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Author Topic: Keeping your identity secret  (Read 4119 times)
stochastic
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March 09, 2012, 11:49:55 PM
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The recent outing as Sabu as a government protected witness gives everyone important lessons to learn from his mistakes in online anonymity.

Rules

1.  Don't do anything illegal.

This is hard to do.  There are so many laws that a person probably does something illegal everyday.  For example, in some states it would be considered illegal to possess a knife in public with a blade longer than 2 inches.  Think of a kitchen knife.  It is fine to posses one in your own home, but in public this would be illegal.  What if someone needed to buy one?  Transportation laws are very ambiguous and the case law is terrible.  Be careful.

Think about the risk to reward ratio before making a decision.  For example, I personally think all drugs should be legal and let the buyer beware of the side effects.  Does that mean I use recreational drugs?  No, I don't think the risk of being under the scrutiny of the State for feeling good for a few hours is an acceptable risk to reward ratio.  Whenever someone is involved in the State system it costs time and money.

2.  Don't step on people's toes.

People say or do stupid things all the time.  That does not mean you have to out their stupidity and humiliate or hurt them.  If you did not follow advise number 1 then they could find a way to get revenge.  The more people's toes you stepped on the more people are around you waiting for you to make a mistake.  If you have a disagreement with another person there is no reason to debate them in a polite and reasonable way.

3.  If you are going use the internet then do so anonymously.

This is especially true if you can't follow rule number 1 and 2.  Don't use the same email address to register for websites.  Use a different email address each time.  Also remember, if you signed up for a website at your home or at work, that IP address is stored by the email company.  They will also log your IP address every time you log into that account to check the email.  So, to keep yourself anonymous for everything you do use Tor or another anonymizing agent every time you go online.  Use it every time you register for a website.

4.  Form an limited liability company (LLC) and never use your real name.

Why form an LLC?  It is a legal entity that you can open accounts with.  You can have things in the LLC's name and keep your name away from it.  New Mexico is the best place to form an LLC.  Registration is cheap and you don't have to put your name down.  You can also form many LLCs.  After you go through the process of making one with a 3rd party company you will know the steps.  Put all your assets in these LLCs.  Have an LLC for your car.  Have an LLC for your web site domain names.

5.  It is not enough to use a private domain proxy for registering domains.

Sabu messed up by allowing his private domain registration to expire.  That then caused his real name and home address (yikes!) to be on display for the whole world.  This is a person that did enough things to have the government threaten him with 122 years in prison and he couldn't open a LLC and put the domain names in that name.  He bragged (see rule #10) he had the domain name pvrt.org.  This is like bragging you drive a Red Camero with license plate FUP0P0 and being surprised when the police knock down your door.

6.  Never give out your physical address.

Look on your drivers license.  Does it have your home address?  Not only is that dangerous if someone got your wallet, it is also dangerous as you told the State thugs where you live.  There are many places where you can get a physical address.  Go to a private mail box service.  They might ask you to fill out some paper work with your home mailing address.  Tell them you are living out of you car for now and don't have a mailing address.  If they won't do that there are actual homeless shelters with mailing services.  Also, storage facilities will also accept mail for you and they won't ask for you home address.  You don't want to have bills or other things mailed to you anyway.  This physical address is just to use when you have to put an address down.

7.  Keep your real identity online, but never use it.

Most people have a Facebook or some other social network.  If you don't use these things then you are considered strange, abnormal, potentially suspect.  You need to keep your real identity out there so that people can think they found you.  If your name is Bob Jones then get an email address with bob.jones@gmail.com, register the domain name bobjones.com, have a Twitter at @bobjones, and put up a Facebook account.

8.  Turn off your cell phone.

Feel like being tracked?  Smart phones are inherently insecure.  Talking on them is bad enough but as you ride around you have the potential for others to know your location.  They have limited ability of hiding your browsing online.  If someone finds your phone they could have your list of contacts, any photos you have on there, and your browsing history.  Memorize important contacts.  Only give your phone number to people that you trust.  Buy a prepaid phone plan and change your phone number often.

9.  Freeze your credit accounts.

This is a protection from getting your real identity stolen.  If you are going to protect others from finding what your real identity is then you also need to freeze your credit report accounts.  Obviously your identity has been compromised if someone tries to open credit in your name without your authorization.  By freezing your credit report you will be notified if someone tries to open a line of credit in your name.  Also, they will notify you if your real identity is listing a new address.

10.  Keep your mouth shut.

I am 100% in favor of freedom of speech, but if you can't follow the rules above then you will be locked up in some prison because you couldn't keep your mouth shut.  No matter what you do to keep your privacy secure, if you brag about doing illegal things, how many bitcoins you have, or other personal information, then you have just messed up all your planning for staying anonymous.

11.  Only use cash or bitcoins.

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If you think you are free then watch the video:
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March 09, 2012, 11:53:56 PM
 #2

Excellent tips. Wonder if we can sticky this.

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March 10, 2012, 01:00:05 AM
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Great post.

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March 10, 2012, 02:10:05 AM
 #4

Great post.

+2 (or is it 3 now?)

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March 10, 2012, 03:43:31 AM
 #5

I second the sticky although I find this entire thread hyper paranoid.

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March 10, 2012, 03:55:00 AM
 #6

The only thing I can add to this is that you need to maintain multiple identities... and with everyone you interact, pretend to be an intermediary between them an your other identities... oh, yea, I know this guy... lemme get in touch with him. if you're into drugs, voip hacking, and bitcoin/money laundering.. you need to keep separate identities for those three "people".

