There’s a new project you may be interested in, if you’ve been paying attention. FreeSpeechMe is a new plugin for Firefox that lets you view Dot-Bit websites. What’s a dot-bit? It’s a new kind of website–except it’s not controlled by governments or corporations like other types. It’s also resistant to NSA games.
Dot-Bit is also resistant to DNS or HTTPS hijacking, which is common and easy with normal top-level domains. DNS or HTTPS hijacking is when someone redirects your traffic to an impostor website, which allows them to steal passwords or install malware. DNS and HTTPS hijacking are not theoretical threats. In July 2011, DigiNotar, a major corporation in charge of preventing hijacking, was compromised. Over 300,000 users fell victim to fraudulent websites which appeared to be HTTPS-secured. The attackers were able to impersonate the CIA, MI6, Facebook, Microsoft, Skype, Twitter, WordPress, Mozilla, and hundreds of other targets. DigiNotar didn’t notice for over a month. Dot-Bit would have eliminated this attack vector.
Yada yada techie language. What does this mean to you personally? It means that people are taking it upon themselves to create a new internet, free from government intrusion. It means that the inherent problems with programs like Tor and i2p (such as trying to remember a web address like duskgytldkxiuqc6.onion) are fixed. Being anonymous on Dot-Bit can be done as well.
Note that Dot-Bit only keeps the location and IP address of the domain owner private (assuming the domain is registered using Tor); the identity of the domain owner may be linkable with that person’s other usage of Namecoin (e.g. usernames at exchanges).
They’re attempting to raise money to enlarge the project, and it’s worth taking a look at. If any readers do end up trying it out, let us know! I’ll be testing it myself in the next few days, and we’ll continue to bring you the latest in privacy news.