about.mdwn 5.98 KB
Newer Older
1
[[!meta title="About"]]
2

3
> **amnesia**, *noun*:<br/>
4 5 6 7 8
> forgetfulness; loss of long-term memory.

> **incognito**, *adjective & adverb*:<br/>
> (of a person) having one's true identity concealed.

9
Tails is a live system that aims to preserve your privacy and anonymity. It
10
helps you to use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship almost anywhere you go and on any
11
computer but leaving no trace unless you ask it to explicitly.
12

13
It is a complete operating system designed to be used from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card
14
independently of the computer's original operating system. It is [[Free
15
Software|doc/about/license]] and based on [[Debian GNU/Linux|https://www.debian.org/]].
16

17
Tails comes with several built-in applications pre-configured with security in
18 19
mind: web browser, instant messaging client, email client, office suite, image
and sound editor, etc.
20

21 22
[[!toc levels=1]]

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
23 24
<a id="tor"></a>

25 26
Online anonymity and censorship circumvention
=============================================
27

28 29
Tails relies on the Tor anonymity network to protect your privacy
online:
30

31 32 33
  - all software is configured to connect to the Internet through Tor
  - if an application tries to connect to the Internet directly, the
    connection is automatically blocked for security.
34 35 36 37

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 state security known as traffic
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
38
analysis.
39 40 41 42 43 44

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.

45 46 47 48 49 50 51
Using Tor you can:

  - be anonymous online by hiding your location,
  - connect to services that would be censored otherwise;
  - resist attacks that block the usage of Tor using circumvention tools
    such as [[bridges|doc/first_steps/startup_options/bridge_mode]].

52 53 54
To learn more about Tor, see the official [Tor
website](https://www.torproject.org/):

55
- [Tor overview: Why we need
56
  Tor](https://www.torproject.org/about/overview.html.en#whyweneedtor)
57
- [Tor overview: How does Tor
58 59
  work](https://www.torproject.org/about/overview.html.en#thesolution)
- [Who uses Tor?](https://www.torproject.org/about/torusers.html.en)
60 61
- [Understanding and Using Tor — An Introduction for the
  Layman](https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/doc/TorALaymansGuide)
62

63 64 65
To learn more about how the usage of Tor is enforced, see our [[design
document|contribute/design/Tor_enforcement]].

66

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
67
You can also [[use Tails to access
68 69
I2P|doc/anonymous_internet/i2p]]. To learn more about I2P, see the
official [i2p website](https://geti2p.net/). To know how it is implemented in
70
Tails, see the [[corresponding design document|contribute/design/I2P]].
71

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
72 73
<a id="amnesia"></a>

74
Use anywhere but leave no trace
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
75
===============================
76 77

Using Tails on a computer doesn't alter or depend on the operating system
78
installed on it. So you can use it in the same way on your computer, a
79
friend's or one at your local library. After shutting down Tails,
80 81
the computer can start again on its usual operating system.

82 83 84
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
the RAM, which is automatically erased when the computer shuts down. So
85 86 87 88 89
you won't leave any trace neither of the Tails system nor of what you did on
the computer. That's why we call it "amnesic".

This allows you to work on sensitive documents on any computer and protect you
from data recovery after shutdown. Of course, you can still explicitly save
90
some documents to another USB or external hard-disk and take them away for
91 92
future use.

93 94
<a id="cryptography"></a>

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
95
State-of-the-art cryptographic tools
96 97 98 99 100
====================================

Tails also comes with a selection of tools to protect your data using strong
encryption:

101 102
  - [[Encrypt your USB sticks or external
    hard-disks|doc/encryption_and_privacy/encrypted_volumes]] using <span
103 104 105
    class="definition">[[!wikipedia LUKS]]</span>, the Linux standard for
    disk-encryption.

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
106
  - Automatically encrypt with HTTPS all your communications to a number of
107 108
    major websites using [HTTPS
    Everywhere](https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere), a Firefox extension
Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
109
    developed by the [Electronic Frontier Foundation](https://www.eff.org).
110

111
  - Encrypt and sign your emails and documents using the *de facto* standard
112
    <span class="definition">[[!wikipedia OpenPGP]]</span> either from Tails
113
    email client, text editor or file browser.
114 115 116 117 118 119

  - Protect your instant messaging conversations using <span
    class="definition">[[!wikipedia Off-the-Record_Messaging
    desc="OTR"]]</span>, a cryptographic tool that provides encryption,
    authentication and deniability.

120 121 122 123 124 125
  - [[Securely delete your files|doc/encryption_and_privacy/secure_deletion]]
    and clean your diskspace using [[Nautilus
    Wipe|http://wipetools.tuxfamily.org/nautilus-wipe.html]].

[[Read more about those tools in the documentation.|doc/encryption_and_privacy]]

126 127 128 129 130
What's next?
============

To continue discovering Tails, you can now read:

131
  - the [[warning page|doc/about/warning]] to understand better the security limitations of Tails and Tor,
132
  - more details about the [[features and software|doc/about/features]] included in Tails,
133
  - our [[documentation|doc]] explaining in detail how to use Tails,
134
  - some hints on why [[should you trust Tails|doc/about/trust]],
135 136
  - our [[design document|contribute/design]] about Tails specification, threat model and implementation,
  - the [[calendar|contribute/calendar]] holds the release dates, meetings and other events.
137

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
138
Press and media
139 140
===============

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
141
See [[Press and media information|press]].
142

143 144 145
Acknowledgments and similar projects
====================================

Tails developers's avatar
Tails developers committed
146
See [[Acknowledgments and similar projects|doc/about/acknowledgments_and_similar_projects]].