Archive for the 'privacy' Category

16
Oct
09

On Tracing and Anonymity on the Internet

Thought I would make a post on how far someone can be traced when using the internet, just FYI.

Anonymity on the internet is something that a lot of people are crazy over. A lot of people also have very strange ideas about it. Usually stemming from various weirdass movies. I still shudder to think of Hackers(1996). That movie was practically horror to watch for a techie.

When you connect to the internet, you are assigned an IP address. This is so that other computers that want to connect to you can find you. It’s like your home address. When you ask for somehting from a server, it sends the data requested to your IP addy. This address is usually dynamically assigned. Which means that each time you connect, you get a different one. That is, unless your ISP gave you a static IP, which is rare.

This IP address gets noted down in logs in various corners of the internet that you visit. Like your ISP for example. Or even wordpress, where your IP is logged along with your comment. There is more or less nothing else that gets left behind when you use the internet to post something. That is, IF you use it properly. By properly I mean having user accounts which have no real information on you, and you don’t reveal information yourself.

Say you want to blog anonymously. You create an email address just for that, do not use it for any other purposes online, make an account with an online service like wordpress or blogger, again not providing real information, then continue to use just those two without somehow linking them to other accounts you may have and you’ll be fine. Just make sure you don’t make your posts at work or something, where your data has to go through a company server which might have a name assigned to its IP.

That will be more than enough to keep away all but the most serious stalkers off you. Unless you go screw it up and throw a fan at the shit, the only way to find out exactly who you are is to look through your ISP’s logs to see whose account was using the IP you were posting from at that time.

As for people getting to you through your ISP, most ISP’s do not give out information like that under normal circumstances.

Now, the easy way to get around that is to use an internet cafe or something, make sure to not stick to one; Or simply get your hands on a SIM card from some mobile service provider that isn’t registered in your name. Preferably not to anyone you know either. Which more or less means you’ll have to either steal or otherwise magically acquire one. Now just use that and a capable phone to connect to a PC and use the internet through that. That way the assigned IP leads to some other fellow.

At this point you’ll be undetectable to all but God, more or less. But surprisingly, most people have their identities uncovered by much simpler methods. Like reusing an email address for something associated with their name, or commenting to WP blogs through work. Sometimes is as simple as a friend telling someone. Even I’ve been told about a lot of you people bfore I met you.

So yeah, it IS possible to be completely anonymous for all practical purposes on the internet. Just make sure you don’t have anyone literally looking over your shoulder or something while doing it.

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17
Nov
07

Surveillance cam’s in School

Big Brother is Watching.

First the metal detectors, now this. Yup, They’re going to fix cameras all over the place. Sometime soon, I think, Because they’ve already fixed the wires and stuff. I might even be captured by one next Monday…

WHY??? Are we that dangerous? When was the last time there was a report of even a pocket knife in a school? I doubt many of the students have even seen a gun, let alone posses one. If this was America or someplace, then fine, but here?

Okay, say it isn’t about security. What if it’s for enforcing discipline? Do we need to go that far to get students to stay in class during school hours? Would not that money be better spent on something like, say, renovating classes? Even if the students WERE so unruly as to require constant vigilance on the part of the administration, surveillance like this would completely ruin the fun that is school. Pretty soon our parents will stop saying “Enjoy your school years, they’re the best you’ll get”. I don’t think even prisons here have surveillance yet…

Where’s the fun in letting out the air from a particularly despised teachers car tire when you’ll be shown photographic evidence of your crime the next day? Or of stealthily avoiding the rector only to be caught on tape?

Good thing I’m only here till next August. I just hope the younger students are able to make the best of it…

24
Jun
07

Spy Vs. Spy

Just this weekend I was playing around with my friends camera, a Finepix S5600, And was pretty damn surprised by how effective it’s zoom was. I mean, I could actually do that thing Veronica Mars does every monday! Take pictures of people without them knowing! (Yes. I tried it)

That made me wonder, What if someone is taking pictures of ME in the street? I’m sure my dashing looks and sexy walk draws camera lenses like lawyers to a colony of celebrities. 😉
. Anyway, Does this mean the REAL end of privacy? Will we all have to dress up like muslim women? Oh my god! Those things really make my midriff look bigger!

But, besides all that, Cameras are really cool nowadays. Not the regular point and shoot kind, but prosumer models…… Must add one to my wishlist.