Anonymous Me (or... How I used VPN to Hide the Real Me)

The Mad Monk and Bill “Zinger” Shorten seem to want to know about everything that I do on the internet therefore I have subscribed to a VPN service. Just tried it out and am pleased to report now I am located somewhere in California, USA. Good Eh? Costs me about $1 a week.

All the metadata will show is that I have encoded traffic, which won’t be able to distinguish data from emails for example, going to the US from my router after which it will be untraceable, so stuff 'em! (especially their master Rupert Murdoch)


Tried it with a UK terminal and was able to watch the BBC iPlayer which is a nice bonus too. Can pick from about a dozen countries where I wish to appear to be.

Won’t use it all the time but it is only a the click of a button away.

This message was written using it BTW. Google picked up on it straight away and asked me to verify who I was but Facebook, this site and other places I have tried don’t seem to notice.

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Sorry Bruce but I haven’t got a clue as to what you are talking about.

There ain’t no hiding place from the father of creation.

No Hiding Place? Sounds like a good name for a cop show.

:slight_smile: You’re not alone Alan. :confused:

VPN (Virtual Private Network) is basically a service which takes encoded output from my computer to a place faraway (or not as the case may be) then rebroadcasts it to its proper addressee as if the source was the service provider not me.

The return data is then encoded and sent to my computer.

Originally intended to safeguard a company’s data by encoding it back to the safety of the company’s network it now has much wider uses in the real world.

It is not all good - for example I could use it to send instructions to a criminal cell somewhere, me as the source being hidden behind this screen of anonymity (I am not doing that BTW).

One of the best uses is when using a free wifi hotspot such as McDonalds - for example because of the encryption you could do your banking safely using this method no matter how dodgy the wifi hotspot might be. Something you would never be wise to do without this service.

I had a similar service set up at home for when I travel because I use the local hotel wifi hotspot which is not secure for some purposes.

Interesting. Will look into this. Might come in handy.

Don’t think I need to hide, don’t do anything illegal or I would be ashamed of on the internet, if anything my history would likely bore anyone watching to death, same with phone usage etc. Let them watch I say they will soon get fed up and stop.

Most of the time that is true but there are circumstances which I mentioned before where the additional security is important.

There are other benefits: for example being able to appear as a British or US resident is very handy for seeing the local iPlayer equivalent for example or buying software/itunes/Netflix etc at American prices rather than the outrageous export price

BTW that explanatory film in my earlier message is a bit of an ad for a VPN company BUT it is not the company I have signed up with. As always if you want to know about these things YouTube is a good place to go.

Hi Bruce

Not sure you have helped yourself any here.

You simply switched from having all your internet traffic going from one server to another server. Either way there is a server somewhere recording everything you do. There is no hiding.

Nope, two parts to this:

The server I appear at is now in the US or Switzerland or the Netherlands or the UK (where ever I chose) far from the gaze of the Australian meta data laws. All my ISP will be able to say is that my traffic went to an address overseas, it might be able to say it was encrypted but that is all.

The company I pay is in the USA and its website says:

“ does not collect or log any traffic or use of its Virtual Private Network (“VPN”) or Proxy.”

I think that is pretty secure.

The company I work for uses it , keeps naughty other companies from spying on them

There is a lot of crime and dangerous activity in the World these days. We hear the Internet can be used to perpetrate this. In view of this, I think the Internet cannot and perhaps should not be private and needs policing. I realise people who are not criminals don’t want their activities looked at and I understand that. However, I think in view of the ways the Internet can be used, privacy is a luxury we can’t have. True it can be said that governments use the crime issue as an excuse to know all about us but I think the lack of privacy is maybe an unfortunate price we have to pay in the interests of safety, law and order.

