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Court orders Facebook to reveal revenge porn IP addresses

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"Revenge porn" is quite a stupid term. It sounds like something it isn't for starters. It sounds like rape on film. Next, by labeling it, they are popularizing it.

What this is is a disgusting violation of individual privacy and the breaking of an obvious but unspoken contract. If all individuals in obviously personal pictures have given consent for publication, publication should be illegal and come with jail terms. And when a lover gives you permission to make nude or sex films of them, its obviously only meant for consumption between you and them and that contract is obvious. Violations of that contract should come with substantial recourse and reward in civil court.

And the law should reflect those so clearly that any court would grant a warrant and any website would be happy to provide all relevant information.

And curse those idiots doing this! They make women distrustful of the rest of us men. I hate them. So stupidly selfish, they even work against their own interests.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This is an issue that should not be taken lightly. One can argue that these actions were taken in a fit of anger, but most crimes are taken during anger or despair. It should be view as a crime and treated as such.

One piece of advise... if you were dumped, move on. There is no shame in it, since it happens to all us (guys and girls). There is no reason to hurt them and in return hurt yourself, since, once you take that kind of action, you will not be trustworthy again.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

... Perhaps it is just my generation, but If someone wanted to make a video of us having sex I'd hear alarm bells going off in a big way.

If they weren't going senile then I'd seriously question why they need video evidence. The entire idea of video taping sex is pretty darned suspicious to begin with. It smacks of carving notches on bedposts and showing them to buddies to prove "conquests".

Unless you're in a committed relationship (like married - where there's a risk that one day you WILL go senile and limp and need reminders of the good times) any guy asking to videotape sex... yeah, red flags. Dump him and find someone else who doesn't want to treat you like an unpaid porn actress.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The entire idea of video taping sex is pretty darned suspicious to begin with. It smacks of carving notches on bedposts and showing them to buddies to prove "conquests".

I've made videos with girls a number of times in the past. Almost always it was for us to watch together at a later date. You'd be surprised how many girls enjoy that. Other times it was when I was going overseas, and gave me a little something to 'remember' while I was gone. I've never showed any of it to friends, and I never would. It has nothing to do with 'conquests'.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Agree with Frungy. H3ll, agree with everyone posting so far.

Alarm bells girls. Just DON'T DO IT!

It doesn't need to be an issue or cross into the 'but we're in love' - it's like when a good friend asks you for money. Not $10, $100 or even $10,000 - a lot of money for you, and puts some solid pressure on you to 'just trust' them.

You don't do it, exactly because of the risk to friendship & more.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I've never understood why any woman would consent to such photos. And any guy who pressures his girlfriend to pose for nude photos is certainly showing a lack of respect for her. Hardly conducive to a loving relationship.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

StrangerlandOct. 22, 2014 - 09:20AM JST I've made videos with girls a number of times in the past.

Multiple girls, multiple videos... playboy. My advice stands. I'll be telling my daughter (when she's old enough to have this conversation) to dump any guy that even suggests making videos. And that's not an over-reaction. A guy who suggests it and is rejected might decide to go ahead and record anyway without consent.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Facebook doesn't allow porn on their site, so I can't see how they can ask for photos that would be deleted in minutes they are uploaded?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Videos are required these days in California, if you're a college student, in order to prove ongoing affirmative consent.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I don't think they are asking for photos but for the IP addresses of the uploader(s).

As a kid I found a naked photo of my dad. Yup. I will never allow my body to be captured on film because it could always be found by someone for whom it's not intended. It could traumatize our kids or be used for nefarious purposes. Just better to never go there. I feel bad for women with articles like this as a result.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Multiple girls, multiple videos... playboy.

A guy who suggests it and is rejected might decide to go ahead and record anyway without consent.

Urgh. More of that all men are the same (except me) white knight stuff.

I think most of these videos are made in the way that strangerland describes. A couple of my ex-girlfriends were more into it than me. If a girl makes multiple videos with different guys what does that make her then?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Don't take or let a picture or video be taken of you that if it were ever to be released, you'd want to crawl in a hole or die.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the peanut gallery on this site must be pretty old. I just got back into the game recently and pretty much all young women are open to this. They love to show their whole life via facebook and use the iPhone with abandon. Frankly there is nothing illegal about sharing photos made voluntarily unless there is some obscenity law violation.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Don't take or let a picture or video be taken of you that if it were ever to be released, you'd want to crawl in a hole or die."

