Results tagged “browser” from London 2600 meetings

HTTPS Everywhere extension for Firefox


On June 17th 2010, EFF and the TOR project released the Firefox extension HTTPS Everywhere. There are thousands of Firefox extensions. Almost all of which I couldn't care less about. I have no interest in clogging up my browser with additional icons, buttons & menu items. That do something that Firefox already does in a slightly different way. Or will save you 1 mouse click in 10, for a function you don't use anyway. Or even worse attempt to make a browser the only piece of software on your computer. I don't want a browser that is an FTP client, a mail client, a diary, a kitchen sink. All I want a browser to be, is a browser. I know a browser can do all these things (except a kitchen sink) but a browser doesn't do these things well. That's my opinion anyway. So I avoid installing plug-ins and extensions for the sake of it. HTTPS everywhere is not one of those extensions.

HTTPS Everywhere log

Any extension that improves security is worth a look at. The principle of HTTPS Everywhere is simple, when you visit a supported website you load the HTTPS version. This means the content is encrypted. No-one can sniff your traffic. Not your ISP, that's the company interested in selling your browsing activities to marketing companies as an additional revenue stream. Not the government, where the nanny state has run a mock and cannot be trusted to keep it's noise out of your business. Not a criminal, who is attempting to profit from account credentials or hijacking sessions. All in an attempt to help you, by lightening your bank account.

You may have thought your data, your traffic was encrypted all along. It isn't, encryption is an additional burden that the sites you visit have avoided. Your traffic can currently be viewed unless you are connected via HTTPS. How can you tell? Check your address bar, yes grandma the long thin bar at the top of your browser. If the address starts with HTTP, with no S the session is not encrypted. If it start with HTTPS it is, it's that simple.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, in this day and age many sites do support HTTPS for all their content. By default your browser still looks for the unsecure HTTP content unless told to do otherwise. That's what HTTPS Everywhere does. It forces the supported sites for which currently there are few. To use HTTPS. The ISP, the nanny state & the criminals can still see which server you are connected to. But they don't know what you are doing there. On big sites like Google or Wikipedia this offers considerable privacy protection. As you could literally be doing anything there. On a XXX server it's a bit more obvious. Although they still don't know exactly what you are browsing. Most small sites are on shared hosting, one server many sites. In which case they wouldn't even know what site you are on. Let alone what your doing there.

The extension version is only 0.2.2. So it is young and few sites are currently supported. The good news is that more will be supported over time. After all this extension was originally inspired by the launch of Google's encrypted search option. Yes Google didn't want others to see what you were searching for. I think they did that for a different reason though. They wanted control of who would have access to this information, THEM. But that's another article.

Currently supported sites:

  1. Google Search

  2. Google API's

  3. Google Services

  4. Wikipedia

  5. Twitter

  6. Facebook

  7. Amazon (most of)

  8. GMX

  9. blogs

  10. The New York Times

  11. The Washington Post

  12. Paypal

  13. EFF

  14. Tor

  15. Ixquick

  16. DuckDuckGo

  17. Identica

  18. Live


  20. Meebo

  21. Microsoft

  22. Mozilla

  23. NL Overheid

  24. Scroogle

  25. Gentoo Bugzilla

  26. Noisebridge

  27. Zoho

You might think that's a pretty short list and your right, it is a short list. But on the list we have mail providers, search engines, blogs, micro blogs, newspapers, shops, social networks, software vendors, hackspaces, Wikipedia, payment providers. Basically a bit of everything. Including some very big names. As is often the case, big names lead the way. Google, Paypal, Twittter, Facebook, Microsoft and Wikipedia are the biggest at what they do. If they are supporting 100% HTTPS, then others will follow.

What's even better is YOU can write your own rules. The EFF have a guide on their website that shows you how The rulesets are a simple XML file. Do bear in mind, you can only write a rule for a site that supports HTTPS.

That about wraps up HTTPS Everywhere extension for Firefox. Until next time.

About this blog

London 2600 meetings are similar to those held by 2600 groups around the world, and the other 2600 groups in the United Kingdom.

N.B. the quarterly 2600 magazine is now rarely available in London shops.

Everybody who is interested in computer and telecomms security and the impact of technology on society is welcome, from both sides of the fence, no matter what your age or level of skill and experience - nobody knows it all, no matter what they claim.

You could learn more at these free meetings than from months of study or investigation on your own, but this depends on what you are willing to share and contribute in return. We are mostly British and therefore somewhat shy in public, but it is easy to strike up a conversation with most of us.

London 2600 meet on the first Friday of each month, 6.30pm to 7.30pm initially, at the frront entrance of the Trocadero shopping centre, then on elsewhere.

The kinds of people who have attended over the last 25 years or so include:

"computer hackers, phone phreakers, cyberpunks, performance artists, systems administrators, cybergoths, military intelligence officers, mobi chippers, skip trashers, hacktivists, network gurus, anti-virus programmers, penetration testers, multimedia artists, internet entrepreneurs, newbies, cybercriminals, warez d00dz, old skool, movie script writers, 31337, civil liberties activists, lawyers, radio hams, students, cool hunters, wannabes, djs, corporate security professionals, academic researchers, privacy campaigners, journalists"

Usually up to 20 to 50 people attend each meeting, most of whom then participate in the rest of the evening/weekend activities.

Email Contacts

email: meetings@london2600[dot]org[dot]uk

For the paranoid crypto-ninjas amongst you (like us !) here is our PGP public encryption key

For encrypted web based email (which you can access via the Tor anonymity cloud), outside the direct jurisdiction of the UK Government, get a free Hushmail or Protonmail etc. account and contact us on london2600@hushmail[dot]com

(Obviously many of you will use Google Gmail, which is well secured nowadays, but not very anonymous, especially if you are logged in to your Google accounts or Android Apps)

London 2600 Email List

There is a revived London 2600 email discussion list - be polite please.

