Internet anonymity for the paranoid

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posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 03:24 PM
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Internet anonymity for the paranoid

Well, it's been a few weeks since I've joined ATS and I've already managed to write a few posts that were totally stupid, plain wrong and utterly irrelevant in relation to the subject being discussed. That aside, I'm ever so bedazzled by some of the topics we discuss here and even more so by, many intelligent perspectives contributors provide. Some members and anonymous visitors alike show a great deal of analytical thinking and knowledge that would make any of the "three letter agencies" proud.

One such thread is a currently ongoing discussion speculating about current USAF technology level. This got me thinking about how often certain topics are visited by agents working for the military or the intelligence establishments. It is my opinion that there are topics here that would be of interest to them. For entertainment value if nothing else.


With that said, allow me to provide you with a little help in order to be a little more anonymous in order to make their job of tracing you a little more challenging. This is not intended to be an overly technical post... only a few simple guidelines.


The first thing to understand is that you can never be 100% save. Internet anonymity is a myth and is next to impossible to achieve. Especially for the ordinary Joe. Secondly, you must realize that given enough resources and time anyone can be traced and located. So if you're thinking about hiding from the NSA or the CIA, think again and good luck.

When you access the Internet your Internet service provider (ISP) will give your computer ( or network should you have one ) a distinct address called IP. Every single computer on the net has a different IP address. Every time you do anything on the net your IP will be stored on a multitude of servers and their respected log files. This is also true for Goggle, ATS, You tube... everywhere.


I loved it yesterday when a poster, a member even, refrained from sharing his country of living due to security reasons. As if...


Here are a couple of simple suggestions on how to better your anonymity.


Your username
Don't use your real name as your username. This should really go without saying. Many ISPs divide their IP ranges into physical locations like cities, zip codes etc. So once your IP is known, it becomes very easy to find you. Unless your name is John Smith.

A good username is much like a good password, gibberish.


Your email
A lot of web pages require you to give them a valid email address in order to verify your identity. This is quite annoying. Firstly many sites will sell your address to third party companies that are specialized for web marketing and they will spam you for ages. Secondly, you might not want to share your email address with a site you've just stumbled upon. There is a simple and effective solution for this: www.fakenamegenerator.com... allows you to make up an email address and receive messages sent to that address vie their site.


Your personal information
If you're serious about your internet identity and it's ( and your ) security, don't share any of your personal information on a publicly accessible forum. It might even be best for you to come up with a new personality in order to keep a low profile. Use the above link for some fun at least.


Hiding your address
There are ways of hiding your IP. There are web pages, called anonymizers, that act like a browser within a browser and therefor serve as an intermediate between you and the site you want to access. They are usually quite slow, but do the job. You should note that anonymizers naturally also keep logs of your actions. The second method involves using a third party computer as a proxy for your browsing. This is a tad more complicated to set up, but offers good short term anonymity.



[edit on 13-10-2008 by Manawydan]




posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 03:24 PM
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Viruses, Mall-ware and Firewalls
I remember a statistic from a while ago about there being some 100 new viruses developed every week. These can vary in functionality greatly. Anything from wiping your computer out to secretly listening to whatever keys you press and sending them to an innocently looking web server. Having a good anti-virus and firewall are an absolute must today. Several free ones are available on the net. You might want to try Avast anti virus and Comodo firewall pro. Both are free of charge.



Now, for the really paranoid ones:
* What you can do is get a clean ( not stolen ) new cell phone, HSDPA or UMTS capable.

* Do a little investigation into whether there's a local service provider with HSDPA support for prepaid. If so, purchase a prepaid SIM card from that provider and enough credit to go surfing.

* Use a clean notebook with a freshly installed operating system. Do not use Windows. Make sure that the CPU identification is set to 'disabled'.

* Change location. You've became mobile for a good reason, so relocate away from where you live. Make sure to be on a different base station when you access the net and keep all the hardware off power until you're sure of this.

* Use only cash to pay for the SIM card and the vouchers. Believe it or not, phone companies track voucher sales by location on a daily basis and they will know which voucher was used to top up which phone and where that voucher was shipped to or sold. All this making it very easy to find you.

* Never call anyone for that phone number. Same applies to messaging or any other type of communication.

* Go into a cyber cafe and work from there, but change location frequently.

* Dispose of both the phone and of the sim card should you think you've been made.

Following this, it will make it very hard for you to be traced, but not impossible. Remember that and stay safe.



I would very much appreciate your thoughts on the following:
- Do you think your posts or threads are being visited by agents of the government or the military, and if so how often?
- What tool do these agences posses and utilize in order to track interaction over the net? Something like a voice spectrometer, redesigned for written text maybe?
- What are your recommendations about advancing online anonymity?
- Have you had any bad experiences related to theft of identity or similar?
- Please list any ideas that you may have to help conceal your identity.


