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Slippery slope

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In the USA there’s the Fourth Amendment, here in Europe there’s the European Convention on Human Rights and both protect an individual’s rights when it comes to government interference over person, possessions and private life. In the past that largely meant the government couldn’t just waltz into your property and seize any documents (or persons) it felt like, listen in on your private conversations or stop you from moving around the country without a damn good reason. Sounds reasonable, right? It seems in the internet age those rights no longer apply.

This isn’t tinfoil hat stuff, it’s happening right now. In the UK the new Investigatory Powers Act – that gives many governmental agency the power to freely view your internet history – has come into place. Meanwhile in the USA since the Patriot act and Snowden revelations, it’s apparent most US communications can be tapped without warrant. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, right?

A huge problem is the lackadaisical attitude of many to such intrusion. The mantra of ‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’ entirely misses the dangers that government and humans are entirely fallible and prone to extreme change. While you might feel your government is entirely loving and friendly today, you’ve no control over how it might be shaped 10 years from now or the general abuse of these powers by individuals. That’s beside the fact these powers are often (ab)used to curb anti-government movements, social change and protests. While at the heart of it all, not wanting to be searched for no reason in no way implies you’re guilty of anything, nor should it.

So this issue we’re looking at how we can reclaim ownership of our cloud, escaping Google and ‘the man’ at the same time. Taking ownership of your many online services, using open alternatives and ensuring your data is secure while using them.

We also delve into the Invisible Internet Project, a post-Tor service, explore the BSD kernel, improve your laptop experience, explain basic terminal sysadmin tools, dual boot Linux and so much more we’ve run out of room—enjoy!

Don’t forget to write to linuxformat@futurenet.com and let us know what you do with Linux, what you think of the magazine and what you think we should be covering. Enjoy!

Issue 221, March - on sale now

Escape Google!

Escape Google and reclaim your cloud! We look at how you can build your own cloud network using the best open source tools and services. Dump insecure, untrusted proprietary services for open source alternatives. Take back your data and secure it in your own cloud. From email and messaging to document collaboration and file sharing open source offers the best solutions.

I2p - better than TOR!
Laptop tips - get the most from Linux on your laptop
Dual-boot it! - create an easy dual-boot system
Discover CentOS - dive into the serious server distro
MicroPython - Run Python on the BBC micro:bit
Pi Voice - talk to your Raspberry Pi
Allen Samuels - The creator of the Ceph distributed storage solution
The ‘other’ kernel - We test a host of BSD distros
Total War: Warhammer - WAR comes to Linux gaming!
Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti - is this budget gaming card you’ve been looking for?

 



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