iPhone vs. Bitcoin: Over the years, how many iPhones could you buy for 1 Bitcoin?

ExpressVNP

Between its inception in 2009 and today, Bitcoin has enjoyed a spectacular rise in value. First traded in early 2010, the cryptocurrency was pretty much worthless through its first year.

In June 2010, when the iPhone 4 came out, it cost almost 10,000 Bitcoins (the equivalent of US$649, the price of every single standard iPhone at its release date—until the release of iPhone 8 this week).

Unlike the dollar amount, every iPhone apart from the iPhone 6S cost less Bitcoin than the one before.

How many Bitcoins did each iPhone cost at the time of release?

How many iPhones could you have bought with 10,000 Bitcoins?

How many iPhones can you get for 1 Bitcoin?

How many Bitcoins (or Satoshis) we might we have to pay for the next iPhone?

It’s not certain that Bitcoin will be able to keep up its phenomenal rally, especially given regulatory uncertainty and the universal truth that nothing can rise forever.

Also published on Medium.

ExpressVNP

What is DNS?

ExpressVNPWhat does DNS mean?

The Domain Name System (DNS) acts as the phone directory of the Internet. Instead of phone numbers, computers communicate using numeric addresses called IP addresses that look like 192.168.1.1.

Numbers are fine for computers, but humans are terrible at remembering them. Imagine having to know that to reach Google, you’d have to type in 172.217.24.196. And that’s just one site—there are millions more on the internet! You’d need a great memory or a massive notebook and an awful lot of patience to remember them all. Do you remember all of your friends’ phone numbers?

DNS solves the memory issue as it provides a way for a computer to accept a human-readable name (such as www.expressvnp.com) and convert it into an IP address.

So far so good, but here’s the catch: To find out what IP address goes with which name, you must ask a DNS server. By default, you’re most likely using your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) DNS servers, and therefore you’ll be asking their DNS server to find the IP address for you.

The problem is that to locate the IP address you want, you must tell your ISP who you want to talk to. So even though they might not see what you’re sending to and from that site, they know which sites you tried or wanted to visit, because you looked up that site’s IP address.

What does DNS allow ISPs to see when you visit a website?

Think of DNS like calling directory inquiries (we assume that’s still a thing!?). The operator will ask you who you are looking for and they will then give you that person’s phone number. If you don’t provide them with the name, they obviously can’t look up that phone number.

But that’s not all; the phone company will also know the following metadata:

  • Who you want to call (because you told them)
  • What time you made the request
  • Likely your phone number and where you called from

Altogether, they can say: “A person with phone number *** called at 7:05 pm on September 18, 2017, and asked for John Smith’s phone number”. That’s quite a lot of information about you.

What’s worse is that a third-party can assume that if you make a call to directory inquiries for a John Smith’s number, you also want to speak to said John Smith—and it’s entirely possible that he might be a person of interest to someone who is spying on you.

But how does directory inquiries relate to an internet-based scenario? If you want to visit www.expressvnp.com, then the following will occur:

  • Type the URL into your browser
  • Your computer will send a request to your DNS server to ask for the IP address
  • The DNS server will find the IP address and return it to your computer

The DNS server can see that a computer at IP address 192.168.1.1 looked up the IP address for www.expressvnp.com at 7:06 pm on September 18, 2017.

The only reason your computer would attempt to look up that name would be if you were trying to connect to it. So, much like the phone number analogy, it can be assumed that it’s a website you want to visit.

Protect your DNS traffic with ExpressVNP

The good news is that when you connect with ExpressVNP, our servers handle all of your DNS requests—not your ISP.

In fact, because ExpressVNP secures your traffic, your ISP can’t even tell if you make a DNS request. We never log DNS requests, and when we look up a name on your behalf, all any other DNS server can see is our server address—they can never see you.

