How To Disappear Online And Fly Under The Radar

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There was a time when you didn’t have to look over your shoulder to see if you’re watched. Privacy was as normal and real as paying the bills at the bank, or buying milk from the grocery. Those days are gone. You don’t need to go to the grocery to buy milk or enter the bank for paying the bills. Thanks to internet, they are just one click away.

But even if you can’t see anybody standing right behind you, you know they are there, watching every page you visit, every payment you make, and following your traces through the virtual world. Then they could easily steal your data, empty your card, build your profile and scan your everything till you have nothing private left.

Are you ready to face these scammers and protect your right to privacy? Here’s what you need to know!

This is why conventional survival defense won’t work!

To make it short, there are four things you should keep in mind about going under the radar on internet. Keep reading the article to see what’s to be said about each of them.

  • Privacy isn’t typically compromised due to poor SOP, it is typically compromised by human error, complacency, short cuts and failure to adhere to SOP.
  • Compartment identities, devices and where you use them. Have separate devices for each identity and use them at different locations.
  • Emails, credit cards, phone numbers and even addresses can all be masked at low cost by services such as Blur.
  • Tails is an OS that enables you to use TOR to access the internet, and send encrypted email and text messages from virtually any computer or phone by connecting a multiport USB flash drive, leaving no trace that you were there.

Manage Your Expectations

For most, compartmenting identities mitigates the need to disappear completely, even online. If your needs go beyond compartmenting identities, you will need to learn more than it is possible to teach you in an article, even just to disappear online, but I will touch on the more general aspects of this undertaking.

Make sure your expectations are realistic. Even if you opt out of programs, scour the internet and are successful in getting everything deleted that is currently online, there may still be copies saved in historical internet or government archives.

You may need to ask, petition or compel entities to delete information that you consider to be sensitive, but you will not likely be able to get data deleted from secret archives that you may or may not even know exist.

Nonetheless, though you may not be able to get all your sensitive data deleted, you can still slow it or stop it from spreading and keep it out of the hands of most people by reducing your online footprint.

Privacy May Not Be Convenient, But It Is Worth It

Privacy reduces stress and keeps you free. One thing privacy is not, is convenient. Many people are addicted to convenience these days, but reclaiming your privacy, like most things worth doing, is neither easy nor convenient.

When I was a kid, long distance phone calls out of country were extremely expensive. So was air mail! So, we sent letters by surface mail and then we would wait over a month for a reply.

I have read journals of my immigrant pioneer ancestors in the old West. They would have thought I was spoiled as a kid because it was not uncommon for them to wait years for letters from family. Now, if the power grid or the internet hiccups, even for a minute, folks just go nuts. In emergencies, people often endanger themselves for a chance to get information that is often nothing more than rumors!

If you are addicted to convenience, you will never know privacy or freedom until you overcome this addiction. The best way to do this is to sufficiently commit yourself to the cause of privacy right from the start.

If you fail for want of motivation, it will not likely be because you lacked self-discipline, but because you were not sufficiently dedicated to the cause. If your motivation wanes as the battle drags on, revisit the reasons why privacy is so important.

Disappear Online and Fly Under the Radar

Develop a Privacy SOP and Stick to It

The quality of your IT OPSEC/PERSEC SOP and the competence and discipline with which you execute it are, far and away, the two most crucial factors in determining whether you will be found or successfully disappear online.

If you are a smart, that’s great, but genius hackers get caught all the time.

Identify Who You Are Hiding From

Who are you hiding from and how much money, time and human resources are they willing to invest in finding you?

These are huge factors, because hiding from a stalker with limited financial resources, intelligence and contacts is very different from hiding from an evil genius billionaire or a superpower willing to create entire departments dedicated to your capture.

If the entity you are hiding from can, and is willing to, allocate satellite time and Santa Clause budgets to teams of analysts, you truly have your work cut out for you.

The more money and resources those searching for you are willing to invest in finding you, the more likely it is that they will eventually find you. Will they spend $50, $500, $5K, $50K, $500K, 5M, 50M or more?

It helps if you can estimate that number because every tier, it becomes exponentially harder to hide from them. Up to $500, you will probably go to your grave without being found. 5K gets tougher if they hire a competent professional. At 50K their reach extents well across international borders and they can pay for a lot of IT analyst time. At 500K you are in serious trouble.

Compartment

How deep you take it is up to you, but compartmenting is an effective and somewhat idiot-proof way to keep from screwing up the execution of your SOP. Compartmenting should go much deeper than we will take it here, but it will give you the idea and you can extend it to other areas (banking, mailing addresses, vehicles and so on.)

  1. Identities – Criminals have aliases. Good guys have alternate identities, pen names, stage names, travel names, undercover names and call signs. Separate the identity with which you deal with the government from other identities, including any other identities that you use to access the internet.
  2. Hardware – You can use the internet and talk on the phone using your legal name and alternate identities, but using separate phone(s) and computer(s) for each identity is a simple and robust way to compartment. This way, the IP for the online identity you want to keep under the radar has different Mac and IP addresses from the person your neighbors know.
  3. Locations – You can use computer(s) and cell phone(s) with each identity, but do not use them in the same place! Every time your cell phone connects to a cell tower, analysts have an opportunity to get a pretty good idea of where you are at. If your device has a GPS and it is enabled or able to be enabled remotely, they know right where your phone is at, and for most folks nowadays, their phone might as well be surgically implanted, because it is always with them.

The IT forensics bag is a great tool for maintaining compartmented locations because you can drop a phone in one of these bags and its heavy EM shielding prevents it from communicating with cell towers, wireless routers, skimmers and any other wireless technology that could tie the location of the device to locations frequented by your other identities. If two of your identities frequent the same place or their paths cross, that would be a good place to setup surveillance, search for a dead drop, etc. and connect the two.

Make Your Computers and Devices Hard to Track

1. VPN (Virtual Private Networking) Service

VPN establishes a point to point connection from your computer to another computer somewhere on the internet. Information is then sent and received through an encrypted virtual tunnel, protecting your privacy.

Because the data is encrypted, even if it is intercepted with a packet analyzer, without the correct encryption key the intercepted data will just be a bunch of meaningless characters.

