project website. Tor was originally designed as a third-generation
routing project of the U.S. Office of Naval Research Tor is
now a free software and an open network that helps you to defend personal
freedom, privacy, confidentiality of business activities and connections
on the internet.
You can help the Tor network in several ways. The best and
straight way is to donate bandwidth and run a Tor relay
Once Tor is running, you can torify Mozilla Thunderbird by using the Foxyproxy addon configured to use a SOCKS v5 proxy
at 127.0.0.1 port 9050.
is a live operating system, that can be installed on either a CD or a
USB flash drive. Tails relies on Tor for
protecting online privacy, i.e., all outgoing internet connections are
forced to go through Tor.
The confidentiality of connections can be insured with OpenVPN, a free and open source software
application which implements secure and private virtual networks.
The Electronic Frontier
Foundation and Electronic Privacy Information Center
websites provide detailed accounts on the issues of privacy and confidentiality.
The Software Protection Initiative is
issuing the Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) operating
system, based on Linux, which can be installed on a CD or a USB flash drive. This
light bootable system allows to securely browse the internet and connect
to a remote network. This software is regularly updated.
Diaspora is an open source alternative to Facebook, that
respects privacy. A complete list of open source alternatives to fb is given
by the Free Software
Box provides non-tracked, encrypted and anonymous contact forms.
Jitsi is an open
source VoIP and video conferencing software, which supports various protocols and networks: XMPP, SIP, AIM, ICQ, GoogleTalk,
Yahoo Messenger, MSN, etc. All communications are encrypted by either SRTP, ZRTP or SDES depending on the protocol and network.
Zfone is a VoIP phone software for encrypting phone
calls. Its principal designer, Phil Zimmermann, is the creator of the famous
and useful encryption program: PGP (a non-encrypted e-mail has the same level of
confidentiality as a postcard).
Ekiga is an open
source VoIP and video conferencing software. These phone calls can be encrypted
Simon Singh's Code Book is an interesting introduction to
the history of cryptography and code breaking.
Since 1997, I'm mainly using Linux as Operating System. Linux is a Unix-type
OS, running on PC, Macintosh, and other systems. As Linux is developed under
the GNU General Public License, its source
code is freely available to everyone, so that occuring bugs are quickly
spotted and corrected.
Linux is now very easy to install and update. Furthermore, most Linux
versions, called distributions, have a live CD/USB flash drive version, so
that you can try several versions before installing the one you prefer on your computer
The choice of a particular version is a simple subjective question of tastes
The Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) is a light
Linux OS that can be installed on either a CD or a USB flash stick that
allows to securely browse the internet and connect to a remote network.
is a live operating system based on Debian Linux, that can be installed on either a CD or
a USB flash drive. Tails relies on
Tor for insuring
your online privacy.
Cygwin is a GNU
Linux-like environment for Windows.
The number of Free software packages is growing exponentially, so that one can
use them for a large number of purposes. Furthermore, they allow to ensure the
privacy of personal and private data. Here are a
few websites on GNU, Free Software and Open Source software packages (see also
the logos in the margin of this page):
Fractint: a free software for generating fractals.
The GIMP, i.e., the GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a
powerful free software for handling pictures.
for annotating PDF files, taking notes, etc. Very useful for editing documents.
is a free and open source integrated development environment for C++ programming.
Some of these softwares have a portable version that
could be run on a external portable device, i.e., USB flash
drive, iPod, portable hard drive, etc. These versions could be downloaded
from the PortableApps.com website.