WUOM: Anonymity drives ‘dark patterns’ of social media behavior. “A new study by a Michigan State University researcher probes the mechanisms behind the spread of mass online harassment and fake news by looking at the ‘dark patterns’ underlying the technology platforms. In the science of user experience, dark patterns are psychological tricks incorporated into technology interfaces that are designed to get a user to do something they normally wouldn’t do, like buying a product or signing up for a newsletter.”
TorrentFreak: Which VPN Services Keep You Anonymous in 2018?. “In response to a growing threat of Internet surveillance and censorship, VPN services have surged in popularity in recent years. Encrypting one’s traffic through a VPN connection helps to keep online communications private, but what more does your VPN provider do to keep you anonymous? We take a look at the logging policies and other privacy features of dozens of VPN providers.”
The Star: German court rules Facebook settings violate data protection laws. “The Berlin state court ruled in a suit brought by the Federation of German Consumer Organizations that Facebook’s ‘real name’ clause violated the country’s regulation that providers of online services must allow users to remain anonymous.”
TechRadar: The best free privacy software 2018: top tools for anonymous browsing. “If you’re looking for the best free privacy software to help you browse the web anonymously, then you’ve come to the right place, as we’ve listed the top choices to help protect your privacy.”
Wired: The Grand Tor: How To Go Anonymous Online. (Fifty points for the headline.) “Earlier this month, Tor announced an update to its so-called onion services, which use Tor’s anonymizing features to hide not just individual people on the web, but servers too, allowing for so-called dark web or darknet sites and other services that can’t be physically traced to any locatable computer. Beyond merely covering your tracks as you visit websites, the new feature has opened Tor up to a new range of applications, enabling a new generation of whistleblowing platforms and new forms of untraceable messaging…. Here’s how you can use Tor today, whether you want to want to browse controversial sites in peace, or send messages the NSA can’t peep.”
Digital Trends: Wikipedia can now be found on the dark web. “Wikipedia, for all the issues it has, is still an invaluable resource for many people. While it’s true that you should be careful about citing it in a research paper, the site remains a great resource to get a general overview of a topic and find more in-depth resources. In the United States and nations with similar freedoms, we often take Wikipedia for granted, but there are many parts of the world where accessing the site can be very difficult and illegal. In order to help at-risk users access the site, cyber security expert Alex Muffett has created a version of the website for the dark web accessible by the Tor browser.” Is this ringing a bell for you? Possibly because Wikipedia folks have been asking that this be done.
The Register: Biggest Tor overhaul in a decade adds layers of security improvements. “Tor developers have taken the wraps off the next generation of Onion Services. The alpha release promises the biggest overhaul in the anonymity service for the last 10 years. The opening section of the change log provides a good overview of the tweaks, some of which aim to address recently discovered security weaknesses in the protocol, such as the potential for rogue nodes to learn about the network.”