When you apply for the passport, you will fill in your new legal name. Where they ask if you have ever used a different name, you should answer yes and provide your former name in the space provided. You will surrender your old passport along with the application.
The State department will associate your old name with the new name in their databases and send you a new passport which only shows your new name. They also usually punch holes in the old passport and return it along with the new one.
Nona, , Age: 43
I neglected to bring my marriage certificate to the post office when I applied for my passport. I was never given a "Christian" middle name, but I acquired my maiden name as my middle name quite a few years ago. I ended up with my passport showing my maiden name AS my middle name. I'm not certain that this was how the State Department intended for things to turn out, but it suits my purposes just fine. There is only one name showing on my passport (Middle Name = Maiden Name in my case), so I'm not sure how this relates to the OP's question regarding legal name changes. The reason it suits my purposes is because I now have legal (passport-based) evidence that I can also be known as "Dorothy Maiden" as well as "Dorothy Married" as well as "Dorothy Maiden Married." All in one document but without any of that pesky "AKA" fine print attached!
Dorothy, , Age: 40
As I recall from the last time I applied for a passport, the passport will show only your current legal name.
It will not show former names.
When you apply for the passport, however, you will have to submit documents to prove that you are who you claim to be and that you are a U.S. citizen. When applying for your very first passport, this proof would normally be your birth certificate. (Other or different documents might be required if you don't have a birth certificate.) For a woman who changed her surname upon marriage, she would also submit a marriage license showing both her maiden name and her new name. It would be the same for you. In addition to the birth certificate, you would submit a (certified) copy of the certificate of change of name from the county where the name change occurred.
If you browse in the State Department's web site (see link below) theere should be links to other Stazte Department Web pages where the passport application process is explained.
If this will not be your first passport, just submit a previous passport to prove citizenship, together with the change-of-legal-name documentation.
Age: 65 or so
All passport applications must include a photograph, which must meet certain requirements, that will also be explained on the State Department site.
URL #1: http://travel.state.gov/
I have legally changed my first and last name through the court system. The new name was done in a state out-of-texas where the residence have no online search for these public records. The county is small and still operates with filing in paper only.
My question is, when I re-new my passport that expired last month...and supply the state department with the legal documents...are both of my names appearing on the passport?? Or only my new name??
I need to know before applying.
I've made a project last summer of what you are trying to do now and it seemed to turn out pretty well. I used a handy little list from Privacy Rights to do it (caution- it's very long). But I check now and then and nothing pops up. You may have to try Intellius again as I did before they finally removed my name, they can be stubborn jerks. The phone directories are the easier while the "info brokers" and "data miners" tend to be and toughest.
URL #1: http://www.privacyrights.org/ar/infobrokers-optout.htm
Daniel, , Age: 36
Wendy wrote this in a previous post: "One caveat, though. I once used a Vumber to determine where a particular caller was actually phoning from. When I called their number, I heard "You're calling from..." and my TRUE cell phone number!"
Are you saying you dialed one of your own numbers with a Vumber to determine where the Vumber call would show as originating from? To see what the caller ID showed? Which "true" cell phone number was revealed? The one you were calling or the one you were calling from? Was this a potential glitch in Vumber's normal processes or was it the result of a third party tampering with the programming? I'm more than a little confused here, thanks for clarifying!
Wendy wrote: I once used a Vumber to determine where a particular caller was actually phoning from. When I called their number, I heard "You're calling from..." and my TRUE cell phone number!
Wendy, could you be more clear about exactly what happened, how Vumber gave a location away? You dialed your Vumber and made a call from your Vumber and the line said you're true number??? Could you explain precisely what happened so I can understand what you're describing?
Brian, , Age: 21
Diane, HTBI tactics or similar tactics are NOT going to protect you from any kind of surveillance from the feds. They're not meant to but they can protect your from individuals looking for "low-hanging" fruit to pluck or even more aggressive individuals who are not related to federal agencies. For the cleverest among those who track and/or stalk others, your IP address, DNS and browser information can provide a lot of information you simply don't want them to have. You need to be particularly vigilant if you run a business. Just because the feds are tracking our every move and call (something of which I'm acutely aware as a former investigative journalist, trust me) doesn't mean we shouldn't take steps to obfuscate our activities and movements online against those without limitless time, money and other resources. THEY are the more clear and present danger and THEY are using technology to locate individuals they want to find. Yes, using techniques that subvert exploits designed to determine our computer, browser, web search history and location might slow us down but perhaps that's just a sign we need to slow down and rethink how we're interacting with technology.
THIS business owner is going to do ALL she can to protect herself, no matter how the debate shakes out in privacy forums. For those who care just how much online spies can find out about you from your browser, check out the website below. Technology represents the biggest and most dangerous threat to protecting our privacy (which is why one of Wired magazine's blogs is called "Threat Level"!) and it should be managed accordingly, not ignored because it's more expedient since "the NSA's watching our every move, anyway."