VPN Service is a paid internet service that establishes a VPN connection from your computer, to a random computer at your VPN service provider. This way, when you surf the internet, the websites see the IP address for the computer at the VPN provider, not your computer.

If you choose a VPN service provider that owns vast banks of IP addresses in many countries, all with laws that do not allow good cooperation with your country, even getting your address out of your VPN provider as part of an investigation becomes problematic and expensive, helping to protect your identity and privacy.

Criminals, web sites or stalkers will not likely be able to get you address and private investigators would have to spend a lot of money and time and likely break a lot of laws get ahold of your IP address.

2. TOR (The Onion Router)

It is free software maintained by volunteers that can enable you to share information over public networks, like the internet, without compromising your privacy.

It does this by connecting through a series of virtual tunnels, using the computers of other TOR users instead of connecting directly.

3. ORBOT

This is TOR for Android.

4. Blur

Blur is a service by an online privacy company called Abine. A very common need online is to provide an email address, which needs to be verified to open an account. Blur solves this problem by giving you the ability to create an unlimited number masked emails and forwarding the mail sent to them to another email address that you designate.

If that email is used to spam you, you can block it with a single click. The free service gives you an encrypted password manager, masked emails, tracker blocking and auto-fill, which greatly simplify account creation, which you will be doing a lot of if you maintain multiple identities.

The paid Blur service adds masked credit cards, a masked phone number that also works with text messages and a backup and sync service. If you get unwanted phone calls, you can block them. If you don’t want to give your banking information to some shady vendor on eBay, give them a masked card, email and phone number.

Blur is not the only free service that provides masked emails. Some other services are not based in the US, which is a plus, and do this in an even more secure fashion where the email only exists for a short time and is then gone forever without creating any records to subpoena, but Blur is the most comprehensive service I have tried so far.

5. Tails (The Amnesiac Incognito Live System)

A magnificent privacy tool, Tails is a live operating system built on a Unix-like OS called Debian built with one thing in mind: privacy. Tails can start from most USB sticks or a DVD, uses TOR to access the internet anonymously, leaves no trace and includes tools to encrypt files, email and instant messaging … built in. Best installed on a multiport flash drive with iPhone, MiniUSB OTG, and USB connectivity.

So, why aren’t you downloading it yet? If you aren’t or haven’t you should.

6. Panopticlick

A tool by the EFF that tests the uniqueness of the configuration of the internet browser you use to access the site. If you have a very unique browser configuration, this can be used like fingerprints or DNA for your browser, identifying your computer with a certain probability like 1 in 500K. Or 1 in 200 … even over VPN!

Encrypt, Encrypt, Encrypt

Think of encryption as a final layer of defense in the even that your privacy measures are compromised.

Click here to get your guide to a layered survival defense!

I truly believe that one day, professors will refer to our time as the “Neo-encryption Era” … and that they will point at us and laugh.

You see, they will dig up hard drives and M-Disks in landfills, buy them from junk dealers or study them in museums and still be able to read the data as much as a thousand years later. They will have a look at our lives in unprecedented levels of detail.

They will have HD video, medical records, credit card, bank and other financial records. Customer loyalty records will tell them everything your bought from the grocery store and they will examine it, and likely draw conclusions out of context.

They will have phone records and ISP records that may show everyplace you ever go with your cellphone turned on, every email, every text and secret government records that you probably don’t even know exist. They will have records created every time cameras mounted on patrol cars and tow trucks image your license plate in parking lots.

From these records, they will determine, where you go to church and how often. Where you eat and where you shop. Meetings, work days and gun shows will be analyzed, as will everyone you knew who was also there. They will probably draw all kinds of conclusion that may or may not be correct about why you were there and with who or that that some place you went to regularly was within walking distance of where a friend’s spouse worked or a gay bar or mosque, and so on … and they will do this, in part, because we were too ignorant or lazy to encrypt our data.

Some encrypted email providers, like Countermail in Sweden, support hardware (USB) encryption keys and even accept cash payments through the mail. If you don’t have a little encrypted server space in another country and the ability to create untraceable email addresses, today would be a great time to start.

Reduce Your Online Footprint

DeleteMe! – DeleteMe! Is a another service by Abine that removes personal info from the major online data brokers, substantially reducing your online footprint. The service ranges from $69-$129 per person per year with discounts if you add additional people or pay for more years. But you can do the same thing yourself if you have more time than money and Abine has a great resource page to help you do just that for free right here. Some data clearinghouses do not make this process convenient, but you are going to need to do a certain amount of legwork even if you pay for some services.

Privacy Badger – Blocks spying ads and invisible trackers.

DuckDuckGo – Search engine that doesn’t track you.

Firefox – Internet browser for those concerned about privacy. Firefox has many plugins, such as NoScript, HTTPS Everywhere, Ghostery, Cookie Monster, AdBlock Plus and others that contribute to safer, more private browsing experience.

EFF Surveillance Self-Defense – A great collection of tips, tools, tutorials, overviews, briefings and how-to articles you can use to education yourself about privacy. Study it and fill in the chinks in your armor.

If you’re tired of all the stuff every employer, cyber stalker, or online criminal can find out about you and your family, this is the right moment to protect yourself and go unnoticed. It’s one big step to a secure existence and stay safe in these turbulent times!

This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.

Can You Survive Below Radar? Off Grid Tips And Tricks

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Lately so many people are getting so fed up with pervasive totalitarian spying on literally everything we say and do, that they’re wondering whatever happened to the American Dream?

Add in out of control greed municipal intrusions with building code tyranny for exorbitant property tax profits, not to mention a noticeable increase in strangely nosy parasitic neighbors, all combined in a world starting to crumble under the weight of its own violent insanity.

Truth be told, is it even remotely possible anymore to enjoy the wonderful freedom of personal privacy, the peaceful solace that this great land, and our precious Constitution, once held for us?

Let’s take a closer look at the cold, hard reality.

It’s not what you think…

Where Did All the Freedom Go?

 “We tried so hard, and came so far, but in the end it never really mattered….”

The sadness of this discussion is that we should not even be having it in a truly Free country. The first important revelation here is that “We, the People” screwed up big time in the last generation with our mass passive acquiescence to the government nanny state.

