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How to Smuggle
Gay Propaganda Into Russia
For a free copy of the Russian edition of “Gay Propaganda,” send a blank email to [email protected]
There is a good chance that promoting or distributing Gay Propaganda: Russian Love Stories in Russia will get you into serious criminal trouble. You might not feel comfortable sending or receiving Gay Propaganda in your email.
To that end, we have also provided some ways to clandestinely spread information, using digital tools to create digital samizdat. Using these techniques, you can spread “gay propaganda” wirelessly without connecting to the internet, and also hide “gay propaganda” on your computer and in plain sight without drawing unwanted attention from the authorities.
I. Embed Gay Propaganda in images to hide files and share them secretly on the internet
Steganography is the art of hiding information in plain sight. For instance, inside this .png file (image file) of a Sochi 2014 Olympic medal is the full Russian ebook of Gay Propaganda in .pdf form (if it takes awhile to load, this is because the picture is enormous).
If you save this .png to your hard drive, you are also secretly downloading the ebook, which has been hidden in the architecture of the image file itself.
Here is how to get the ebook from this image file:
1. Download this image titled “gold.png”
2. When you are ready to read the book, download a free copy of the steganography program Steg, for either Mac, Linux, or PC
3. Install Steg
4. Load Steg
5. Select “Open generic image” (the first icon) and open “gold.png”
6. Select “Extract data” and select the location where you wish to save the file. The file will extract as a .zip file, which you must then decompress.
7. Pass it on
After getting the file, if you want to host the free Russian ebook of Gay Propaganda on your own website in secret, simply use this “gold.png” image, or make your own .png using the Steg software and any image you like:
1. Find a suitable image (a very large .bmp is best)
2. Compress the Gay Propaganda ebook into a .zip file
3. Install Steg
4. Load Steg
5. Select “Open generic image” (the first icon) and open your image file
6. Select “hide data” and choose the Gay Propaganda .zip file (note: if your image isn’t big enough, you may not be able to squeeze the book into the cracks). You can even choose to password protect the data to make it difficult to open.
7. Save the file as a .png wherever you like
8. Tell your friends; confound your enemies
II. Hack a router to create a Gay Propaganda wireless hotspot
Using the data storage on a router, you can repurpose it to only display a specific piece of digital information. If someone connects to one of these book machines and tries to go to a website (e.g. google.com, cnn.com, etc.), they are automatically redirected to the ebook that is stored on the router instead.
Imagine being in a coffee shop and connecting to an unsecured wireless network there. If you have connected to one of these machines, you would only be able to download an ebook instead of surfing the Internet.
Because it doesn’t require a connection to the Internet (and so your actions on the Internet cannot be logged remotely), a book machine like this is an excellent method of anonymously distributing literature and other information in an easy and decentralized way.
Additionally, the only way to shut this distribution method down is to physically destroy or unplug the router, which is a transportable, concealable item. It could be broadcasting from a car, an empty apartment, or from beneath somebody’s jacket.
Here’s what you need to configure your own book machine:
You can buy a wireless router that supports the book machine software starting for as low as about $25 online. If you’re buying a router specifically to make your own book machine, we recommend something inexpensive like the TP-Link TL-MR3020. The router is easily available online from most major retailers and supports OpenWRT. Newegg is currently selling them (as of February 2014) for around $35. The TL-MR3020 is extremely small and inconspicuous, which also makes it a great option.
If you don’t want to spend money on buying a new router, you can use an old wireless router that you have around the house instead. The only caveat is that the router has to support OpenWRT, a piece of Linux-based open source software available for routers. OpenWRT is an alternative to the proprietary firmware that manufacturers ship routers with.
To determine whether or not your router will work, check the OpenWRT Table of Hardware to make sure your router is compatible. You can browse this list and find the set of installation instructions that corresponds to your router. (Note: please be careful when you configure a router in this fashion (also known as “flashing” it), as improperly configuring the firmware can sometimes “brick” the router, causing it to be non-functional.)
Installing OpenWRT on your TP-Link TL-MR3020
Disconnect from any other wireless router you are connected to. Open a web browser and browse to the address http://192.168.0.254. Click on “System Tools” and then scroll down to select “Firmware Upgrade.”
It will take a few minutes to upgrade your router to the new firmware. After it’s finished, you should be able to browse to the address http://192.168.1.1. When it loads, you should see the screen below:
Configuring a router with OpenWRT can require some technical skill (and patience), but there’s an active community that can help you. If you need more help installing OpenWRT, you can go to http://wiki.openwrt.org or ask a tech-savvy friend.
You can also use the resources below for additional help on configuring your router:
OpenWRT FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Open WRT Forum
IRC: Type “/join #openwrt” on irc.freenode.org (you can download mIRC here or use the Freenode web IRC client here. #openwrt is the name of the IRC channel you will be joining.)
Putting Gay Propaganda on your OpenWRT Router
The final step to configuring your book machine is copying your book and additional software onto the router where you have installed OpenWRT. This transfer uses a method called SCP, or Secure Copy. In order to copy your book to the router, you can use a few free open source utilities below:
Here is what this looks like using WinSCP for Windows, but other OSes look fairly similar.
File Protocol: SCP (make sure this is SCP, not SFTP)
Host name: 192.168.1.1
Port number: 22 (default)
User name: root
Password: [enter the password you set up here]
A screenshot of these options is below:
If you need to make any changes to the router in the future, you can browse to the web portal by typing in http://192.168.1.1/cgi-bin/luci to reach the regular web interface when you’re connected to the router via wi-fi or Ethernet. Congratulations, you now have a book machine! All you have to do is plug in the router, and if anybody connects to it and tries to browse the Internet, they will instead receive the .pdf for Gay Propaganda.