Episode 092 - Your right to privacy

There are so many resources available that explain techniques you can adopt that respect your privacy, however few put in context why this is a mandatory requirement of the unconstrained, and why you MUST begin to change your habits and take back your right to privacy. In this episode we will explore privacy as a factor of being unconstrained and financially free.

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Show Notes

efine privacy
You are ALLOWED to have SECRETS
The world doesn’t need to know everything about you and your family
You should not be compelled to be 100% transparent
The stupid statement of “If I have nothing to hide, I don’t need privacy”
Define the risks in the world
Bad actors
State actors
Sign of weakness
I’m disappointed in the intersection of humans and technology
Some of my history
The changing world of the Internet 95 and later
Let’s talk about hackers
The best aspects of humanity
The sharing economy
How “hacking” has been co-opted by evil and turned into a bad concept
Facebook’s “Hacker Way”
But if there is any chance to get our humanity back, it is through hackers
If you think you can avoid technology, you are wrong
It is everywhere
It is unavoidable
You literally can’t exist without it
Think of technology like a chainsaw
It can be dangerous
It can hurt or kill people
But if used correctly, by a well trained person, it solves problems
In the past….
Being private was about getting an unlisted phone number
It was about not having your location known
People didn’t go about advertising themselves
No social media
It is/was bad taste to tell people how much money you have
Trust was earned first
You judged risks by witnessing them in the real environment
People are their own worst enemies
They openly expose their weaknesses to be exploited
90% of the attack vectors that are presented to bad actors are voluntary
But even with that, technology has provided bad actors a chainsaw weapon and they know how to use it
Attack surfaces
You don’t go into a bad neighborhood at night
You don’t leave your doors unlocked
You don’t advertise the payload
Keep your movements to yourself
Predictability = Vulnerability
You don’t expose your secrets
You don’t advertise everything on social media
You don’t tell people what you have
You don’t tell people what your net worth is
You don’t advertise to people where you are on your “FI journey”
Covert vs. Defensive
No, the answer to your privacy is not to buy a gun
Sun Tzu, “The Art of War” – Every battle is won BEFORE it is ever fought
Never expose yourself to conflict
Either as the aggressor or target
You can live in the middle of conflict by not being a target
Always have an escape plan
Who are your adversaries?
Those who don’t have what you have
Don’t tell people what you have
Those with mental or dependency disorders
Those that have an axe to grind with you
Those that wish to categorize you into a group and target the group
Eat the rich
How do you avoid adversarial positions?
Get out of danger
Bug out process
Know your escape routes before you need to use them
Understand the value of true portability
Don’t make yourself look like a target
Keep to yourself
Keep your affairs private
Keep your business dealings private
Deflect attention to things you don’t care about
Understand stealth
Make yourself the least attractive target
Nature demonstrates this with the laws of the jungle
Every attacker knows that there is a risk of them being attacked when they engage
Advertise all the reasons why someone wouldn’t want to rob you
Alarm signs
CCTV cameras
Too much advertising sends a reverse message though – if you advertise all the security, then you must have a payload in there
Our digital footprint
The worst enemy to privacy – we carry them everywhere we go
You openly put yourself out there to the world 
Everything you capture in digital form is marked with metadata
You openly agree to be a victim
Google Android & Apps
Apple iOS & Apps
Every Wifi access point logs that you were nearby
GPS tells where you are, and big data can predict where you will be
Telcos know every phone call, text, etc. that you make
Watch “First 48” to see how critical cameras & phone records are
And no, they can EASILY unlock your phone
International travel with phones – ie. Australia
Never put anything on a phone that you don’t want people to know about
Text message history
Web browsers
Everything you search for is known to Google AND Facebook
Every website you visit probably has a capture mechanism to Google & Facebook that you were there
There is no such thing as “Private or Incognito Mode” for a browser
Your ISP knows every HTTP request and response you make
The technology built into modern cars include dozens of purpose built computers for telemetry and maintenance, but also tracking systems
Cars with inbuilt GPS systems are “always on”