We allowed Them to brainwash us into relinquishing our rights of self-determination to a point where they now control every facet of our lives in exchange for a specious promise (not even in writing!) to take care of us, and make us all little happy faced cherubs, bouncing blissfully on big daddy government woo woo’s cushy knee from cradle to grave.

Then they threw us a few bare bones in the dirt and we licked them up like the obedient State sponsored lap dogs we became.

The history is clear, but our own innate weaknesses ultimately caused our own libertarian demise because the mouse never resists the free cheese on the mouse trap. I don’t know if we even deserve liberty salvation anymore, or whether we can ever get it back…but that’s another depressing topic.

In any case, here’s what’s left of the whole idea of the off grid under the radar privacy situation today:

“You can run, but you cannot hide!”

First, I hope everybody realizes, or at least most Liberty minded Patriots, that if you want absolute, complete privacy from any kind of government or private sector intrusion, it simply doesn’t exist anymore. Nada, Zippo, Zero, No Mas! And all of YOU, my beloved, let them get away with it!

This is because the so-called ‘Grid’ is now everywhere. The Grid is now life itself! Therefore it stands to reason, if one desires to indulge in the solace of private seclusion, one must first escape the dreaded Grid itself? Unfortunately, there isn’t anywhere to go… where the grid ain’t.

The last nail in the coffin of human privacy, ironically, which replaced the Patriot Act, was the American Freedom Act, which allows the FISA courts and the government dark state agencies to casually violate our 4th/A protections.

Toss in ubiquitous surveillance/location/tracking technology (also 4th/A violating in usage) so advanced that I’d need several more pages to even begin describing them here. Think of it like this, all despotic power elite totalitarian regimes need the same control as farmers have over their cattle.

They need to know where they are and what they are doing at all times. The more Big Brother/Minority Reporting the government becomes, the more of a slave you wind up being.

So before we go any further, realize and accept the following as FACT. If a government agency or one of its oxymoronic private contractors wants to find you, They Will.

Unless you just go somewhere so remote and deep in the jungles or mountains. and disappear yourself, one way or the other, permanently, which is really an optimal below radar off grid style of living, even if they don’t get you physically, as in someone like Assange or Snowden (who traded their freedom to travel for a prison sentence by escaping to sanctuary in other countries), they will be tracking every move you make, every day of your life, and then some.

Even Jason Bourne, today, couldn’t evade them or disappear for very long. Not with the latest biometric facial recognition and location tracking techniques. Not with the specially trained seek and capture teams assisted by inhuman god-like AI computers with seemingly mystical sources of information and telepathic powers! And just by being alive, we all generate some type of electronic trackable footprint.

Ironically, the only real effective way to disappear off grid is to let the government do it for you. Just like they recently did with the September 17th illegal street arrest and due process killing disappearance’ of attorney and activist dissident, Andy Ostrowski.

Oh, you thought they did that only in Russia! The true history is that The American Dark State INVENTED it along with the formation of the CIA and the Soviet Union merely copied it. Apparently, you’ve never heard of the infamous Homan Ave police detention center in Chicago? Where it was impossible for your lawyer to find you after you were arrested?

Instead of just arranging for you to be an “unfortunate victim” of an armed robber and shot dead like Hilary’s campaign staffer Seth Rich, who some say knew way too much about something that could kill her campaign (still not solved). Or a suspicious suicide like Vince Foster, remember that one related to Shady Clinton business dealings? (still not solved).

But if you’re merely a vocal dissident with a growing political following, there are less violent tricks of the trade totalitarian authorities use such as simply remove you by arranging for you to be “picked up for your own safety” (same way they’ll eventually get all our guns) as well as the public’s safety, because you are obviously mentally ill if you talk too much toward the government to where it might incite people to vote.

 

This is Why Conventional Preparedness Wisdom is Deadly!

 

There was some recent law maker talk about anti-gov speech being made into some kind of prohibited law!

Then you will be lost in the matrix of bureaucratic red tape, never to be found, until they feel like letting you go after their government psychiatrist prescribed sedative drugs they treated you with left your brain with little desire to activate over any cause ever again.

And you still wonder why so many people have “visions of bushcraft homesteading dancing” in their heads?

Currently our so-called free society here does have some current and growing levels of below radar existence if you consider living like an illegal immigrant or a sleeper cell ISIS group or something like that. You could say these are pretty far off grid, but it would not be in a good way.

They cannot step out of their social status into what authorities call “going deep dark” or “lone wolf”, which is a misrepresented term. Just to maintain such a meager sustenance these types of people need others to depend on and things like fake I.D.s and unreliable associates. Once they do, they’re on radar again, and the authorities will be hot on their trail.

But can’t I just opt out of society and live my own life the way I want? I’m not a criminal fugitive or anything, I just want to be left alone and live as quietly and privately as possible.

Isn’t there a way just to be law abiding, but minding my own business and avoid contact with anybody and not be a constant victim of their agenda based for-profit rip-off abuse on my personal life and money, without getting into all that radical stuff???

It Depends

One of the advantages in a capitalistic society is that money goes a long way towards fixing personal problems in any venue and any scenario. The wealthier you are, the easier it is to disappear and virtually never be bugged by anyone including the government (as long as you pay your taxes).

On a bare bones budget level it’s more difficult but it can be done. But probably the first thing you would need to do, is realize that you would have to change your lifestyle, and especially your location.

And for some it might be fairly dramatic and emotionally troublesome. But for most, just the sheer inconvenience and work outside of your normal life ritual would be too much of sticker shock of a life transition and an automatic deterrent.

Still, some people have valid reasons to go below radar off grid and often no longer have any choice but would even welcome an escape from the typical 8 to 5 lifestyle with a heavily mortgaged three bedroom two car garage home with 2.5 kids, and 1.5 pets.

But hurdles would still exist. Mostly economic. And because of the sub-culture of literally one third of the workforce adults barely existing hand to mouth from pay check to pay check, it is no longer considered a “such a shame” to reconsider a major life change. In any case this requires very pensive rumination.

Because you need to understand what off-grid really means.

But let’s say you simply can’t stand it anymore! You want to cut the twisted umbilical cord to the nanny state womb, and you made up your mind that you seriously want to give it a shot anyway.

What Should We Do?

Okay, here’s the main tricks, tips, and flips.

