Encrypted Chatrooms & VoIP Applications

Encrypted chatrooms and VoIP services, such as like WhatsApp and Telegram, are not only great for business communications, but they critically important for human rights defenders and political activists fighting around the world – especially in at risk or oppressive countries. It is important to understand that even if you are living in a country which has banned Tor, VPN’s or applications such as Telegram, and you are afraid to use/install those programs out of fear of persecution, encrypted chatrooms can be equally as easy to use and remain 100% legal to boot.

For example, even in countries like Egypt, Iran, Pakistan – et cetera – which have either outright or periodically banned VoIP services such as Telegram and Viber, other chatroom-based services like Chatbox or Slack are still free and legal to own, and can be used to protect private communications all the same. In fact, political activists in countries such as Ethiopia and Egypt are known to have used encrypted chat services to safely coordinate communications, rallies and protests in times of great civil unrest, such as during the Oromo protests and Rabba Massacre. I know this because I was there on the front-lines helping to set up their accounts.

It’s usually free to sign up for these services, and all you need is a verified email address or phone number to login. Then, once enrolled, you can encrypt your chatroom by setting up a custom name/URL for it and requiring password authentication for entry. This assures that only the people you give the URL address to will be able to find it, and only those who know the password to it will be able to enter. Additionally, once set up, you can even set up individual channels within the chatroom itself for a duel level of security/encryption. This includes setting custom rules for different channels, such as requiring Administrator approval for access. This assures that if even someone is able to brute-force their way into your chatroom itself, there are still protocols in place to protect individual communications and information within the chatroom itself.

Additionally, especially if you are doing activism or human rights work, or feel that your life/security could be in danger for the work you do, it is always recommended to never use your real life identity or personal email accounts to set up an encrypted chatroom or channel. Instead, you should always create an online alias and use it to register a new account within an encrypted email service provider, such as ProtonMail or Tutanota. Obviously, this advice need not apply for those of you who are using these services for business purposes. Lastly, some chatroom services actually offer built in video chats, allowing for a third means to make secure voice connections outside of standard phone calls or VoIP services.

For more information on how to keep a safe, private and Anonymous identity online, please read the following tutorial: https://anonhq.com/anonymous-security-guide-2-0/

For more information on different encrypted email service providers and how you can make the switch, please read the following link: https://roguemedia.co/2019/11/02/making-the-switch-to-encrypted-emails-2/

Best/Top Chatroom Service Providers:

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP):

While VoIP services are not necessarily essential for everyday phone use, they do offer critical protections for political activists, journalists, researchers and citizens living under oppressive regimes all around the world. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, which is just a fancy way of saying they transport all calls and messages over established internet connections, rather than routing them through your telecommunications or phone service provider – such as AT&T or Verizon.

In areas like the United States and European Union, VoIP services are important to own because they prevent your data from being intercepted, recorded or stolen by telecommunications companies and other interested 3rd parties, such as Governments, thus protecting any information you send across the wires. VoIP services also offer the ability to encrypt messages or calls between like users, further protecting customer privacy. By comparison, both of these options are unavailable on standard text messages or phone calls straight from your phone provider. In politically oppressive countries around the world, VoIP services are even more important because they offer a critical means to bypass Government imposed restrictions or blockades on national telecommunications on a local level, while also allowing users to make international calls entirely for free.

While this might sound a bit complex or advanced, once installed, operating a VoIP connection/application is no more different or complicated than making a regular phone call or sending traditional text messages. Instead of using your normal texts messages or phone App, you simply download a VoIP App and log into that to make/receive calls and texts – it’s literally that easy. Lastly, VoIP connections offer a secondary means to reach your contacts, should your phone lose service, go out of cell tower range or come under blackout. Rather than relying on the signal strength of your network service provider of choice, all you need is an active internet connection to utilize a VoIP services.