In life away from the Internet, our movements and actions while out and about can be looked at by anyone and people don’t generally worry about this. If we were to go off the straight ‘n’ narrow and start behaving anti-socially or illegally, it would most likely be seen and carry some consequences. This is an expected part of life and what most people would actually want to happen. Other than if you do something wrong, people or the law aren’t going to care what you do or where you go. I think this applies to Internet activities too.

The trouble is Bruce, even though you aren’t using the Internet for anything unlawful, authorities could wonder why you would want to take such a measure to guard your identity. It could have the reverse effect to the one you are after. Authorities might take a closer look at you more than someone who doesn’t take that privacy precaution. Of course you can take satisfaction in foiling tracking, or even proving that you aren’t doing anything wrong (if it should come to that). I personally wouldn’t want the hassle though.

I’ve been on the Internet now for about 20 years and at first, was concerned about the privacy aspect of it. However, over possibly the last ten years, I’ve stopped worrying about privacy and now take no special measures to guard it. Maybe one day I’ll have to eat my words but so far, it hasn’t made a scrap of difference to my way of life. Nobody knocking at my door and no spies at the end of the road. Time yet I suppose.

As I said in my original message I don’t use it all the time, only for specific purposes and the great thing about the Internet is the sheer numbers using it so the chances of them picking on me would be pretty remote anyway.

The meta data laws are supposed to be only used for suspected criminal activity or terrorism. I doubt it will ever be a slow enough day for ASIO or the federal police to go fishing in the data.

Bit too Hi-Tec for me, as Julie says , my posts would probably bore them to death.

No worries. Just add a signature to all your emails and include the words ISIS, caliphate, Bomb, Islamic State, Al qaeda, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Hafiz Saeed Khan - that will perk up their interest.

Cheeky. Grin.

And that’s you nicked Cobber

Still not buying this Bruce but each to their own.

The internet is nothing more than a plethora of routers connected by wires linked up to BT telephone networks etc to provide you with Broadband. If you go the 3G mobile route then then you have a wireless first connection to some server somewhere and then you’re into the World Wide Web same network of routers and cabling.

Whoever provides a service for you, any service, of any kind, you are still utilising all of that network infrastructure. Who owns that infrastructure?

All the owner needs to do is route ALL the traffic through a collection of routers or other “black boxes” somewhere out there in the WWW and then THEY have access to ALL internet traffic. You’d have to be pretty darn naïve not to believe that this happens.

So if all of your traffic and everyone else’s is at some point going through specially placed routers/switchboxes or whatever, then your only other last ditch grasp at straws hope of privacy . . . is that your traffic is in someway encrypted so even though THEY see everything, they can’t understand it.

For me, once again, you’d have to be pretty naive to think that the real “powers that be” don’t have access to those encryptions.

In the end then, all that matters is that you are a nobody. That what you do, what you browse, what you type, is of no passing interest to those constantly watching and monitoring. Like it or not, I am sure everything is being recorded and logged. If I were a crook, the very last thing I would be doing is using VPN or other so called privacy protection sites/services. It’s just such an obvious place for the authorities to look in and monitor. In fact if you “think big” then the whole concept of these privacy sites is likely a deliberate strategy by the powers that be to have illegal operators flock to them and thus ensure that the majority of illegal traffic gets streamed through such central places.

Bottom line. If you use electronic technology, be that internet, mobile phone, sat nav in your car . . whatever . . then YOU ARE CONSTANTLY BEING MONITORED, period.

Paying for the illusion that you are not being monitored is an interesting proposition. I guess it’s a way of blocking out some of the people who might superficially monitor you but that’s more like a protection racket than privacy, a bit like paying BT for caller ID so that you can block unwanted callers. BT could block all those calls at source without batting an eyelid, but they would rather run a protection racket and charge you the customer for the privilege to have the ability to block such calls. Really no different to Chinese Triads coming to you shop and asking for money to stop them trashing the shop.

The internet is just one huge surveillance mechanism. It’s fantastically useful, don’t get me wrong, but never forget you are always being watched. So just be a nobody . . imo.