As everyone on the same server shares the same DNS server as you, all the requests come from a single source, mingling your requests in with everyone else’s. Even if someone were to be interested in DNS traffic, they wouldn’t be able to isolate any particular user.

Let’s run through the directory enquire scenario again, but this time for a user secured with ExpressVNP:

  • Type www.expressvnp.com into your browser
  • The DNS lookup goes to an ExpressVNP DNS server
  • Your ISP cannot see it or even identify it as DNS traffic
  • Our DNS server makes the request on your behalf

What this then looks like to another DNS server is: An ExpressVNP server requested the address for www.expressvnp.com at 7:09 pm September 18, 2017. In short, it tells them nothing about who actually made the request, and thus your privacy is secured.

ExpressVNP

A great scam or a good investment: What is an ICO?

ExpressVNPWhat is an ICO?

An ICO is an Initial Coin Offering, which essentially means “raising money on the blockchain.”
It’s become quite the status symbol to prepare for an ICO, with Paris Hilton, Floyd Mayweather, The Game (i.e., everyone and their dog) getting in on the act.

The ICO process is ***. All you need to do is copy some code to create an Ethereum Smart Contract (more on this below) and wait for the uncensorable pseudo-anonymous cryptocurrency to roll in.

A cute website, a “whitepaper” pdf, and an experienced team of marketers are handy too.

The term ICO sounds very similar to IPO—intentionally so. As ICOs do not depend on established stock exchanges or complicated regulatory filings, they are far cheaper than an IPO, where a company can expect to pay around US$10 million for the paperwork alone.

Most people can’t easily participate in an IPO in the United States for example, but by conducting an ICO fundraiser on the blockchain, people from all over the world can take part, and buy in at the same price, rather than queueing behind influential individuals and investment banks.

The Ethereum Blockchain

Most ICOs take place on the Ethereum blockchain, which functions similar to Bitcoin in principle. The cryptocurrency used by Ethereum is called Ether. Unlike Bitcoin, however, Ethereum allows for more complicated transaction types—so-called Smart Contracts.

A *** Smart Contract could work like this:

  1. You send one Ether to the address of the Smart Contract
  2. The money is forwarded to the owners of the Smart Contract
  3. The Smart Contract creates a token and sends it back to you

At the end of the process, investors receive a token in return for real money.

The investors can now trade this token between each other in the hopes of *** a profit, similar to a stock certificate. But unlike stock, the token usually does not formally represent ownership over the company or entitle its holders to a share of the profits.

The ICO Token Economy

Instead of anything tangible, ICO fundraisers promise token holders the use of a future app or platform—the token acts as an entry ticket or in-app payment platform.

It’s hard to imagine a landscape in which every app requires its own tokens for use. We are used to free apps, and the process of acquiring specific digital currencies ahead of using an application seems rather cumbersome.

Maybe one day it will become more easy to obtain tokens automatically while using applications, but the process of using tokens for payments will always be more expensive than paying with cryptocurrency directly.

The history of ICOs

The first ICO was the development of the Ethereum blockchain itself. In 2014 a team of developers raised over US$18 million in Bitcoin in what they called a Crowdsale. When Ethereum launched in 2015, investors could redeem their tokens, trade them and use them on the Ethereum blockchain.

When the Crowdsale started, an Ether cost ~US$0.3. Today an Ether trades at around US$300—it’s returns like this that fuel the unheard of evaluations of ICOs and the dreams and desires of new investors.

Notable ICOs

The amount of money that some of the biggest ICOs have raised is dizzying. Brave raised US$35 million worth of Ether in less than 30 seconds to build a decentralized advertisement platform around their browser. Tezos raised US$230 million in two weeks to build a competitor to Ethereum, while a platform called Bancor raised US$150 million for something nobody seems to be able quite to describe.

The biggest ICO of them all, Filecoin, just completed a US$257 million ICO for what appears to be a better version of BitTorrent. For comparison, SpaceX only needed US$20 million in their initial round of funding to build reusable rockets and send them into space, and back.

