Your Privacy Online: Roe vs. Wade Edition

Presented for Black Rose Tuesday Education (5/July/2022)
By Alex McGeorge

Setting expectations

Who am I, what problems are we tackling, who is this class for, how will we proceed and some content warnings

Who the hell is this guy?

Alex McGeorge

  • Charming, handsome
  • Previously worked at Immunity Inc as a Senior Security Researcher
    • Exclusively did offense oriented work
    • Occasionally a talking head for TV
  • Currently a Senior Security Engineer for a cloud computing provider
presenter picture

Specific disclaimers

I am here in my capacity as a private citizen, the views expressed within to not represent those of my current employer, their shareholders or partners.

Who is this class for?

Non-IT professionals
Though they may get something out of it

How will we proceed

We have an enormous amount of content to cover I would prefer not to get into a technical dick measuring competition

animated picture of a man indicating the size of something with his fingers

What problems will we be tackling?

  • Enough technology background to understand the advice
  • Attending political actions
  • Attending medical appointments
    • Abortions
    • Gender affirming healthcare
  • Crossing borders
  • Using your computer in 2022

Wait, content warnings?

There will be some pornography to help keep people's attention

Scene from the movie Fifth Element where Zorg says 'My Favorite'

Introduction to Relevant Technology

Three robots from Netflix 'Love Death and Robots'

Virtual Private Networks

  • A technology that establishes an encrypted connection between your computer and another
  • Traffic that would normally go out to the internet will now go through this connection or 'tunnel' BEFORE going to its final destination
  • Additional reading

A simplistic overview of how the internet works

Simple connection diagram

Now with a VPN

Simple connection with a VPN

How does law enforcement see this problem?

Power of warrants and subpoenas

Thoughts on VPNs

  • Can be very useful for local threats
  • Understand that VPN providers may or may not keep logs (assume they do)
  • Understand that 'offshore VPNs' may not be 'out of reach'
  • I like CryptoStorm


A combination that works

Use Tor (anonymity) to connect to your anonymous VPN (privacy)

It will be extremely slow though

Encryption for data at rest

Cellphone messaging apps

Are Twitter DMs safe?

No, read the Twitter Legal FAQ

Is Facebook Messenger Safe?

Lol No

Is Telegram Safe?

Nope, read some of the privacy concerns here

Is WhatsApp Safe?

Also no, they have moderators to look through messages

What about Signal?

This is the only and best answer to secure messaging and calling on mobile devices

But WHY signal?

Ok how do I use Signal the right way?

But Alex my friend told me about this new messsaging app...


Alex how to Cops get on my phone?

  • What's a vulnerability? What's an exploit?
  • Physical access vs Over the Air
  • Commercial products/companies like

Introduction to Good Privacy Habits

Man putting on a fake mustache

You are the weakest link

XKCD Comic

This doesn't work retroactively

A spoopy ghost

No one will go to jail for you

A image of a robot strangling Mr. Burns


Streets of Rage gif

The best thing you can do

Shut the fuck up


  • Where possible separate devices for compartments
  • Always separate accounts for different compartments

Common Scenarios

A gif of someone saying the word 'scenarios'

Don't talk to the fucking cops

Clip from the movie Dirty Harry

Helpful videos on why not to talk to the cops

But what if I have to?

Attending a Political Action


  • Do you have a protest phone that only has Signal? Why not bring that
  • Disable biometric unlocking (fingerprint, face)
  • Keep the phone off or in a faraday bag when not in use
  • Use Signal to make/receive calls


  • Assume you will be separated from your phone, write important phone numbers on your person
  • Clear out your wallet, bring your ID, cash, dedicated transit passes
  • Have multiple plans and routes to get home

Organizing a Political Action

Too complicated for this talk but start here (audio)

This talk is also good and relevant

Obtaining medical care

As of writing it is unclear how individual jurisdictions will enforce healthcare restrictions

Obtaining medical care (Plan Ahead)


  • Create a dedicated email to communicate about your medical needs
  • Access this email through a VPN but not from any device you will bring with you


  • Coordinate with the doctor's office for what you need to have on you the day of
  • Plan your route to a location close to your doctor's office, print out directions
  • Tell the minimum number of people possible, remember no one will go to jail for you

Obtaining medical care (Day Of)


  • If possible bring a pay as you go phone which can run signal
  • Don't connect the phone to anything you use regularly
  • Disable biometric unlocking (fingerprint, face)
  • Keep the phone off or in a faraday bag when not in use
  • Use Signal to make/receive calls


  • Assume you will be separated from your phone, write important phone numbers on your person
  • Clear out your wallet, bring your ID, proof of insurance
  • Memorize the route from the first location to your doctor's office

Crossing a Border in 2022


  • Best plan: Bring a dedicated phone with you, have nothing on it but essential phone numbers
  • Disable biometric unlocking (fingerprint, face)
  • Set your phone to airplane mode, disable
  • Turn your phone off when going through customs


  • Best plan: Bring a dedicated laptop with nothing else on it, download sensitive info once across the border
  • Make sure you have full disk encryption for any computer
  • Encrypt any external devices
  • Turn your computer off when going through customs

Using a computer in 2022

I ran out of time for this section :( you may find useful info in previous presentations