Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Furthermore, if I really wanted to be anonymous, I would be really anonymous. This picture is a screenshot from my sitemeter:
Notice that the IP address is in Europe, even though I am in the United States. The domain name, operating system, and browser are not identified. The language is correct, although I could change that if I wanted to. Interestingly, the time and time zone are correct, and the time zone obviously is not a European time zone. That is a clue that something funny is going on. I don't think that the time can be altered, although the time zone could be. But, it would not be difficult to write a script that would post a comment at a specified time, then arrange to have some kind of witnesses who could say that you were not using a computer at the time the post was posted.
The obfuscation is accomplished by using a nonstandard web browser (Konqueror) that allows one to turn off the transmission of the usual identification strings, and by using an anonymous proxy server. There are many of these proxy servers, so it would be possible to use a different one every day for a while. Note that the level of anonymity is not sufficient for criminal purposes, since a government agency could subpoena the ISP and whoever is running the proxy server, and trace the origin of the post. Alternately, one could break or hack into the servers and examine their logs illegally. It would take a lot of time and effort, though. Ordinary folks would not be able to do that.
Anyway, the point is that I happen to know a lot about this kind of thing, and if I really wanted to be anonymous, I would be really anonymous.
(Note: The Rest of the Story/Corpus Callosum has moved. Visit the new site here.)
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