Freepto is a Debian based operating system on a USB stick developed by hacktivist group AvANA and used, in between others, by various anarchist groups like the Spanish CNT group in Madrid selling USB thumbdrives with Freepto loaded and hacker spaces in Greece and Italy that do Freepto presentations during digital security training.
The operating system is fully encrypted with LUKS, you will be asked for a password before it boots, the pass is ‘freepto‘ when you enter it you will not see any characters or asterisks on the screen, it has made on purpose to make it harder for others looking over your shoulder to guess. A default username set to ‘paranoid‘ has the password ‘live‘, you should change both passwords straight away as soon as you login by going to the Paranoia menu and visiting Freepto Passwords Changer.
When you boot Freepto it gives you the choice of ignoring the password prompt and run the USB live, doing this will keep data in RAM without touching your hard drive and everything will be erased when you turn off your computer. To save time during every day usage, it is best to save settings and files you download o the encrypted USB stick.
The reason why Freepto allows you boot the operating system without a password is to stop CCTV or dodgy people in the room you are in from recording the passphrase you enter on the keyboard, when in a library or Internet cafe with a camera over your shoulder, it is best to boot Freepto live without entering any password.
The software you need for a normal day of Internet interaction can all be found in Freepto. A web browser, text editor, graphics editor, email client, etc. together with an assortment of privacy and anonymity tools for activists found in a submenu that Freepto calls Paranoia.
In the Paranoia section you will see BleachBit to erase Internet browsing history and temporary files that have been saved to the USB, firewall configuration tweaking, the Florence virtual keyboard to thwart keyloggers, TorFileZilla to route all FTP traffic using Tor, the Tor browser for anonymous surfing, GnuPG to encrypt email messages, an option called TorTP that will force all applications to go through Tor, the Metadata Anonymisation Tookit to strip metadata from documents or photos before distribution, a MAC address changer to stop hardware fingerprinting in public Wifi access points, Truecrypt for encrypted containers, Pidgin-OTR for anonymous Instant Messenger, OpenVPN and Tomb, a command line file encryption program.
One of the many Freepto utilities is that it can bypass a search of your laptop when crossing the border if you pack this USB thumbdrive in the luggage that goes inside the airplane. Custom officers do not have lots of time in their hands, unless they have specific intel looking for a bootable operating system or your name raising a red flag on the screen, there are high chances that Freepto will get into the country without any search. Always balancing the risk that if caught, you can be arrested or refused entry to the country for not revealing the password.
Freepto vs Tails
The main difference in between Tails and Freepto, is that Tails routes everything through Tor, you have no way to disable this. Freepto does not anonymise your computer IP unless you choose to do that.
The projects have different targets, Freepto’s goal is to allow for a highly portable operating system and switch people from proprietary software into open source. The privacy tools that Freepto includes are there because activists need them to communicate safely, as an extra, not as the reason for the operating system. Tails reason to exist on the other hand, is to provide anonymity.
If what you want is a portable easy to use OS with discretionary high calibre privacy tools, use Freepto, if you are paranoid about privacy and want everything to be anonymous, then use Tails.
To use Freepto you need to know how to change your UEFI settings to boot the computer from the USB thumbdrive. The tricky part for newbies will be making a bootable thumbdrive out of a .img file, in Windows it can be done with UnetBootin
This operating system has all the tools an activist needs, it is well documented, with the backing of groups fighting for social change, it comes with a help manual and everything is open source, Freepto is a powerful cyber weapon for privacy seekers that the NSA will hate.
UPDATE: Development has been discontinued!