The Best/Top VoIP Service Providers:

 

Investigative Report: How Mass Surveillance Works Inside China

(HRW) – Chinese authorities are using a mobile app to carry out illegal mass surveillance and arbitrary detention of Muslims in China’s western Xinjiang region. The Human Rights Watch report, “China’s Algorithms of Repression’: Reverse Engineering a Xinjiang Police Mass Surveillance App,” presents new evidence about the surveillance state in Xinjiang, where the government has subjected 13 million Turkic Muslims to heightened repression as part of its “Strike Hard Campaign against Violent Terrorism.

Between January 2018 and February 2019, Human Rights Watch was able to reverse engineer the mobile app that officials use to connect to the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP), the Xinjiang policing program that aggregates data about people and flags those deemed potentially threatening. By examining the design of the app, which at the time was publicly available, Human Rights Watch revealed specifically the kinds of behaviors and people this mass surveillance system targets.

Download Full Report: https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/china0519_web3.pdf

Our research shows, for the first time, that Xinjiang police are using illegally gathered information about people’s completely lawful behavior – and using it against them,” said Maya Wang, senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Chinese government is monitoring every aspect of people’s lives in Xinjiang, picking out those it mistrusts, and subjecting them to extra scrutiny.

Human Rights Watch published screenshots from the IJOP app, in the original Chinese and translated into English. The app’s source code also reveals that the police platform targets 36 types of people for data collection. Those include people who have stopped using smart phones, those who fail to “socialize with neighbors,” and those who “collected money or materials for mosques with enthusiasm.

The IJOP platform tracks everyone in Xinjiang. It monitors people’s movements by tracing their phones, vehicles, and ID cards. It keeps track of people’s use of electricity and gas stations. Human Rights Watch found that the system and some of the region’s checkpoints work together to form a series of invisible or virtual fences. People’s freedom of movement is restricted to varying degrees depending on the level of threat authorities perceive they pose, determined by factors programmed into the system.

A former Xinjiang resident told Human Rights Watch a week after he was released from arbitrary detention: “I was entering a mall, and an orange alarm went off.” The police came and took him to a police station. “I said to them, ‘I was in a detention center and you guys released me because I was innocent.’… The police told me, ‘Just don’t go to any public places.’… I said, ‘What do I do now? Just stay home?’ He said, ‘Yes, that’s better than this, right?

The authorities have programmed the IJOP so that it treats many ordinary and lawful activities as indicators of suspicious behavior. Some of the investigations involve checking people’s phones for any one of the 51 internet tools that are considered suspicious, including WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), Human Rights Watch found. The IJOP system also monitors people’s relationships, identifying as suspicious traveling with anyone on a police watch list, for example, or anyone related to someone who has recently obtained a new phone number.

Based on these broad and dubious criteria, the system generates lists of people to be evaluated by officials for detention. Official documents state individuals “who ought to be taken, should be taken,” suggesting the goal is to maximize detentions for people found to be “untrustworthy.” Those people are then interrogated without basic protections. They have no right to legal counsel, and some are tortured or otherwise mistreated, for which they have no effective redress.

The IJOP system was developed by China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), a major state-owned military contractor in China. The IJOP app was developed by Hebei Far East Communication System Engineering Company (HBFEC), a company that, at the time of the app’s development, was fully owned by CETC.

Under the Strike Hard Campaign, Xinjiang authorities have also collected biometrics, including DNA samples, fingerprints, iris scans, and blood types of all residents in the region ages 12 to 65. The authorities require residents to give voice samples when they apply for passports. All of this data is being entered into centralized, searchable government databases. While Xinjiang’s systems are particularly intrusive, their basic designs are similar to those the police are planning and implementing throughout China.

The Chinese government should immediately shut down the IJOP platform and delete all the data that it has collected from individuals in Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch said. Concerned foreign governments should impose targeted sanctions, such as under the US Global Magnitsky Act, including visa bans and asset freezes, against the Xinjiang Party Secretary, Chen Quanguo, and other senior officials linked to abuses in the Strike Hard Campaign. They should also impose appropriate export control mechanisms to prevent the Chinese government from obtaining technologies used to violate basic rights. United Nations member countries should push for an international fact-finding mission to assess the situation in Xinjiang and report to the UN Human Rights Council.

