Defense against the digital dark arts
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Defense Against the Digital Dark Arts. Choose Privacy Week - May 5, 2014 Eric Stroshane North Dakota State Library [email protected] @ ericstroshane. Panel from Zach Weinersmith’s Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal used with permission.

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Defense Against the Digital Dark Arts

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Defense Against the Digital Dark Arts

Choose Privacy Week - May 5, 2014

Eric Stroshane

North Dakota State Library

[email protected]


Panel from Zach Weinersmith’sSaturday Morning Breakfast Cereal used with permission.

View this and other comics at:

  • 86% of internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints

  • 55% of internet users have taken steps to avoid observation by specific people, organizations, or the government

From this September 5, 2013, Pew Research Internet Project report:

September 1, 2009, Unshelved strip by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum used with permission.

Visit for more free comics and books about libraries!

  • January 20, 1953 - Joseph McCarthy becomes chair of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

  • June 25, 1953 – The Freedom to Read Statement is officially adopted by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee

Proud History of Librarian Resistance

  • DECAL aka “Library Awareness” (1973-1976, 1985-?)

  • CIPA (2000-)

  • USA PATRIOT Act (2001-)

  • SOPA/PIPA (2011 - 2012)

  • CISPA (2011 - 2012, reintroduced in 2013…)

Rights status unclear; image used at great

personal risk

Image in the public domain in the United States

Panel from Randall Munroe’s xkcd licensed under CC BY-NC 2.5

View this and other comics at:

“I don’t try to describe the future, I try to prevent it.”

- Ray Bradbury

Quote from Roger Moore’s article “At 80, Ray Bradbury Still Fighting the Future he Foresaw,” available at:

Dave Hoffman’s “Internet VS Privacy – A Helpful Venn Diagram,” licensed under CC BY 2.0from

All Data You Generate Is Personal

  • Mobility patterns

  • Browser fingerprints

  • Search habits

  • Metadata

Photo by Eric Stroshane, used with permission.

“Pervasive, end-to-end encryption can quickly make indiscriminate surveillance impossible on a cost-effective basis. The result is that governments are likely to fall back to traditional, targeted surveillance founded upon an individualized suspicion.”

- Edward Snowden

Snowden’s full testimony to the European Parliament (pdf):

Shirt available from:

The Digital Dark Arts

  • Casual leaks from sharing computers

  • Spyware and adware

  • Third party cookies

  • Keyloggers

  • Packet sniffing and inspection

Detail from katefarrar’s Dark Mark Wallpaper, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0from:

Panel from Scott Meyer’s Basic Instructions, used with permission.

View this and other comics at:

  • Malware: software installed against your will with bad intentions

  • Spyware: malware that monitors and reports on your activities

  • Adware: spyware that injects ads

Visualize tracking cookies with Mozilla’s Lightbeam extension (Firefox):

Detail from “Delicious cookie!” image by Andres Moreno, licensed under CC BY 2.0 from

Licensed under GNU Free Documentation License 1.2 from:

Licensed under CC BY 3.0 US, from:


  • Test how a browser handles SSL/TLS:

  • Test a site’s SSL/TLS configuration:

  • Get certified! Implement HTTPS on your sites:

    • Digicert


    • StartSSL

    • Or from a host of other cert authorities!

Challenge Vendors to Reset the Net

  • Place statements in RFPs requesting potential partners to use HTTPS by default

  • Contact current vendors and request they enable HTTPS by default

CPW Programming Guide - Usable 52 weeks per year! (pdf)

Programming ideas from Cory Doctorow: (YouTube)

  • Elected officials directory:

  • House staff directory:

  • American Civil Liberties Union

  • Center for Democracy and Technology

  • Electronic Frontier Foundation

  • Freedom of the Press Foundation

  • OpenNet Initiative

  • Sunlight Foundation

Base PAC Recommendations

Windows Settings:

  • Enable the Guest account

    Browser Settings:

  • Always open in Private/Incognito mode (for Chrome, add the -incognito flag to the shortcut)

  • Change default search provider to DuckDuckGo

    Browser Extensions:

  • AdBlock Plus

  • Disconnect or Ghostery

  • HTTPS Everywhere

  • For Chrome, be sure to check “Allow in Incognito” for these!


  • ZemanaAntiLogger Free

  • CCleaner or a steady state/deep freeze product


Contact: [email protected] | @ericstroshane


Playlist: (they’ll know you listened…)

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