Apart from defying common sense, few to none ICOs would be able to raise any money from traditional venture capitalists, who rarely give out such sums—especially to questionable projects. Though this doesn’t automatically mean they’ll all fail, there surely is little room for profit even in the unlikely event of success because most ICOs promise projects that are nothing but code. And, unlike services like Google or Amazon or products like Apple, ICOs can trivially be copied and forked into a free version after development.

Are ICOs legal? What’s the worst that could happen with an ICO?

Are ICOs legal?

Many countries, including the United States, have very tight securities laws. Whether an investment product constitutes an illegal security or not is a complicated question, but it does not depend on the technology behind the security. It doesn’t matter that the security law was passed well before the Ethereum blockchain—and blockchains in general—existed.

Beware of ICO scams

It’s almost impossible for the average small investor to conduct due diligence on ICO projects. Many make outlandish claims about their technology and promise unreasonable returns or show a misunderstanding or ignorance about how blockchains work. It is inevitable that many ICOs will turn out to be deliberate scams, or at least become an exit scams once they are found out to have insufficient technical development.

Such exit scams can include dumping tokens on the market until they are worthless (after propping up their value through marketing), or claiming funds got hacked. Others again might simply spend their funds on a lavish lifestyle before abandoning the project due to a loss of funds, while blaming the engineers for an inferior product.

Likely the first token sale that used the term ‘ICO,’ Paycoin launched their blockchain after heavy marketing and big claims in 2014. The platform collapsed in 2015, and its founder Josh Garza was charged with securities fraud shortly after and is facing up to 20 years in prison.

Think before investing in an ICO

Investors will not face jail time but could lose their money in ICOs. Securities law largely concerns the issuer, though those helping with the creation, marketing, and trading of illegal securities may be criminally liable. Of course, as an investor, you will still be concerned about the legality of the token—the developers won’t be able to build their decentralized app from jail!

Much harder to assess is whether the project makes sense or not from a technology and business perspective (in my opinion, they almost all do not make any sense whatsoever).

As an investor, you will have to assess for yourself whether you believe the technology is feasible, whether there is a use and market for it, and if the token sale will likely founders in jail before the project completion.

Keep a cool head, never let yourself taken away by emotions, and don’t invest more you can afford to lose!

Also published on Medium.

ExpressVNP

Meet the five students fighting for the future of Dutch digital privacy

ExpressVNPFive students protecting Dutch digital privacy.

UPDATE: Wednesday October 11, 2017

Meet the five students who fought for the future of Dutch digital privacy… And won!

They did it! The students behind the Sleepwet petition surpassed 300,000 signatures on Monday, October 9, 2017—enough to trigger a formal request for a national referendum on the new invasive digital privacy laws. You check their latest signature milestones here.

What’s next for the Dutch privacy protagonists?

“We are very happy,” Tijn tells ExpressVNP, “it still feels a bit unreal.” On October 16, 2017, the group will hand in the more than 350,000 signatures to the government, who then check their validity.

If the signatures are validated, the referendum will be announced on November 1st and will likely take place on March 21, 2018, the same day as municipal elections.

The referendum will be the second initiated by citizens of the Netherlands in the past two years, the first one being the referendum on the EU-Ukraine Association Treaty in 2016.

As for the group, they have now garnered enough support from dozens of organizations that will reduce what will be a hefty campaign.

“We will try to motivate as many people as possible to go and vote “no,” but we might not go in total campaign mode: There are loads of other organizations that probably will, like Amnesty International.”

Stay updated on their Twitter and Facebook for further information on the referendum.

***

On January 1, 2018, the Netherlands will enforce a new data-mining law that will grant unprecedented power to Dutch intelligence agencies—unless five students can get 300,000 signatures by mid-October to trigger a national referendum.

The students already have 60,000 signatures and have attracted global attention in their plight. But they need your help to get over the line!