Finally, personally, Google is one of the scariest privacy threats I've seen on a long time and I'm getting away--FAR away--from anything Google as fast as I can. I won't exchange my privacy with Google for their money.
URL #1: http://browserspy.dk/
Ron, there are number of ways to achieve this and they're perfectly legal, especially in your case. Just search "anonymous website" and "anonymous domain registration" online. You'll find a number of US and offshore providers of the service, many of the reputable. You'll want to find one in a "privacy friendly" jurisdiction, though.
However, several things.
1) Do you research; search the names of the providers online and read recent forum posts about them before subscribing.
2) Learn how to pay for the services privately but legally.
3) Use anonymous proxy websites that scrub your computer's information from the browser to access and post to your site(s).
4) Don't permit unmoderated posts on your site. (Go to Poynter dot org and sign up for their media law web course.)
5) Create a terms of service that looks like something out of a legal research book to protect yourself.
6) Check out other similar sites terms and conditions for accepting subpoenas and requests from law enforcement and governments.
7) Make sure the service you're using doesn't tolerate and illegal activity (like warez, spamming, pornography, etc.) on the one hand but allows you to post the content you write on the other. You'll find a lot of those.
Also, have a virtual phone number, anonymous email address and make sure any content you upload is completely scrubbed of information from your computer like the name of the creator and the date, local URLs, etc. Protect your sites code with software that hides it. And make sure you've covered EVERY privacy related track you can before you go live. After you launch, keep checking to make sure you're covering your tracks. I hope this all helps or at least gives you a starting place.
When I've used Vumber with toll-free numbers, the Vumber shows up on the caller ID/database of the recipient. I tried this using a toll-free number I owned. So, using a TracFone, any other drop/throw-away phone or even a prepaid phone in a fake name and address (the mobile carriers canNOT require you to put a prepaid phone number in your own name and some allow you to pay cash for your monthly fees) with a virtual calling service like Vumber SHOULD work.
One caveat, though. I once used a Vumber to determine where a particular caller was actually phoning from. When I called their number, I heard "You're calling from..." and my TRUE cell phone number! So, new technology is always being created to invade our privacy, usually in the interest in protecting privacy. In my case, I'm learning to find ways to use technology to achieve my privacy preservation ends. But, we should all be wary.
Finally, I think in the case of a domestic violence victim, using a VoIP phone behind a proxy server AND properly configured hardware firewall may help prevent them. Though VoIP phones are much like Vumber, a virtual phone, the user should have someone else with a properly configured (for privacy) VoIP phone call the stalker at a time when the stalker is not answering their phone and see what happens. ALWAYS be testing the technology to see if you can use it to protect your privacy.
Hello. Great book(HTBI) may I add!
I am involved with a liberty and privacy oriented group that's turned out to be rather popular on the various free sites and networking arenas as well as off-line. At a recent meeting, we discussed the idea of creating a website or two(news, discussion, solutions, covering local events and documenting them, etc.) Has anyone had any experience with creating an anonymous website with or without the use of nominees. We understand that a couple of years back, it was essentially made illegal to "use a pen name" when registering a domain. Is that true?
Also, since we'll most likely have a moderated discussion forum of some sort, it seems almost impossible to be completely private because if someone gets out of hand and posts something violent or illegal, the FBI will want to get that person's IP address, etc. from the website "owner."
If there is no absolute privacy when it comes to websites, is it worth it without an attorney?
1) Tracfone sells phones for $9.99 in most markets. Those phones, when activated online, come with 20 minutes of calling time. Use the Tracfone ONLY for calling the other custodial parent for court-ordered meetings. Retrieve the voicemails for Tracfone #1 from Tracfone #2 or only from Tracfone #1. Remove the batteries from both Tracfones when not in use. It should be obvious that any Tracfone purchased should be purchased with cash from an out-of-town location.
2) Use a Vumber or Spoofcard for calling the court-ordered stalker ON TOP OF the Tracfone in #1.
If worse comes to worse, one could use the Tracfones listed in #1 on a one-time-only basis. That would be an expensive option, but possibly a necessary one. Like Wendy and Mr. Luna say: "How much is your privacy worth?"
The bigger issue to me, regarding court-ordered meetings with stalkers, would be the possibility of being followed physically (rather than electronically) after such a meeting. It would seem to me that guarding one's privacy in that circumstance would be much more necessary from the "rear-view mirror" rather than from the "cell towers."
Not too long ago someone posted a link to a Web site that showed how to opt out of various databases such as whitepages.com. Has anyone had any successes in having their personal information removed?
I faxed a request to Intelius.com with a requested to remove my listings, per the instructions, but they have not acted upon it. It's been three weeks.
