PET

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Thanks for visiting the CIS PET wiki. This is meant to be a list of free technologies aimed at empowering Internet users to gain better control over their data. It's very simple to add an entry---just click the "edit" tab, copy and paste the previous entry, and substitute the name, description, and address.

  • Abine - A Firefox / Internet Explorer plugin that blocks third party advertising networks, manages HTTP, DOM, and Flash cookies, and securely manages site logins. Currently in private beta, but invites aren't hard to get. Abine Privacy Suite
  • Ad Blockers for Browsers - Firefox: Adblock Plus Chrome: AdBlock Safari: AdBlock
  • Anon email services - Send anonymous email awxcnx.de Email drop drop.io
  • Anonymouse - A Web search portal hosted on an island off the coast of Somalia. This PET seemingly allows you to access any webpage without leaving a trace. (I tried MSN.com and found that Ghostery detected no web bugs.) Anonymouse
  • aTube Catcher - Download videos and watch anytime and without needing to be online and thus frustrate tracking and monitoring aTube
  • BetterPrivacy Firefox Plug In - Add on for Firefox that creates "super-cookie blocker," including flash cookies and most DOM storage objects. BetterPrivacy
  • BleachBit - BleachBit quickly frees disk space, removes hidden junk, and easily guards your privacy. Designed for Linux and Windows systems, it wipes clean 70 applications including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Flash, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Adobe Reader, APT, and more. BleachBit
  • BugMeNot - Bypass many webpages requiring free registration with the click of a button. BugMeNot
  • CCleaner - application for Windows. Analyzes and facilitates deletion of various items of data stored on your PC, including state management cookies (HTTP, flash and other), cached temporary Internet files, etc. CCleaner
  • Certificate Patrol - Firefox plugin that saves SSL certificates of pages when encountered to act like SSH's "known_keys" feature and alarm the user when the presented certificate is different from the usual one [1].
  • Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBN) - Free self-contained boot disk that securely and completely deletes the contents of any hard disk that it can detect. DBN
  • Diaspora - the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network Diaspora
  • Documents over HTTPS - View online documents over HTTPS, just enter web link after = GoogleDocs Alternatively upload document or enter URL through Zoho Viewer Note: ixquick and google search results do not provide direct links to view documents over https.
  • Eraser - Secure data removal tool for Windows. (Open Source) Eraser
  • FireGPG - FireGPG is a Firefox add-on which brings an interface to encrypt, decrypt, sign or verify the signature of text in any web page using GnuPG. FireGPG
  • Freenet - Decentralized, censorship-resistant distributed data store which aims to provide freedom of speech through a peer-to-peer network with strong protection of anonymity. Freenet works by pooling the contributed bandwidth and storage space of member computers to allow users to anonymously publish or retrieve various kinds of information. Freenet
  • Ghostery - Scans visited web pages to find web bugs used to track user behavior on the web. Ghostery, CIS Ghostery review (note: Ghostery has been purchased by a behavioural advertising firm)
  • GoogleSharing - A system for anonymizing requests to Google services which don't require a login. Consists of both a Firefox Addon and a free proxy. GoogleSharing
  • Hosts file domain blocking - A slightly technical (but very easy) procedure that provides you nearly complete invisibility from all data aggregation engines of your choosing. The principle behind the technique is simple: you use your own computer's local domain name information repository (known as the hosts file) to associate a privacy-infringing domain (ie, doubleclick.net) with an incorrect IP address - usually your own. See the following link for more details and resources, including a pre-made hosts file that takes care of most of the technical details for you. MVPS.org
  • HTTPs Everywhere - A Firefox plugin that defaults supporting websites to HTTPs. HTTPs Everywhere
  • I2P - Mixed-license free and open source project to build an anonymous network that other applications can use to anonymously and securely send messages to each other. Uses include anonymous surfing, chatting, blogging and file transfers. I2P
  • IPREDator - "IPREDator is a network service that makes people online more anonymous using a VPN." (Note: This service appears to involve a monthly fee. Added: it costs 50SEK/month - roughly $10) IPREDator
  • Internet Privacy Forum - Reports on what a website can know about you just by visiting it. IPF
  • Internet Proxy - Free internet web based proxy. Conceals your IP address from visited sites. Internet Proxy
  • Ixquick - Metasearch engine that returns the top ten results from multiple search engines. Can be used over encrypted SSL/HTTPS and has a facility to view search results via it's SSL/HTTPS proxy option. Ixquick was the first search engine to delete private details of its users--IP addresses and other personal information are deleted within 48 hours of a search. Ixquick also does not share its users' personal information with other search engines or with the provider of its sponsored results. Ixquick Note: View docs over HTTPS Zoho Viewer or GoogleDocs
