Anonymous, really?

How to ‘disappear’ from surveillance without breaking any laws: Bitcoin evangelist reveals 15 extreme steps for masking your identity (but it’ll cost you $30,000) says Jameson Lopp, CTO at Bitcoin security company Casa.

OMG, it just goes to show that having money doesn’t mean you’ve  got intelligence.

The steps he uses are:-

  1. Create a new corporate identity
  2. Set up new bank accounts and payment cards
  3. Carry cash
  4. Get a new phone number
  5. Stop using a smart phone for GPS directions
  6. Move to a new house
  7. Use a fake name or pseudonym
  8. Use a Virtual Private Network when browsing the internet at home
  9. Get rid of your flashy car
  10. Purchase a ‘decoy house’ to prevent being tracked by the DMV
  11. Establish a private mailbox and remailing service
  12. Use a disguise when going outside
  13. Don’t work in an office setting
  14. Encrypt your devices when traveling
  15. Hire a private investigator to make sure you can’t be tracked

About the only happy thing on this list is number 15.
Happy for the private investigator that is.
Whoever is chosen is going to make a lot of money out of you over a considerable time!

It is impossible to hide nowadays, in body or digitally, and all the money in the world won’t change that. Neither will talking to reporters!
If you find yourself a person of interest by a half way decent investigative reporter, or a nation’s security services, you’ll end up toasted no matter what you do. Add habits, regular dates, times, they all build up into a pattern. All investigators love patterns of behavior.

On the streets there is active facial recognition right around the world and an uncountable number of CCTV systems some of which will be used by the government security services.  Add a disguise (which would have to be REALLY good if facing a professional) and over time you will slip up. That’s human nature.

As for using a VPN?
Even if you own one, your data will still have to get there without passing through various gateways. If, for example, you are in a hotel and using their router, they can take a copy. If you are in a foreign country that DEMANDS internet services trace and record everything, there is little you can do to stop that. While they may not be able to read what you have sent or received, constant use sets a pattern and, as above, behavior patterns makes you predictable and predictable is not what you want when talking anonymity.

Remember in some countries simply using encryption raises a digital flag on your equipment. After that or even besides that, if your antivirus software isn’t state of the art, in comes a key logger and that bypasses any encryption you think you have.

So don’t or do bother?
If you have something to hide, and loads of money to waste, spend away.
After all others have to eat while pandering your fanciful whims.
If you are Joe or Jane public? Learn how to shrug.
It works wonders does that. That way you wont feel so bad knowing that you are on everyone and their dog’s’ radar, digital or not.