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March 10, 2012, 04:29:14 AM
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Immediately kill off any and all social media accounts that can be traced to you in RL in any way.

Nuke any online attention or celebrity by shunting it off on a non-existent identity.

Never allow your photograph to be taken without your permission, do not look up at security cameras in banks, airports or government offices.

Never permit yourself to be fingerprinted voluntarily.

Outside the USA drive with an International Driving Permit, based on a secondary driving license from a state you do not actively live in. Arizona is great for this, issues the driving license for life if you are over 21, and will give it to you across the counter when you pass the test. Use a hotel address as your home address, a hotel that you have never stayed at. Inside the US, always have an alternate driving license available if LEO wants to hold yours.

Never bank under your real name or identity. Credit Unions are softer, local banks next. Using a US $ denominated foreign account in the US based on an alternate identity is even better.

Develop an entire set of alternate identity documents. All Mexican Consulates issue "Matriculars" which will get you a driver's license, open bank accounts and handle all legal documents in the US, if you can convince the Consulate that you are an undocumented Mexican citizen in the US without papers. Having a couple of "cousins" who can attest to your citizenship, and a letter from back home, with post mark, is a great way to make this work.

Obtain and travel with an camouflage passport, preferably from a non-existent country. There are resources which still have genuine passports from Rhodesia, the Soviet Union, and other countries that have passed into history. Or a UN Laissez-Passer will serve nobly for a refugee seeking to escape persecution in his or her homeland.

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March 10, 2012, 05:46:00 AM
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The only thing I can add to this is that you need to maintain multiple identities... and with everyone you interact, pretend to be an intermediary between them an your other identities... oh, yea, I know this guy... lemme get in touch with him. if you're into drugs, voip hacking, and bitcoin/money laundering.. you need to keep separate identities for those three "people".

agreed. if you can do this well, you probably wouldn't even need to keep most of them secret. you just need a lot of them. if you can't juggle multiple-personalities in your head, keep detailed records of each persona (name, address, date of birth, email, passwords, etc) in an encrypted document and backup, backup, backup.

disclaimer: i may or may not be tuxavant, replying to my own post.
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March 10, 2012, 05:51:55 AM
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Immediately kill off any and all social media accounts that can be traced to you in RL in any way.

I agree/disagree with this.  I think a person should make the illusion that you are not trying to be invisible.  Of course never make the online profile searchable, nor put include any identifying information.  The idea is to keep people on the search.  If they feel they found you and then stop they are less likely to really find you.  Of course don't put up photos, but if you have some people at work and they nag you about facebook or whatever.  They can add you and then never add them back.

Develop an entire set of alternate identity documents. All Mexican Consulates issue "Matriculars" which will get you a driver's license, open bank accounts and handle all legal documents in the US, if you can convince the Consulate that you are an undocumented Mexican citizen in the US without papers. Having a couple of "cousins" who can attest to your citizenship, and a letter from back home, with post mark, is a great way to make this work.

this is cool.  I never thought about this... I think I can pull off a Mexican.



... maybe not...

Introducing constraints to the economy only serves to limit what can be economical.
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March 10, 2012, 05:57:35 AM
 #10

For the last few hours I have been playing around with getting IRC to work through Tor.

I finally settled on using the IRC client XChat on Ubuntu 11.10 OS.

Here are some instructions that worked.

Introducing constraints to the economy only serves to limit what can be economical.
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March 10, 2012, 02:24:04 PM
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agreed. if you can do this well, you probably wouldn't even need to keep most of them secret. you just need a lot of them. if you can't juggle multiple-personalities in your head, keep detailed records of each persona (name, address, date of birth, email, passwords, etc) in an encrypted document and backup, backup, backup.

disclaimer: i may or may not be tuxavant, replying to my own post.


Pro-tip: Almost forgot to mention... When doing this, timing can be an important tell... You'll want insert a bit of time between identities talking so it looks realistic.

Opps. I think I just posted this under the wrong identity.

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March 10, 2012, 02:35:50 PM
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And don't forget, never talk to the cops. It's their job to put someone in jail, and they don't care who it is.

Here is a really good lecture from a law professor and a cop who talks about your rights and how to deal with situations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

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March 10, 2012, 04:41:13 PM
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And don't forget, never talk to the cops. It's their job to put someone in jail, and they don't care who it is.

Here is a really good lecture from a law professor and a cop who talks about your rights and how to deal with situations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

Now that video link should be a sticky. Thanks BadBear, albeit too late.

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March 10, 2012, 11:21:31 PM
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 Lips sealed

For Bitcoin to be a true global currency the value of BTC needs always to rise.
If BTC became the global currency & money supply = 100 Trillion then ⊅1.00 BTC = $4,761,904.76.
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March 11, 2012, 06:03:51 AM
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And don't forget, never talk to the cops. It's their job to put someone in jail, and they don't care who it is.

Here is a really good lecture from a law professor and a cop who talks about your rights and how to deal with situations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

I have seen this, this is a great video.

Another good source of information is Homicide: A Year on the Killing Street by David Simon.  It gives a lot of interesting techniques that police use for interrogations and it shows that most convictions are due to getting the suspect to tell their story not CSI magic.

Edit:  Ay Dios mio!.... 3rd from the the top on the suggested videos.

Introducing constraints to the economy only serves to limit what can be economical.
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