Full 78 Page Research Presentation:

[pdf-embedder url=”https://roguemedia.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/china0519_web3.pdf”]


This article was originally published by Human Rights Watch on May 2nd 2019. It was republished, with permission, using a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 US License, in accordance with the Terms & Conditions of Human Rights Watch | Formatting edits, Teets, Videos and pdf added/embedded by Rogue Media Labs

Moscow Introduces New Legislation Designed To Create A “Sovereign Internet” Inside Russian Borders

(HRW) – An acquaintance living in the United States asked me if it was true that Russia is about to “cut off its Internet” from the rest of the world. He sounded panicked – his family still lives in Russia. He was concerned about recent reports that giants like Google are yielding to Russia’s war on online speech and are cooperating with the government.

While the reality is not quite as dramatic, his reaction is understandable. The government effectively controls most of traditional media in Russia and has been taking steps to bring the internet under greater state control, while prosecuting social media users and adopting highly regressive legislation on data storage localization, encryption, and cybersecurity. Last week, parliament held its first hearing on a draft law on internet “sovereignty,” which aims to protect Russia from foreign cyberattacks and respond to the US cybersecurity strategy.

Learn More – Russia Proposing To Create Its Own Backup To The Worldwide Web: https://roguemedia.co/2018/12/16/russia-aims-to-create-backup-to-the-world-wide-web-create-its-own-national-internet-infrastructure/

The draft, if adopted, would enable Russian internet to operate independently from the global internet in the event of an emergency or foreign threat. It would require all online services operating in Russia to install equipment to monitor web traffic and block banned content under direct oversight of Russia’s watchdog media and communications agency. This proposal naturally raises censorship and surveillance concerns, although the draft is so vague that even its authors were unable to explain how it would work in practice. The second hearing is next month.

View/Track Bill Here: http://sozd.duma.gov.ru/bill/608767-7

https://twitter.com/SophianaRus/status/1096167121422290944

Recent reports of Google’s cooperation with Russian authorities are also a cause of concern. According to Google’s transparency report, the number of Russian government requests to remove content spiked to 182,462 in the first half of 2018 ( from 2,566 over the same period in 2016). Google complied with 79% of all requests to remove content, in whole or in part, during this period. It remains unclear how Google will respond as authorities expand enforcement of Russian laws that jeopardize internet users’ safety and freedom of speech, especially if Google risks being blocked in Russia.

Read More – Roskomnadzor Fines Google, Company Faces Potential Banishment from Russia: https://roguemedia.co/?s=google+russia&x=0&y=0

There are precedents for this: in 2016, authorities blocked LinkedIn for noncompliance with the data storage law, and in 2018, they ordered Telegram blocked for its refusal to hand over encryption keys. Russia’s regressive internet laws have mostly been rushed, clumsy and chaotic, but that doesn’t reduce their threat to freedom of speech and information. Authorities do sometimes rigorously implement them – and penalize those who refuse to obey.

Full Copy of Draft Law:

[pdf-embedder url=”https://roguemedia.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/138234916-1.pdf” title=”-138234916 (1)”]


This article was originally published by Human Rights Watch on February 18th 2019. It was republished, with permission, using a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 US License, in accordance with the Terms & Conditions of Human Rights Watch | Formatting edits, Tweets, PDF Files added/embedded by Rogue Media Labs

Ghost Squad Hackers Release Contents from Internal Operation Known as #OpDecryptISIS, Exposing +1GB of Compressed Data Related To ISIS Members, Recruiters & Sympathizers Online

Earlier this morning, February 12th 2019, “S1ege” of Ghost Squad Hackers released a treasure trove of leaked documents compiled as the result of something known as “Operation Decrypt ISIS” (#OpDecryptISIS), an exclusive operation unique to Ghost Squad Hackers. In a personal interview with Rogue Media LabsS1ege explains how the data provided below comes as the result of months of work, time spent quietly working behind the scenes infiltrating ISIS networks, socially engineering its members and compromising their administrators online.