1. Get Off the Radar Screens

If the government or anybody is NOT LOOKING for you, you won’t be found! Remember, they CAN find anybody if they really want to, but they are not actively looking for everybody.

So don’t let them target you. Don’t buy form 4,473 guns every week. Buy them privately and pay cash. Don’t do anything that will make them come after you and you’re pretty safe from scrutiny.

It’s a shame we have to be so “defensive” like this but we made our own beds and now have to sleep in them. I still wax fondly reminiscent of the days when They knew they had NO business violating our private lives. Now it’s BIG Business.

However, if you think you’re going off the grid and below radar so that you can skip your student loan debt, IRS tax liens, child support payment, etc. then forget about it. All this kind of stuff comes back to your driver’s license, especially the new National I.D Card ones we all MUST have now, by unconstitutional illegal law.

Unless you are hiding primitively up in the mountains like some weird Sasquatch eating grubs, roots, and berries all day and only peddling your bike down the trail every few months for emergency supplies, sooner or later you’ll be rudely dragged back in the grid from that remote mountain paradise, when some bored sheriff’s deputy with nothing better to do than check on strangers takes a second glance at you.

2. Become Untrackable

This is probably going to be the hardest thing to do to consider yourself really off the grid. And it’s a lengthy process to untangle yourself from a spider web Grid.

Everybody knows that being on Facebook or Twitter or everything else is directly reporting your life’s activities and thoughts to the big “cloud” in the sky where the big all-seeing NSA, CIA ‘EYE’ lives. To really become off grid and under the radar you must unplug yourself from the mainstream computer.

Remember, there are specialty resources for this. One really doesn’t need to get this deep into it. If you just want to homestead and self-sustain somewhere private and get off the conventional power grid, you don’t have to get so primitive that you don’t even have a computer.

But it’s not a bad idea to read one of those “how to disappear” books on Amazon to get an idea how thoroughly you are connected to society.

3. Find the Right Off Grid Location

This will likely be the biggest challenge. The problem is that municipalities are often ugly little siblings of Big Brother.

I seems like they stay up late at night trying to figure out new ordinances and ways to tax or fine you into compliance in everything from size and type of housing you MUST have, to what you can do in terms of growing or hunting or recreating on your own private land.

And it gets worse if your land is close to wetlands or has a pond or stream through it. The Feds are usually in on that tyranny as well. This is because county municipalities are going broke due to excessive patronage jobs provided by the town officials to their feckless friends, and recalcitrant relatives who otherwise would fall to the laws of natural selection by themselves.

So many do not allow full time living on your own property in a nice modern travel trailer, for instance! And restrict you to minimum square footage requirements on new built construction so you pay more in property taxes.

And many will allow you—if you file special paperwork/permits and pay an inspector–to have a solar or other off grid power system, but you STILL must be connected to the conventional power line grid besides! Obviously because there’s a monthly base charge whether you use their electricity or not as long as you’re connected.

So this is an important first step. You must determine an off-grid friendly location in which to purchase your own piece of land. These are out there.

The problem is they’re not advertised as such and you have to search them out and find out the local codes. And most of the time they’ll be pretty remote. Deep in the Yukon you can probably find some land at a good price where there’s probably no building codes. Also up in the Canadian Wilderness.

And they say you can find heavenly peace and solitude “Down in the Bayou” Country where the climate might be more hospitable if you don’t mind snakes and alligators and who knows what else?

So make up your mind only after you decide exactly what the extent of your off grid life actually will mean to you, and how much privacy you can afford.

If you are on a fixed retirement income, then that will be your determining cost factor. If you are still stuck in a job that’s location locked then the next best thing is to start prepping for your retirement off grid location.

Or do like some people I know who found themselves a suitable location away from where they must live now, bought at least the land and will begin the steady set up of their off grid retreat as an ongoing project for a future transition.

4. Get a Trust or LLC as an Alt Identity

It’s too complicated to explain here why this is a very good idea for privacy and off-grid security. If you pay cash for your retreat location and have ownership in a Trust or registered in a business, this is the best way to go. Especially if you are into unplugging yourself as much as possible from the New World Order. Even your vehicles can be owned by the Trust or LLC or Nevada type corp. And nobody can just ‘check’ on your property anytime they want to see who owns it.

5. Last but NOT the Least…

…stop dreaming about it and get proactive!

If you’re one of those liberty minded free choice loving hold outs who can’t stand all this government overbearing authority, and truly don’t want to lose every last single bit of privacy (even smart toilets are coming), it would be best to start working on your emancipation from the grid ASAP.

Once a few final straws whack the collective Camel’s back, like the imminent elimination of cash (and illegalization and prohibition of using gold as alt currency) in favor of an all digital daily commerce system, it will become more and more difficult to get comfortably off grid and below radar if you haven’t already done so.

As this is being written the UK has the world’s first food store where customers use their palm finger vein scans as a credit card and facial recognition scans as identification. China is expanding fast on this.

In the U.S. distance radar scanners with biometric facial recognition (linked from your National I.D. card drivers license holographic photo) are being installed to instantly search and identify anyone just walking around an airport or train terminal.

So if you’re going to go off grid and below radar, better get started NOW!

This article has been written by Mahatma Muhjesbude for Survivopedia.

References:

www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/19/homan-square-chicago-police-disappeared-thousands

telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/20/british-supermarket-offers-payment-fingerprint-worldwide-first/

7 Steps To Increase Privacy When Using The Internet

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Internet Privacy

Software manufacturers, utility companies, hotels, law enforcement, banks, government agencies and criminals all stand to gain from you surrendering your privacy. They are all selling the lie that you must be a drug dealer or a terrorist if you prefer to communicate anonymously.

It’s brainwashing. Don’t be a sheeple. Good guys value privacy too.

Americans have traditionally valued privacy very highly. Many still do. Many have “voted with their feet” and moved to less densely populated Western states and Alaska.

“The Greatest Generation” and those who lived through the great depression counted privacy among our inalienable, God-given rights. Americans stood united on the issue from the founding fathers right up until “generation x”.

It’s pretty easy to spot when privacy began its cycle of demise.

But what changed? What initiated the down-hill slide? Why was this cherished fundamental of the American dream devalued? How did we lose our grip on it?