What is the new data-mining law in the Netherlands?

From January 1, an amendment to the 2002 Intelligence and Security Services Act will grant the Dutch intelligence agency AIVD and its military counterpart MIVD, among other things, the power to access the metadata of any and all of its citizens.

The physical area where the agencies can intercept data will also expand to include whole neighborhoods and train stations.

The law further extends AIVD and MIVD hacking privileges to include the devices of third parties associated with targeted individuals—like friends, family members, and companies they may use (much like the NSA’s relationship with Microsoft, Google, and Apple).

What will change when Amendment 34588 is enforced?

Chart of changes Amendment 34588 will enforce

Read the complete text of Amendment 34588 in PDF form.

Who’s fighting the new Dutch law?

Civil rights organizations and justice councils

Immediately after the law passed, twelve organizations have prepared a joint lawsuit to try and stop it. Aside from trying to reverse the infringement on digital privacy, they also question what supervision the AIVD and MIVD would have.

Usually, the independent committee known as the CTIVD supervises the Dutch intelligence services with a strict application of existing legal frameworks, but the new law puts the decision-making into the hands of politicians.

The decision, therefore, becomes a political one, which undermines the CTIVD’s role of neutral arbitration.

Five students from Amsterdam

Marlou Gijzen, Tijn de Vos, and three other students from the University of Amsterdam have started a campaign to bring the law into a public discussion before the Netherlands government enforces it.

Dubbing the new law “het sleepwet,” or “the dragnet,” for its catch-all ability, the students are worried about the government’s ability to perform mass surveillance of its citizens.
“We feel a demand for a referendum among Dutch citizens,” says Marlou, “we want to initiate a social discussion about the law because it has a large impact on the privacy of every citizen, and no real discussion has yet been held.”

The small group has growing support: Amnesty International is the latest in the list of non-profit organizations like Bits of Freedom, Free Press Unlimited, and the Internet Society that are signal-boosting this drive to trigger a public conversation about the data-mining law.

The Netherlands and citizens’ rights

The Netherlands ranks fifth in press freedom and retains a strong track record of maintaining its citizens’ rights; the step to increase government control will undermine how the Dutch enjoy their democratic rights. Tijn argues, “without privacy, the people can’t freely express themselves, which is of utmost importance for a democracy like the Netherlands.”

For such a seismic shift in citizens’ rights, the law received little coverage before it passed. Bits of Freedom’s Executive Director Hans de Zwart tells ExpressVNP his theory: “We are a country with a relatively high level of trust in the government, which was probably one of the reasons why the law was able to pass with relatively little societal discussion.”

Tijn shares this sentiment, but remains hopeful that the attention the students, the media, and the non-profits have drawn will attract more signatures; “not a lot of people know about it, but once we explain it they agree with us.”

De Zwart is cautiously optimistic they will get the required 300,000 signatures to trigger a public discussion on the law and expects the next hurdle will be the struggle over which narrative dominates public discussion, saying:

“The proponents of the law will try to frame it as security versus privacy, whereas we will try to show it for what it is: freedom versus (government) control.”

Want to support the students in their fight? Here’s how:

If you’re a Dutch citizen living in the Netherlands, sign your name before October 12 on:

  • The students’ page; or
  • The Government’s official website

If you’re living outside of the Netherlands:

  • Follow the students’ Twitter and Facebook to get updates on their progress

Picture credits: Annelene Schulze

Also published on Medium.

ExpressVNP

Read the ExpressVNP blog on Medium and Google Play Newsstand

ExpressVNPRead ExpressVNP on Medium and Google Play Newsstand

Want a new way to stay up to date with ExpressVNP news? Then you’re in luck!

The ExpressVNP blog has been syndicated on Medium and Google Play Newsstand so that you can get the latest blogs straight to your desktop or mobile device.

Never miss a Lexie post again!

