Got a very puzzling situation

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by Chuck57, Mar 22, 2008.

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  1. Chuck57

    Chuck57 Registered Member

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    My wife, some friends and I have a site up, Old West related, and have an interesting situation going on. We had a poster who began getting very nasty and had to ban her.

    A known friend or relative of hers has appeared. Sometimes she logs in under her user name. Sometimes, we assume she lurks. We have Site Meter, which is supposed to tell us who is there and other information. This person never shows on Site Meter or on the board until she logs in. At first, her isp showed. After banning her friend or relative, suddenly the friend's isp stopped showing. Thus, we don't know whether she's lurking or not. Suddenly, she is just logged in.

    I know about proxies and changing user agent, but have never run into a software that will completely hide someone from showing either on Site Meter or on a website, even as a guest. At this point, we have no reason to ban her. She isn't being disruptive, but it's annoying to possibly have someone lurking and not know they're there.

    My question - finally - is there software available that will completely block a person in this way? We've contacted Site Meter, but they've been no help, and our board host, Yuku, can't seem to figure it out.
     
  2. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    Wow! I have never heard of anything like that either.
     
  3. Chuck57

    Chuck57 Registered Member

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    It's got me completely puzzled. So far, the friend hasn't been a problem on our forums, but the fact that she doesn't even appear as a guest before she signs in really puzzles us, and her IP doesn't show bothers me.

    A couple of us spent quite a while searching and found nothing. Lots of proxies, but nothing that completely hides IP's and totally hides the person from both showing on the site or Site Meter.

    We also got someone today who's IP showed but absolutely no other information. Ran the IP# at DSL Reports and it came back with no information available. That's another new one on me. I'm assuming it's some kind of proxy.
     
  4. KookyMan

    KookyMan Registered Member

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    Just guessing, but is it possible that she's using Tor?

    She switches it on for her lurking, then when she goes to login she turns it off.

    Could be completely wrong just throwing an idea.
     
  5. reparsed

    reparsed Registered Member

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    Does Site Meter depend on the visitor using JavaScript or pulling an image from the Site Meter server? Perhaps the banned user is running NoScript or otherwise blocking Site Meter?
     
  6. JohnSmith5d75

    JohnSmith5d75 Registered Member

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    from the FAQ:
    """
    Are robots and web spiders tracked?

    For the most part, Site Meter will not track robots (or automated programs) that come to your site. That is because Site Meter needs the “visitor” to your site to run the javascript for Site Meter in your web page or at least load the image that is on your web page (the Site Meter counter). Most Robots do not run the javascript that is in a page or even load the images on a page so Site Meter never sees the robot viewing your pages.
    """

    if she blocks javascript and/or the sitemeter image (i have an adblock on sitemeter.com) she will be invisible to your site meter counter.

    for tracking obnoxious users i use both an eternal cookie with a guid and the same technique in a flash save file. if the user has blocked javascript and/or wipes browser and flash cookies, they can still avoid this detection method, but most users are not that savvy.
     
  7. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    Suggestion: Don't ban - either make an abusive user's life miserable (check out the "Miserable Users" mod if you are using vBulletin - other forum software should have similar utilities) or hide her posts from others ("Tachy Goes to Coventry" in vBulletin will place a user on everyone else's Ignore list - no-one else can see her posts but she gets no indication that anything is amiss).

    Another suggestion: If you value your visitors' privacy, don't use third party sites to track them (SiteMeter, Google Analytics, WebTrendsLive, etc). These sites can (and almost certainly do) aggregate data from all participating websites in order to build up a partial picture of users' online habits. If you want information on visitors, your web server logs will provide this (and there are reporting utilities that process such logs to provide statistical information).
     
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