Seems I’ve been doing my secure liveCD search in the wrong language. Denmark looks to be leading the charge with Germany close beside them.
First up, an idea what the “motivation” is about. Seems the EU is even more down the Fascist Corporate / Socialist-Government path than the USA. So has more “government and big business friendly” and citizen hostile laws… For example, it looks like they like to hold third parties liable for the law breaking of second parties. A hosting site was hit with penalties for hosting a site that is a torrent “server” site (despite torrent being ‘peer to peer’… so the real ‘perpetrators’ are individuals, not the ‘torrent server’ that lets them find each other).
Web hosting provider XS Networks has been ordered to pay damages to Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN after a court in the Netherlands found it guilty of facilitating copyright infringement.
According to a report by CNET, XS Networks knew it was hosting illegal torrent sharing site SumoTorrent, but refused to pull the website offline without a court order. XS Networks eventually handed over some information without the court order, CNET says, but it wasn’t fast enough, since SumoTorrent had moved on to a provider in the Ukraine by that point.
Recently, Ukranian authorities raided web host ColoCall to find information on torrent site Demonoid.
Tim Kuik, president of BREIN, told the BBC that Dutch law states that if a website is deemed illegal, the host has a responsibility to take it offline. Now, he says, a new precedent has been set: if the web host doesn’t act “promptly” it becomes liable for damages.
Kuik warned other web hosts in the EU to learn from XS Networks mistakes, since this ruling proves “that there are consequences for hosting providers.”
This ruling is against what most web hosts are used to in terms of copyright laws and takedown requests, which require due process. The US, and countries including Australia, have safe harbor provisions that protect service providers from being liable for copyright infringement of their customers.
So that has been coming “for a while” and about 2 years ago some programmer folks there saw erosion of their liberties underway and made a personal protection Linux “remix”… The implication of this ruling being that “hosting” will need to be next on the “darknet” trail. (Not all that hard to do, really, though has some ‘issues’)
http://polippix.org/texts/ gives you your choice of language ( Dansk, English, Français Deutsch, Spanish ) for the following text:
Welcome to POLIPPIX
– a privacy enhanced CD presented by IT-Political Associtation of Denmark
This CD demonstrates some programs that can be used to ensure privacy on the internet and to exercise your rights according to copyright laws.
Here, you can read about the CD and the software on it. To run the software on this CD, you have to boot it on a PC.
If you are reading this on Windows computer right now, you may also run the CD emulated in QEMU, but it will run a lot slower.
If you want to run the Windows versions of the software, you should go to “My computer” -> the cd drive -> wbin. From there you just have to double click any file to install it.
Read more about:
Use the internet without being tracked!
Play almost any media.
k3b, k9copy, mencoder
Copy CDs and DVDs
Avoid your computer being recognized on the local network – become anonymous on the Internet café.
See who you and other people are communicating with.
Encryption and signing
Make sure your email and hard drive can’t be read by others.
Talk on the internet. It’s cheap, and if you do it right you will be untraceable.
Virtulization and emulation
How to run e.g. Polippix in a safe and clean environment.
Delete your hard drive
…so the data will never be read again.
About this CD
If you would like to know more about Polippix or how to help making it better.
Video about Trusted Computing
Watch a video that explains what Trusted Computing is.
This CD contains Polippix, created by IT-Political Associtation of Denmark.
Where each of those items is a live link to more.
Didn’t see a Torrent application in the list, but it’s likely to be there. If not now, soon… at least in the Dutch version ;-)
The top level ‘index’ page has more:
Free portable encrypted system on an usb flash drive or an external hard drive for safe editing and carrying along of sensitive data, for encrypted communication and anonymous web surfing
Not everyone who finds privacy important while using the internet and communicating or is editing sensitive data always has their own computer with a safely set up operating system and the required tools at their disposal or want to carry it with them.
That’s why we created the Privatix Live-System (based on Debian GNU/Linux). It is an easy to operate safe and portable system that can be booted from a cd-rom, an usb flash drive or an external hard drive and ensures your privacy and confidentiality while using the internet and communicating or editing and encrypting sensitive data.
Therefore standard applications such as browser, email client, word processor, image viewer and most importantly numerous data protection and encryption software are integrated.
Private data and settings, documents, e-mails, or pgp-keys are not saved on the computer that you use but instead those are saved on the encrypted usb flash drive or on the encrypted external hard drive. In case of loss or theft of the data medium your personal data is going to stay protected by a password.
No free storage space is required, no system needs to be installed or any specific operating system or other programms are necessary on the computer that is used because the whole system and all other applications are loaded from the usb flash drive or from the external hard drive.
This way you can use unknown computers without having to rely on the security of the installed operating system that might be infected with trojans or software keyloggers and without requiring tools to be installed and despite of this mobility preserve high data protection standards or you can create a separate secure environment for very sensitive data or communication (e.g. collective bargaining, online banking, whistleblowing and e-mail encryption) on any external medium in addition to your regular operating system installation.
While the download page includes a download of the source / build script. That matters to me as I want to make ‘custom remix’ versions and was not looking forward to creating such a build script from scratch.
It looks like they have covered most of the bases for basic things like email, browsing, changing MAC address and encrypting your data. I’ll need to give it a trial run to see if it does encrypted swap ‘on demand’ and / or runs in lower memory machines. That it runs inside a virtual machine implies it isn’t too much of a resource hog.
So don’t be surprised if “Real Soon Now” I change the #! Linux Torrent server / client into one a bit more “political” in origins ;-) It’s a choice of either putting the encryption / Tor / etc code into the #! CD, or putting a Torrent application on the Privatix one. Probably easier to just add the Torrent app.
