Linux live CD with encryption InvestiGateIX

Debian based InvestiGateIX is an open source operating system for investigative journalists to maintain digital archives without having to use cloud services for data storage. The idea is that since many cloud providers have an NSA backdoor or they could be compromised by malicious hackers, InvestiGateIX gets rid of the need for hosting and Internet access storing documents in an external encrypted hard drive or USB thumbdrive available at all times.

The live CD integrates encryption tools, OCR text recognition software to convert scanned PDF documents or images into editable text and a powerful semantic search engine with multiple filters able to quickly find documents. It is recommended that you have a minimum 2GB of RAM to be able to search thousands of files without slowing down the system.

The distribution can run live off a CD-Rom, USB thumbdrive, or be installed in your computer following a step by step wizard.

InvestiGateIX Linux live CD  with encryption

InvestiGateIX Linux live CD with encryption

You will find the entire LibreOffice suite included in the distribution, the gedit text editor, an archive manager to compress files, a desktop search application, a Linux Voice Over IP client called Empathy Instant Messaging, supporting the XMPP protocol, compatible with Facebook IM, IRC and SIP, a dictionary, a disc burner called Brasero, and the Firefox fork IceWeasel for Internet browsing.

When I clicked on the encryption shortcut a script launched guiding me through the process of encrypting my external USB thumbdrive with LUKS (Linux Unified Key Setup)/dm-crypt, that is when I noticed that the window title made a reference to “Privatix“, an old Linux live CD for encryption and anonymous surfing from the same developer that is no longer available, apparently he is relaunching with a new project using part of his old work.

The roadmap for InvestiGateIX includes overwriting of RAM memory after shut down (script will be taken from Tails), disabling log files, easier encrypted backup and blocking of network traffic for programs that automatically update, like LibreOffice.

Overall, this is not a live CD that I would recommend, the first thing that puts me off is that the developer scrapped Privatix without warning and is now working on InvestiGateIX, it gives me the impression of being a hobby distribution instead of a serious project. The second part is that there were very few tools in the CD, I didn’t see any media player. I am guessing that the reason for including very few programs is that the LibreOffice suite takes up lots of space in a live CD but they could have released a live DVD to solve this.

I would define this distribution as a live operating system with an office suite able to easily encrypt an external device, if your needs are that specific, go for it. But then, why not just download any other Linux live CD with an encryption program that will do the same thing? InvestiGateIX only stands out from the crowd  for its complete semantic search engine not found anywhere else, the average user, could be just fine with with an average desktop searcher, InvestiGateIX could attract a few followers but I see the target group as very niche.

Visit InvestiGateIX homepage

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