URL #1: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10166455-94.html
Richard, , Age: 29
"Cindy Southworth, director of technology at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, told Wired that the service raises 'huge concerns' for her that abusers would use the service to locate victims fleeing abusive relationships, especially ones in which the victim and abuser share custody of a child."
I have no illusions as to what Google is doing with the information they gather. I know they are storing ip addresses and I am sure they are using and probably sharing that information. I was letting the readers of this website know that google analytics is in fact a very useful tool for business such as myself and I appreciate the service. I also understand that anything you do electronically is monitored.
As I mentioned in the previous email you should check out NOVA's website on the spy factory, you can watch the program online. Every single email, phone call, internet traffic etc is stored by the NSA, (whether its legal or not) its the world we live in, so I guess my point of view is pessimistic as to the effectiveness of trying to block electronic information.
In my opinion the electronic end of things is the least of your worries as to identifying you. The NSA would have anything they need despite the blocking techniques discussed and internet sites are not going to use the information they gather to track you down and harm you. Google is gathering the information to make money. If protection in what you want your best bet is ghost address, bank account utilities, etc. If you are just talking time - I guess for me all the time it takes to block scripts would negate the extra time it takes to load a page.
Is the tracking annoying? Absolutely - I agree 100%. Worth blocking, maybe to you but not for me. I wish you all the best!
URL #1: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/spyfactory/
I have a question with regard to privacy and corporations. I want to start an internet business. I live in Palo Alto, California, and will be making bank deposits in California and will have a mail drop in California, which requires me (according to my cpa), to have a California corporation or to qualify my corporation in California. I have thought about incorporating in Nevada and qualifying in California, but the cpa says this will just complicate things and add large costs for a small business.
So I have several specific questions about forms where privacy will be compromised. First, there is the application for a Federal Employer Identification Number which asks for the name and social security number of the principal officer of the company. The second is the California equivalent of the Federal Identification Number. The third is the state website which lists officers of the corporation. The fourth is postal form 1583 which asks for 2 forms of id when trying to use a mail drop. The fifth is setting up a bank account in California which requires all signers on the account to appear personally with 2 forms of identification. How would you go about incorporating? How do I get around these privacy breaches? I would really appreciate your insight on this matter.
... CORPORATIONS: You will forego your privacy if you insist on going that route.
... ALTERNATIVE: Do business with a personal account, using initials. The details are in Appendix C of my e-book Skip College: Go Into Business for Yourself. See the subheading "How to create an invisible owner for your new business."
Just a word of caution
Google reads my mail!
For example, if I receive an email that mentions Atlanta (or even ATL), there's going to be an ad for 'Hotels in Atlanta' on the sidebar or something similar (try it yourselves)
This means that (a) Google (or one of its applications) is reading my mail, and (b) the information (keywords) is kept, so I don't get a duplicate ad in the future.
I think even receiving on gmail is to be avoided...
Diane, the other reasons that I would want to block scripts and websites is they slow down websites loading and the running of my machine, taking up memory space and cpu cycles. Do I have a right to control what is on my machine? Besides, in today’s world, I find any snooping at least annoying. Do you really think that Google is passing all of the information gathered to you?
Sebastian, , Age: 58
I haven't tried it with Vumber, but by the founder's own admission in the article that you linked, his CallerID Spoofcard products works to bypass the Call Trap product that he markets also. He said at the end of the article that Spoofcard sales should go up as people look for a way around the Caller ID Trap product. Therefore, my guess would be that Vumber numbers would be what would show in the caller ID, not the number one is using to call the Vumber number. It might be time to stock up on Tracfones and T-Mo2Go phones.... ;)
Dorothy, , Age: 40
Of course;many,many Americans,as well as other nationals ,own property in Canada without living there permanently.The same in reverse goes for the hordes of unnumbered, legendary "snowbird" Canadians owning property far south of the 1814 treaty line, where they sit out the rigors (rigours) of winter every year without actually "living there" in an immigration sense.Good question for the times we live in.
helmut, , Age: 69
Yes Sebastion, welcome to the 21st century! My husband and I own our own business and we use google analytics on our website and google does not show us ANY ip addresses, so the closest we could come to identifying anyone is a city. We do not use google analytics to spy on any of our website visitors, instead it is very helpful in letting us see if our hard earned advertising dollars are working and the pages our visitors are looking at. I think that alot of the readers on this website just don't get it that anything you do electronically is tracked - there is no way around it - period. You should watch NOVA's spy factory.
I'm not saying you should give away your identity, but all this speculation about blocking ip addresses and dns etc. is futile.
Your best bet, set up ghost addresses, bank accounts, utilities, etc. and relax!
Mr. Luna, Are citizens required to participate in the U.S. Census? I have heard many scary stories about who is really conducting it. How can we avoid it.
