Catch me if you can: Cyber Anonymity

Rohret, David; Kraft, Michael
January 2011
Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Warfa;2011, p213
Conference Proceeding
Advances in network security and litigation have empowered and enabled corporations to conduct Internet and desktop surveillance on their employees to increase productivity and their customers to gain valuable marketing data. Governments have spent billions to monitor cyberspace and have entered agreements with corporations to provide surveillance data on adversarial groups, competitors, and citizenry (Reuters, 2010). The Chinese government's monitoring of the Internet (Markoff, 2008), the United Kingdom's plan to track every email, phone call, and website visited (Whitehead, 2010), and the recent announcement from the United States that a program named the "Perfect Citizen" (Bradley, 2010) will be used to identify those committing cybercrimes and terrorist activities. These government surveillance programs have many concerned that anonymity on the Internet is non-existent and that real objectivity and candidness found on news, educational, and research websites is being replaced with a "big brother" atmosphere; preventing open discussion and information transfers between domains. Although the initial intent of network and Internet monitoring may be honourable; terrorists, hackers, and cyber-criminals already have access to the necessary tools and methodologies to continue in their activities unabated. State and non-state adversaries can use these same tools and methodologies to divert malicious and offensive actions towards a common adversary, avoiding attribution while increasing tensions among non-actors. Concerned educators, scientists, and citizens are rebelling against Internet monitoring providing the impetus for developers and entrepreneurs to create methods, tools, and virtual private networks that provide secrecy for those wishing to remain invisible; avoiding detection from employers, law enforcement, and other government agencies (Ultimate-Anonymity, 2010). The intent of this research is to first briefly identify the efforts required by governments to track and monitor individuals and groups wishing to remain anonymous within the cyber community. The authors define "cyber community" as the boundaries within any tool, process, or mechanism utilizing Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)/ Internet Protocol (IP), or similar protocols that allow for the transfer and aggregation of information and data. In contrast, the authors will then identify a process to remain wholly anonymous in the context of an internet identity. This will be demonstrated in a step-by-step case study using a "paranoid" approach to remaining anonymous.


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