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Data is the new plutonium

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Not our words, but those of Jim Balsillie, the ex-CEO of Research In Motion, as part of his testimony to the International Grand Committee on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy held in Ottawa, Canada, 10 May 2018.2 It’s an interesting disclosure that covers privacy, Google, Facebook, GDPR and the end of Western democracy.

It starkly outlines just how rabidly corporations are out to take your privacy. Never mind nation states monitoring seemingly all traffic and sometimes even diverting entire swaths of internet traffic, with legislation that seeks to retain untold amounts of communication and attempts to dangerously undermine encryption itself.

With this sort of predatory activity it’s not surprising people have been cloaking their online activity with a selection of open source tools, plug-ins and techniques. This issue we’ve lured Jonni out of his lead-lined Faraday cage with the promise of doughnuts, cider and fungi-based food products, so he can update us all with the best ways to easily protect our online footprint. The latest release of Tails is on the LXFDVD, so a combination of that and a tricked-out install of Firefox should cover most circumstances. Try his tips out and let us know how you get on.

Thankfully we have plenty of open source you can safely play with: research your ancestry with Gramps, build your own collaborative online office tool, get more from free fonts, monitor live data via the terminal, manage your photos and use a pro-level audio workstation. All alongside the usual dollops of Answers, HotPicks and more, so enjoy!

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Issue 253, Summer - on sale now

Stop the snoopers!

From mega corporations to insidious social media firms and never forget the creeping menace of state actors, all trying to hoover up, store and monetize your online identity from your internet activity. From monitoring your browsing to trying to break your encryption these despicable players can be thwarted and blocked by the open source world and Linux Format.

Plus geneology with Gramps, OnlyOffice and OwnCloud, open source fonts, live plotting in the terminal, better databases, the best photo managers, music production and loads more projects!


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