Privacy is a major concern for reasons good and bad. Bad people want to do bad things without interference. Christians and patriots have reasons for their need for privacy: Survival. Not being sent to a FEMA camp. The survival of Christians and Christian churches in an increasingly hostile world. Hopes of rebuilding America (or whatever nation) after the flames of destruction die out. Most people realize that privacy is a good thing for many more ordinary reasons, like not having your identity and/or bank account hijacked. The Mark Of The Beast will be presented partly as a personal security measure.
Can we “go dark”? Should we? There is a road to privacy called “the Dark Net”. It’s a layer of the internet that you can’t reach accidentally. What does God have to say about privacy and the Dark Net? Let’s first talk about what internet security measures are available, and then what God has to say about all of them…
As a security officer, I have been coming across a disturbing number of people who no longer carry their driver’s license or any other picture ID with them. Finally I asked one man why he didn’t, and he replied, “You don’t need your wallet any more. I do everything on this – ” and he held up his iPhone. He’s right. And your smartphone is able to track you, listen to you, upload photos or video from your phone without you knowing it. And it regularly reports purchases and searches to Amazon or Google.
If you want to get phone-anonymous, you are advised to use a different router every time, only for a couple of hours, never use that router again, and leave your phone at home turned on when you do so. If you take your phone with you, you can be identified and located, whether it’s turned on or not. If you remove the battery, any gummint trackers or hackers may start trying to find you with increased intensity. If, of course, they’re tracking you.
Are you a “weatherbug”? Is your weather station connected to the internet? More ways to listen in on and track you. Intelligent appliances? Ditto. Smart TV? You’re cooked, you foolish tech freak, you.
Computers: the average teenage hacker and maybe a lot of ‘bots can’t break your internet firewall, but trying to disappear from the internet may make things worse:
The Tor browser “… was initially a worldwide network of servers developed with the U.S. Navy that enabled [military] people to browse the internet anonymously … disguises your identity by moving your traffic across different Tor servers, and encrypting that traffic so it isn’t traced back to you. Anyone who tries would see traffic coming from random nodes on the Tor network, rather than your computer.”
But wait: “It has been known in the security community that a tool as versatile as Tor is likely the target of intense interest from intelligence agencies … the FBI has admitted responsibility for a Tor malware attack … Any doubt was removed in early October 2013 with The Guardian’s release of ‘Tor Stinks,’ an NSA presentation (vintage June 2012) outlining current and proposed strategies for exploiting the network.”
“The use of encrypted email services and other proxy services also attract the attention of the NSA and friends, according to a secret document published last month by The Guardian.”
Related source: “… Anybody can sign up to be a [Tor] middle router from the comfort of their own home without fear of being implicated in any illicit activity that might be bouncing off their connection. Those who host exit relays bear a bit more of a burden as they’re the ones who are targeted by police and copyright holders if any of that illicit activity is detected.”
Does anyone believe that? The end relays will be held accountable but not the middlemen?
Connect these two dots:
This one …”Your average Tor user, however, is probably safe. The software is used by everyone from journalists to political dissidents to safeguard their privacy and security, and it really is tough to track someone using Tor. It’s even used by a branch of the Navy for intelligence operations.” [Ask those experienced in politics how easy it is to be labelled a political dissident.]
…and this one…
“Where using Tor really gets tricky is when intelligence agencies step in. Obviously, the government’s cybersecurity hawks are aware of Tor and its capabilities … they also see its use as cause for concern.”
Want more “good news”? “As the leaked document signed by Attorney General Eric Holder details, the NSA identifies people using anonymity software like Tor as foreign nationals by default.” Until it’s proven you’re not, by the way. “Foreign national” could be seen as synonymous with “terrorist”.
A safe alternative?
“So it’s always nice to have alternatives … The most popular method for becoming anonymous is the Virtual Private Network (VPN), typically those that are encrypted. As the name implies, a VPN is a private network that’s spread across the public internet that can also be used to encrypt data or increase security of individual accounts.”
This entire VPN was taken down (so secure, right?):
“The main thing you need to know is that Demonoid, while a fine site, was likely not nearly as safe and anonymous as you probably thought.” From: Lifehacker
Two more VPNs:
“BitTorrent and Usenet are both pretty safe provided you’re not downloading anything illegal … [How much longer will it be legal to be a patriot or a Christian?] That said, you can face problems even if you aren’t doing anything illegal—like ISPs throttling your traffic or exposing your IP address and download habits to anyone watching … Remaining completely anonymous on Usenet is very difficult. Unlike a P2P network, you have to pay a provider to get access to Usenet files. In order to pay you have to send over your credit card and billing information to get access to Usenet files and services …”
WHAT GOD HAS TO SAY:
God may not protect Christians’ internet connections no matter what extreme measures we take and no matter what we use them for. There are two principles involved: separation and duty. Christians have a responsibility to be separate from evil, and a responsibility. at least on some occasions, to be witnesses to those who are not Christians. We are not usually required to announce our faith to those hunting us down. Joseph, for example, was warned to take Mary and Jesus and get out of Bethlehem, because Herod was about to begin the slaughter of children in an attempt to kill the Messiah before He could present a threat to Herod. So, for example, Iranian Christians are not required to go to the nearest mullah and rat themselves out.
Yet Jesus made Himself available to the killers when it was time for Him to die. We don’t have the knowledge of when (if) we should die, so persecuted Christians may assume that even if we have successfully “gone dark” as far as the world is concerned, He, God, will arrange for our unmasking when the time is right in His eyes for His purpose.
Luke 22:53 – “When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” The next “hour of darkness” is approaching.
“It was given to [the Beast] to make war with the saints, and to conquer them.” (Revelation 13:7)
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
For myself, I have decided definitely NOT to use Tor. A VPN is acceptable, but they do cost money. I think we just have to accept the fact that the government has an almost unlimited ability to spy on us, if they choose to. At this point, “ordinary” Christians probably are not being spied on by the government. But who can reliably say what tripwires exist in the mind of government agents and agencies? Or will exist in the near future?
Besides, the writer of Hebrews documented a greater concern for Christians and non-Christians alike:
“And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.” (Hebrew s 4:13, Amplified Classic Bible)
“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2nd Timothy 3:12-13)
“But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And ‘If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’ Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” (1st Peter 4:15-19)
May God give us grace and strength and endurance to apply His Word to our lives inward and outward, thoroughly and wholeheartedly. In Jesus’ holy name, amen.