Apparently we are moving towards global socialism/communism. Thanks, Andrea
Andrea, , Age: 42
1. Go to the home page of my website.
2. Put the pointer over QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS. A menu will drop down.
3. Click on SEACH QUESTIONS.
4. Enter the word CENSUS in the box.
5. Read the 25 posts.
has any one with VUMBER tried this and worked? anyone know a way around this one? should be interesting to ANYONE interested in phone anonymity ...
URL #1: http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/02/trapcall.html
peter, , Age: 35
I don't think anyone reading this needs to be warned away from social networking sites, but in case you feel the urge, read the link below.
Facebook changed their terms and conditions to explicitly state they own your content and can do whatever they want with it. Forever. Binding arbitration was also added to the agreement.
URL #1: http://consumerist.com/5154745/facebook-clarifies-terms-of-service-we-do-not-own-your-stuff-forever?skyline=true&s=x
But whatever Facebook may say in rebuttal, my message remains the same: Keep your kids off Facebook.
One last question......does the USPS sell your new physical address / mailing address when you mess up and forward your mail from your ghost address to your new physical address?
Mike, , Age: 59
I've been watching and reading the discussion here about DNS servers and have seen an alternative. (See link below.) But I wonder about the privacy issues. Any comments? Is there a similar, easy to use type of service or software that makes it simpler for non-techies to achieve this same end?
URL #1: http://www.opendns.com
Wendy, , Age: 45
It looks like CVS might not require ID. See the link below.
URL #1: http://minuteclinic.com/flu/previsit.html
Dorothy, , Age: 40
If one uses a Passport to identify themself at the walk-in clinic, then one must use one's real name. Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of keeping one's health records private? I'm speculating that some of the forms the OP was required to fill out included questions about his health history as well as questions about his identity.
Instead of a retail walk-in clinic, perhaps one might have more success at anonymity for a simple flu shot in a rescue mission clinic for homeless and indigent people in a downtown urban location? It does seem preposterous to me also that a person can't get a flu shot anonymously, however.
The only legitimate alternative might be to become a cash-paying customer at a regular doctor's office in a different town and hope that you're allowed to use a pseudonym. I seem to recall that one of the planks of the economic stimulus act was supposed to be the computerization of ALL medical records. This is the time to establish an alter-ego at a new doctor's office if you're paying cash for medical services and wish to remain "insurable" later or remain invisible to the electronic medical records.
(1)Can the name of an NM LLC be changed privately?
(2) Would doing busines as(DBA) be a better way to do it?
Brenda, , Age: 41
... (2) Perhaps. Depends on too many things to give a specific answer. Make your own decision.
I can't answer from firsthand experience, but I do have 2 friends, both US citizens, who own vacation homes in Canda. I also have a cousin in Ottawa who is a US citizen and "landed immigrant" (permanent resident) in Canada who owns his home there with his Canadian wife. So it would seem that it's certainly possible for Americans to own property in Canada.
Mike, , Age: 48
Sorry about that; you are correct about an entry for a domain such as doubleclick.net in the Windows hosts file does not block ads.doubleclick.net or any subdomains. I forgot that this is only the case when setting up domains for a DNS server.
Lee, , Age: 33
adding a domain like "doubleclick.net" will not block everything from that domain. For example, I still get ads displaying from "ad.doubleclick.net" even when I have "doubleclick.net" in the Hosts. Only if I actually insert "ad.doubleclick.net" do the ads get blocked.
Brian, , Age: 21
Just came from a walk-in Walgreens "Take Care Health Clinic" seeking a flu shot; cash pay of course. Filled out their sheets of patient info with the usual bogus details. When I got in to see the nurse, in the chair with my sleeve rolled up, she asked for my Drivers License. "Sorry, I don't have it with me," I answer calmly. She flatly refuses to treat me. They will not treat anyone without a photo ID. I called their corporate office; same answer. I asked how they can refuse to treat people who have been recently mugged of their ID, or a homeless person who has none, etc... its corporate policy without exception. Its getting harder all the time to be invisible.
Adam, , Age: 33
Since most people run Windows, there is actually a shortcut you can use to block specific domains *without* having to operate your own DNS server; the only draback being that you would have to modify each machine to get the desired effect rather than have all the machines use a specific DNS server under your control. For most people this will be fine and this method even works on old versions of Windows.
1) go to "Start" -> "Run"
2) type in the following command:
3) each line in this file has an IP address followed by some whitespace (spaces,tabs) and then a host name to map IP addresses to names. anything not specified in this file goes to your DNS server. For our purposes, we are going to use this file to block entire domains. For each domain to block, use 127.0.0.1 for the IP address, followed by the name of the domain you wish to block. For example, to block Google's auto completion, use this entry:
Note, this wouldn't block google.com or ads.google.com, etc. To block an entire evil domain such as doubleclick.net use this:
This would effectively block doubleclick.net and any subdomains such as www.doubleclick.net, ads.doubleclick.net, etc. Get the idea?
