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Debunk the myth of true Internet anonymity

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Do you agree with Jonathan Yarden that a truly anonymous Internet will never exist? Do you think anonymous Internet usage is a common misconception? How prevalent do you think covert monitoring is on the Web? Share your comments about monitoring Internet activity, as discussed in the April 19 Internet Security Focus e-newsletter.

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Different levels of anonymity

by gralfus In reply to Debunk the myth of true I ...

Source addresses can be faked, but this only works with one-way communication. Proxies can be used in between to obfuscate the origin of both one and two-way communication, but somewhere there is a proxy that knows the original source (unless the messages originate at the proxy service, but even then there is usually going to be an account to provide access to the proxy). So for most purposes, a certain level of anonymity can be easily attained.

But if one participates in activities that attract law enforcement, then additional methods have to be added, such as tunneling, encryption, or looking innocent (steganography, codes, etc). Most people leave a hole somewhere in the process (usually due to a false sense of security) and if they are being pursued seriously, they will probably fall to the pursuer.

Some privacy minded folks believe that ALL communications should be done with maximum encryption and security measures in order to normalize privacy and not make it seem like something is being hidden. However, the vast majority of users on the Internet are barely able to make their computers "go", much less understand the intricacies of anonymity. They'd rather have someone do it for them, which means it won't happen for most people.

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Anonymous and other "cleaning"softwares

by pc_user In reply to Different levels of anony ...

Thanks for your explanation I wish more people came as forward as possible as you do, you are honest. It looks like that more and more the Internet is becoming some of the biggest reap off business in the world what I call "the salami technique" or one slice at the time

I recall that one site was promoting "erase your internet surfing traces " ..bla bla ..$240.00 !
I believe that XP has all the tools (always some how HIDDEN) to set and reset anything in the operating system and Bill "Gate" of his Windows should do something about it to make more accessible to the average user.

These specialized softwares are just interfaces at a very expensive price. Sometimes the difference in price can be from $9.99 to $99.99 for the same thing when they keep adding "modules" at $19.99 and so on ....

It is become the fastest way to get rich with little or no capital for something you already have in your draw but they tell you here it is "I found it for you ..now pay"!

We look like we are a big bunch of suckers!
Regards and thanks ...

PC - Sydney

PS: by the way if there is an Anonymous provider that does an adequate job to keep at bay the average hacker or over smart user who would it be? Lately when in a chat room an obstructive member published my IP address, how could HE get it? I keep getting hundreds of VIRUS (average 15 or more a day) since then, more than 50% of my email daily volume and abuses disguised as viruses in my formal e-mail address not in my "anonymous" hotmail address it looks like that the only way out is to change e-mail address?
Thanks for assisting

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Hey Bro! the straight stuff.

by computerguy_lv In reply to Anonymous and other "clea ...

I don't know what operating system your using, but it sounds like to me that your just about ready for a system re-install, meaning a complete format of the hard drive and re-installing your operating systen, they have you chasing your tail so to speak.

So back off all your documents, pictures, address books, and anything else of importance to you, and start from scratch.

And if you don't have the tech skills, get someone that has, or take your machine to a reputable computer company or consultant, about 2 hours to do a system reload (about $120.00) make sure they format the drive! and they will back up your files too, by the hour....depends on how much data you have.

And how important is the system is to you???

PS. Microsoft has a white sheet on the subject some where, don't remember where, but it says something like "if your computer operating system is older than 18 months, re-format and re-install the operating system" it cures all ills!

Good luck,
Brian

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You "go" gralfus

by computerguy_lv In reply to Different levels of anony ...

Gotta say way to "go" man roflmao
B.

that just kills me........"go"!

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Not Anonymous by default

by Dave Howe In reply to Debunk the myth of true I ...

While it is perfectly possible to be anonymous on the internet, it is rare that this is true by default - almost all ISPs log tremendous amounts about each of their users (and log even more if asked to by Law Enforcement)

There are plenty of systems that (legally) allow true anonymity though - either at a price or for free. I will leave aside the illegal abuses that also exist for now.

For email, there is the pgp encrypted onionskin anonymous remailler system - chosen carefully, you can be in the position where a universal attacker (one who can monitor each and every internet connection ever made) can know you sent email, and know that someone *received* email, but can't connect the two. Nyms close the hole in that chain - by redirecting within the remailler system, they allow an attacker to know that person a sent an encrypted mail to , and that you received an encrypted mail from the remailler system, but not even know if is actually you.

For web browsing, a lot of the intentional random delays that make correlation of traffic impossible in the remailler network would make browsing unusable; instead, you need to rely on a distributed browsing network where you access to a browser is exchanged by your own machine continually browsing both requested and random sites for other users, data for which is then continually exchanged, encrypted, between your and other nodes; your own traffic is sent back and forth along with the other traffic, and so masked.

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Unsecured Wireless

by JEFFCARNES In reply to Debunk the myth of true I ...

The ability to drive down a street with a wireless laptop until an unsecured wireless network grants a connection to the Internet via DHCP; this is as close to true annonimity as it can get. The IP address can be traced to the home or business but nobody is going to know who parked for 5 minutes across the street and released their data packets into the Internet. I have heard it called the #1 terrorist tool in America. After hearing that I went home and turned on the encription on my wireless gateway and configured a list of allowable MAC addresses on top of that. Everyone should have their security turned on for wireless networks or they risk being the access provider and possibly having the investigators come knocking on their door wondering how some malice was released upon the world from their home or business.

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Crime show

by Perm In reply to Unsecured Wireless

I recently saw a crime show about a killer that was very clever and the police couldn't catch him. Until he sent a map to them printed on the computer. He used an online service to print the map. Well they found him by linking the map to the service, then the ip address to the map. Then they took the ip to the isp and finally to the user. I am sure that he is like most in assuming that they are anonymous on the internet by default but really they are not.

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Way to much

by computerguy_lv In reply to Crime show

Perm,
Your watching way to much TV bro, and worse yet, your starting to believe what there showing you.
Poor guy....

Brian

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True Story

by Perm In reply to Way to much

Brian, it was a true story. My wife makes me watch all of the crime and murder shows. I think that I should start watching my back.:) Anyway, why couldn't they do that? It is pretty easy to track an ip address to the source if the user doesn't know to cover anything up.

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Might be possible

by generalist In reply to Way to much

If the host of the map site keeps logs and if that is the only access of that map area at the given time, then there might be the possibility of being able to trace the IP address to a physical address.

It might even be possible to trace things to a MAC address if you collect the right information. That would nail things down to a specific computer or card.

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