Computer and Smartphone Security in Repressive Countries

Computer and Smartphone Security in Repressive Countries | 电脑和手机安全手册在压迫国家

Links and copies are AGAIN online. I’ll post when I receive an update. Vietnamese has been added 现在可以下载。要是文章要改变,我有最新版的时一会给你下载。 Updated 2018 June 17

These security documents for computers and smartphones are useful if: 这个关于电脑和手机安全手册是好用的要是:

  • your country can confiscate, investigate and interrogate your devices at will。
  • 你国家可以随意没收,调查和询问您的电脑和手机
  • your country can force or coerce you to give up your passwords
  • 你的国家可以强制或胁迫你放弃你的密码

These documents are not mine but belong to, a project of Safeguard Defeners. I am only safeguarding and promoting the documents for those who need them. Having read these documents I believe they are important enough to the world to keep a safe copy. I do not know the names of the owners of these documents, nor do I want to know, for their and my safety. If and when these documents are changed, I will replace them with their updated versions.

这些文件不是我的,而是属于 我只是为那些需要他们的人保护和推广文件。阅读这些文件后,我认为这些文件对世界来说是非常重要的。我不知道这些文件的所有者的名字,也不想知道,为了他们和我的安全。如果这些文件被更改,我将用更新的版本替换它们。

Some of us live in countries where we may refuse to provide our passwords and data to authorities, such as the police or military, and we will still live our regular life the next day. Others live in countries where torture by the government, police and army are common, where you will not be able to keep your passwords and data secure. Computer security in these repressive countries requires a unique combination of technology and social engineering in order to keep you, your family and colleagues safe.

Repressive Behaviour in the US, Canada and Europe, under Specific Circumstances
Under certain unique circumstances so called free world countries can also apply here. For example, Canadians who cross the border to the US can and have been forced to provide their passwords to smartphones or computers, or risk being barred entry into the US.

Britain has convicted a suspected terrorist for not revealing his smartphone and computer passwords. These might be unique circumstances, or they might not be. Thus, while repressive brings some stereotypical countries to mind, and they should, this does not by any means mean that the countries of the free world are immune. They are not, and we should be on guard when they step over the legal line.

Canada’s border agency to start tracking the number of cellphone searches

CBSA [Canadian Border Services Agency] has long maintained that it has the right to search electronic devices at the border for evidence of customs-related infractions — without a warrant — as it does suitcases and bags. A 2015 interim policy, still in effect today, says that device searches “should not be conducted as a matter of routine.”…

CBSA’s current policy is that it will not arrest Canadians solely for refusing to provide a password, though the agency believes it has the legal authority to do so — a stance contested by lawyers and civil liberties advocates in Canada.

The Lack of Security Control in Smartphones

Everyone uses Apps on our phones to access accounts and services. Having mobile Apps not only gives the police direct, although limited, access to our accounts, for example emails, but also, even if you protect those Apps with additional passwords, will tell them what services you use. Your phone can literally destroy all your computer security. It has happened many times.

Make sure to specify how you use your phone, and make sure to avoid using Apps that are allowed to identify what services you use online. Usually when downloading or configuring your mobile Apps you will be asked whether to grant it access to location, camera, or contacts, for example. Furthermore, do not use the browser on your phone to access sensitive webmail, as traces are impossible to remove on a phone. Also, proper deletion is likewise much harder on a phone, and you should never use your phone to store any work documents, or download any work documents for later transfer to your computer.

First off, even though phones today are like small computers, they are limited in power, and therefore limited in how much you can do to solve security threats. In short, your phone will never be safe. This is important to remember. If in doubt, or in a situation of heightened security concern, never rely on your phone. Turn it off, when possible remove the battery, and leave it somewhere safe. As long as your battery is in the phone you can be tracked.

In other words, you cannot adequately control security measures on your smartphone as you can on a computer.

Security Guidelines
These documents are important for those of us in repressive countries, where our personal liberty and privacy are at risk. Within this small web site is a summary document as well as a longer, more specific document in a couple of different languages, including English and Chinese, with Vietnamese and Turkish coming soon. While the tactics used have a technology component, the most powerful tools are based on social engineering rather than technology. How you do certain things and how you clean up after yourself is more important than having the best encryption. This is because with torture, you will eventually reveal to authorities your password. The best lock is not the one that uses the strongest steel, but the one that authorities do not know exists.

Just because you may use these tactics does not mean you are hiding something. Many of these tactics can be used around the world and can be helpful in the event you lose your device or are hacked. None of these tactics and guidelines are illegal or promote any illegal activity.

Please download from, the original source. If they are somehow unavailable then try here:

Behaviour Based Cybersecurity (EN)
Behaviour Based Cybersecurity (EN) Windows and Android
Behaviour Based Cybersecurity (EN) OSX and iPhone

Behaviour Based Cybersecurity (CN) 数字安全实用手册 介绍
Behaviour Based Cybersecurity (CN) 数字安全实用手册 手册 微软 安卓
Behaviour Based Cybersecurity (CN) 数字安全实用手册 手册 IOS 苹果手机

Behaviour Based Cybersecurity (VN) LỜI GIỚI THIỆU
Behaviour Based Cybersecurity (VN) Windows and Android TÀI LIỆU HƯỚNG DẪN
Behaviour Based Cybersecurity (VN) OSX and iPhone TÀI LIỆU HƯỚNG DẪN

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