That's just common sense, isn't it? Stupid is as Stupid does.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And what happen if the uploader was doing this in a hotel with free wifi or just from internet cafe or just used an IP blocker.... or just any free wifi hotspot....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Frungy: "Unless you're in a committed relationship (like married - where there's a risk that one day you WILL go senile and limp and need reminders of the good times) any guy asking to videotape sex... "

What if it's a good who asks for it? Generally men are said to be more 'visual' when it comes to sex, and I don't think you can argue against that very well (though of course there are women who are highly visual as well), but there are women who in fact like having their picture taken in the buff and during sex and even taking pics themselves. I've had a couple of women I was in relationships ask, but it was solely for us to watch together later, or some would send racy pics when we couldn't meet for a while, etc. To each their own, so long as there is mutual consent and such things are not abused later (and deleted if you break up, if requested).

In any case, I would hope it's not only revenge PORN that is up for punishment, but anything that involves slander/defamation (as with the Google case), revealing of damaging personal information, etc. I also hope they can get IP addresses not just for 'revenge porn', but also for people who subscribe to kiddy porn or other such filth -- don't focus solely on one thing and let another slide by.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Urgh. More of that all men are the same (except me) white knight stuff.

I think most of these videos are made in the way that strangerland describes. A couple of my ex-girlfriends were more into it than me. If a girl makes multiple videos with different guys what does that make her then?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Brainiac: "I've never understood why any woman would consent to such photos. And any guy who pressures his girlfriend to pose for nude photos is certainly showing a lack of respect for her. Hardly conducive to a loving relationship."

That is the point. NEVER NEVER allow those pictures to be taken.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I find it interesting that almost all the comments are referring to making videos with girls, not women. Not to mention that it seems as if only heterosexual relationships are being considered.

As for the idea of only making videos if in a committed relationship, let's not forget that a sizable portion of people who think they are in such a relationship end up splitting or getting divorced.

I guess if I was advising someone on this I'd say they should go ahead if they are comfortable with the idea that someday their grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, siblings, future partners, children, employers, co-workers, neighbors, and a whole host of strangers might be viewing it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've never understood why any woman would consent to such photos

Then you would be amazed at how many women enjoy taking these photos and videos. It's a turn-on for a lot of women.

Multiple girls, multiple videos... playboy.

I'm a playboy because I had multiple girlfriends? Sorry, but we must be from very different generations. Having multiple girlfriends before marriage is the standard these days, and I was faithful with them all, same as I am faithful to my wife now. I've always treated the girls I'm with with respect, the way I was raised to do. And as a result I've still got a friendship with nearly every girl I've ever dated.

A guy who suggests it and is rejected might decide to go ahead and record anyway without consent.

What a ridiculous comment. That's like claiming that any guy a girl refuses to have sex with may go ahead and rape her without consent. Sure, on a purely factual level it's true, but the huge majority of guys would never even consider doing such a thing.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Educator: "As for the idea of only making videos if in a committed relationship, let's not forget that a sizable portion of people who think they are in such a relationship end up splitting or getting divorced."

And let's not forget a whole lot do not, or that a whole lot of people who don't make such videos also split up. Ie., there's no relation. As to not making homosexual references, I believe that option was not excluded in anyone's statement, albeit those making personal references were more often men talking about women than anything else. As for saying 'girls' over women, agree that is done far too often, but I doubt anyone would object if you said "boys" instead of men (I know, I know... it's the fact that subconsciously even one is used more than the other -- a societal thing and all that). I usually say women.

"I guess if I was advising someone on this I'd say they should go ahead if they are comfortable with the idea that someday their grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, siblings, future partners, children, employers, co-workers, neighbors, and a whole host of strangers might be viewing it."

Agreed. Now, I had the VERY bad luck of running across a couple of nudes of my grandmother when I was cleaning out the house after she died -- they were my grandfather's stuck in a heap, as he used to be a photographer, and were of when she was young. It made me near ill knowing who it was, of course, but it also made them both very human.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Bear27840Oct. 22, 2014 - 03:43PM JST If a girl makes multiple videos with different guys what does that make her then?

A playgirl, naturally.

StrangerlandOct. 22, 2014 - 07:04PM JST What a ridiculous comment. That's like claiming that any guy a girl refuses to have sex with may go ahead and rape her without consent. Sure, on a purely factual level it's true, but the huge majority of guys would never even consider doing such a thing.

What a ridiculous comment. You admit it is true on a "factual level". .... what else is there other than the "factual level"? The "fantasy level"? Posting sexual videos online is a type of rape and is already happening. Your trying to deny that it happens or that it could happen is clearly operating on the "fantasy level".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What a ridiculous comment. You admit it is true on a "factual level". .... what else is there other than the "factual level"?

The realistic level.