  • Java Anonymous Proxy - Free, cross-platform proxy system designed to allow browsing the web with revocable pseudonymity. Java Anonymous Proxy
  • JonDoNym - German-based software that encrypts and mixes Internet communications to render them anonymous. Fee based and slower free services available JonDoNym
  • KeePass Password Safe - Open source password manager. KeePass Linux version KeepassX
  • MelonCard - Removes you from a vast number of people search and people lookup websites (e.g. RapLeaf, MyLife, Spokeo) for free. MelonCard automates the process of removing yourself from these websites, sending forms, letters, and faxes on your behalf. The basic level of service is free with an option to upgrade for additional opt-outs (e.g. Intelius and ZabaSearch) and monitoring for your information. MelonCard
  • Mixmaster - Type II anonymous remailer which sends messages in fixed-size packets and reorders them, preventing anyone watching the messages go in and out of remailers from tracing them. Mixmaster
  • MyTube - A free script for website designers intending to use embedded videos, which is designed to prevent cookies from being sent to external sites or advertising networks unless the embedded video is actually played. MyTube
  • NoScript - Firefox add on that protects against certain types of web hacks. NoScript
  • OptimizeGoogle - Firefox add-on to enhance Google search results, remove click-tracking, ads, spam, enable Google over https options and more. OptimizeGoogle
  • Password Generators (online) - Ultra High Security Password Generator GRC. Plus online password generators/hashers, using Master Keys that when remembered can be used to recover forgotten passwords! Password Hasher PwdHash Password Chart
  • Panopticlick - A tool for measuring how rare/unique a browser configuration is. Rare configurations may function as fingerprints that allow websites to track the browser even if the user limits or deletes cookies Panopticlick.
  • Peer Block - PeerBlock lets you control who your computer "talks to" on the Internet. You can block communication with advertising or spyware oriented servers, p2p activity monitors, even entire countries! They can't get in to your computer, and your computer won't try to send them anything either. Best of all, it's free! Peer Block
  • pidder - A host-proof service that lets you build an encrypted, private social network where you stay in control what data you wish to share and with whom. Includes encrypted messaging and password management. Free Base Edition. pidder
  • Privacy Bird - Free software designed to automatically read full P3P privacy policies of websites and compare them to your personal privacy preferences, providing warning messages when a site's policies do not match your own. Privacy Bird
  • PrivacyBox - The PrivacyBox provides primarily for journalists, bloggers and other publishers the possibility to offer non-tracked (and also anonymous) contact forms. privacybox.de
  • PrivacyChoice Opt-out - Gathers opt-out cookies from over 150 ad companies, with an optional Firefox add-on to preserve and automatically update preferences. Opt-out from all companies or opt-out selectively based on industry certifications and policy terms. PrivacyChoice Opt-out
  • Privacy Collections - Users compilations of Firefox add-ons with a focus on Privacy 200+ "Privacy" Collections
  • PrivacyFinder - Privacy-enhanced search engine allowing users to state privacy preferences and order search results based on how sites' computer-readable privacy policies comply. PrivacyFinder
  • Privatix Live-System - Free portable encrypted system on an usb flash drive or an external hard drive for safe editing and carrying along of sensitive data, for encrypted communication and anonymous web surfing. Privatix
  • Privoxy - Privoxy is a non-caching web proxy with advanced filtering capabilities for enhancing privacy, modifying web page data and HTTP headers, controlling access, and removing ads and other obnoxious Internet junk. Privoxy has a flexible configuration and can be customized to suit individual needs and tastes. It has application for both stand-alone systems and multi-user networks. Privoxy
  • Qubes - Open source operating system designed to provide strong security for desktop computing. (Under development) Qubes
  • RefControl - Control what gets sent as the HTTP Referer on a per-site basis. RefControl
  • RetroShare - Open Source cross-platform, private and secure decentralised communication platform. It lets you to securely chat and share files with your friends and family, using a web-of-trust to authenticate peers and OpenSSL to encrypt all communication. RetroShare
  • Scroogle.org - A service that functions as a search-engine proxy, taking your queries, passing them to google, and returning the results to you without ever passing along any identifying information. The service claims to scrub its own logs after 48 hours. Scroogle
  • Seeks - Open and social websearch infrastructure featuring anonymous nodes and proxies based on Privoxy. Seeks
  • SpoofStick - An explorer and Firefox plug in that helps detect phishing attacks. SpoofStick
  • Stealthier - A great new Firefox add on that can pause most online tracking activities. Stealthier