Most freeways have cameras on overpasses that can correlate movement of a vehicle with its onboard GPS
Link with cell phone station routing to monitor your movements
Every travel event is logged
TSA is a Federal Govt Agency
Your passport defines your identity and your travel history
But I have nothing to hide….
Talk about the Capital City Rioters and what Dragnets are
How the events of criminals creates a geo-fencing opportunity
Despite what you think, you have to prove your exclusion from being a criminal first
Your proximity to things that have nothing to do with you will sweep you up
In the process, if anything is identified that makes you look like a “follow up later” target, now you have problems
What can you do to combat all of this?
Encryption, encryption, encryption
Computing resources are not unlimited
Your records, if too hard to review, will be skipped over
Do VPNs work?
Depends – if based out of countries that are not available to your adversaries, yes
Commercial VPNs are not typically a good idea
Centralization of your data makes it easy to sweep up everything from one place
They help against private corporations, but not govts
Use things that make you are less attractive target
Duck Duck Go as a browser
Don’t use cloud services at all
Don’t carry around evidence in digital form on your portable devices
Most smart watches are tracking you
Be as self contained as you possibly can
Privacy phones
Great idea
GrapheneOS, CalyxOS, LineageOS
Use different SIM cards
But your apps that you use will track back your usage
International Travel
Encrypt everything
Don’t cross borders with the same SIM card
Border crossings will have the right to seize and review your devices
If you need to carry data, crypto wallets, etc. with you, put them on a MicroSIM card and hide it (shoes, etc.)
Don’t use a local Telco
Use Wifi Data where you can
If you have to have a SIM, get one that you can afford to lose the number to
Use Jabber instead of SMS
Use Voip Softphones instead of Telco provided phone calls
Everything on data – not on voice or txts
If you must use 3rd party services, only use those outside of your local country
European services have much better privacy respect than US
Use privacy chat systems
Financial services
In 1815, Mayer Rothschild famously said, “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.”
Encrypt everything
Banking = open communication to the government of your country
There is no privacy here, even down to the credit card statements
Bitcoin is far from private
Public blockchains are easily reviewed and AI in BigData can pinpoint wallet owners based on IP addresses, patterns, periphery endpoints, etc.
Only possibility here would be privacy coins like Monero
Cash is really still the only true medium of exchange that supports some level of privacy, but remember each note is serialized
Hence the wish of banning cash by govts worldwide
Diamonds and the Jewish people during WWII
Now the NYC diamond market is run predominately by descendants
Still relatively portable in smaller quantities, and spot price is relatively uniform
Not required to be disclosed in FINCEN reporting statements
Real Estate
Certainly not portable, but ownership in USA can be anonymized for private searches
Nevada LLCs, etc.
Foreign real estate currently does not need to be declared to US govt
Foreign businesses
IBCs used to be a #1 choice for doing business in private
IRS has made compliance requirements so prohibitive that it isn’t worth it, IMHO
Trusts…. See IBCs
Asset protection in foreign trusts
Only useful if you can afford the compliance obligations
Often have hefty setup & maintenance fees
Almost certainly guarantee a “red flag” for an audit
Only good if there is a trustor under agreement to not release assets of the trust if the trustee is under duress (ie. Court enforced action)
Realize that any refusal to give up access to the trust may put the defendant in contempt of court, and subject to jail
Plausible deniability would be that defendant cannot do it because trustor won’t allow it (trust agreement)
US one of only 2 countries in the world that does this
More may follow
US persons must declare foreign assets in FINCEN forms annually
Bank accounts > $10K collectively
Trusts ownership or beneficiary
Control of a foreign corporation
Insurance or retirement accounts (ie. Superannuation)
US persons must file FATCA forms if you have more than $50K in foreign bank accounts
Foreign banks don’t want US persons as customers
Second passports are mandatory these days
Only hope of movement if you lose primary
Pick your battles
You will never win against the US govt
Pay your taxes, legally take your deductions
Keep a small footprint
Don’t be a target of bad actors
Don’t expose yourself to dragnets
Be careful who you associate with
Don’t openly antagonize your adversaries
Do nothing and you are certain to be a victim here
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