Any guy who is refused sex by a girl could turn around and rape her afterwards. That's a fact. Realistically, almost no guys will ever do that, and to paint all men as potential rapists just because the possibility exists, is insulting to the huge majority of guys who would never even consider it.

I mean if we are going to start calling out the things that we all could potentially be, simply because the potential exists, you would be a potential rapist, murderer, thief, arms dealer, and whatever other crimes you can think of that you physically have the capability of doing it. But realistically, I don't think you are any of those things, and you would be in your rights to be insulted for people implying that you would be any of them.

Posting sexual videos online is a type of rape and is already happening.

And so is rape, and so is murder. But that doesn't equate to the majority of people who could be rapists and murders actually being rapists and murders. Huge quantities of private photos and videos are taken every single day by people all over the world, and only the tiniest portion of it ends up on line (without consent).

Your trying to deny that it happens or that it could happen is clearly operating on the "fantasy level".

Where have I tried to claim it doesn't happen, or even that it couldn't happen. I agree it does happen. I also think it's wrong, and people who do so deserve to be prosecuted. But that all said, that is not even what we are arguing about. You said:

A guy who suggests it and is rejected might decide to go ahead and record anyway without consent.

Your comments were nothing about putting it on line. Your comments were to suggest that guys who want to take a video and are denied may take these videos without the girls consent. And I stand by my comment that it's a ridiculous comment. Factual, but not realistic.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@smithinjapan "And let's not forget a whole lot do not, or that a whole lot of people who don't make such videos also split up. Ie., there's no relation. "

I didn't say there is any relation or cause and effect. My point is that you might be in a committed relationship when you make the video and li and behold a few years down the road your loving doving relationship is no longer. And then who gets custody of the video?

And the minute I hit the submit button I realized I had wanted to say something about these kind of things being found in your possessions after death. I have cleared out a few houses after deaths of family members but the only nudes were of my naked father lying on his stomach on a white fur in 1916 at the age of 4 months. Not too traumatic!

Anyway, as I said, if you are comfortable with the idea of these various people possibly seeing your video, go ahead. But I guess I would also hope you would give a thought as to whether those people would be comfortable seeing it. Generic "you" of course.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The way this article reads, the issue was actually that the perps created a fake Facebook account with the victim's name, then posted a bunch of embarrassing pictures of the victim on it without the victim's permission. This seems to be more of an "identity theft" crime than it is revenge porn.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An IP Address is NOT a computer or a person.

Whatever idiot thinks this is true doesn't have a clue.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

An IP Address is NOT a computer or a person.

So, you don't think a computing device has an IP address that can be recorded and traced?

Do you happen to know what ARP is?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So, you don't think a computing device has an IP address that can be recorded and traced?

It's an address - there can be any number of computers that lie behind that address. It's like if you go to someone's house looking for an individual person, there may be 20 people living in that house. Same as with an IP address - there may be hundreds of computers behind that IP address.

So it's an identifier, but not of an individual computer or user. Just of the location where the user was at the time that they made the posts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's an address - there can be any number of computers that lie behind that address. It's like if you go to someone's house looking for an individual person, there may be 20 people living in that house. Same as with an IP address - there may be hundreds of computers behind that IP address.

Strangerland, what you are referring to is known as a "proxy" -- a computer that enables computers on a private network behind it to share (usually) a single IP address to the public Internet.

Each of those computers on the private network has a unique IP address -- usually dynamically assigned by DHCP. If the proxy is part of a legitimate organization, it will keep logs of the mapped internet connections it has made to the computers on the private network. Rest assured, with those logs, it is quite easy to track back to an individual computing device.

If the proxy is not auditing, the very legitimacy of the organization -- and its right to attain a public Internet address -- would be in question if law enforcement ever requested to see the logs. Keep in mind the "user agreements" posted for most internet usage contracts, which provide definitions and terms for proper usage -- implying no inherent right to privacy if engaged in potentially illegal activity.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Strangerland, what you are referring to is known as a "proxy" -- a computer that enables computers on a private network behind it to share (usually) a single IP address to the public Internet.

No, I'm not. My home has a single IP address, but I have 3 computers and another 4 devices on it. From the outside world (WAN), all of these devices share the same IP address. Internally within my home network (LAN), they have different IP addresses, but these are not visible or accessible to the outside world. Going back to my original analogy, it's like everyone in the home has their own bedroom, but people outside the house don't know who has what bedroom, or where it is. Or even necessarily that a person exists to have that bedroom.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Internally within my home network (LAN), they have different IP addresses, but these are not visible or accessible to the outside world.