These questions affect us all. Many factors joined forces to wage war on privacy, and now it’s our turn to fight back taking these seven steps to protect our privacy.

1. Implement Strong Physical Security

Ever heard that possession is nine tenths of the law? All jurisdictions recognize that you have rights regarding your home or place of residence. Make use of them. They are barrier to those who abide by or at least fear the law. For the rest, you need to make sure your property is not a worthwhile target. Don’t leave physical deterrents out of the privacy equation.

On the technology side of the equation, you might have decent security and SOP in place. No passwords written down anywhere near the computer.

But if someone gets into the same room with your computer, there are any number of ways to penetrate that security. They could install a keystroke logger that makes a note of your every keystroke. So do due diligence in regards to physical security.

  1.  Encrypt, Encrypt, Encrypt and Encrypt Some More

Encryption is one of the very best tools in your arsenal. As long as your data is properly encrypted, even if all your other security measures fail, no useful information will come out of the encrypted data … period, end of story.

If you only take one single piece of information away from this steps, make sure it’s to create effective data encryption SOP and follow it to the letter.

If you do this one thing, even if your enemies descend upon your home like the US Military on Bin Laden or put crime tape around or bag everything and every property you own, they won’t get a shred of useful data.

They will have to rely purely on external, largely circumstantial, sources of evidence.

Encryption Internet

  1.  Don’t Adopt New Technology Prematurely

Choose not to adopt emergent technology until security bugs have been found and patched and you understand how the new technology will impact your privacy.

There are many reasons not to adopt these new technologies prematurely:

  • You pay a premium to be on the “bleeding edge” of technology.
  • Why beta-test (troubleshoot) a manufacturer’s new product for them? Waiting until the first round or two of patches or revisions have been made ensures a more robust platform.
  • Many new products are highly proprietary when they first hit the market so you will be locked in to the options offered by the manufacturer. Once the other manufacturers have time to respond, you will have far more options to customize the product to your needs, resulting in a superior solution.
  • Lastly and most important to this course, it’s much safer to adopt a technology after it has been poured over and reverse-engineered by privacy experts and they have published their findings.
  1. Don’t Create New Online Accounts that Hamper Your OPSEC

Delete any that you already have submitted. How many accounts do you have with email services, search engines, banks, investments, utility companies, internet service providers, credit cards, social media, shopping, schools, organizations, backup services, file sharing, software developers, app stores, entertainment, games or other types of websites online?

And how many of them do you use on a consistent basis?

Remember that every account is a potential OPSEC liability. Learn how to decrease your exposure when you do create accounts.

Some of you may want to get rid of any accounts you created before you learned how to create them and use them without creating undue vulnerability.

  1. Configure Your Technology’s Privacy Related Settings

Configure content and settings of hardware, software, apps and accounts to reflect the level of privacy you desire and don’t choose hardware, software, apps or accounts that will affect your privacy in ways that are unacceptable to you

If you participate in social media using your real name and information, you are volunteering all kinds of information to anyone who’s interested.

If your employer or a potential employer, employee or anyone else for that matter looks up information that you voluntarily posted to social media sites that you participate in, that’s on you. You put it out there for everyone to see.

Many websites and developers are now at least paying lip service to privacy because folks like us are making a lot of noise about the issue and it’s costing them brand equity which translates into money. The result is that privacy settings and privacy statements have come about.

We’ve argued long and hard for them, so use them. Read the statements and third party security reviews to discern which features and settings of your hardware, software and sites you use will make a difference.

In many instances, you may need to stop using them and use a competitive product that values your privacy or at least recognizes that the concept still exists. Invest the time to understand and configure your technology’s privacy-related settings to protect and limit distribution of your information as opposed to volunteering as much information as possible.

Make use of technology as a tool to effect change on a large scale. Lastly, take into account who each device, software, app or account is created by, their privacy philosophy, where they are physically located, and what jurisdiction it falls under.

The Homeland Security alphabet soup might squeeze American companies left and right or accuse them of being unpatriotic if they don’t grant unfettered access to email accounts but that’s not as easy to do in another countries.

Some US agencies even infiltrate large companies someone deems vital to national security. They recruit employees to spy for them. This is not exactly top secret knowledge. But that’s not as easy to do in other countries, especially in countries that take a dim view of recently exposed US espionage activities.

  1.  Delete or Destroy

If you ever have to defend your life with a firearm in the US, you will likely have to defend yourself again in court.

Once you’ve fulfilled your responsibilities of informing the authority and calling for assistance if your attorney was standing to the side and saw the whole thing, he would probably walk over to you and staple your tongue to the roof of your mouth.

He would do it to shut you up because he knows that the burden of proof is on the prosecution and he wouldn’t want you saying anything that might make the prosecution’s job any easier. He would do it even if he was certain you were innocent because he wouldn’t want to give the other side any more resources to work with than they already have.

The same principle applies to privacy, and everything, not just computer files. Crosscut shred paper, redact everything else. If you need to submit receipts for reimbursement, they might need to see your name and the amount, but do they need your credit card billing address or confirmation numbers that might yield more information?

When it comes to information, get rid of anything and everything you don’t need, especially  data or computer files of any kind. Give the following criterion a try: if it’s not beautiful, useful or cherished, get rid of it.

Think of it as giving whoever is after your information less to work with. Sanitize everything you can obtain access to as long as you don’t have to break any laws to do so. The more unnecessary copies of data you have laying around, the more complicated the task of managing and securing them will become.

When it’s time to get rid of sensitive information, don’t just delete it or format the drive and throw it in the trash or give it away. Data can be extracted from many storage media even after it has been deleted or the drive has been formatted.

The storage device must be destroyed using data destruction protocols. Destroy the hard drives, SSD’s flash memory, magnetic or optical and any other durable storage medium in such a way that makes the data unrecoverable. Memory technology is constantly in a state of flux.

Different methods are used to destroy a hard drive that stores data on a magnetic medium than a solid state hard drive or an optical disc or a tape drive and so on. It’s a simple matter to look it up or we can go into more detail in a more in-depth course. The important thing to take away here is to research how to destroy the data on the device before attempting to destroy it.