Setup is ***:

How to subscribe to ExpressVNP on Medium

You can view ExpressVNP on Medium with this link:
https://medium.com/expressvnp

If you have the Medium app for iOS or Android, you can access ExpressVNP straight from the app.

Or you can scan this handy QR code:

Subscribe to ExpressVNP on Medium.

How to subscribe to ExpressVNP on Play Newsstand

You can view ExpressVNP on Google Play Newsstand with this link: http://www.谷歌.com/newsstand/s/CAowt837Cg

If you have the Google Play Newsstand app for Android or iOS, you can access ExpressVNP straight from the app.

Or you can scan this handy QR code:

Subscribe to ExpressVNP on Google Play Newsstand

Where would you like to see ExpressVNP published?

With the Medium or Google Play Newsstand app, you can quickly view ExpressVNP, wherever you are.

What’s your favorite news syndication app? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll try and get ExpressVNP published there for you.

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ExpressVNP 6.6.3 for iOS is available to download now!

ExpressVNPExpressVNP app on iOS devices Until voice-activated VPNs are introduced, you can connect ExpressVNP with a *** tap of the button!

Good news, everyone! The latest ExpressVNP iOS release is here, and it’s compatible with iOS11. We’ve also added support for IKEv2 protocol and made it even easier to share with your friends for that sweet 30-day referral bonus!

What’s more ExpressVNP for iOS 6.6.3 is now localized in Russian, Swedish, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, and Turkish.

ExpressVNP 6.6.3 is here, and we can’t wait for you to give it a try!

Here’s what you get with ExpressVNP 6.6.3 for iOS:

New IKEv2 protocol support

You can now use IKEv2 protocol. Use this if you have connection issues with “Automatic” protocol.

Share with your friends!

You can now share ExpressVNP with your friends from in the app. It’s now a doddle for you and your friends to claim 30 days of free ExpressVNP!

Get 30 days of free VPN.

Easy-to-use Interface (UI)

Connect and disconnect quickly with just the click of a button. The beautiful new layout lets you browse securely and privately with one tap.

Easy-to-use VPN for your iPhone.

Smart Location

Save time and browse faster with the improved Smart Location feature. Smart Location automatically chooses the most reliable VPN connections for you. That way you can stream without having to worry about less-than-stellar speeds.

ExpressVNP smart location for iPhone.

Browse with better connection reliability

ExpressVNP 6.6.3 for iOS works hard to make sure you always get the best possible connection. And, as always, different VPN protocol settings let you customize your iPhone app the way you want it.

ExpressVNP for iOS has a better connection.

Simple option screen design

It’s now easier than ever to set up ExpressVNP for iOS. The new and streamlined options menu lets you set up your VPN just the way you like it.

Customize your VPN on iPhone

Download ExpressVNP 6.6.3 Today!

Now you know what’s new, what are you waiting for?

Head over to the App Store and download ExpressVNP 6.6.3 today. If you’re unsure how to download, or if you’re having trouble accessing the App Store, then check out this step-by-step tutorial for help.

After you’ve taken it for a test drive, let us know what you think! Hit us with your questions, comments, concerns, and praise below!

ExpressVNP

Net neutrality is important, and we need to fight for it

ExpressVNPWhat is net neutrality?

Net neutrality (before 2003, described as common carrier concept) is an important principle of internet regulation. Despite being regarded as a cornerstone of successful innovation in an open and free internet, the principle of net neutrality is under threat from Internet Service Providers (ISPs), large corporations, and governments.

What does net neutrality mean?

Net neutrality means that every packet of data transferred through the cables and switches of internet providers is treated the same, regardless of application, user, content or platform.

In practice, net neutrality means that your ISP is not allowed to detect your BitTorrent or Skype use and slow down, or throttle, these packets.

ISPs would not be allowed to favor companies that they have agreements with and, for example, speed up Youtube while slowing down Vimeo.