Unlike operations of the past, such as #OpISIS and #OpIceISIS, largely carried out under the banner of the Anonymous Hacker Collective and which typically targeted low level members of ISIS located on the ClearNet, Ghost Squad’s most recent operation was unique in the fact that it was almost exclusively designed “to take out the top chain of ISIS’s command” – which also subsequently led to the uncovering of countless lower level members involved with the terror group.

Operation Decrypt ISIS Raw Press Release: https://hastebin.com/aqupasaboz.coffeescript

Included in the leaked material provided below are rooted phone numbers belonging to ISIS members, the account names and numbers of ISIS members operating on encrypted Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) services such as WhatsApp or Telegram, as well as detailed logs stolen from ISIS members as they browsed through the internet. The leak also contains detailed files on the identities of ISIS members extracted from various accounts, chatrooms and web pages across the internet, divided across the following countries: Algeria, Australia, Belgium, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Moldova, Syria, Turkey, Uganada and Yemen. Ghost Squad also attached a separate file of ISIS member compromised via their VPN connections. The individual file folders contained with the leak also contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII) on countless terror members, including their “Phones, Geolocation, Cameras, Telegram accounts, numbers and channels, Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts, personal ID’s, Credit Card details and IP Logs.

Screen Shot of Main Leak:

No photo description available.

It should be noted however that the information contained within the leaked files only includes information on those who are either directly operating under the flag of ISIS, or directly participating within clandestine communications associated with the terror group. Quite simply, you do not find your way into these sorts of rooms or channels by accident, meaning that everyone named in the leak represents legitimate targets either actively participating with ISIS or attempting to learn how to do so. Either way, they are all guilty – even if by nothing other than association.

In a message attached to the leak, S1ege wanted the world to know that:

The Islamic state is far from dead..

People fail to realize that Isis is a lot like a decentralized movement, they operate primarily based on ideologies. They’re not a centralized group or physically located anywhere. Think deeply about the fact that most of the Islamic state’s attacks globally aren’t executed by some foot soldier sent abroad to carry out an operation/terrorist attack handed to him by Isis’ chain of command, rather, they’re done by lone wolves inspired by radical ideologies discovered somewhere on the internet – not their local mosque’s.

Presidents fails to acknowledge what causes the Islamic state to gain in numbers, fails to understand how to tackle the core/root problem. Isis/terrorism will never die, so long as one remaining member creates propaganda GSH will continue to combat Isis wherever, whenever on the internet.

Encrypted or decrypted we will find you and expose you Isis…

Browse Through Entire File Archive Leak: https://mega.nz/#F!izo1XC7Q!xq18rHeHzwJrss9sJrIoTQ

Contacts Data from Hacked Islamic State Admin’s Phones:

Raw Leak (77KB): https://hastebin.com/bomucocivu.shell

SMS Data from Hacked Islamic Stat Admin’s Phones:

Raw Leak 1 (656 KB): https://hastebin.com/afadiseyow.shell
Raw Leak 2 (482 KB): https://hastebin.com/ozobawaheq.shell

Call log Data from Hacked Islamic State Admin’s Phones:

Raw Leak 1 (1,214 KB): https://hastebin.com/obaridisoy.css
Raw Leak 2 (956 KB): https://hastebin.com/eqebunisik.css 

File Archive Backup 1: https://anonfile.com/62q7Gct3b2/Operation_Decrypt_Isis_GSH_zip
File Archive Backup 2: https://roguemedia.co/operation-decrypt-isis-gsh/
Auto-Download Backup: https://roguemedia.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Operation-Decrypt-Isis-GSH.zip

While today’s leak comes as something of a surprise, after talking with various group members over the course of the last several weeks and months perhaps it shouldn’t have. I say this because while they never hinted that a large scale release was immediately immanent, Ghost Squad Hackers have been making it clear that they intend to make 2019 the year in which this Islamic States online presence is finally exterminated once and for good. For example, these were sentiments echoed by M1r0x of GSH just last week.

Even with the release this week, the fight isn’t over and new intelligence indicates the Islamic State has once again started shifting their presence to a newer means of communication – such as ZeroNet. As always, the fight continues….