This is a public email list, so you should obviously take any appropriate communications data anonymity and other privacy precautions.

@London_2600 Twitter feed

Follow the Twitter feed: @London_2600 for last minute meeting venue change announcements etc.

Google Calendar

Google Calendar reminder button image NOT served and logged by Google

If you have taken the usual security and privacy precautions e.g. private browsing mode, strict cookie and history deletion policies etc. in your web browser, you may feel that you can trust Google Calendar to remind you about the next London 2600 meeting, and other events of interest. Calendar is a calendar of UK meetings and events, including 2600 meetings, Linux User Groups, HackSpaces etc.

(The) Hacker(s) Voice Radio / Magazine / TV


Hacker Voice Radio

"HVR is an online radio show set up as an vocal forum for all the UK hackers and phreaks to come together, work together and a place to share information."

(The) Hacker(s) Voice people have expanded into producing a (.pdf) and printed Magazine, called The Hacker Voice Digest, and have plans for Video as well as their internet radio streams and podcasts etc.

Campaign Buttons

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Free Gary McKinnon, who lives in London, is accused of hacking in to over 90 US military computer systems, and is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

Watching Them, Watching Us, UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database. 0800 789 321 free, confidential, Anti-Terrorist Hotline (use 999 or 112 to report immediate threats)
Anti-terrorism hotline 0800 789 321 free and confidential - use 999 or 112 to report immediate threats.

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond

Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Open Rights Group
Open Rights Group

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Amnesty International 's campaign

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

wikileaks_logo_low.jpg - the controversial "uncensorable, anonymous whistleblowing" website based currently in Sweden.

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Recent Comments

Electro Magnetic Field

As yet unconfirmed plans for a Dutch / German style hacker camp / Temporary Autonomous Zone next August Bank Holiday i.e. 27th August 2012

"EMF camp" ("Electro Magnetic Field" ?) is promised to have an internet domain name and discussion list etc. by next month.

Anybody interested in helping to organise this can contact for now.

London 2600 People's Blog Links

Here are some of the blogs by London 2600 people:

Spy Blog - Privacy and Civil Liberties commentary and campaigns

Rat's Blog - The Reverend Rat comments on London street life and technology

Dr. K's blog - Hacker, Author, Musician, Philosopher. Author of "Hackers' Tales", which drew partly on interviews with London 2600 attendees. blog - David Mery

Silver AJ - fashion model and gender hacker.

Veghead's Bologs

Other Links - "Hacking and Phreaking in the UK. Old school ethics, New school tech."

Need To Know (historical)

El Reg - The Register

Other 2600 meeting links

Other 2600 meetings in the UK and elsewhere

Egypt 2600 - just like London 2600, but in Egypt

2600 Tor Server Project


Obviously if you incorporate the campaign button code above onto your website, without alteration, then we will have access to some of your Communications Traffic Data, and so will anyone who is snooping on us.

Campaign Links

Free Gary McKinnon - or at least try him in the UK, rather than extraditing him to the USA. Gary is accused of hacking in to over 90 US Military computer systems, including some in the Pentagon, National Security Agency, Army, Navy and Air Force, NASA, etc. for over 2 years. He is facing extradition to the USA, under the notorious Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence, rather than being tried in the UK. He could face a Guantanamo Bay style Military Tribunal and over 60 years in prison ! This case has dragged on now for over 9 years !

Free Babar Ahmad - another British (Muslim) IT worker from London, also facing extradition to the USA, also at risk of a Military Tribunal, facing terrorism charges not for running websites etc., relating to activities in Afghanistan and Chechnya, which were not illegal in the UK.

Not Getting Arrested in London

Now that the UK Government has enacted the draconian email and phone snooping RIP Act, widened the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Terrorism Act 2006 to suppress politically motivated computer hackers, and promoted mass technological surveillance of millions of innocent citizens, you have to *trust* the current Home Secretary John "not fit for purpose" Reid that your email is not being routinely monitored, and your mobile phone traffic data and location records are not being fed into some cruel automatic traffic pattern analysis program so as to add points to your electronic secret police dossier, through guilt by association.

Spy Blog's Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers mini-blog gives advice which is also relevant to London 2600 attendees, from both sides of the law, and the media.

Several people on their way to London 2600 meetings have fallen foul of the anti-terrorism hysteria which swept London after the terrorist bomb attacks of July 2005. You cannot really blame the general public and Police for being suspicious, if you bring along a mysterious looking bit of electronic equipment in your rucksack, with lots of wires, batteries and gaffer tape, no matter how innocent it really is.

However, none of us should tolerate Police behaviour and policies like those which resulted the arrest of David Mery, one of our respected long standing attendees. He was stopped, searched and arrested on a Tube station, and his flat was searched and computers and other equipment seized, for no good reason at all. He was lucky that he was not shot and killed by the Police. See Innocent in London" and "Techie and terrorist behavioural profiles are the same"


If you are arrested, then get some legal advice from a firm of solicitors before you say or admit to anyhing whatsoever to the Police e.g. top rated human rights specialists Bindmans & Partners - 020 7833 4433 or Kaim Todner (who represent London hacker Gary McKinnon) - 020 7353 6660 (24 hour Police Station callout)

London CyberPunk Tourist Guide

This London CyberPunk tourist guide should be of interest to London 2600 people, from home and abroad.