4) Save the file and the changes take effect immediately, unless you're using Windows 95 and if I remember correctly, you have to tell the OS to reload the `hosts` file.
For linux, the process is a little more involved, but a DNS server comes with most distros and you simply just turn it on and set up your configuration file. I can post my configuration file if anyone is interested. Technically you can use the hosts file with Linux/Unix too (that's where Microsoft got their idea).
Follow the link below and copy N paste the contents to your own hosts file to block the vast majority of marketing domains. Good luck!
URL #1: http://logicassembly.com/hosts_example.htm
Lee, , Age: 33
Does anyone know anything about property/land ownership in Canada by US citizens? Can a US citizen but land and build property on it or buy property with no issues?
John , , Age: 39
We bought a new home and my wife inadvertently forwarded at the post office with a change of address notice mail from our physical ghost address to our new home physical address. Is there anything we can do to mitigate this? This is our retirement home that we just finished building. Thanks!
Mike, , Age: 59
Well, we all make mstakes. Let's see if this can be corrected. Hopefully this just happened and if so, do not accept mail. Have it returned to the P.O. as wrong address, and then go get your mail at the post office in person and explain a mistake was made.
Otherwise, if you are already accepting mail, fill out another form or talk to the postmaster to cancel the forwarding address because you are "thinking" about moving. (And then do think about it!) But do get right on this, fast.
If any of you readers work in a post office and can help, let's hear from you, okay?
Hey, you guys are making me paranoid with all this computer talk. I thought that unless you are currently under investigation by some law enforcement agency, no record of the websites you visit is likely to be kept for more than a few months, except on your own computer. Most IP addresses change every time you dial up. You would have to go through the internet service provider's records to find out who had that IP on a given day and time, and I don't think they keep those records longer than they have to because after awhile, it would take up too much hard drive space on their servers. Why would they go to the trouble and expense unless required to by law?
I don't want to restart the technical conversation about VPNs and whatnot, but if your computer has been used to access websites that would embarrass you or damage your reputation, can't you just destroy your hard drive, get a new computer, and never let your new computer be used for such purposes? Aren't you likely to be relatively safe from discovery of old website history after a few months or years have passed? How long could website servers, internet access providers, and search engines keep all that data, anyway?
I had an icky boyfriend who used my computer for all kinds of things. I got rid of him and the computer, too. My new computer is password protected and no one uses it but me. Should I be concerned about old website records that might still exist somewhere?
I know this may be a suggestion for those more technically inclined, but the best way to block ads such as Google and other nosy marketing-tracking domains (in addition to other browser techniques) is to set up your own DNS server. Your own DNS server will specify which domains you "control" and everything else will forward on to your existing ISP's DNS server (or even a separate DNS server in a remote location that you control if you want to bounce your requests around).
Basically, each site you go to, keep track of the domain or subdomain that is requesting ads (or a domain you want to otherwise block) and reference a single zone file that points to an internal IP address that doesn't exist or just use the loopback IP 127.0.0.1 for these domains. You configure all the domains you specify you are "authoritative" for and everything else you will pass on to the real DNS server.
For example, you probably don't want to block google.com, but you want to block clients1.google.com because this domain is referenced "as you type" each character into the search box for auto completeion suggestions. You also want to block everything from google-analytics.com.
When you log in to Windows XP, there is a DNS request to crl.microsoft.com or crl.verisign.com I've found which attempts to check your website root certificates. Because I don't trust either company with my privacy, I've disabled these subdomains in my DNS server so they effectively go nowehere, but this doesn't prevent me from visiting microsoft.com, verisign.com or other subdomains such as msdn.microsoft.com, etc. You can set up all these specifics from your own DNS server. When I surf, I see a bunch of "blank" panes, almost no ads and my DNS file has about 70 domains that are safe to block altogether. When I see an ad, I look at the HTML, the status bar or look at my DNS server spy window (I currently have this set up under Linux) to see what domain is being loaded and then update my DNS server on the fly. This works on Windows and Linux DNS servers and you need not need a separate machine.
If anyone wants details on setting this up even if you are not technically inclined, I'd be glad to post a link to a tutorial I could write.
"Survey: 40% of hard drives bought on eBay hold personal, corporate data.
Buyers found data on everything from corporate spreadsheets to e-mails and photos."