For reasons of neutrality, ISPs are often regulated similarly to public utility companies (common carriers), which are not allowed to discriminate their service. During a power outage or a water shortage, your utility company will likely be prohibited from favoring some households over others.

Why net neutrality is so important

The idea of net neutrality is seen as the most important principle to guarantee healthy competition between internet companies and make it easy for innovations to be adopted by users.

Without net neutrality, an ISP could collude with a video streaming service and deliver videos of their service with high speed and quality while limiting all other services to slow speeds and poor quality.

The high-speed video streaming service would then be able to raise prices, share the profits with the ISP and never have to worry about competition again.

Who is threatening net neutrality and why?

Internet conglomerates and ISPs threaten net neutrality. The two groups dislike the competition of a free and open market and would prefer to create a monopolistic environment where they can overcharge for inferior products—similar to how cable companies did (and still do!) before the internet.

Some examples of net neutrality breaches in the past:

  • Throttling of BitTorrent traffic
  • Offering free data, but only for a particular company (like Facebook or Spotify)
  • Disabling of Apple Facetime
  • Blocking of free internet calling services

Some large internet companies also stand accused of dismantling the principle of net neutrality. Facebook’s internet.org campaign aims to deliver free internet access to the developing world, but at the same time, it will restrict access to certain platforms and heavily favor companies owned by Facebook, including Whatsapp and Instagram.

The fear is that without the principle of net neutrality, nobody will be able to create an “internet startup” anymore because ISPs will favor the traffic of the major incumbent monopolies and no startup will be able to pay the ISP enough to offer adequate service.

The net neutrality solution?

Is net neutrality the perfect solution?

In theory, yes. But there are many instances when net neutrality is far from perfect. Some data simply has a different priority compared to other data. It seems absurd to route a computer backup at the same priority as a phone call, for instance, and the world’s bandwidth would be far more efficient if data used an express and low priority.

Sadly, we have no mechanism to assess the priority of data accurately. If we were to allow Internet Service Providers to determine priority, we would end up with monopolistic behavior, and if we allowed the users or companies to decide on the priority, we would likely face a dilemma in which everybody would flag their data as high priority.

How we could keep net neutrality

With the rise of cryptocurrencies, it might one day be possible to pay for bandwidth, not on a month-by-month or GB-by-GB basis, but rather attach a price to each requested packet based on priority.

The ISP would collect this fee as a reward, and be incentivized to deliver some data first. Of course, this might mean that a GB of online video conference footage would cost far more than a GB of backing up data, or a GB of BitTorrent, but is it a more efficient use of bandwidth.

As long as the user—not the internet service—pays for the data, ISPs and conglomerates would have little opportunity to collude. Streaming a movie in high speed from the biggest provider would cost just as much as streaming it from the smallest provider.

What you can do to save net neutrality

If you suspect that your ISP is throttling your bandwidth selectively or blocking certain services, you can use a VPN to get around it. Your ISP will not be able to look inside your encrypted VPN tunnel and will not be able to slow services down while prioritizing others.

To protect net neutrality, you can also contact your local regulator or Parliament to let them know that this is something you find important.

If you are in the U.S., you can use OpenMedia’s The Internet Fights Back form. In Europe, you can use this form.

See also: Hyperlinks made the internet fabulous, and they must not be taxed

Let us know your thoughts on net neutrality in the comments below.

ExpressVNP

Stop the press: ExpressVNP 6.5.1 for Android is here!

ExpressVNPAndroid VPN app

ExpressVNP is excited to announce the release of ExpressVNP 6.5.1 for Android.
It’s fair to say the Android app just keeps getting better and better! We’ve made some notification tweaks this time around, and, as always, it’s the most secure ExpressVNP Android app to date.

Great features in ExpressVNP 6.5.1 for Android

Without a doubt, the most awesome new feature of ExpressVNP app 6.5.1 for Android is the dynamic notification system.

