Friday, February 05, 2010

Privacy, VPN tunneling, and Evidence

As if I wasn't obsessive enough about privacy and anonymity, my heart palpitations based on a fear that this son-of-a-bitch will get an e-mail from Google every time I post something have caused me to fear doing anything on the web without severe encryption and VPN access through multiple countries. Especially with Google's news today that they're teaming up with the NSA, I think to myself, "well, if covering my tracks and staying private wasn't important before, it just became a priority." My wife thinks that if I'm not doing anything wrong then there's no reason to hide my tracks, but I disagree using the current accusation against me in point. This SOB took bits of information scattered around the web about me and pasted together a story and an accusation. If I didn't have proof to the contrary, and if I didn't have proof that HE KNEW to the contrary, I could have wound up in jail!

So it gives me a slight chuckle that every time now that I log onto, it welcomes me in German, Dutch, or some other language. Tunneling through an encrypted VPN really slows down my connection, but in cases such as this one where it says, "last logged in from" (or whatever IP address), this concerns me because I *KNOW* that if I were on the other side monitoring my own connection, I could say, "Okay, Zoe logged onto his e-mail from this address, and someone from that same address (must be him) also logged onto this other user on Blogger. This frumpter account must be his [not so] anonymous account that he's using." Whatever, nobody is likely going to do this, but if I -- a semi-techy hacker-type of regular guy -- can think of how easy it is to do this AND I own both Google, Blogger, and so many other services used by my subscribers, YOU BET YOUR ASS I WOULD BE LINKING ACCOUNTS BASED ON WHICH IP ADDRESSES LOGGED ONTO THEM.

Anyway, while I should be preparing for the bar exam (and I am full force), I spent much of yesterday and today gathering evidence into one orderly place. I also filed a response to the accusation, and so we'll see what happens. I believe there is a strong likelihood that I'll have to hire an attorney eventually, but for now, my actions cooperating with the authorities are innocuous. I really didn't have anything incriminating that I had to worry about, and so I wrote out a reply and sent it in. Really, I am not at a place where we can afford a lawyer at this point, but then again, we are really at a place where we cannot afford NOT to get a lawyer should this thing move to the next level and a criminal investigation be filed. At this point, it seems as if everybody is just gathering evidence and so there was nothing to hide.

So that is the update on my main worry of the day; I'll post this and write something more personal following this.


Anonymous said...

You don't cover your tracks well at all. I once sent you an email from the contact me link on this blog, and you replied from your personal gmail account which revealed your identity in 2 seconds.

Zoe Strickman said...

That's because I'm an idiot and I make mistakes more often than I'd like to. Chances are, however, that if I personally responded to an e-mail of yours, you have earned my trust and thus I don't particularly mind if you know who I am. (That doesn't mean I'll friend you on myspace or the like, but you still have my trust.)