Private Internet Browsing

Historical insights & thoughts about the world we live in - and the social conditioning exerted upon us by past and current propaganda.

Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby nonhocapito on Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:04 pm

regex wrote:...


1) I would be very uncomfortable if everyone on this forum used a proxy. The idea that proxies protect you from agencies set out to, let's say, "monitor the opposition" or similar activity, DOES NOT STAND, because such agencies have very likely the means to go to the source and circumvent the proxy. Maybe they OWN the proxy server, how about that?
If anything, as I said, the use of the proxy makes them even more curious about the person behind it.
On the other hand: proxies do harm the admins, and the openness of a forum, because you cannot ever be sure if one user is also being another user and another and another, and makes you wonder even more how much acting and pretending is going on throughout. Catch my drift? Bottom line, if everyone used a proxy we should seriously think about banning proxies...

2) If you used a proxy but forgot to delete your cookies or logout from, say, google facebook or ebay, they would still know who you are! On the other hand, if you did not use a proxy, but regularly deleted cookies, maybe changed DNS servers periodically, and generally browsed responsibly, they actually would not be able to monitor you. Hence, proxies not that useful. In my opinion proxies are useful when you are blocked to access websites --and that's it.

4) yes it is more trustworthy, but as I said, software is not everything. Who owns the server that host your website, or a server that host the proxy you use, has the keys to open every door. And, you know, there is no way to tell if a proxy server is "trustworthy" or, instead, is a military operation or something!! Whoever is convinced to be safe behind a proxy I think is just being naive, unless the proxy server is actually run by his brother or something.
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby RoyBean on Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:03 am

nonhocapito wrote:
RoyBean wrote:Wow - only two? Hmm. Well I started using some caution after registering on a couple of 9/11 forums and soon after having some strange shit happen to my accounts and my MAC, but I didn’t immediately make the connection... I’m wondering if it’s possible that there’s some kind of IP limit thing enabled here that ensures multiple votes aren’t registered from the same IP – totally ignoring user name?


I don't know about the polls (honestly I think they are kind of premature at this stage since there is not enough of us browsing this forum), but, can I ask you something? (To you and others, too, like Hoi, that are sensitive to the same issue.)

Why, do you think, you should use a proxy to access a forum like this one? What do you think can happen here? We are researchers and commentators, we are not criminals or conspirators. We provide a service, if anything, and some of us have provided much more (I'd say a contribute to History, and I'm not even exaggerating.)


Again, I'm not that paranoid and like 'Regex', for me it isn't all about this or any 9/11 forum in particular since I wasn't really sure who was the culprit behind the security 'breaches' and viruses, it could've been just a coincidence it started happening when I registered on those forums :rolleyes: but at the same point, and not that I'm too concerned about it - but since you say there are no criminals/conspirators here, it could be a little unsettling to some when a 'History contributor/admin' who I assume had access to IPs and other info all of a sudden shills himself off the forum then is accused by the other admins of having perp ties... I'm saying what a convenient and easier way to acquire member info using admin privileges!

BUT to be honest since I access the internet more from work now I have to use proxies anyway to bypass strict filters and firewalls. Outside of that it’s hotspotting galore with all the WiFi networks available in mine and at my GFs area.
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby RoyBean on Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:17 am

nonhocapito wrote:
regex wrote:...

On the other hand: proxies do harm the admins, and the openness of a forum, because you cannot ever be sure if one user is also being another user and another and another, and makes you wonder even more how much acting and pretending is going on throughout. Catch my drift? Bottom line, if everyone used a proxy we should seriously think about banning proxies...


But since you say there's only one or two, and now you know who we are, I'm assuming you've done your investigations as to where 304 members are actually posting from... well, there shouldn't be any confusion! Plus at this stage the administrators are pretty good at weeding out shills and the like , no? Or maybe you're saying you can never tell... It is interesting to me how many new members pop up all of a sudden with so much to say and so much information overload while the older registered members seem to be 'retired'...hmm
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby hoi.polloi on Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:37 am

I don't know. As far as I'm concerned the following are unknowns:

1. Who is nonhocapito? (not important, I've Skyped with him and he seems fine to me)

2. Is anyone on here besides Simon and nonhocapito not a shill? It doesn't really matter to me. If the three present admins are the only trustworthy folks (and I don't trust anyone 100%, even dear Simon and he has accepted that about me) ... If the evidence that's presented makes sense - if we are doubting something that looks ridiculous - I don't care who's doubting it or if they are covering something up. I just care about our right to doubt the mainstream media and its public sock-puppets like fake "alternative" radio.

