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Monday, November 7, 2016

Installing Tails in VirtualBox:

I am very fond of VirtualBox as a way to experiment with new operating systems, mostly based on Linux in one form or another. I installed VirtualBox of a old HP laptop and wanted to try out Tails, a Linux operating system that can provide some protection against government spying (like the NSA).

Here is how the folks at Tails describe it (from their web site):

Tails is a live operating system, that you can start on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card. Tails is a live system that aims to preserve your privacy and anonymity. It helps you to use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship almost anywhere you go and on any computer but leaving no trace unless you ask it to explicitly.

It is a complete operating system designed to be used from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card independently of the computer's original operating system. It is Free Software and based on Debian GNU/Linux.

It aims at preserving your privacy and anonymity, and helps you to:
use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship;
all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network;
leave no trace on the computer you are using unless you ask it explicitly;
use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails and instant messaging.

Tails comes with several built-in applications pre-configured with security in mind: web browser, instant messaging client, email client, office suite, image and sound editor, etc.

amnesia, noun: forgetfulness; loss of long-term memory.

incognito, adjective & adverb: (of a person) having one's true identity concealed.

Online anonymity and censorship circumvention

Tails relies on the Tor anonymity network to protect your privacy online:

All software is configured to connect to the Internet through Tor, if an application tries to connect to the Internet directly, the connection is automatically blocked for security.

Tor is an open and distributed network that helps defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security.

Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.

Using Tor you can:

be anonymous online by hiding your location,
connect to services that would be censored otherwise;
resist attacks that block the usage of Tor using circumvention tools such as bridges.
To learn more about Tor, see the official Tor website. You can also read more here:

To learn more about how Tails ensures all its network connections use Tor, see our design document.