  • Swipe Toolkit - The Swipe Toolkit from Turbulence.org features several elegant tools to educate users on what personal information is collected about them and how it is used. There is a tool that decodes your license info and another that calculate the value of your PII. Swipe
  • TAILS: The (Amnesic) Incognito Live System - The (Amnesic) Incognito Live System (Live CD, Live USB) is aimed at preserving your privacy and anonymity, all outgoing connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network, no trace is left on local storage devices unless explicitly asked. TAILS
  • Targeted Advertising Cookie Opt Out - Sticky opt out for behavioral profiling in the form of a browser plug in. Non commercial verion BEEF TACO See: Firefoxers howl as (TACO) privacy add-on auto updates with 'bloatware' TACO (Abine's Commercial version
  • Tor - Free software implementation of second-generation onion routing, a system enabling its users to communicate anonymously on the Internet. Tor
  • TrackerScan - Available as a Firefox extension or a bookmarklet (no download required), TrackerScan shows you ad companies present on any webpage, with summaries of key privacy policies, industry certifications, and opt-outs. TrackerScan
  • TrackMeNot - Browser extension that helps protect web searchers from surveillance and data-profiling by search engines. Hides users' actual search trails in a cloud of 'ghost' queries, using noise and obfuscation to significantly increase the difficulty of aggregating such data into accurate or identifying user profiles. TrackMeNot
  • TrueCrypt - Free, open-source disk encryption software for Windows Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux. Encryption is automatic, on-the-fly, and transparent. TrueCrypt
  • User Agent Switcher - The User Agent Switcher extension adds a menu and a toolbar button to switch the user agent of the browser. User Agent Switcher.
  • Vanish - Enhancing the Privacy of the Web with Self-Destructing Data (Under development) Proof of concept under development Vanish
  • Vuze - Browser plug-in designed to reveal network management practices. Vuze
  • Web of Trust - Firefox add on that warns users of risky websites. WOT
  • WhatApp.org - Website that reviews apps for privacy and security. WhatApp?
  • Wikileaks - Website that allows for the anonymous posting of documents. Wikileaks
  • WordPress Privacy Plug In - Plug in for WordPress that creates Adsense compliant privacy policy. Wordpress Plug In
  • Yauba Privacy Safe Search Engine - World's first Privacy Safe Search engine, with no cookies, no storage of personal data, and built in anonymising proxy for private surfing of third party websites. Yauba is the only search engine in the world that offers this level of privacy protection. Yauba's searches across multiple categories of filetypes including websites, videos, image files, social networks, pdf files, powerpoint files, word files, and more. Yauba


There are also a variety of resources describing or otherwise devoted to privacy enhancing technology. Please add your favorite.


  • Berkman Center - Harvard's Berkman Center has put together this comprehensive report on the state of technologies that circumvent government monitored Internet connections. Circumvention Landscape Report
  • CDT - The Center for Democracy and Technology describes the role of PETs. CDT
  • EPIC - The Electronic Privacy Information Center has a very good list of PETs, not all of which appear above. EPIC
  • ICO - UK Information Commissioner's Office discussion of PETs. ICO
  • Inside Facebook - Inside Facebook's guide to protecting your privacy on Facebook. Facebook Privacy Guide
  • LCNS - 2003 computer science book devoted to designing privacy enhancing technologies. LCNS
  • Microsoft - Microsoft has put together a privacy education toolkit. MSFT Privacy Toolkit
  • PET Awards - Annual award through IPC of Ontario and Microsoft for best privacy enhancing technology. PET Awards
  • PRC - Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has assembled a list of info brokers and instructions on how to opt out of their activities. Opt Out List
  • Privacy Resources - Consultant Marcus Zillman has assembled a variety of privacy resources, including PETs. Privacy Resources
  • PrivacyChoice Index of Tracking Companies - A comprehensive index of companies involved in user tracking, including key privacy policies, industry certifications, tracking methodologies and opt-out specifications. Look up by company name or tracking domain. PrivacyChoice Index
  • Radialpoint.net - User community around protecting yourself and your computer from spyware, viruses, and fraud. Radialpoint
  • SSD - The Electronic Frontier Foundation has assembled resources around "Surveillance Self Defense," including defensive technology. Surveillance Self Defense
  • Surfing Anonymously - A blog about surfing anonymously on the interner. It covers legal, technical, political discussion on how to protect your anonymity online Surfing Anonymously
  • Telecomix Crypto Munitions Bureau A focus area of the internet activist cluster Telecomix that functions decentrally as a mix between a study group / interest fellowship The Interfax - News releases regarding cryptography and privacy-enhancing use of software (from the "Department of Defense" Propaganda and mission statement cryptoanarchy.org - the practical documentation wiki (temporarily down as of Jul 20th 2010)
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