Threat model: Parents

Barton Gellman otr at
Sun May 31 10:19:21 PDT 2015

Honestly, people, some of these suggestions are like a parody of geek advice to civilians ;-)

The kid will soon hit upon the same practical solution that his or her peers all use: the smartphone (preferably with a VPN like Freedome), plus browsing at a friend's house. Wiping, Linuxing and LUKSing a family PC will escalate the real-life threat, and the kid's defenses will fall quickly to the parental equivalent of that XKCD password cartoon. 

If the kid has a need for full size keyboard and screen, and has a few more technical chops than most, there are some alternatives:

 * Boot up Tails in Windows camouflage mode. Choose More Options at boot. Shoulder surfing will probably bust him/her anyway, sooner or later. 
 * Make one of those WinPE Windows USB drives, if real Windows is required. Last time I looked this wasn't that easy. 
 * Get a small, fast external drive and install the OS of choice. If the host is a Mac, use Carbon Copy Cloner (or dd) to copy an existing machine to the external drive, or do a fresh installation there. For Linux, choose your flavor. 
  * Get a Raspberry Pi and hook it to the keyboard and screen, at times when you don't expect interruption. 
  * A virtual machine may be possible on the monitored host, if the required drivers are already present. Probably not. See If anyone knows a VM that works without admin rights, speak up. 


Barton Gellman

On May 31, 2015, at 12:00 PM, cypherpunks-request at wrote:

>>> On 31 May 2015 03:24:45 GMT+01:00, Gadit Bielman <thetransintransgenic at> wrote:
>>> Hi.
>>> I'm trying to help (probably badly, but..) a friend deal with parents
>>> that
>>> they expect are spying on them.
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: text/html
Size: 2865 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the cypherpunks mailing list