That's bullshit of course because the data is so freaking huge that we all couldn't even imagine it, no matter how hard we try.


3. Can someone store every piece of the Internet using some kind of quantum- or atomic-level computing power that we don't dream of? I don't know. Maybe. It doesn't matter. We are being studied by Artificial Intelligence programs because they want to make things like Wattson (which I suspect is artificially dumbed down for public consumption) in order to fight the next wars. So no matter what you think you are doing to protect your identity, they are still getting vital information about how people interact from sites like this and Facebook and it's just an extra bonus if they can also know your name and send out someone to collect your DNA or any available medical records so they can attach a thinking process to your genes and throw that in the SimEarth as well. Don't doubt that the psychos behind the major corporations of the world wouldn't trickle at least some speculative money in this direction. I hate reminding people again and again about GeoInt-type programs but let's at least acknowledge them and the influence of DARPA on the Internet. That's the point - for me - of retaining the slightest little imagined amount of anonymity to the public like a username instead of a given name. That little bit of (illusory?) "protection" -- maybe they don't know who I am, even if they think they do. I applaud efforts to hide behind proxys or whatever - no matter how futile. Someone (even if they don't matter) may be flustered and that may be all you want. The Internet is global. And I agree somewhat with the "what I just ate" sign metaphor. I also agree somewhat with nonhocapito. We shouldn't fear anything or act on fear. We should just be somewhat agnostic about our privacy and act on whatever we think makes us comfortable.

4. Does stopping the HushMail help us? I simply fight back on the Mailinator websites because a number of blatant trolls continually use those types of sites. The ruling? Cut off the site. If some legit person has to get a gmail account instead of mailinator, so be it. This may sound a bit like the "set it on fire!" reaction of our weird fake-angry non-friend Ozzy but allow us please just a few rules now and then.

5. Is open source vulnerable? I don't care. I love open source on principle :wub:
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby nonhocapito on Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:07 am

RoyBean wrote:
nonhocapito wrote:
regex wrote:...

On the other hand: proxies do harm the admins, and the openness of a forum, because you cannot ever be sure if one user is also being another user and another and another, and makes you wonder even more how much acting and pretending is going on throughout. Catch my drift? Bottom line, if everyone used a proxy we should seriously think about banning proxies...


But since you say there's only one or two, and now you know who we are, I'm assuming you've done your investigations as to where 304 members are actually posting from... well, there shouldn't be any confusion! Plus at this stage the administrators are pretty good at weeding out shills and the like , no? Or maybe you're saying you can never tell... It is interesting to me how many new members pop up all of a sudden with so much to say and so much information overload while the older registered members seem to be 'retired'...hmm


Well, to say "one or two" is just an expression. I haven't been doing any "investigation" and I don't intend to unless there is some emergency or special need to... besides I haven't been an admin long, I am not that good at it... It is only because I was able to technically set up this forum, import threads, generally contribute technically that way, that I find myself being an admin here...
it was just to say that i have seen one or two users using a proxy. And I always wondered, honestly, why was that? But I am not here to say that it is wrong on principle, just wondering what benefit one thinks to have from using a proxy, beside being able to connect multiple times with different identities.
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby nonhocapito on Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:12 am

RoyBean wrote:but since you say there are no criminals/conspirators here, it could be a little unsettling to some when a 'History contributor/admin' who I assume had access to IPs and other info all of a sudden shills himself off the forum then is accused by the other admins of having perp ties... I'm saying what a convenient and easier way to acquire member info using admin privileges!


