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Zaphod Beeblebrox
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2,799 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On another forum I frequent but mainly lurk one of the members is from Joplin, MO and his last post from yesterday evening basically said the tornado was on top of his location. Nobody knows the guy personally or even through Facebook. 24+ hours later no activity on his account. At any rate at some point he posted he lived on the SW side of Joplin and had posted snowstorm pictures of his front and backyard earlier this year. From just a few clues some other posters were able to pick out his exact address and look op tax info from the county and get a real name of the property owner, which could be a landlord I suppose. All this happened in a matter of less than an hour or so this morning. A moderator put a stop to it and personal data was deleted but I was amazed at with how little information they had available how much they could mine from google. Not sure where I was going with this but it's been going through my head all day.
 

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Zaphod Beeblebrox
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2,799 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
O hai, I wonder what wasted post 2000 on?
 

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Just Plain Bitter
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8,602 Posts
That is why you block out license plates and street signs if you wish to hide your location. In this case I think it was done out of concern for the individual. I know a 12 year old with half a brain and Googel could find me if they wanted to. Fortunately I don't live in tornado alley, but if there is ever a huge California earthquake and I stop responding go ahead and look for me.
 

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Premium Member
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10,106 Posts
O hai, I wonder what wasted post 2000 on?
Actually, you make an important point for those who wish to remain anonymous.

There was a time in the early days of RBR when very few people had met each other and people stuck more to cycling than the stuff we now discuss in the Lounge. I can remember on 9/11 people were trying to figure out whether any regulars were at the WTC or the Pentagon. Back then we had few clues about each other. Today, I would bet that within an hour or two we could figure out who most regulars are even if they never have met anyone here or posted on FB. I have enough clues here that I would be surprised if it were to take more than five minutes for someone who is not on FB or has met me to figure out who I am. If someone really wants to be anonymous, he or she probably would have to do the following: never post a photo, not specifically identify his or her hometown, not identify any schools he or she attended and probably throw in some disinformation for good measure.
 

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Zaphod Beeblebrox
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2,799 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, without a doubt, there was no malicious intent and everything was done out of concern for his well being. The posted pictures had no license plates, street names, and looked like every other newish subdivision in America. The identification key was a mailbox and some bushes in the background. The other only clue was his last post saying the tornado was on him with a timestamp on the post. That narrowed it down to about a half mile diameter circle. I guess it's not 100% sure the correct house was picked but it sure looked right to me.

I'm in the same boat as rward, if I stop posting after a disaster, by all means use any means available to find me.
 

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Registered
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4,572 Posts
I'm poasting from yer basements...
 

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Zaphod Beeblebrox
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2,799 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, totally creepy.

P.S. You forgot to flush.
I think the kids got something stuck in the crapper, it hasn't been flushing good for weeks, I need to take care of that.
 

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Honey Smack!
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7,966 Posts
In your bushes..stealing your wifi.


It really is easy once you get an address to find out contact info of a person through the googles and assessors records.
 

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Administrator
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13,009 Posts
Privacy died a long time ago. And stop stealin' mah WiFis!
 

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Le Misérable
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4,374 Posts
Actually, you make an important point for those who wish to remain anonymous.

There was a time in the early days of RBR when very few people had met each other and people stuck more to cycling than the stuff we now discuss in the Lounge. I can remember on 9/11 people were trying to figure out whether any regulars were at the WTC or the Pentagon. Back then we had few clues about each other. Today, I would bet that within an hour or two we could figure out who most regulars are even if they never have met anyone here or posted on FB. I have enough clues here that I would be surprised if it were to take more than five minutes for someone who is not on FB or has met me to figure out who I am. If someone really wants to be anonymous, he or she probably would have to do the following: never post a photo, not specifically identify his or her hometown, not identify any schools he or she attended and probably throw in some disinformation for good measure.
I'm a bit of a privacy freak and have been thinking about this sort of thing since the Interwebs fad began: it's more than a little freaky. I had an incident on my blog not too long ago where someone representing a group I had roasted pretty good basically threatened to come after me...I traced every possible thing I had ever published and tried to figure out a way that he could've found my home address, and lo and behold there was one remote possibility for a very Sherlockian stalker. Here's hopin' that guy didn't find it before I took down a couple links in the evidence chain.