Do not simply destroy it. If you need to destroy data in a hurry, there are ways to do that. Systems can be created where you can literally “push a button” and walk away, but they usually involve the release of a large amount of energy in the form of heat and light and are noisy.

Video first seen on Snocrash.

  1.  Remove or Change Sensitive Information from Databases

By law, many businesses must remove your information from their databases if you request it. The largest, most-used non-governmental databases are maintained by large, legitimate businesses. Their internal SOPs require employees to obey the law.

If they didn’t, they would expose themselves to huge liabilities, and by law, they must remove you from their database if you request it.

Opt out. You didn’t make your digital breadcrumb trail in a day and you’re not going to get rid of it in one. Get your identity squared away first and create a new email specifically for this purpose. Choose a secure email provider from those recommended or find one that meets your needs. Don’t use that email for anything else but getting removed from email lists.

Many will let you remove yourself without requiring a pound of flesh. Click and you are out. Others will make you email them so they can email you back with a link that will enable you to remove yourself from the database, that’s where this email will come in handy. They may ask you to send an email requesting removal and will email you the link that will enable you to remove yourself from their database, so it will be more believable if the email resembles your name in some way.

I doubt you’ll come under scrutiny if the name of your email has nothing to do with your name, but it’s a thought. Some companies will demand to see ID. It’s a process, not an event, but it’s worth it.

What you can’t delete or encrypt can often be changed. The vast majority of search techniques search only the most current data available in order to avoid reporting incorrect, information because it’s useless for most purposes. So changing the information, effectively overwrites it in most databases for most purposes.

You need to decide to whom you will give real information and to whom you will give misinformation. In life and as you take steps to improve your privacy, companies will ask you for information. They will turn around and give it or sell it to all of their parent or sibling corporations, affiliates and pretty much anyone with a dollar in their pocket. Direct marketers buy lists of information all the time.

If you conduct a business today, you are asked for sensitive information at every turn. If you refuse to give information, it will create a very awkward moment that gets you noticed at the very least and in many cases they will refuse to do business with you or remove your name form their list if that’s why you’re contacting them.

I strongly caution you against giving false information to the government, commit identity fraud by using another person’s identity or committing credit fraud by lying on a credit application.

You can provide misinformation without breaking any laws, just be mindful of the law. After all, if you’re giving it up, you’re giving up your rights.

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This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia. 

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6 Ways To Defeat Facial Recognition Cameras

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Survivopedia facial recognitionWould you like the ability to control when your image is or is not captured by facial recognition software?

Many Americans feel abuse of this technology routinely violates either the God-given or constitutional rights of US citizens.

Facial recognition software enables the image of a subject to be identified by assigning values for the relative proportions of aspects of the subject’s face, and then comparing to databases of values for the faces of individuals whose identity is known, such as databases of passports, military ID’s, driver’s licenses, law enforcement databases, year books, school records and so on.

Newer technologies employ three-dimensional information about the shape of a face and skin texture analysis. This information can be misused to violate rights such as freedom of assembly, freedom of movement and, some believe, can constitute unlawful search and seizure or other rights violations.

Rights and property predate law. Law was created in order to protect rights and property, but is now all too often used to legally plunder them.

Professor Alessandro Acquisti conducted a series of experiments at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) which identified strangers, identified their personal information and, in some cases, even social security numbers and credit reports. The experiments were both on-line and off-line and used only photos, social media and resources available to end users.

He demonstrated the ability at the BlackHat security conference in Las Vegas … five years ago in 2011!

Think this technology is only available to the government and highly paid private investigators? Unfortunately, it’s attainable by pretty much anyone who knows how to read and has the will and a smartphone. CMU even developed an app that overlays personal information on an image of the person’s face.

I don’t think the fact that facial recognition software and social media increase privacy risks is a new idea to most people, but I think that the seriousness of their personal exposure often is. People tell me all the time that they don’t like to think about privacy, and global surveys bear out the fact that people tend to ignore known cybersecurity risks the world over.

Does your own normalcy bias extend to social media?

Is privacy a factor when you choose smartphone apps?

Do you manage your on-line data footprint?

How easy would it be to identify you using facial recognition?

I’m not talking about the government, police or tech nerds wearing products like Google Glass here. I’m talking about anybody with the will and a smartphone being able to not only identify you, but access your personal or sensitive information.

I’m sure most of you do not lay awake nights worrying about whether it is possible to identify you through facial recognition, but could you successfully avoid facial recognition if you determined you had a need to do so?

Many preppers find it useful to consider “what if” scenarios involving grid-down, WROL (Without Rule of Law) scenarios in the theoretical vacuum of a technology-free world. Placing theoretical boundaries on survival scenarios is fine for recreational daydreaming, but less effective as an aid to serious preparation. With the sheer number of cameras in circulation, some will likely still be working in the majority of scenarios.

A reversible hat, two or more hats of different colors and designs may enable you to quickly change your appearance enough to escape detection by someone with a verbal description of you.

Hats, long-sleeved shirts, hoodies, reversible jackets, sunglasses, umbrellas, newspapers and gloves are all tools that aid in masking physical characteristics, enabling you to stand out less if you have to travel through, as area where you may be perceived as an outsider or wish to remain anonymous, on or off camera.

  1. Camera Finders

Cameras can sometimes be detected and avoided if you see them before they see you, or if you know where they are ahead of time. Then they can be neutralized with something as simple as a disguise, a tilt of the head or placement of an opaque object between you and the camera you wish to avoid.

wegaOne of the easiest ways to detect cameras is to use a camera finder.

Camera finders would be more correctly called reflection or lens finders because they use light reflected off camera lenses to find hidden cameras.

These devices typically have a lens or filter that the operator looks through to sweep an area for cameras while the device projects light, which is reflected back by camera lenses and highlighted when the operator looks through the camera finder’s lens or filter which matches the color of light.

Some devices employ magnified lenses and can aid in the detection of cameras at 6′-30′ distance. Some operate in the NIR range so you don’t have to darken the room in order for the device to be effective.

Alternatively, you could use a wireless camera finder, but they only find wireless cameras that are transmitting. You could use a glint finder, but they are really designed to find a camera with a flash by illuminating the retro-reflective material in the flash element, but they can sometimes aid in finding a lens.