You fail to understand or acknowledge that there is a unique device -- a cable modem or router -- that is "mapping" each of your home's computers to the outside internet. Yes, your internal addresses are not visible in the active communications to the outside world. But, if I know the IP address of your device that is acting as the proxy for your internal network -- that is all I need to know.

Most if not all of those proxy devices are certainly capable of keeping a log of the mappings, which enables the person reading the logs to determine exactly which internal computer went to what site, at exactly what time, commonly over a 30 to 60-day period. The cable modem or router IS accessible (for "maintenance" purposes) from the outside, by the Internet provider, and the logs can be retrieved, such as they exist.

This is one key step to how law enforcement is able to track an illegal activity to a specific computer. If there are no logs, it's a bit tougher, but not impossible once someone from the outside really wants to know. Your bedroom analogy would work fine, except for the fact that everyone in each bedroom is initiating a communication that will travel outside of the house. There is a central device that knows exactly which bedroom each message came from, and most today are able to record it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You fail to understand or acknowledge that there is a unique device -- a cable modem or router -- that is "mapping" each of your home's computers to the outside internet. Yes, your internal addresses are not visible in the active communications to the outside world. But, if I know the IP address of your device that is acting as the proxy for your internal network -- that is all I need to know.

Considering I spent a good portion of my life as a network sysadmin, I assure you I understand how it works quite well.

Let's review the conversation:

An IP Address is NOT a computer or a person.

So, you don't think a computing device has an IP address that can be recorded and traced?

It's an address - there can be any number of computers that lie behind that address.

As I've been saying from the start, an IP address is an address. It points to a location. That location may be a single computer, or may be a gateway to multiple computers. From the outside there is no way to tell whether it's a single computer or multiple computers. The point being that it cannot accurately be said that a single IP address maps to a single computer - because it doesn't.

You are claiming that IP addresses can be used to map to a single computer. You are right, the can be, but not necessarily always. That requires for the router to keep records. An example of where this cannot be done is anonymous VPNs that pipe 10s/100s of thousands of connections through a single IP address. Because these companies do not keep records, there is no way to map the IP address back to the computer that accessed the location at which the IP address was registered. So all there is in such a case is an address - the location of the VPN. This is because, as I said, and IP address is simply an address. It does not uniquely identify a computer or the person using it (which is what the poster that sparked this conversation was saying), it uniquely identifies a location on the network, which may have thousands or even millions of other locations hidden behind it.

So if you still want to claim that I'm wrong, then please explain how IP addresses can be used for mapping to a single location, when the router does not keep access logs. Because if you can figure that out, law enforcement will have a job for you!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Because if you can figure that out, law enforcement will have a job for you!

Part of my work involves advising law enforcement on digital forensics relating to network data. More commonly, I am called in to assist systems/network admins to resolve problems that they have been unable to resolve.

So, focusing on this key point: "It's an address - there can be any number of computers that lie behind that address."

Actually, no. There can't be "any number of computers," for several technical reasons. For example, most private small networks start with IP address 192, which is Class C and limited to a range of 255. Another limiting factor has to do with this very basic fact -- that I'm rather surprised you have not considered:

Let's assume you have 10 computers on your private network and I am somewhere out on the public internet side monitoring everything that's coming in and out of your single, public IP address. First, it is a simple fact that any individual IP-socket connection on any packet that I see is going to be destined for only one computer on the inside. (Putting aside multicast..) For each connection that your gateway device makes, there will be a unique-IP to socket relationship. Yes, the return IP will be the same, but it's the sockets (TCP port number) that tell the gateway device which individual computer inside your network to send the communication to.

The TCP port value is a rather narrow range, and each internal computer can generate many dozens of sockets over the average internet session. Once the socket limit is reached on the gateway device, requested new connections are simply not going to be made. We on the outside know that we're not dealing with "any number of computers."

Lastly, even though your individual machine's internal IP address is not seen in the IP layer on the outside, the application headers within the packets often contain computing device identification information. In a situation like this one where law enforcement gets involved, once a sufficient record of application activity has been gathered, it is a fairly routine process to perform forensic analysis on the individual computers to determine which one was involved in the activity.

However, everything starts with the public-facing IP address. In the growing world of IPv6, identifying individual devices is even easier -- since the 12-byte unique hardware address of the computing device is part of the new IP address, under most configurations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually, no. There can't be "any number of computers,"

Sorry, but yes there can. Let's go back to my previous example of an anonymous VPN. Thousands of computers behind a single IP address.

The fact is an IP address is only an identifier of a network location. There is no one-to-one mapping of IP addresses, because as in the above case, there is often a many-to-one mapping of said IP addresses.