URL #1: http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9127717&source=NLT_SEC
Drake, , Age: 34
Marc, I agree that the basic VPN setup doesn't do nearly as much to protect one's privacy when surfing online. If I conveyed that VPNs will provide the absolute highest level security available, then I've been remiss in my posts. But, I also have decided I don't want to give too much information about what I'm doing to protect my own privacy so, when asked, I'm giving basic information. I'm acutely aware that achieving a high level of security when accessing the internet for any purpose--and, in reality, most people use ONE computer or laptop and/or smartphone for everything, no matter how insecure that is--requires far more sophistication than I was able to convey in my posts.
For the average user who is trying to protect themselves from the average risks online and off, but especially at unsecured wireless hotspots, a basic VPN with at least 128 bit encryption should be fine. I do NOT advocate using unsecured wireless hotspot. However, even using a VPN, there are still a number of things to keep in mind and I can't post them all here. I have posted some of them, you've posted others. Everyone considering using a VPN should do some serious research about them, proxy servers, VPN software v. hardware, pros, cons, security issues that still remain using just a VPN, etc. and determine what level of security is best for them. They should then choose a highly reputable, trustworthy vendor or else their risks may be higher than without a VPN.
So, before allowing any "security" procedure designed to protect your computer, laptop or smartphone to lull you into a false sense of security (no pun intended), remember two things. First, determined people (from law enforcement to tech savvy PIs to hackers/stalkers/criminals) hack through VPNs all of the time. If they can hack government servers, they can hack even the most secure VPN setups. Second, NO solution is perfect in this technological environment and BE CAREFUL ONLINE, period.
JJL, I agree with you, too, but, like I said, most people use their computers for everything. Most can only afford one good one and others can't manage two. My solutions are for the average computer user. Again, I won't say where I lie in that spectrum because I've learned that no matter what I do to protect myself online, there are ALWAYS ways for those who really want to know what I'm doing online to find out.
Therefore, based on that realization and my substantial research, not only have I made some significant changes to my privacy protection strategy, I'll be keeping much more to myself than I'm telling on this site, which is why I only gave the basic overview of what VPNs are and can do. Anybody that reads my posts (or anyone else's here) needs to do their own due diligence on all of it and use the information they find here at their own risk.
Finally, to the extent you can, do whatever you can to create or procure other hiding places like JJL states in both great books. (I've read both and refer to them often!) Don't allow technology and "life" to distract you so thoroughly, you forget the good ol' fashioned basics. Nuff said!
There's been a lot of talk here recently regarding VPNs and secure / anonymous browsing. Some of what has been said is accurate, some of it not.
A VPN will NOT give you a high level of privacy for web browsing from your home or any location that is directly tied to you. For e-mail access and simpler protocols that do not change often, it can. But browsers have become inextricably intertwined with other programs and libraries such as Adobe's Flash and Java. These external programs often have direct access to facilities on a computer such as it's networking card. This means they can bypass any VPN software and still give up your true IP and MAC address.
If you disable all these features and programs, most websites will no longer work, as they have come to depend on such external programs to view their content. So you wind up defeating the purpose of having web access in the first place.
The best and safest option for the moment is using a separate computer that is only used for web browsing. Use free public access 802.11 WiFi points or a cellular data carrier with an annonymous account for the actual internet connection. Most cellular data cards do not have GPS built into them and allow for an external antenna. Using a highly directional antenna on a cellular modem or WiFi card can go a long way in defeating the signal strength based location technology that they both use.
Firefox with the Adblock and NoScript plugins installed helps to keep your browsing more private, but there are still several large holes that need to be plugged and new ones are being created as browser capabilities expand. By the time you read about the next one and fix the hole, your privacy may have already been compromised.
Marc, , Age: 44
… Your biggest danger is in losing your laptop, or getting it stolen, or having the files copied surreptitiously. I have friends who have ways of making any computer talk and they aren’t even employed by any of the three-letter agencies. So here are my suggestions.
… 1. Do not send any secret messages by e-mail, whether encrypted or not.
... 2. Do not go to any Web sites that will embarrass you if and when a record of this comes to light.
... That is why I talk about secret hiding places in both How to Be Invisible and in Invisible Money. That is where you should direct your efforts!
The Perth Mint has several retail locations spread across the world in major cities, a few of which are in the U.S. (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, and New York, I believe). You can go in-person and make a deposit and all they will ask you for is a passport (for tracking/identification purposes when it comes to picking up your gold). You get a certificate along with a deposit tracking number. If you decide to do it by mail, fax or online, then it gets more extensive and requires all sorts of identifying paperwork.
I'm not sure if they're still dispensing bearer certificates, as it's been a while since my family has used them, and that was pre-PATRIOT Act. But, the certificates are treated aren't as cash-equivalents or bullion at national borders, which means they're non-reportable. (It's a contract for immediately redeemable bullion storage, not bullion itself.) So, if you wanted to take more than $10,000 out of the country, this is one way to get around it. Just be sure to redeem your certificates in something other than U.S. dollars, as they will result in a report as well.
