done. This is a known issue, so my firewall rules just drop those packets to the floor and it does not hurt my system.

    I guess without these types of services people will have to learn how to protect themselves on the web. Besides how long do you think many of these services can stay free on the web? I'm kinds supprised /. has not talked about charging to post yet....

  • are there any free services left for those suffering from corporate oppression?"

    Let's put things in perspective. The women forced to wear bhurkas in Afghanistan are oppressed. The dissidents in the Gulag were oppressed. The Jews in the ghetto were oppressed. The African-americans forced into slavery two centuries ago were oppressed. You are not oppressed merely because you don't get automatic anonymity when you choose to disclose your public information to a corporation.
  • Months ago, when load started crashing Safeweb regularly, I wrote to ask them if they were still interested in continuing to operate, and I offered to buy their business model for a dollar.

    Telling event: They wrote back declining the offer.

    That's when I knew they were doomed.

    --Blair
  • by DzugZug ( 52149 ) on Monday November 19, 2001 @03:48PM (#2586034) Journal
    When I worked for the Attorney General's office, we used to investigate online fraud and would routinely use anonymizer.com and other services in order to view suspect web pages without *.gov showing up in their logs. If they see a few of those hits they quickly pack up, move to a new state, and buy a new domain.

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley

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