Wait, I am not vouching that there are no criminals or conspirators, I am just saying that what we do here is not criminal and it is not a conspiracy, so there is no real need to hide ourselves that much. I just assume that if one is an agent/perp/whatever, this person will have the means to get to the identities of the individuals involved if needs to. No matter if he/she is an admin, if users use a proxy etc. So basically my philosophy is: who cares? If I get too paranoid it will end up with me not being able to get out of the house anymore..!
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby fred on Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:55 am

Unless you have a beefy and loyal security force to protect all your friends, your own gross failure to protect your anonymity invites all sorts of unwanted trouble. Sure, things have been fine. Here's why the paranoid style aids your long-term survival in a David vs. Goliath struggle.

Times Change.

Suppose you live in a friendly country where people rarely disappear. What happens if six or seven years from now things are different? Look at Argentina in the sixties vs Argentina in the 1970's. How do you know which form of fascist police state is going to be popular in a year or two? Who's to say Berlusconi won't attempt some sort of hopeless last-ditch effort to crack down and consolidate his grip on power? What if he suddenly decides to break the law and use some underworld friends to punish dissenters?

Suppose you're a little bit Jewish. Should you have been afraid of openly joining a synagogue in Berlin in 1925? How do you suppose that decision felt in 1935? 1945? Today's harmless and legal act could come back to haunt you years later. Yesterday's decision to withhold some key personal information could be a lifesaver tomorrow.

Guilt by Association

Let's suppose some longtime member here goes all David Shayler or Charlie Sheen on us but does something obnoxiously violent in the real world. Aren't the "authorities" going to be running down the contact list of the bad apple? Just by "hanging out online" with the next "Jared Loughner" you're going to subject everybody you've been in contact with to a lot of scrutiny. Even though you never break any laws, how many people do you know who commit minor crimes? Maybe your aunt grows marijuana. The fact that your name came up on a watch list may cause your not-so-innocent friend or relative to suffer because you attracted government attention.

Look at what's happened to Prince Andrew, for example, for appearing in a friendly photo with an 18 year old girl. She sold her story to the Daily Mail, and suddenly he's in the spotlight for hanging out with convicted pedophiles or sex traffickers and caught up in some prostitution scandal.

Or suppose "Ruby Heartstealer" is in your cell phone contact list along with all of the people you work with. No doubt your colleagues are getting visits from investigators wanting to know how many Bunga Bunga parties you attended and whether or not you saw anyone doing cocaine.

Keep your private life private

Pretend that for personal reasons you've been spending a lot of time having gay sex with your pal the Crown Prince of Bahrain. Not only are you going to attract the attention of your own government, but scores of less-friendly intelligence agencies that routinely break all of laws of your land are going to develop an unhealthy interest in you too, to see how they can use you to further their own agendas. Just because nobody in your own family or neighborhood cares who you're shagging, doesn't mean that Israel or the UAE don't care if they suddenly see you as an opportunity.

The "bad guys" / "authorities" don't have unlimited resources to figure things out.

Even if your own country's security forces could figure out who you were easily enough, there's no reason to make it easy for hostile foreign intelligence agencies and private actors to do the same thing. Maybe a proxy won't protect you from Interpol if you live in Italy, but it might keep you safe from Bahrain's security forces or Ruby Heartstealer's new mafia-connected boyfriend.

Aggravating the boys at your local Masonic temple or Scientology celebrity center might be less dangerous if you used a proxy when you posted something controversial.

Look, it's all fun and games right now for most of us, but what happens when people start getting bumped over the head? The stakes become higher.

Everybody who ever got tortured or killed for a political or religious cause went through a honeymoon phase of not getting tortured and killed. At the beginning, you always get away with it. It's like riding a motorcycle without a helmet.

Of course there are thousands of activists who never got poisoned or run off the road, but there are thousands who met with foul play.

You'll feel notably less sanguine when you find yourself chained to a bench at the station or when Brother X shoots you just because you signed up for the wrong mailing list. Every single place with a history of political repression had a history of being a place with almost no political repression. Nothing stays the same forever.

Nobody knows exactly what the future holds. You're less likely to get your brains spilled all over the sidewalk if you take a few reasonable precautions.

The guy who investigates you may have no interest in you, which is great.