But, I agree with J.J., this is impractical for the average person. They require at least $25,000 minimum in cash or metal. Still, I mentioned it because it's a lot smarter than some guy stuffing his cowboy boots! :) LOL
URL #1: http://www.pmcg.com.au/
Frankly, whether or not your on Facebook or any other social media site, I believe there's a possibility you can be served online if process servers can't find and address or agent of yours to accept process.
If you have any email address that can be linked to you, personally, even for an LLC that you don't use for true business purposes, like those you use to register your vehicle or title your home or other personal property (and so may be considered by the courts as your "alter ego" that you use to hide from creditors, especially if you've already got a judgment against you) or an email address linked to your business if your business is the subject of any investigation or defendant in a lawsuit, service of process may be coming to your state just as it already has in other. (And, if you're a US resident who appears to have moved to another country, to the country of purported residence, if their law permits that, has certain treaties with the US and/or has no laws preventing you from being served for something that's not a crime in the country of residence/email location. Keep in mind that many (if not most) EU countries WILL cooperate with US investigators and law enforcement to locate you, especially if subpoenaed.)
This is especially true if you use free email like Gmail, Hotmail or others and/or the email can be trace back to an IP address known to be registered to you or your business, particularly if that IP address is on a computer at a physical where you'd be served, anyway. That's because free email services have no incentive to protect you over their own business interests and, frankly, neither do most private companies so check the terms of service for their policy on serving subpoenas through their servers to clients of the service. Some make it easy and say that; others make it costly, charging by the hours to validate a subpoena and making it clear they will contact their client to see if they want the opportunity to quash the subpoena before it's served. You want the latter kind of service provider.
Those who live in states where service of process must be in person for money judgment to be awarded in civil cases (or to a person over a certain age that is located at your known residential or business address) have less to worry about but who knows when those laws will change? (If you have a CMRA, though, make sure you tell them they can NOT accept certified or registered mail on your behalf because that's another way to effect process.) Thus, it's best not to use email addresses in your true name, at your known residential location (whether on your driver's license or not) or place of business and to use services that strip your IP address from your email like Gmail, to its credit, claims to do to send email. (Though Gmail WILL give you up if subpoenaed themselves or the right PI gets the right Google employee on the phone and uses social engineering to get info on you.
So, potential service by email is yet another reason to get that VPN service since anonymity online is limited primarily to those whose IP and email addresses can't be determined or can't be served via social media. Also, use a service that allows you to block senders BEFORE reading their email because it will be returned to them as undeliverable, ESPECIALLY if you're on any social media sites Try to find one that both allows you to block and return as unread any emails you don't recognize and makes it hard for process to be served upon you through them.
Finally, keep in mind that email is like telephone numbers. If you send email to known associates and their ISP records and/or email service provider records show that, that may be another way to find an email address to serve you. BUT, keep in mind that if your subpoenaed to appear before a court and/or criminal service of process is being attempted on you, whether process is effectively served or not, if it can be shown that you're in a known area and are avoiding being served, the laws are different and avoiding that service may lead to a failure to appear (in court) bench warrant being issued or law enforcement obtaining a warrant for your arrest. So, be careful about what kind of service you're trying to avoid.
URL #1: http://ctsummationblog.wordpress.com/2008/03/20/service-of-process%E2%80%A6by-email/
Google Analytics is a service that Google offers to websites that tracks who you are, by way of ip address, how you got to the website, and what parts of the website you visit. It works by downloading a script to your computer. One website that I know uses Google Analytics is fatwallet.com. Watch the programs that are downloaded at the bottom of your browser. The easiest way to block Google Analytics is to use Firefox as your browser (I think that it is much better than IE) and the NoScript plugin. It blocks all scripts that try to run on your computer, making it safer and persevering privacy.
Sebastian , , Age: 58
I have a current passport. I couldn't find my old when I applied for the new one. I was asked about and I told the truth: It is someplace in my house but I wasn't able to find. The clerk nodded and processed the application.
Sebastian , , Age: 58
George, how would a privacy-seeking individual deposit the pysical gold or platinum in the Perth Mint, which is located in Australia? Also, as a governmental institution, would the Perth Mint, issue an anonymous or "bearer" certificate? I wish this were possible, but I am skeptical. Just asking.
Andrew, , Age: 63
Surprisingly this is not a lot of cash. I mean, it's a lot, not in size. Do this experiment. One day go to the bank and ask for $100 in fresh singles in a brick of cash. See how thick that is? A hundred $100 bills feels the same way and is just as thick, only its worth $10,000 instead of $100. So, he pretty much only had to fit seven of these small bricks of cash in his boots. I'd say that at most he added two or three inches to his height overall, not that I'd suggest anyone do this.