Browse Through Some of The Leaks Featured Above:

[pdf-embedder url=”https://roguemedia.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/GSH_Leak.pdf”]

Encrypted Chatrooms & VoIP Applications

Encrypted chatrooms and VoIP services, such as like WhatsApp and Telegram, are not only great for business communications, but they critically important for human rights defenders and political activists fighting around the world – especially in at risk or oppressive countries. It is important to understand that even if you are living in a country which has banned Tor, VPN’s or applications such as Telegram, and you are afraid to use/install those programs out of fear of persecution, encrypted chatrooms can be equally as easy to use and remain 100% legal to boot.

For example, even in countries like Egypt, Iran, Pakistan – et cetera – which have either outright or periodically banned VoIP services such as Telegram and Viber, other chatroom-based services like Chatbox or Slack are still free and legal to own, and can be used to protect private communications all the same. In fact, political activists in countries such as Ethiopia and Egypt are known to have used encrypted chat services to safely coordinate communications, rallies and protests in times of great civil unrest, such as during the Oromo protests and Rabba Massacre. I know this because I was there on the front-lines helping to set up their accounts.

It’s usually free to sign up for these services, and all you need is a verified email address or phone number to login. Then, once enrolled, you can encrypt your chatroom by setting up a custom name/URL for it and requiring password authentication for entry. This assures that only the people you give the URL address to will be able to find it, and only those who know the password to it will be able to enter. Additionally, once set up, you can even set up individual channels within the chatroom itself for a duel level of security/encryption. This includes setting custom rules for different channels, such as requiring Administrator approval for access. This assures that if even someone is able to brute-force their way into your chatroom itself, there are still protocols in place to protect individual communications and information within the chatroom itself.

Additionally, especially if you are doing activism or human rights work, or feel that your life/security could be in danger for the work you do, it is always recommended to never use your real life identity or personal email accounts to set up an encrypted chatroom or channel. Instead, you should always create an online alias and use it to register a new account within an encrypted email service provider, such as ProtonMail or Tutanota. Obviously, this advice need not apply for those of you who are using these services for business purposes. Lastly, some chatroom services actually offer built in video chats, allowing for a third means to make secure voice connections outside of standard phone calls or VoIP services.

For more information on how to keep a safe, private and Anonymous identity online, please read the following tutorial: https://anonhq.com/anonymous-security-guide-2-0/

For more information on different encrypted email service providers and how you can make the switch, please read the following link: https://roguesecuritylabs.ltd/making-the-switch-to-encrypted-emails/

Best/Top Chatroom Service Providers:

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP):

While VoIP services are not necessarily essential for everyday phone use, they do offer critical protections for political activists, journalists, researchers and citizens living under oppressive regimes all around the world. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, which is just a fancy way of saying they transport all calls and messages over established internet connections, rather than routing them through your telecommunications or phone service provider – such as AT&T or Verizon.

In areas like the United States and European Union, VoIP services are important to own because they prevent your data from being intercepted, recorded or stolen by telecommunications companies and other interested 3rd parties, such as Governments, thus protecting any information you send across the wires. VoIP services also offer the ability to encrypt messages or calls between like users, further protecting customer privacy. By comparison, both of these options are unavailable on standard text messages or phone calls straight from your phone provider. In politically oppressive countries around the world, VoIP services are even more important because they offer a critical means to bypass Government imposed restrictions or blockades on national telecommunications on a local level, while also allowing users to make international calls entirely for free.

While this might sound a bit complex or advanced, once installed, operating a VoIP connection/application is no more different or complicated than making a regular phone call or sending traditional text messages. Instead of using your normal texts messages or phone App, you simply download a VoIP App and log into that to make/receive calls and texts – it’s literally that easy. Lastly, VoIP connections offer a secondary means to reach your contacts, should your phone lose service, go out of cell tower range or come under blackout. Rather than relying on the signal strength of your network service provider of choice, all you need is an active internet connection to utilize a VoIP services.

The Best/Top VoIP Service Providers: