28 November 2011

Disappear from the System: Hacks from Wired

It seems you can't move in today's world without leaving a digital footprint. The good news is that escaping the panopticon doesn't have to mean living in a cave in Tora Bora. Frank Ahearn, a former skip-tracer and the author of How To Disappear, reveals how to pull off the ultimate vanishing act. _Wired


Incorporate Yourself
"The beauty of corporations, whether in the US, Canada, Caribbean, UK, Guernsey or Jersey, is that they offer privacy," says Ahearn. A corporation lets you conduct business affairs anonymously. Utilities, property and other essentials can be leased in the company's name.

Learn to live off the grid
When you upload info to social networks, you grant them rights to share that data. "If you want to remain anonymous you can't rely on third-party entities," he says. Share images on your own password-protected website, and use Skype or email to stay in touch with friends.

Create an army of doppelgängers
To throw stalkers off the scent, Ahearn buys 30 different domains containing variations of his client's name and creates an individual social network for each one. He then splices real information about each client with misinformation about their location and activities.

Engineer your own identity
Open a bank account and deposit a few hundred pounds. Send the card to a friend in a different city and have them spend in small increments. If your bank statements fall into the wrong hands, says Ahearn, "They'll find those supermarkets and search in the wrong place".

Switch your contact details
Before you disconnect your services, switch the contact number they have on file for a police department's on the other side of the UK. If a stalker manages to get hold of it, they'll flag themselves up to the police. Make sure friends and work colleagues know not to give out your details.

Pack your bags
Choose where you can lead a normal life. "If you're a small-town English girl, you might find it difficult to disappear in London. Everyone wants the palm trees and beachfront life-style, but they can't always have it." Forget the beach hut in Goa: think two-bedroom flat in Oldham. _Wired
Alright. What you see here is just the beginning. You can read Ahearn's book, or any number of similar books for more ideas. Ahearn was once a skip-tracer who has presumably tracked down some of the best disappearing artists.

When designing your own disappearing act, be aware that no one method will be foolproof. Use redundant camouflage, and a mixture of disappearing "styles." Just when they think they have your method figured out, "poof!" you've magically transformed yourself using an altogether different style.

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Blogger LarryD said...

The three questions you need to answer before you start on the quest for anonymity.

1. Who is "they"?

2. Why are they trying to track you?

3. And why do you care?

When you've answered all three, you can tailor your strategy to suit your situation.

Monday, 28 November, 2011  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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