It's just too risky carrying around this much cash. If he really didn't want to attract attention, he could have went to a flea market and bought a few rolls of gold and platinum coins, deposited them at the Perth Mint in exchange for a certificate of their value (in gold), and cashed in the certificate anonymously overseas.
George, , Age: 24
I agree that, if you have a dangerous stalker or similar issue, it's a good idea to buy drop or throwaway phones and use them the way he suggests. Otherwise, you can use a prepaid phone coupled with a virtual phone number/phone service like Vumber (which I've gotten away from by the way because I want even more anonymity and I've learned there a number of other services you can use to achieve the same purposes) and online SMS service (if you really need to text people) and achieve the same privacy.
The idea is NEVER to use the cell phone, prepaid or not, to call or text anyone, especially relatives and known associates because it can be tracked and pinged as well as leaves records of calls/texts everywhere you call or text. You can't slack or give in and let some people call or text you or your cell phone because it's easier for them, either. And, frankly, I wouldn't let anyone know what cell phone provider I use, either, no matter what it is.
Disappearing is WORK, can be expensive and your technique must be honed as conditions change (like surveillance technology and techniques in a surveillance society like the US or UK). It's worth it once the hard part is over, though.
Billson, a VPN is a virtual private network and it's what large corporations use regularly to allow their telecommuters and mobile workers to connect to enterprise servers. A GOOD VPN (usually a hardware VPN for corporations and the government) encrypts the internet connection between the user and the VPN server.
For the individual, it's a software tunnel that allows you to log onto a network server owned by the VPN service provider and surf the internet without revealing your own local (ISP) IP address (which if you look up on an IP geolocation website can pinpoint your location, sometimes almost exactly). Basically, you're logging onto to someone else's server, which has a different IP address from yours, and surfing the net from their server. Some providers log all activity; others don't keep logs at all nor do they watch what you do online like your ISP does. Your ISP only knows you've logged onto a VPN. For all they know, you could be accessing files on a server at work or a client's location.
Tor/Privoxy can be used with VPNs to clean up your tracks on the internet and preventing certain things from ending up on your hard drive, like permanent cookies and incriminating files. Privoxy also hides the applications you're using through your browsers. (Go to network-tool dot com and use the "Privacy dot net Browser Test" to see what I mean by "revealing applications you're using through your browsers".) They're more commonly used with SSH tunnels. (You can look that up on Wikipedia.) SSH tunnels protect more but can be complicated to set up, according to my research. As complicated as it all seems, it's not that hard to learn so do your research and experiment with VPN services until you find one that works for you.
A GOOD, encrypted (SSL-128 bit or better) VPN like the one below should work for you, if you want basic protection. They are especially important when you're using wireless and some are even available for use on PC and iPhones.
HOWEVER, if you're running from the law or intending to do anything illegal, it won't matter what you use, you'll probably be caught. Keep in mind that services in the US and EU are subject to the USA Patriot Act and all that implies. Like US-based email, warrantless searches are permissible no matter what law enforcement officials say publicly.
If you not flouting the law in any way, you need to determine if it's just about privacy for you and you want to use an offshore VPN provider that offers offshore and US server services (but makes it hard for an individual who thinks you have money and wants to sue you, a stalker or investigator to find your or subpoena the VPN provider's records because it's expensive too do overseas as HTBI says about the Canary Island address) to further protect your privacy and location. Again, however, if you're the subject of three-letter agency investigation, a VPN won't protect you, at least for long.
Finally, a VPN isn't the be all and end all of internet privacy protection. You STILL need to have good firewall, antivirus and anti-spyware software installed on your computer. If you're using Windows, keep it updated. Use other protection software (check out CNET's download.com "security/privacy" software for more information) and use FIREFOX, NOT IE to access the internet. And DON'T do anything illegal or "gray area". You still have the same obligation to use common sense online, VPN or not.
URL #1: http://www.witopia.net/
I found this article about process servers and the way they treat people. However I found the end of the story most interesting. A judge in Australia allowed a person to be served via Facebook. The reasoning for it is amazing.
URL #1: http://www.seattleweekly.com/2009-02-04/news/ron-belec-seattle-s-least-favorite-process-server/1
Steve, , Age: 38
"In Olympia this year, Belec is pushing for the passage of a bill ... that would give servers access to even more information from the state Department of Licensing. Currently, they can get the mailing address a driver uses when registering a vehicle. Belec wants servers also to be able to get the residential address of drivers who receive mail at a post office box."
Lessons learned for all drivers: When you register a vehicle, never, ever, use your home address, or a post office box number if it is connected with your home address. (This is yet another reminder to get an Alaska ghost address, if you have not already done so.)
|Previous Page||Next Page|
<< - 64 - 65 - 66 - 67 - 68 - 69 - 70 - 71 - 72 - 73 - 74 - >>