A question about court orders.

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by Sumedik, Jun 26, 2011.

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  1. Sumedik

    Sumedik Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I was wondering, a lot of VPN providers say that they would give up users details, in case he has commited a crime. But my doubt is, how do they determine whether the so called "offender" is really at fault.

    Let us consider a situation like this:

    A blogger uses VPN "A" to anonymously post articles protesting against the repressive government of his country This act is certainly not a crime. Now the government finds out that this person(being a suspect) is using VPN A, but cannot be sure that this person is using a VPN A to post to THAT particular website. So they come up with a false court order stating that this person is under investigation for such and such crime(all made up) and to help the investigation, VPN A should give out all his details. Since it is a "court order", VPN A gives up the details, and the person is prosecuted.

    I do not think such scenario is unreal.

    How can someone guard against that?

    Maybe by using overseas VPN's which would not respect court orders from other countries. Which are such VPN's?

    Or maybe by using VPN's which really do not log. Which are such VPN's? I know nobody external to the VPN provider can guarantee that such and such VPN does not log, but which ones would you trust more than the others?

    Please share your thoughts.
     
  2. Spooony

    Spooony Registered Member

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    They log that you used they're service and the last 16bits of the IPS you connected to. So those logs don't show the full ip you connected to thru them.

    Authorities find it much easier to subpoena google for your data.

    If you choose a VPN provider look in which country they are based in and what does the telecommunication law stipulates. Unfortunately if the law states they must hand over the logs they must do it.
    Does it show what data you transferred over the server? No
    Does it show the full ip you connected to? No
    Do I know what is a offense and what is not? Yes
    Is a connectivity service there to hide my criminal activities? No
    So why worry over such things?
     
  3. Sumedik

    Sumedik Registered Member

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    I guess a VPN provider in country A does not habe to respect a court order of country B. So the people in country trying to get information has to obtain a court order in country A. correct?

    Any recommendations?
    Sorry I did not get you....based on my hypothetical scenario, how can some VPN provider know if the claimed crime by its user is actually a crime?
     
  4. box750

    box750 Registered Member

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    The VPN provider has no way of knowing unless they keep detailed logs of the user activities, most don't, they will have to trust whatever it is told to them.

    I don't think any US VPN provider will dare to doubt anything the FBI tells them, just for their own good, you don't want the FBI coming around with a court order seizing your server and bankrupting your business, and they can do this, it is in the VPN provider best interest not to get in trouble with LEA, particularly with local LEA.
     
  5. Spooony

    Spooony Registered Member

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    Yes. If your using a provider lets say in Germany then there's no way the authorities in the US can seize anything. They can subpoena your isp. If your running a major crime organization in which you are making billions tax free then its a different story. Thats the point of the question Are the VPN there to hide criminal activities? A person knows he is breaking a international crime which is illegal in the VPN providers country and in your own.
    Recommendations. I'm not going to say this one is better or that one because that wouldn't be fair to any of them.
    You can go here
    http://vpnreviewz.com/best-vpn-service-providers/
    Most of them offer a trail make use of it and test them out. See which one works out the best for you. We have different isps and we live on different sides of the ocean so we won't have the same experiences with the different ones.
    One that's not mentioned there but on that site there's a A-z list of VPNs look at the Ys there's a german one that's good especially if your into P2P. P2P I mean gaming P2P the other P2P that's branded evil you know which one I'm talking about one with server port forwards will be a bonus.
    I just expanded your questions a bit. They're there to give your anonymity. Too hide your ip from the bad guys and others who has no business in knowing it. They don't run a service with a mindset to try and use AES 256BIT keys with Diffie-Hellman 14 keys that expires every 5 min to make sure their clients activities won't spotted by authorities because he's running a major malware or Botnet syndicate etc etc. They provide the service to make it difficult to spot you because you look like a million other users on the internet.
     
  6. Sumedik

    Sumedik Registered Member

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    Well....it is not a question of commiting crimes of the magnitude you have described....lol...in fact no crime at all.....

    I am more focussed towards "freedom of speech", which translates into being able to run blogs or post to forums anonymously...

    If you do that regularly on a particular site, somone might start monitoring incoming traffic of that site and match them based the time the posts are made.

