Tails, version 0.8 has been released 2 days ago, with some updates on his main packages.
Tails stand for The Amnesic Incognito Live System, from the official site:
forgetfulness; loss of long-term memory.
incognito, adjective & adverb:
(of a person) having one’s true identity concealed.
Or i could say that this is a Debian tailored for anonymity and privacy, let’s see what this Live contains.
The main goals of this live distribution are 2 preserve your privacy and anonymity.
It helps you to:
- use the Internet anonymously almost anywhere you go and on any computer:
all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network;
- leave no trace on the computer you’re using unless you ask it explicitly.
Anonymity online through Tor
Tails relies on the Tor anonymity network to protect your privacy online: all outgoing connections to the Internet are forced to go through Tor.
Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and security analysis known as traffic analysis.
Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed 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.
Use anywhere but leave no trace
The best way to use Tails it’s from an USB stick, using Tails on a computer doesn’t alter or depend on the operating system installed on it. So you can use it in the same way on yours, the computer of a friend, at your local library or Internet Cafe. After removing your Tails CD or USB stick the computer can start again on its usual operating system.
Tails is configured with a special care to not use the computer’s hard-disks, even if there is some swap space on it. The only storage space used by Tails is the RAM memory, which is automatically erased when the computer shuts down. So you won’t leave any trace neither of the Tails system nor of what you did on the computer. That’s why the developers call it “amnesic”.
Of course, you can still explicitly save some documents to another USB or external hard-disk and take them aways for future use.
I find the live distro like Tails really useful when you have to use a computer of someone you don’t know or trust (the internet Cafe or internet point ?) to check your Mail or perhaps just to check your Diaspora (or Facebook) page. Are you so sure that the operating system is not doing something nasty ?
And the network you are connected ?
The price for using TOR is usually a bit of latency (sometimes a lot to be true), but for this price you are much more safer, a good deal in my opinion.
Tails 0.7.2 demo video: