Today I share the 5th author interview in the Backdoor Survival Book Festival. Conrad Jaeger, the author of Deep Web Secrecy and Security – Guide to the Deep Web and Beyond shares his answers to my questions and is also providing one of my readers with a free copy of his book.
Given the latest not unsurprising revelations about the lack of privacy when it comes to our email, Conrad’s book is quite timely and most assuredly, provides some strategies for using the internet totally under cover.
Before we begin, I would like to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway. “Weaver” has won a copy of Glen Tate’s “299 days: The Preparation” Congratulations! A have contacted you by email for mailing instructions.
Here is what Weaver has said he (or she) has done lately to prepare:
I don’t have much stocked up yet and like most of us can’t afford to run out to Costco and fill up a truck load but I have been busy.
I spend a lot of time downloading everything I can find, printing out the most important things first. I am also creating a complete inventory of everything I have and using that to make up lists of what to purchase first. The rest of my free time I spend learning as much as I can to get prepared and talking to friends to encourage them to prep as much as they can.
Be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.
A Chat with Conrad Jaeger
About a year ago, a private detective friend told me about the Deep Web and I was shocked to discover that he was talking about a parallel Internet, a vastly bigger Internet than the one we know and peopled by very different users. I just had to know more. I’m a journalist and writer specializing in civil liberties and I’ve been concerned for years about the erosion of our freedoms on-line.
What struck me most was how people use the Deep Web to keep themselves anonymous and keep everything they do on-line to themselves. When I say the Deep Web is vast, I mean it is staggeringly huge compared to what I now call the Surface Web, the one we all use every day. In a nutshell, the Deep Web is everything that can’t be picked up by the conventional search engines like Google. By that, I mean it’s a lot of data stored in cyberspace that most Google users have no interest in so it’s not logged and listed.
And, because it’s so vast and largely uncharted, people have learnt to hide themselves down there and have set up hidden networks that allow them to access the Surface Web in such a way that they cannot be tracked and profiled or analyzed by Big Business or by governments. On another level, the Deep Web is much like the one we know with all the usual features like chat rooms, bulletin boards and websites. There are even clones of Twitter and Facebook down there.
It seemed to me that more people should know about this because too many governments around the world are tightening up on Web freedom and this offers the only way to communicate in total privacy.
The people using it now are all sorts, from my private detective friend to other journalists, especially those that want to communicate in confidence with whistleblowers or dissidents. Aid agencies use it to avoid having their emails and messages read by dictatorial regimes. Academics use it to research sensitive subjects. Equally, a lot crooks use it too, as do terrorists and, for that matter, spies and the military.
What type of research did you have to do while writing Deep Web Secrecy and Security?
It took me quite a long time to get a hang on the Deep Web because it’s effectively two worlds in one. On one level it’s this vast data store, some private, some open. There are all manner of databases and archives. You can use the Deep Web to research absolutely any topic. It’s just a matter of knowing the right entry points.
On the other level, it’s a means of keeping yourself and your activities secure, and this is what initially got my interest. Anyone can start delving into the Deep Web in minutes but it did take a very long time to find my way around. And it’s all too easy to stumble upon material that can give you lasting nightmares. But, rather like the Surface Web, you can choose to go where you like.
But getting in and having a look around is easy. All you have to down is download a special free web browser and tweak just a little bit with the settings and, hey presto, you are in. Anyone who can use the Internet can visit the Deep Web. And, like I say, you need to know the right entry points depending what you want to do down there. But if you just want to visit a banned website on the Surface Web, all you need do is type the web address into the browser and there it is.
You can send emails that nobody can intercept or track back. There are ways of sending secret messages that self-destruct and you can hide documents and even small movies inside digital photographs and music tracks. There are endless possibilities.
All of this has taken a while to find and understand and then try and make sense of. I wanted to make this book readable and understandable to everyone, not necessarily the computer nuts. Travelling around the Deep Web is no more complicated than visiting Amazon or sending a Tweet.
Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message to you hope my readers will take with them after reading Deep Web Secrecy and Security?
I believe the Internet is the greatest single advance in human history since Guttenberg invented the printing press and, in the same way that books have been censored and suppressed over the centuries, I’m deeply concerned that we must guard our freedoms on the Internet. Big Business is ring-fencing the Web and monopolizing content and they are gathering our personal data so they can better target us for their products. Equally, governments everywhere are trying to get a greater grip on the Internet. They are increasingly passing laws giving them access to our personal data, our Web activities and all our digital communications.
This book shows people how to take back control; how to keep their communications and browsing habits private. My message is that we don’t have to accept that all manner of people – good and bad – are keeping tabs on everything we do on-line. We should be able to keep the freedom that the Internet initially gave us. By using the Deep Web, this parallel Internet, we can be as anonymous as we wish and we can read what we like and speak our minds without fear of reprisal.
Do you have plans for another book?
Oh yes. I’m planning a series of guide books to the Deep Web.
I want to show people how to access these databases and archives. If you want to trace your family tree or find hitherto unseen photographs from the Civil War, or an archaic piece of classical music, the chances are you can find what you’re looking for down there. It’s just a matter of knowing where to look and knowing how to phrase your question. But this is taking a lot of time to research so I doubt I’ll be able to bring out another book before the spring.
Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?
Yes, be on guard. Our civil liberties are being eroded piece by piece. Each little step, each new law to ostensibly protect us, may not appear too bad at the time. But, add them all together, and we can see how steadily our freedoms are being taken away. I say enough is enough. It’s time to take back control and the first step in doing that is to slip from the grasp of all those who would rather monitor and control us.
The Book Giveaway
A copy of Deep Web Secrecy and Security – Guide to the Deep Web and Beyond has been reserved for one lucky reader. The rules this week are this:
In the comments below, share your number one security concern. It does not have to be internet related – it can involve your home, your place of work, your family, anything. Or even nothing if you have no concerns.
A winner will be selected next Friday at random using tools on the random.org website.
The Final Word
Having recently been through both a malware attack on Backdoor Survival and denial of service attack at my web host, I recognize that internet security is a real issue and problems – large or small – can happen to anyone. In my case, I chose to move beyond free internet tools and spent a bit of time and money to secure both my website and my personal laptop. I also changed most of my online passwords and do the best I can to monitor intrusions from Trojans attempting to monitor my online activities.
The tactics explained in Conrad’s book may, to some, seem extreme. Knowledge is power however, and even if I don’t follow through right now with some of his suggestions, the time may come when I have to. Sad but true.
In closing this week, I echo Conrad’s words:
Be on guard. Our civil liberties are being eroded piece by piece. It is time to take back control and the first step in doing that is to slip from the grasp of all those who would rather monitor and control us.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Spotlight Item: Deep Web Secrecy and Security – Guide to the Deep Web and Beyond. Everything you do on the Internet – every site you visit, every image or file you download, every email or message you send or receive – is logged on a computer somewhere. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need to worry. But this is not a perfect world. In this book you will learn about the “deep web” and how to use it to protect you and your family’s interests as well as your views and your freedoms.
Bargain Bin: Listed below are all of the books in the Backdoor Survival Fall Reading List. There are both fiction and non-fiction titles and a bit of something for everyone. Also, some of these books are Kindle e-books but you do not need a Kindle to read Kindle e-books. Simply download the free Kindle app from the Amazon site and you are good to go.
The Backdoor Survival Fall Reading List – Non-Fiction
Contact!: A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival
Disaster Preparedness: Urban Preppers with Kids, Pets & Parents; Disaster Survival for the Family
Survive Any Food Crisis
The Prepper Next Door: A Practical Guide For Disaster And Emergency Planning
Deep Web Secrecy and Security – Guide to the Deep Web and Beyond
Broken Web The Coming Collapse of the Internet
The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency
The Home Schooled Shootist: Training to Fight with a Carbine
The Backdoor Survival Fall Reading List – Fiction
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