The Chinese government has done everything it can to eradicate the photo above from the Internet. They are far from alone in this sort of behavior. From Russian political assassinations to wholesale monitoring of communications by Western democracies, our rights are threatened everywhere both by the “good guys” and the bad. Let me introduce you to some of the projects that are throwing a wrench into the works.
In addition to having been an EFF member on and off since the mid-90s, I operate two Tor servers, one here in the States and one in the EU.
“Onion routing” started off as a DoD project in the 1990s to allow secure and anonymous access to sites on the Internet.
Today Tor, based on an MIT implementation started about 20 years ago, is available for everyone to use. You can read more about Tor’s history here.
For those who arrived on this page because they live in a place with a repressive government that takes a dim view of VPN usage and that sort of thing, I recommend using a bridge.
I’m a supporting member of Bellingcat, the world’s first open-source intelligence agency. They are probably best known for their dogged investigation of the Navalny poisoning. If you are interested in learning more about the organization I highly recommend reading We Are Bellingcat.
Tools and Tricks
Some things you can do to enhance your personal security, short of using Tor for everything:
Firefox is free software and committed to privacy. If you’re using another popular browser, consider switching.
Signal offers end-to-end encryption for home users, and has apps for both phones and desktop usage. If you’re relying on SMS or (worse) Facebook Messenger for sensitive communications, check out Signal.
If you’d like a free email account not run by a huge corporation notorious for ignoring people’s privacy rights, check out Protonmail, operated out of Switzerland. My own domain jmr.is has its email hosted there.