Also note that they are nice enough to list several other related efforts at the bottom of their page.
Similar Projects: AmnesiaCD, Amnesia-CD, AnonymOS, Anonym.OS, Phantomix, Knoppix, Morphix, Privacy Dongle, PrivacyDongle, Torpark, CryptoCD, Crypto-CD, Torbrowser, Incognito, Polippix, Bankix, UsbCryptFormat
Some of them I’ve checked (like Bankix that is in German, and the Tor Browser that I’ve already got installed, and Knoppix is a more generic LiveCD not very driven by special purpose security goals) while others are still to be looked over. So guess what I’ll be doing this weekend? ;-)
At any rate, for those of you who want a non-English “Privacy” bootable environment, they have support for at least English and German. As it is based on Ubuntu based on Debian (as are several such ‘mixes’) putting even more language releases together is likely not all that hard.
In an interesting twist on things, there’s a wiki… but it’s in French… Guess the French are into privacy too ;-)
Polippix est un Live CD d’une distribution de GNU/Linux, elle a été faite par l’Association politique des Technologies de l’Information du Danemark et par l’entreprise IT-Politsik. Cette distribution est destinée à être utilisée dans le but de préserver sa vie privée, elle a été faite pour montrer les possibilités de l’informatique et sensibiliser les législateurs1. À l’origine la distribution était basée sur Knoppix mais elle l’est dorénavant sur Kubuntu.
It also has a description of running it under Windows:
Pour les systèmes d’exploitation Microsoft Windows, le CD de Polippix propose des binaires de logiciels libres afin de pouvoir être anonyme sans devoir redémarrer l’ordinateur. Ces fichiers sont rangés dans le dossier wbin/ du disque. Le CD comprend :
EraserPortable : logiciel de suppression de fichiers,
Tor : système de routage en oignon avec les logiciels compatibles :
PidginPortable : messagerie instantanée,
FirefoxPortable : navigateur web,
winMd5SumPortable : logiciel de vérification de MD5,
PuttyPortable : logiciel de connexion ssh à distance,
l’installeur de QEMU pour l’émulation du live CD dans Windows,
So you can run Firefox under this system via the QEMU emulator and routed over Tor… (Some versions of FireFox have bittorrent download support built in, so that might be an option… another thing to check.)
There also looks to be a German community:
Testbericht zu Polippix
von unserem Redakteur Andre
Polippix stellt eine komplette Betriebssystemumgebung für den Einsatz an fremden PCs dar. Das von CD oder USB-Stick bootbare Betriebssystem stellt Werkzeuge für die sichere Kommunikation und Multimedia bereit. Der Anwender nutzt den Rechner ohne Spuren zu hinterlassen und Änderungen an der Konfiguration vorzunehmen.
Neben dem Anonymisierer TOR befindet sich an Bord von Polippix ebenfalls der MACchanger, der die MAC-Adresse der Netzwerkkarte ändert und so für mehr Privatsphäre sorgt. Über das VoIP-Programm Twinkle plaudert man mit Freunden, dabei sorgen die ZRTP- und SRTP-Verschlüsselung für Gespräche ohne unwillkommene Mithörer.
Neben dem Datenschutz liegt ein weiterer Fokus von Polippix auf Multimedia: k3b bietet Funktionen zum Brennen von CDs an und k9copy unterstützt den Anwender sogar beim DVD-Authoring. Falls gewünscht, komprimiert das Tool den Inhalt einer Dual-Layer-DVD und brennt ihn auf einen handelsüblichen Rohling mit einer Speicherkapazität von 4,7 Gigabyte.
Die Entwickler von Polippix haben mit ihrer Betriebssystem-CD eine sichere Arbeitsumgebung veröffentlicht, die den Nerv der Zeit trifft. Wer der Vorratsdatenspeicherung und Schnüffelprogrammen einen Riegel vorschieben will, kann dies elegant mit dem kostenlosen System erledigen. Neben der Datensicherheit kommt auch nicht die Unterhaltung zu kurz, dafür sorgt Multimedia-Software wie der mPlayer.
Which generally praises the system. I like the encrypted chat via Twinkle and that it does compression so you can fit a dual layer DVD onto a regular one.
I suspect that some European language searches would likely turn up even more.
I get the feeling that a gauntlet has been tossed, and at the wrong people…
There’s a very large and very competent “hacker” community. The “ethos” of it is not receptive to authoritarian governments in any case; but whacking the innocent folks (the ISP) for hosting a Torrent site is not going to be well received.
Heck, I’ve got nothing to hide, really, and don’t even do video or music downloads of any kind; and they’ve got ME working about 1/2 time on assuring such heavy handed intrusive actions are thwarted. (Being partly deaf, I don’t need “Hi Fi” or even low-fi really. More ‘for free’ on the car radio than I ever listen to. I’ve got a big Satellite feed with more video than I can watch already, and any time I’ve taken a look at YouTube I’ve had a day or two evaporate… I’ve already got more stuff on DVD than I can ever watch.)
So looking at this, it sure looks to me like a very large number of folks are going to be learning a great deal about dark nets very soon…
There are distributed cryptographic file systems and there are ways to distribute the compute load (see SETI At Home among others) so a logical next step is to have the data and the ‘server’ existing no-where and every-where. All it would take is a ‘remix CD’ and some scratch disk on a few million kids computers world wide. I suppose they could always find the Telco ‘guilty’ and demand ‘damages’ for ‘facilitating copyright infringement’ then too…
For now, folks will just ‘move along’ to more friendly countries… but if things get annoying enough…