Kind regards to all. Especially the .mil personnel



[edit on 13-10-2008 by Manawydan]

[edit on 13-10-2008 by Manawydan]

[edit on 13-10-2008 by Manawydan]



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 03:34 PM
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Get Tor, then go through an internet proxy. Looking at the recent Palin email hacking saga shows just how quick some net proxies are to hand over your information to government. Tor provides a backup, if i recall correctly it's original use was to allow dissidents to get access to web pages banned by totalitarian governments. Can't hurt for people wishing to remain anonymous to use it here.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 03:37 PM
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reply to post by Venit
 

A very good point Sir.
You can read up on tor here: www.torproject.org...

Kind regards



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 03:40 PM
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Proxify is $80 a year and a LOT easier to set up than TOR inho.

Similar principles.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 03:44 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 

Thanks for that.

Do you have any thoughts about how much opposition proxify people would put up when faced by any of the federal agencies? You know, like google did in regards to keeping search logs not too long ago.

Cheers.

[edit on 13-10-2008 by Manawydan]



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 03:48 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


How so? Granted, Tor isn't Vista compatible, but it was a standard install and set up procedure for me. $80 Dollars a year?! Blimey, been steep for a program, and i'm sure they'd be willing to hand over any and all information to the government if they were hit with a tax inquiry..



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 03:51 PM
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One thing those guys are looking for are people who are right in things, especially before they happen. So i think, yep they do come here, and query certain topics, of course they do. Many uses, a forum like this would be.

I always say i would like to work for russia, even though i am english, as i do not really like the anglo american world we live in. I wonder how many here, would rather work for russian and china than the wets, like during the cold war, people would cross over for idealogical reasons. Certainly me.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 03:53 PM
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Good post and perhaps i can add to it with the following.

Social networking sites are at this moment in time converting user log-on names that contain "-" eg anon-anywhere to anon_anywhere. They say this is for security reasons. bull! it makes it easier to track through data base your net routines and habits.

Some things I have done to strengthen my anonimity over the last 3 years are as follows.

Never use email.
Search wi-fi spots and use only those areas that are covered to surf.
Do not use ms windows of any kind, use unix or even free dos.
Keep your money out of the bank, close accounts and dont use credit.
Re-direct mail with a " not known at this address" It takes about a year before the mail stops.
In the UK big stores ask your name address etc for receipts for expensive goods. I always give "Micky Mouse".
If anyone demands a post code, alter it....eg KA5 ORW becomes KA5 0RW (Zero)

The only software that masks your connection from unwanted port connection is the mcaffee firewall in their security suite, beleive me Ive tried and tested them all.

It might be beneficial if any other posters list any ideas that they may have to help conceal our identity.



[edit on 13-10-2008 by captiva]



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 03:55 PM
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I.. wow. I'm not sure whether you're a brave man or foolish for wanting that. You'd probably be fine as long as you agreed 100% with everything the state wanted, disagree and say farewell to your life. Oh and freedom of speech would cease to exist the moment you landed in the country.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 03:59 PM
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reply to post by andy1033
 

I agree with your logic andy. Certainly they would be interested to keep track of threads especially those dealing with logically deduced forecasts. That would, if nothing else, be a clear indicator, that they're not concealing their efforts enough



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 04:02 PM
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Originally posted by captiva
It might be beneficial if any other posters list any ideas that they may have to help conceal our identity.

Very much agreed.
I'll add this question to the OP as well.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 10:35 PM
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reply to post by Manawydan
 



Did you post this to the tinwiki? You should. Very nice consolodation of thoughts. (sp sorry). As to one of your points I did just cross a thread where the instructions for logging nsa visits to a windows based computer is. When I locate it I will post back. I think the nick is big bare chested guy with a wrestlers belt. (if your actively looking for the tip. I just don't recall of the top)



posted on Oct, 18 2008 @ 04:05 PM
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Remember the idiot who hacked Sarah Palin's email account? I heard he used an open proxy and the operator turned over the kid's IP address to the authorities. I think this one operator tainted the reputations of all open proxy ops everywhere! I'll never use one. I do use TOR but mostly as a relay for the benefit of other people.

Also consider that spying on people is a two-way street, as is gossiping. Remember that information always flows both ways. The information you convey could be used to influence those who spy on you.



posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 06:35 AM
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While, yes, you can trace anyone, the CIA isn't that special. Nor the FBI, or any other government agency. I use a higher standard for file deletion than any of the agencies. So, my thoughts are that I can probably hide myself from just about anyone unless they are really intent upon catching me. I can appear as though I am in China using an ISP there. I can appear Russian, African, etc.. It's not as hard as people think. I don't do anything illegal online so I don't need to worry, but I'm paranoid anyway. I don't even connect to my own wireless internet connection. I use someone elses. Easy enough to hide.





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