We live in a time where acquisition technologies are cherry picking and collating every aspect of our online lives
New York, NY (PRWEB) September 19, 2006
Hacktivismo, an international group of computer security experts and human rights workers, just released Torpark, an anonymous, fully portable Web browser based on Mozilla Firefox. Torpark comes pre-configured, requires no installation, can run off a USB memory stick, and leaves no tracks behind in the browser or computer. Torpark is a highly modified variant of Portable Firefox, that uses the TOR (The Onion Router) network to anonymize the connection between the user and the website that is being visited.
“We live in a time where acquisition technologies are cherry picking and collating every aspect of our online lives,” said Hacktivismo founder Oxblood Ruffin. “Torpark continues Hacktivismo’s commitment to expanding privacy rights on the Internet. And the best thing is, it’s free. No one should have to pay for basic human rights, especially the right of privacy.”
Torpark is being released under the GNU General Public License and is dedicated to the Panchen Lama*.
HOW TORPARK WORKS
When a user logs onto the Internet, a unique IP address is assigned to manage the computer’s identity. Each website the user visits can see and log the user's IP address. Hostile governments and data thieves can easily monitor this interaction to correlate activity and pinpoint a user's identity.
Torpark causes the IP address seen by the website to change every few minutes to frustrate eavesdropping and mask the requesting source. For example, a user could be surfing the Internet from a home computer in Ghana, and it might appear to websites that the user was coming from a university computer in Germany or any other country with servers in the TOR network.
It is important to note that the data passing from the user's computer into the TOR network is encrypted. Therefore, the user’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) cannot see the information that is passing through the Torpark browser, such as the websites visited, or posts the user might have made to a forum. The ISP can only see an encrypted connection to the TOR network.
However, users must understand that there are limitations to the anonymity. Torpark anonymizes the user’s connection but not the data. Data traveling between the client and the TOR network is encrypted, but the data between the TOR network and websites is unencrypted. Therefore, the user should not use his/her username or password on websites that do not offer a secure login and session (noted by a golden padlock at the bottom of the Torpark browser screen).
Hacktivismo is a group of international hackers, human rights workers, artists and others who seek to further the goals of human rights through technology. They operate under the aegis of the CULT OF THE DEAD COW (cDc). Hacktivismo is committed to developing technologies in support of the highest standards of human rights.
ABOUT THE CULT OF THE DEAD COW
The CULT OF THE DEAD COW (cDc) is the most influential hacking group in the world. The cDc alumni reads like a Who's Who of hacking and includes a former U.S. presidential advisor on Internet security, among others. The group is further distinguished by publishing the longest running e-zine on the Internet [est. 1984], stretching the limits of the First Amendment, and fighting anyone or any government that aspires to limit free speech.
- ABOUT THE PANCHEN LAMA
The Panchen Lama is often referred to as the world’s youngest political prisoner. In May 1995, agents of the Chinese government kidnapped the six-year-old Panchen Lama and his parents. They have not been seen or heard from since, despite repeated calls from the United Nations and international human rights organizations. Chinese officials claim that the Panchen Lama is being held in “protective custody”. Six months after the abduction, China installed its handpicked version of the Panchen Lama. The boy is forced to act as a mouthpiece for Chinese policy in Tibet, and is referred to as “the fake” by Tibetans.