More Layers in the Onion

In reaction to the last post, Sven noted that by default my ISP is probably tracking all of my web traffic. I’ve no idea what the law requires of ISPs in Japan, but it seems quite likely that there are very few protections for citizens, and a lot of snooping going on…

There are two parts to this:

– nameserver lookups–if my ISP is logging all lookups then obviously that’s a risk. In order to get around that i’ll need to either run a local DNS (urgh, no doubt there is a lot to learn there…), or find a DNS service provider that a) has a reasonable data retention policy b) is trustworthy.

– regular traffic–the ISP could easily be logging all of the requests that i make. If there is a host out there that i do trust as an exit point (trust not to maintain a log of my activity) then running a VPN / tunnel to that point would be acceptable. At best my local ISP would know that i was communicating with the VPN host, but would know nothing about the traffic moving through the VPN. Unfortunately i don’t have access to such a VPN host, and given the traffic costs involved, can’t imagine that they are out there and cheap to use.

The other option is to use Tor. I’m still rather reluctant to do this… it seems like it may well be a step to far (similar to contemplating running a DNS server…) given that i’m not actually attempting to do anything illegal, or actively evade detection. My only goal here is see if it’s possible to opt out of a system of pervasive surveillance and monetization of my activity.

I’ll set up Tor and see how unbearable it makes life… running an exit node is out of the question given how little i know about the state of Japanese ‘net surveillance. The last thing i’d want to be doing is to be unknowingly feeding the machine.

2 thoughts on “More Layers in the Onion

    • Ironically, it might turn out that one of the best ways around the DNS problem is to use a public DNS, like the one that Google runs at Despite, or perhaps because of, the data retention nightmare of search, the policy around their public DNS service is completely sane!

Wise words...

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