breaking up with Twitter

This morning I found myself locked out of my Twitter account. Twitter claimed that my account was playing shenanigans (inconceivable!) and that to rescue my account, I had to give Twitter my phone number to validate that it’s really me.

Except Twitter never had my phone number before, so giving it to them would validate nothing.



State of the Nerd Report / Homelab Update

The last few months have been quite a ride. I’ve been busy, both at work and at play. And both influence one another. Of course, if I were going to write about work tonight, I’ve got another outlet for that. So let’s catch up on what I’ve been up to in my personal nerding.


locked out of Twitter for using Tor

If anybody finds themselves missing my tweets, note that Twitter decided to lock my account for accessing it through Tor. I thought I’d post a little bit about it, because I’m sure this has got to be a problem for people in parts of the world where they must use technology like Tor to connect and enjoy some freedom of speech.

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 5.50.28 PM (more…)

create a tor-only VLAN with a Raspberry Pi

I’m a big fan of the Tor Project. It’s really encouraging to see more people using it, and more people setting up bridges, relays, and exit nodes.

What I’d like to see more of is publicly available networks that transparently redirect clients’ Internet connectivity through Tor. My first step here is going to be aimed more at someone with the means by which to set up many wireless access points on a campus, like perhaps an office building or a University. In these environments, it is typical for wireless networks to be created on different VLANs, with multiple SSID’s advertised, and each SSID being linked to a different VLAN. Often you might have a staff SSID and a guest SSID.

But because the host is concerned about bad behavior or misuse of the guest network coming back to haunt them, access is extremely locked down. Perhaps they only allow simple web browsing and nothing more. And access is not granted without knowing a guest network password, or having to go through a captive portal.

Let’s dispense with all of that and use an inexpensive Raspberry Pi Model B to create a Tor-only guest VLAN. (more…)

Take Back Your Freedom: Use Tor

Tighten up the tinfoil hats, folks; this is going to be that kind of day.

I know my readership extends to Europe and beyond, and I’m going to try to bear that potentially international audience in mind as I write this. But first and foremost, I am an American, and embrace libertarian sensibilities that may seem out of the ordinary for the contemporary political spectrum.

One of the things that Americans often say about this country is that it’s “the land of the free” or that it’s “a free country”. I scoff at this, largely because we have this really unsettling pattern of jailing non-violent people. We’re not really free in our homes, and we’re definitely not free on the Internet.

Nowhere is this more evident than on the world wide web. Go ahead and take a few minutes to look through the cookies your browser has accumulated. Don’t forget the Flash cookies. Go ahead, I’ll wait. (more…)