Maybe your local ISP and regional FBI office doesn't care what you've been writing. That's lovely. The more people who figure out who you are and why they hate you, the more likely you are to suffer some negative consequences. Maybe the Italian government isn't worried about Simon Shack, but what about the actor who plays Lukas Rudkowski when they pull his We Are Change funding and he finds out he's no longer employable? Suppose the article you posted got just got somebody fired from his job, and the heroin dealer won't take a check...

Neither "be very very afraid!" or "what me worry?" is the right answer.

The analyst who reads your post probably spends less than a minute trying to figure out what to do about you. Maybe he's been tasked to look for "radical environmentalists" or "tax evaders" or "White supremacists" but he thinks you might be interesting to another department. If he can see your IP address and figure out your real name, he'll pass that on to the guys who handle "political dissenters" to see if they want to look into you further. If he cannot, he's not going to waste time ordering an investigation to determine your true identity because you're not his problem.

Why make yourself an easy target?

Just because there's no perceived threat right now when there are 50 regulars here doesn't mean there won't be some sudden change when 5 million people read an article here that got linked from Oprah book club.
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby nonhocapito on Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:48 am

fred wrote:Unless you have a beefy and loyal security force to protect all your friends, your own gross failure to protect your anonymity invites all sorts of unwanted trouble. Sure, things have been fine. Here's why the paranoid style aids your long-term survival in a David vs. Goliath struggle.


All your arguments sound logical but in the end they're not that much. Things can be read either way. Maybe using a proxy invites even more attentions, how about that?
And also, as I said: it makes it easier for you to impersonate others-- which can be a problem on this or other forums much more than the risk of your identity being stolen. Besides: It is not as if when you don't use a proxy your IP number is being printed out on the pages for everyone to see, right? So these "foreign" entities that you imagine are supposed to have already access to this server in some unorthodox manner, right? And maybe the proxy one uses, in Germany or Slovakia, is also accessible to these foreign entities in some unorthodox manner, for all I know, right? So why bother?
The risk of proxy use for impersonators seems much more contingent honestly. It can be efficiently used to mask multiple identities, or to mask a relevant location such as Bali or Langley or Tel Aviv. Or for both...
And yes, you can keep repeating things like "being bumped in the head" or that "people disappear". I know the song... I can wonder why you are that scared, what happened to you? But I won't really listen. But hey, it's a free global world, right?
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby nonhocapito on Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:28 pm

hoi.polloi wrote:I don't know. As far as I'm concerned the following are unknowns: 1. Who is nonhocapito? (not important, I've Skyped with him and he seems fine to me)


Wow. Yeah, who is he? I am the first unknown, but it is not important? Not sure I'm following... :P I know I never met any of you guys in reality (but I know I will meet with Simon as soon as it is feasible without too much stress for anyone), but isn't this also true for most of the people on this forum? It's the internet after all! Besides, the more I read this forum the more it becomes apparent that even meeting in person is not guarantee that people will not be disappointing in the end, or doing something weird or starting to attack each other and whatnot. So.. not sure what you mean there.
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby fred on Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:00 pm

nonhocapito wrote:
All your arguments sound logical but in the end they're not that much. Things can be read either way. Maybe using a proxy invites even more attentions, how about that?


That's very weak. You're bitching because you, as an admin here (why?), can't see my IP address.

We all feel very sorry for you that your job is so difficult. Maybe you should find a rewarding hobby, like collecting records from the Social Service....
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby Heiwa on Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:31 pm

fred wrote:Look, it's all fun and games right now for most of us, but what happens when people start getting bumped over the head? The stakes become higher.