    Therefore they can narrow it down to a few IPs and try to backtrack from there. Theoritically, even if you go through a VPN, and a VPN exit node is in the list of suspected IP's they can try to get the corrosponding real Ip from the VPN provider, or monitor all incoming connections to the VPN for a time period.

    Was trying to get some ideas to beat the backtracking so as to say....
     
  7. Spooony

    Spooony Registered Member

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    you can hide your ip but you can't hide your personality. I think the admins at chat forums can Amen to that one. Thing about privacy is there is so much things that can give you away. If you want to keep your details within your pc you will have to do a bit of research. Install http headers live the firefox add on. Then have a look what the sites ask of your browser you will be surprised.
    You want a secure browser. Use jondofox with tor. Its already got the privacy and security add ons like no script ad block and so integrated and its default search engine is iquicks. If you want to be anonymous STAY OFF GOOGLE!! Sorry for that lol but stay away from google.

    I live in a country that I can type anything about my government without worrying about anything. I can make use of any internet protocol without a worry that a isp is going to send me warning letters because they discovered I have a lot of P2P traffic coming in and out. I don't know if its stupidity or daylight robbery but me playing WOW online and someone ripping illegal content via torrents online the traffic will look the same.
    But anyway what country are you living in? Do you live in a country where there is some part internet censorship involved?
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  8. Sumedik

    Sumedik Registered Member

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    Well in my country there is no censorship, but you can get into trouble if you write about the wrong things. :)

    Let us say the authority spots controversial content on www.ab12.com. They can contact server admin of that site(offshore) to find who all are using the site in a given time range(say 1 motnth). By coordinating with the time when postings are done, they can narrow down the list to a small list of IPs.

    Even if the poster is behind a VPN, it would be noted that a particular VPN exit node connects to the site whenever a posting is done. Then they can approach the VPN provider with the false story to get the real IP.

    Just an "example" of how a timing based backtracking can be done.

    Was looking for ways to beat it....

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011
  9. nix

    nix Registered Member

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    You're very short on details in this hypothetical. I don't understand it. If the government is repressive, then a blogger's criticism will trigger inquiry, and a warrant will be drawn that covers the relevant circumstances, which may or may not involve the blogger's use of a vpn at all. Or if the government is that repressive, no warrant is required. They'll just show up wherever they want and get what they came for. If their targets, vpn or otherwise, are located within their jurisdiction (or a cooperating one), and they maintain evidence, case closed.
     
  10. Sumedik

    Sumedik Registered Member

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    You are right. The government is trying to find out WHO is the blogger/forum poster. They are trying to backtrack from the website(s he/she posts in regularly).

    I hope that clarifies everything.
     
  11. Spooony

    Spooony Registered Member

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    you can do whatever but if the government wants to track you they will track you. As soon as you make your first connection its logged by your isp. So they just check the first hop from the gateway. That will be your pc. So don't need to bother with a VPN service or any struggle with them. They subpoena your isp. Now the question is to whom does the isps or under who's control are they
     
  12. Sumedik

    Sumedik Registered Member

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    Not again.....someone wants to find out who this "you" is.....

    They cannot track "you" without knowing who is "you". Isn't it?
     
  13. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    According to XB Steve, it would take a "Global Adversary" to track a multi-hop VPN with servers spread out over multiple jurisdictions. And it would also cost a lot of money. So from what I understand, it would have to be something really serious for the government to take up those kinds of resources. And evidently these types of resources are not available to local law enforcement. So the average user will have nothing to worry about. But from what I understand, if you are using a one hop VPN located in the U.S. or U.K., it is already being monitored by default....no matter what the VPN provider or proxy service tells you.
     
  14. nix

    nix Registered Member

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    This repressive government obviously knows the blogger resides within their jurisdiction. It would be useless and time-consuming to spend time and resources to draw up perjured papers to compel (if it was even possible) some random, remote vpn to track down logs on a target who resides half-way around the world.

    I think you're really asking about what constitutes the preferred degree of anonymity given certain conditions. But your question "how can one guard against that?" doesn't convey the contradiction inherent in your hypothetical. Guard against what? Being a target? Protecting against false testimony?

    Because if you're indicating, in your scenario, that the government finds out the person uses vpn A because he's already a suspect, then he's not anonymous anyway. His choice of vpn is pretty much irrelevant.
     
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