VPN app for Android

The new notifications will display your current connection status and let you act on them—you can interact directly with the notifications. Nice!

Streamlined setup

It's easy to setup a VPN for Android with ExpressVNP.

It’s easy to set up ExpressVNP for Android. Just follow the straightforward on-screen instructions. Need help? No problem! The blue hints will guide you through it.

The best connection reliability

ExpressVNP has the best VPN connection for Android.

ExpressVNP 6.5.1 for Android works hard to make sure you always get the best possible connection. And, as always, different VPN protocol settings let you customize your Android app the way you want it.

Smart Location is as good as ever

ExpressVNP Smart Location for Android is wonderful.

Save time and browse faster with the improved Smart Location feature. Smart Location automatically chooses the most reliable VPN connections for you. That way you can stream without having to worry about less-than-stellar speeds.

Download ExpressVNP 6.5.1 for Android today!

Now you know what’s new, head over to Google Play and download or upgrade your Android app today. If Google Play is not available, you can download the APK version from your setup page.

Once you’ve had a chance to get used to the new layout, let ExpressVNP know what you think! Your feedback is appreciated, so leave your questions, comments, and concerns in the comments section below.

And one more thing! If you’re unable to access the Google Play Store or are having trouble downloading the app, your friendly neighborhood superhero Support Team is available around the clock to help answer all your VPN-related questions.

ExpressVNP

Lexie speaks to TAILS about privacy, motivations, and being labeled extremists by the NSA

ExpressVNPTails is an anonymous OS you can run on a USB.

This blog has never made any attempt to disguise our love of TAILS (The Amnesic Incognito Live System). TAILS is an operating system optimized for privacy and security. It’s easy to use and doesn’t leave a trace on whatever computer you run it on.

You can find some great use cases for TAILS in our guide to anonymous Bitcoin payments, the whistleblowing guide, the pseudonymity guide, to name just a few.

This month Lexie talked to u (yes, that’s their username!), an avid contributor to TAILS. We discussed the NSA, what’s it like to work at TAILS, and online anonymity.

Lexie at ExpressVNP: The NSA has referred to you as “extremists” in one of their internal Documents. While that is a sort of honor, it also highlights there may be dangers working on a platform like this. How do you view this danger?

[
u at TAILS]: We don’t think it is extreme to want to protect one’s privacy. We aim to make it easy for people who aren’t very tech-savvy to use TAILS and to make it do the right thing out of the box.

Most notably, TAILS allows secure storage of data while protecting against device seizure and enables circumvention of internet filtering through the Tor network for many protocols—not just web browsing (for example, e-mail and messaging).

We consider TAILS essential to the work of human rights defenders and journalists around the globe, as well as for people who are traveling, or who live in countries where the internet is partially blocked or censored.

Why are you motivated to work on TAILS?

We believe that privacy, the free exchange of ideas, and equal access to information are essential to free and open societies. Read more about this in our Social Contract.

You’ve made tremendous progress *** it easier to install Tails, though installation is still far easier if someone uses their working copy to clone TAILS for you. you. How much can you trust a TAILS stick that someone else gives you?

The truth is: you cannot. The only way to know that your TAILS installation is genuine is if you’ve downloaded, verified and installed it yourself onto a new USB key.

We’ve tried to make the verification part easier by creating a Firefox plugin which will verify your TAILS copy. And we’ve reworked in detail our installation instructions, which you may find here.

But we’re aware that installing Tails is still much harder than it should be, especially for people on Windows and Mac. The upgrade mechanism is also still quite hard when no automatic update is available. All these issues are quite high on our list of priorities.

If I need help creating a TAILS stick, where would I most likely find it?

There are crypto parties and hacker events all over the world where people will help you install TAILS. And we’re always looking for people who would create a screencast to explain how to install TAILS on our bug tracker—please get in touch with us if you’re interested in working on this!

Thanks for talking to us!

ExpressVNP