Anyhoo, on a forum the disinformation is key...a little goes a long ways, at least if you're careful with the real stuff.:) I mean, maybe I actually live in Lyons, Colorado and went to Northeastern University...bwa ha ha ha ha...

///if I lived in a city of less than a million I would never name it.
 

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had it in the ear before
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13,965 Posts
I got a shotgun rifle and a fourwheeldrive....
 
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Premium Member
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I'm a bit of a privacy freak and have been thinking about this sort of thing since the Interwebs fad began: it's more than a little freaky. I had an incident on my blog not too long ago where someone representing a group I had roasted pretty good basically threatened to come after me...I traced every possible thing I had ever published and tried to figure out a way that he could've found my home address, and lo and behold there was one remote possibility for a very Sherlockian stalker. Here's hopin' that guy didn't find it before I took down a couple links in the evidence chain.

Anyhoo, on a forum the disinformation is key...a little goes a long ways, at least if you're careful with the real stuff.:) I mean, maybe I actually live in Lyons, Colorado and went to Northeastern University...bwa ha ha ha ha...

///if I lived in a city of less than a million I would never name it.
If you are a privacy freak, you probably should move from Lyons, Colorado, to Lyons, France. :) In the EU privacy laws and regulations are much more strict than they are in the US. Lots of routine information that you can find out about people in the US from things like employer websites and public databases is not generally available in Europe. If someone really wants to hunt you down to sue you, they can hunt you down through various legal means. The major internet service providers will give up subscriber info if served with a proper subpoena (they will notify the subscriber and give him or her the opportunity to object, etc. But, even if you are careful about protecting your identity, you should assume that when you say something on the Internet that your identity could be discovered if someone really wanted to find it.
 

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Le Misérable
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4,374 Posts
If you are a privacy freak, you probably should move from Lyons, Colorado, to Lyons, France. :) In the EU privacy laws and regulations are much more strict than they are in the US. Lots of routine information that you can find out about people in the US from things like employer websites and public databases is not generally available in Europe. If someone really wants to hunt you down to sue you, they can hunt you down through various legal means. The major internet service providers will give up subscriber info if served with a proper subpoena (they will notify the subscriber and give him or her the opportunity to object, etc. But, even if you are careful about protecting your identity, you should assume that when you say something on the Internet that your identity could be discovered if someone really wanted to find it.
So true...although I was thinking a lot more about this particular French woman than I was about privacy laws when I moved here.:thumbsup:

Along those lines--different laws but based on the same philosophy regarding Internet freedom--I was just reading this earlier. I often have arguments with people over here about the relative value of the freedom of speech, but in at least in some cases I suppose they've got a point.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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40,922 Posts
My identity is no big secret....however I am careful to try NOT to step on toes in public. Hell, when I walk past the mirror in the morning I do a double take...I don't recognize myself even!
 

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Shirtcocker
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60,639 Posts
Privacy is dead unless you are the Unabomber living off the grid somewhere. That said, there are basic precautions you can take. You don't have to make it easy for them to find you.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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40,922 Posts
Privacy is dead unless you are the Unabomber living off the grid somewhere. That said, there are basic precautions you can take. You don't have to make it easy for them to find you.
I'd post more details if i thought the internet peoples could help me find stuff I lose!
 

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waterproof*
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41,611 Posts
Privacy is an illusion. Live your life as if everyone is watching (these days, they are, or at least can go back and review tapes / internet trails if you ever become interesting).
 

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There was just a discussion on a car forum I frequent about why people blur their license plates when posting pictures. Someone made what I thought was a pretty good point - in real life you park the car in front of your house for everyone to see, so what does blurring a photo get you?
 
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