Actually it’s serious business. The perps or my enemies are anonymous unknowns with apparent great means to do bad things with public security looking the other way. They hide. I haven’t a clue what or who they are. They fool the public with 911 media stunts and the public likes it; yes, a tall, strong WTC tower collapses from top down due to a small plane making a hole in the weak top! It is outrageous, the video evidence is ridiculous, all laws of physics are ignored BUT the public nods sleepily – it is reality. Usama Bin Laden planned it. And then they continue to sleep. The public comprises university professors and great engineers that should know better but 99.9% are happy in their ivory towers – why get involved? The public dislikes the 0.1% intelligent persons that have doubts! Why can’t they believe like us? Etc, etc.
So, Fred. We 0.1% are not really appreciated. But why should the perps worry about us? The perps have other, bigger problems apart from enjoying their miserable lives. Next project, next attack, +, not to forget, to keep order among themselves. To bump off the 0.1% is in fact difficult, particularly when they are visible, not hiding, standing up against the evil, etc.
It is WW2 French La Résistance in reverse. Then the nazis were visible and la Résistance invisible. And the nazis lost. Today the nazis are invisible so la Résistance should be visible. Regardless, we win in the end! There’s no doubt about it.
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby nonhocapito on Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:00 pm

fred wrote:
nonhocapito wrote:
All your arguments sound logical but in the end they're not that much. Things can be read either way. Maybe using a proxy invites even more attentions, how about that?


That's very weak. You're bitching because you, as an admin here (why?), can't see my IP address.

We all feel very sorry for you that your job is so difficult. Maybe you should find a rewarding hobby, like collecting records from the Social Service....


What a joke. Why should I care about your IP number? We are discussing internet anonymity in this thread and I was generally speaking about the use of proxies, and how I feel that proxies, rather than being helpful to protect users are helpful to allow users to pretend they are someone else. If you feel I was talking about you that's your problem. It's autobiography. I guess I touched a nerve or something.

About me being an admin, I have explained profusely that it only depends on the fact that I was able to help with the transition from Invisionfree and the setup of the new forum and the problem solving that it involved, and this and this only is the reason why Simon and Hoi considered making me an admin which is something that I, incidentally, didn't ask for nor was interested in.
Actually, if they decided to make me a regular user tomorrow I would be sincerely pretty indifferent to it. As long as I can contribute to the discussion and, if I am up to it, to the research.
But since I am, for the time being, an admin, than if I can help to make this forum more transparent and straightforward, I will. If your priority is to barricade yourself, please do, just don't ask everyone to play along, 'cause not everyone likes to play soldier.
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby simonshack on Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:33 pm

fred wrote:
We all feel very sorry for you that your job is so difficult. Maybe you should find a rewarding hobby, like collecting records from the Social Service....


No need for nonhocapito to start hunting for Social Service's albums, Fred: I have all 3 of them on CD, ready for him to collect as a tribute for his fine help with this forum (Alas, only one of them is available commercially at this time). http://www.cnimusic.it/savetheswinesing.htm

Of course, there's always the September Clues soundtrack available in mp3 from here: http://www.septemberclues.info/SCsoundtrack/index.html

Hey, I have no idea why you two should be niggling. Hope it's only a matter of mismatching time zones !... :)
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby nonhocapito on Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:28 am

More food for thought on this topic. As i said, I suspect that anonymizer proxies and networks like TOR are in fact military operations created to lure people that have things to hide (or are suspicious of the government) in places where it is easier to count them.
Now a document just published by Cryptome: TOR Made for USG Open Source Spying Says Maker

The original *QUESTION* posed that led to the invention of Onion Routing was, "Can we build a system that allows for
bi-directional communications over the Internet where the source and destination cannot be determined by a mid-point?" The *PURPOSE* was for DoD / Intelligence usage (open source intelligence gathering, covering of forward deployed assets, whatever). Not helping dissidents in repressive countries. Not assisting criminals in covering their electronic tracks. Not helping bit-torrent users avoid MPAA/RIAA prosecution. Not giving a 10 year old a way to bypass an anti-porn filter.


One more argument to be suspicious of these free, easy ways to become "anonymous" over the internets.
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Re: Private Internet Browsing

Unread postby fbenario on Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:15 am

Thanks, nonhocapito. This confirms my position, which is that everything we do is already either being tracked, or easily can be tracked, and that it serves little purpose to think anyone can do anything unknown to the perps. And we are still here, so everyone should just stop worrying about covering your tracks, and continue posting with your chin up and your head held high.

It's also why any username, other than your own real name, is quite possibly also pointless. Am I the only regular here using his own name as his username?
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