Or you could try a glint finder app. They attempt to employ your smartphone LED as a glint finder, but I yet to see one that I would describe as effective.

Pro’s

  • Compact.
  • Helps you find cameras to up your situational awareness, improve your security and better avoid them.
  • Works on cameras whether they are on or not.
  • A simple version of this tools can be improvised out of materials you probably have laying around the house or could buy at a Walmart if you enjoy the thought of hastening the US economy along its charted course. Not one of your many skills? Pull up an Instructable or “How To” article on-line.

Con’s

  • Won’t find a camera if it is hidden behind a reflective surface like a one-way mirror, so you should inspect any reflective surfaces to make sure they are one-way and don’t have any pinholes.
  • Only identifies cameras as opposed to “tricking” facial recognition software.
  • The process of sweeping for cameras will seem strange under most circumstances if done in public.
  • Today, cameras have lenses, but innovators are working hard on lens-less camera designs that would not be able to be detected by this technology.
  • Quality varies.
  1. Clothing and Accessories with NIR LEDs

These products use bright NIR LEDs to overload the light sensors on a digital cameras resulting in unusable images.

According to Kit Eaton at FastCompany, if you wear clothing or accessories that protect your privacy, you are “cartoonishly paranoid.” But manufacturers do not seem to be bothered by liberal media naysayers and are making clothing and accessories with features like NIR LEDs to defeat surveillance and facial recognition cameras.

gogglesThe first product I saw was a pair of eyeglasses designed by professors Isao Echizen and Seiichi Gohshi of Kogakuin University. They sported an array of 11 NIR LEDs in front of the face to blind digital cameras. Now there are baseball caps, hoods and even a burqa.

Pro’s

  • Some are not overtly visible to the naked eye.
  • Can be integrated into clothing and accessories.
  • Can be a DIY project.

Con’s

  • Very obvious on camera that you are using the technology.
  • It hides your face as opposed to “tricking” the camera that you are someone else.
  • Writers might call you names.
  1. Retro-reflective Clothing and Accessories

Wearing clothing that has even a couple of inches of surface area that is retro-reflective makes it trivially easy for anyone with a flashlight or night vision with an IR illuminator to find you in the dark, but it can also blind cameras in much the same way that NIR LEDs do.

androidJust make sure the material is near your face. Retro-reflective eyeglass frames and hoodies with retro-reflective trim are two effective options.

slidehoodieCertain materials like BlackMagic by 3M do not reflect visible light, but do reflect NIR light.

Pro’s

  • Not necessarily overtly visible to the naked eye.
  • Good for night signaling in an emergency.
  • Good for roadside safety.

Con’s

  • Users stand out to searchlights at night.
  • Very obvious on camera that you are using the technology.
  • It hides your face as opposed to “tricking” the camera that you are someone else.
  1. URME Prosthetic Mask

This high quality prosthetic mask of the face of privacy activist Leo Selvaggio is not your typical Halloween mask.

The name is pronounced “U-R-Me” and I believe the mask started on Indiegogo and may still be available on ThatsMyFace.com. The mask fools Facebook’s facial recognition software and are sold at cost because Selvaggio believes that everyone has the right to privacy.

selvaggioThis mask is so high quality that the chances of someone calling you on it on the street are pretty slim as long as nothing looks out of place with the rest of your appearance and you don’t have to speak to them. But a facial recognition camera is not going to notice that your lips are not moving.

Pro’s

  • Convenient.
  • Quick change.
  • High quality.

Con’s

  • Expensive at $400.
  • “Why are you wearing a mask?”
  • If someone stops you, and you speak, they will probably notice that your lips aren’t moving.
  • Some software may eventually filter out this “face” unless masks of many more faces are made.
  1. Hair & Makeup

By styling hair and wearing makeup in certain patterns, facial recognition can be fooled.

makeupAdam Harvey devoted his master’s thesis to fooling facial recognition and arrived at the makeup patterns in the image. He says that they work by throwing off the symmetry that the software recognizes as a human face.

If you are going to apply camouflage makeup, why not incorporate a pattern that will fool facial recognition cameras?

Pro’s

  • Inexpensive.
  • Probably not going to motivate someone to call the police and report you.
  • DIY.

Con’s

  • May not work 100% of the time.
  • “Why are you dressed like that?“
  • Not quick or convenient to change your appearance.
  1. Balaclava, Sunglasses & Hat

I always have one or more hats, some quality sunglasses and a balaclava in my EDC bag and use this method to protect my identity in photos I post to social media or when editors, radio shows or Expo’s want a head shot.

cacheOne of my favorites is a no-drip, fire and flash-resistant flesh tone balaclava of DryMax material, but I have others I wear in cold weather or for specific purposes. I like the Shemaughlava by 782 Gear too and always have a large 100% cotton handkerchief or shemagh handy.

The same tools can help protect you from exposure, protect your eyes or can help protect your identity if you have to do something you’re not proud of in a world full of cameras.

When things go sideways and the lights go out, I find comfort in reaching for low tech tools to solve the problems at hand and hats and balaclavas are just that.

If you use this method, be sure to cover as much of your face as possible. Object recognition does not use the covered portions of your face and some software can identify faces with as little as 30%-50% of the face unobstructed.

Pro’s

  • Easy to explain why you carry it.
  • Low tech.
  • Multi-use.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Practical.

Con’s

  • Hides you as opposed to “tricking” the camera.
  • Will not work with thermal imaging unless you use materials designed to do so such as multi-spectral camouflage.
Whether facial recognition is of the high-tech or low-tech variety, some survivors will be identified with the aid of camera technology, hunted down, tried and punished for crimes…not necessarily in that order, and even if the “crime” was simply being of the wrong political affiliation, race, ethnicity or nationality. This happened in and after the Balkans wars in the 1990’s. So prepare and beware!

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This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.

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Apple’s Fight To Bar The Back Door

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Apple FBIA few weeks ago, there was an interesting and far-reaching development in the San Bernardino terrorist investigation. The FBI went to Apple and asked them for help in retrieving data from the iPhone of one of the terrorists.

That phone, which is owned by the employer, is suspected of having information about contacts, which might lead the FBI to find other terrorists and stop further terrorist action. Needless to say, it’s obvious why the FBI is interested in having access to that information.

