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I just started caring about a thing called "Privacy"

Before the end of 2018 I updated my ASUS router, which I already configured to block Trend Micro's phone home calls. I didn't use any of the "AI" software provided with ASUS-WRT for that reason as well. After the long over due update (whoops) I was greeted with the popular "We care about your privacy" messages, right. I started to look up what I did to block the Trend Micro spying again, and on my way came across ASUS-WRT Merlin. A modified firmware, of the original ASUS-WRT firmware releases. It looked pretty cool, promising bug fixes, improved performance and additional features, including the ability to run custom programs/scripts. SNBForums had a dedicated forum section to the ASUS-WRT Merlin firmware, it consisted of a fairly active community of users and developers, including the developer of the Merlin firmware. At first I found a alternative software package to Pi-hole, called Diversion, it also was able to handle DNS requests and essentially block the DNS addresses you blacklisted. Finally I was able to turn off my Pi-hole docker instance and run it on the router itself! Blocking Windows 10 telemetry (WindowsLies and WindowsSpyBlocker hosts) and a small collection for other spying software wasn't enough. I blocked additional inbound and outbound trafic, set up Stubby for DNS-over-TLS and DNSSEC, avoiding DNS based services from The Fourteen Eyes (also see privacytools.io). I ended up using UncensoredDNS.org. which somewhat recently had added DoT support for it's anycast DNS. Unlike even Cloudflare or DNSWatch and so on, this DNS provider truly doesn't seem to log your activity and is privacy oriented. Test your DNS leakage and encryption here: https://rootcanary.org/test.html 1.1.1.1/help https://www.dnsleaktest.com https://www.cloudflare.com/ssl/encrypted-sni/ Still, it wasn't enough, once you start getting into the basics of privacy protection, you might get carried away. Or so did I. In fact, I started realizing that it was not me going on a privacy rampage, but I just started caring. Being fed up with the big companies knowing everything about me, and then just leaving it at the backdoor under the doormat for others to pick up. So, having set the stepping stones, I bit the bullet and stirred up my 25" diagonal doorstep to the digital world. This year I started out switching to Debian Stretch. Mainly because I have a dislike for Ubuntu (and the distro sharing data to Amazon before) and was familiar with Debian, be it mostly with the CLI instead of the desktop environment. (I opted to use KDE for what it's worth, I love it so far) Still, I might have a look at Mint or Arch in the future. (to be continued)

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