Tails an OS
Tails or The Amnesic Incognito Live System is a security-focused Debian-based Linux distribution aimed at preserving privacyand anonymity. All its outgoing connections are forced to go through Tor,and non-anonymous connections are blocked. The system is designed to be booted as a live DVD or live USB, and will leave no digital footprint on the machine unless explicitly told to do so. The Tor Project has provided financial support for its development.
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 USB stick or a DVD independently of the computer’s original operating system. It is Free Software and based on Debian GNU/Linux.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.
Tails was first released on 23 June 2009. It is the next iteration of development on Incognito, a Gentoo-based Linux distribution. The Tor Project has provided financial support for its development. Tails has also received funding from the Debian Project, Mozilla, and the Freedom of the Press Foundation
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 your computer, a friend’s computer, or one at your local library. After shutting down Tails, the computer will start again with its usual operating system.
Tails is configured with special care to not use the computer’s hard-disks, even if there is some swap space on them. The only storage space used by Tails is in RAM, which is automatically erased when the computer shuts down. So you won’t leave any trace on the computer either of the Tails system itself or what you used it for. That’s why we call Tails “amnesic”.
This allows you to work with sensitive documents on any computer and protects you from data recovery after shutdown. Of course, you can still explicitly save specific documents to another USB stick or external hard-disk and take them away for future use.
Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, and Barton Gellman have each said that Tails was an important tool they used in their work with National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden
- LUKSand GNOME Disks to install and use encrypted storage devices, e.g. for USB sticks
- GnuPG, the GNU implementation of OpenPGPfor e-mail and data encryption and signing
- Monkeysign, a tool for OpenPGP key signing and exchange
- PWGen, a strong random password generator
- Shamir’s Secret Sharingusing gfshare and ssss
- Florence virtual keyboardas a countermeasure against hardware keyloggers
- MAT to anonymize metadatain files
- KeePassXpassword manager
- GtkHash to calculate checksums
- Keyringer, a command line tool to encrypt secrets shared through Git
- Paperkey a command line tool to back up OpenPGP secret keys on paper
One may choose among a large number of languages when the system is booted
On 3 July 2014, German public television channel Das Erste reported that the NSA’s XKeyscore surveillance system contains definitions that match persons who search for Tails using a search engine or visit the Tails website. A comment in XKeyscore’s source code calls Tails “a comsec mechanism advocated by extremists on extremist forums”.
On 28 December 2014, Der Spiegel published slides from an internal NSA presentation dating to June 2012 in which the NSA deemed Tails on its own as a “major threat” to its mission, and when used in conjunction with other privacy tools such as OTR, Cspace, RedPhone, and TrueCrypt was ranked as “catastrophic,” leading to a “near-total loss/lack of insight to target communications, presence