Apparently, Apple has cooperated with the FBI up to a point. They provided information which had been backed up to the cloud. Under current law, they are required to do that, if presented with a court order. So far, so good.

But the FBI wasn’t satisfied with that. They wanted Apple to give them access directly to the phone. It seems that an employee of the San Bernardino County reset the password for the phone’s iCloud account, perhaps following normal procedures for their organization. This meant that the phone could no longer perform backups to the cloud. So, Apple can’t access any new information, because it is not on their cloud.

This is where things started getting sticky. Apple’s products apparently have some pretty robust security features, including some complex encryption software. As part of this, if anyone tries to input the password ten times and fails, it scrubs the memory. With today’s memory, that takes less than a second.

By building this feature in to the phone’s security, Apple has succeeded in eliminating the most common method of breaking a password, known as “brute force”. Without it, the NSA or even the FBI’s own computer techs, could connect the phone to a computer, which would keep trying passwords until it encountered the right one. While a time consuming process, computers streamline it considerably.

So the FBI went back to Apple and asked them to create a special version of their operating system, which would allow them to circumnavigate the existing security in the phone and access the data. Score one point for the FBI as being the bad guys (loud obnoxious buzzer going off).

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, had a simple answer for the FBI, “No.” Score one point for Apple as the good guys (clanging bell going off). The two are currently in litigation, as Apple fights to protect the privacy of all their customers. Score another point for Apple (more clanging bells).

So what’s the real issue here? Basically the FBI is asking Apple to create what’s known in the computer world (especially amongst hackers) a back door into their software. Such back doors allow those in the know to access the device’s memory, bypassing all the security measures in place. As such, they are a hacker’s dream, as well as that of government agents.

Apple claims, and I have no reason to disbelieve them, that there is no such back door in the Apple iOS operating system and that they never will create it. I guess that makes 3 points for Apple (I’m getting tired of those bells). Their stated reason? The security of their customers. Even though the FBI claims that they will never use that software again, but only use it for this one case, Apple doesn’t believe them (buzzer time again, the FBI is down 2).

Now, c’mon; does anyone believe the government would never use such a tool again, if they are granted it? I sure don’t. Government is constantly asking for things for the best of reasons and with the best of intentions. But it doesn’t stay that way. Before long, what was meant for good is turned to nefarious uses by our government.

Just look at the Patriot Act and other laws which Congress enacted during Bush’s presidency. While they were written for the specific act of combating terrorism and state so, Obama’s administration is using them against anyone on the right who stands against them. By redefining who is a terrorist, they are taking a law meant for good and turning it to bad. That’s how they are managing to charge the ranchers who protested in Oregon and those who supported Clive Bundy with terrorism.

Since the government has the ability and authority to define who is a terrorist and what criteria make one a terrorist, they can twist laws intended to be used against terrorists, to be used against anyone they want. That puts all of us at risk.

The information on someone’s cell phone is private and should stay that way. For that matter, the information on their tablet, their laptop, their desktop computer and in their e-mail accounts should remain private too. The only information that should be public should be what the individual decides to make public. But the government doesn’t see it that way. They regularly grab our data in the name of national security.

The argument from the left is always that if you don’t have anything to hide, you shouldn’t mind the government looking at your data. Really? Just recently a teacher lost her job, because she had sent some nude pictures of herself to her husband. A student got their hands on those pictures and she was fired. She hadn’t done anything wrong; I’m sure most women would rather have their husbands looking at pictures of them naked, rather than another woman. But because someone else did something wrong with her pictures, she is being punished.

There’s a very good reason why private data should remain private and it doesn’t have anything to do with people breaking the law. That is that our private lives contain things that should not become public knowledge. Regardless of how that student gained access to the teacher’s pictures, he had no right to do so. Those were her private pictures on her private phone. What the student did was technically hacking, even if it was social hacking, rather than software hacking.

The battle that Apple is fighting is one to protect our privacy… what little bit of it we have left. The government has been encroaching on our privacy for years, in an ever-increasing way, and there’s no question that they are continuing to do so. This “request” by the FBI is nothing more than one more battle in the government’s war to strip us of all privacy.

Edward Snowden made it clear that government agents can’t be trusted with our data. Nor can businesses for that matter. Both are constantly data mining, trying to find out about us and building files on us. But while businesses only do this in order to sell us products, the government is doing it in order to control us. Of the two, the government is clearly more dangerous.

I thank Apple for taking a stand for our freedom and for protecting our privacy. They are doing the right thing, even though it is hard and even though it will see them in court, defending themselves and all of us, from government encroachment.

You know, the really crazy thing about all this is that I really doubt that the FBI needs the software that they’re asking for. I’m sure that there are ways that they can get into an iPhone and access the data. The NSA is the world’s foremost encryption and decryption agency in the world. They regularly crack security systems which I imagine are more robust than Apple’s. Maybe they don’t have a back door to use, but they must be able to crack it. Even if they can’t they could always take out the memory chip and read it directly.

Data security is a big issue in our modern day lives. It’s not just important to companies and governments, but to individuals as well. Can you imagine being that teacher and seeing your own pictures being shared around the school? How embarrassing! And then to be treated like a criminal, even though she hadn’t done anything wrong.

Our lives aren’t meant to be that much of an open book. Even those who live in the public eye need privacy. We all need the ability to disappear from public scrutiny and just be ourselves, with people that we can trust. That’s what privacy is for. If the FBI wins their case and forces Apple to produce a back door for their software, then they will steal that privacy from literally millions of people. That’s not right.

It is time for We the People to start standing up to our government and making our voices heard. We are so accustomed to being ignored, that most of us have stopped talking. But that has to change. Our government will never do the things we want, unless we repeat it over and over again. We need to write our representatives and tell them what we want. We need to write letters to the editors. We need to take a stand and go out in public to do so. Otherwise, they will continue along the road they are traveling, ignoring us.

Maybe our elected officials will be dense and slow to listen, but if we persevere, they will eventually hear us. They might try to dissuade us or to ignore us, but they can only do that for so long. Eventually, if we stand our ground and keep saying the same thing, they will have to hear. If not, we still hold the power of the vote.

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This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

References:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/teacher-resigns-nude-pictures-cellphone-37363865

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