Lastly, even though your individual machine's internal IP address is not seen in the IP layer on the outside, the application headers within the packets often contain computing device identification information

Yes, but we are not talking about headers and packets, we are talking about IP addresses. I suppose I have to review the original conversation again, as you keep trying to go off on different tangents from it:

An IP Address is NOT a computer or a person.

So, you don't think a computing device has an IP address that can be recorded and traced?

It's an address - there can be any number of computers that lie behind that address.

We aren't talking about headers, we aren't talking about packets, we are talking about whether or not an IP address is a computer or person. It's not. It's a location on the network.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We aren't talking about headers, we aren't talking about packets, we are talking about whether or not an IP address is a computer or person. It's not. It's a location on the network.

When I hear someone calling others "idiots" for taking a tack that an IP address might be an individual computer, based on my field of expertise, my interest is piqued because I know there are others out there who know more than I do about my field, I need to determine if that is the case with the individual making the statement.

The courts have asked Facebook to turn over IP addresses. You seem to claim that this is not helpful information, and please correct me if I am wrong. For all my years as a network analyst, it is the starting point that has resolved thousands of issues, as well as caught bad guys who assumed everyone else was an "idiot."

You make the claim that an IP address is a "location on the network." That is rather nebulous as to be almost meaningless. A "location on the network" could very well be an individual computer, in which case, the IP address is inextricably linked to that computer. Taking this in reverse, every computer must have at least one unique IP address or else it is not going to communicate with anything. Generally speaking, the vast majority of User-based computers have either a single wired, or single wireless active connection, each of which will have a unique IP address.

I do not know if Facebook does this, but I am intimately familiar with applications that extract the current IP address, MAC address, computer name, and login information on the local computer and feed it to the server side as part of the client profile. Provide that address, name, and MAC info to the proper authorities and the odds are extremely high for an airtight case.

You mentioned anonymous VPNs. (Ever worked with a vendor to troubleshoot a problem with one?) Yes, from the point of view where the tunnels terminate, it does appear as a "Many-to-One" relationship. But, again, that's rather ridiculous for three reasons: 1) We can come to know the public-facing address of the client side of the tunnel; 2) We know it's going to be a tunnel because of the obvious presence of the IPsec protocol; and 3) when law enforcement gets involved, what is encrypted over IPsec is going to be decrypted. And do you know what they will find? The actual, specific IP address of the computer that was communicating through the tunnel. Surely, you must know that a VPN tunnel is simply an encapsulating and encryption method for connecting two private networks over the public Internet. "Anonymous VPN" is more a marketing term than a technical one.

Does anyone really believe that with a unique IP address on their computer, frozen and recorded in time, they can escape being pinned down if they get on the right folk's radar screens.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You seem to claim that this is not helpful information, and please correct me if I am wrong

You're wrong. I haven't claimed that at all.

You make the claim that an IP address is a "location on the network." That is rather nebulous as to be almost meaningless

Nebulous? It's the exact definition of what an IP address is.

An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device (e.g., computer, printer) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.[1] An IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing

Link: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_address

*A "location on the network" could very well be an individual compute

Yes, it could be. Or it can be the WAN address of thousands of computers. Which is why it's not an identifier of a single computer or person. It's the address of a device, which sometimes will be a single computer, but usually will be a one-to-many identifier for every device on its LAN side.

Taking this in reverse, every computer must have at least one unique IP address or else it is not going to work.

That is correct, but your reverse argument does not prove your forward argument. Or in other words, just because B is always A, does not mean that A is always B. Just because all black people have dark skin does not prove that all dark skinned people are black.

1) We can come to know the public-facing address of the client side of the tunnel; 2) We know it's going to be a tunnel because of the obvious presence of the IPsec protocol; and 3) when law enforcement gets involved, what is encrypted over IPsec is going to be decrypted.

Ignoring the fact that the police would not only have to be watching both sides of the tunnel for this to work (which if they did, they wouldn't need the IP addresses from Facebook), and informing that they'd have to be able to decrypt the encrypted data (no easy feat, and definitely one not done on a fishing expedition), it still doesn't change the fact that the IP address is simply a location identifier on the network. No matter how much you want to try to drag the conversation elsewhere, that fact remains. And since its the point of the conversation, it's pretty relevant.

I suppose I have to replay the conversation again, as you keep trying to drag it off in different directions:

An IP Address is NOT a computer or a person.

So, you don't think a computing device has an IP address that can be recorded and traced?

It's an address - there can be any number of computers that lie behind that address.

You still haven't said anything to show that an IP address cannot have any number of devices, nor have you shown that it's not an address.

Does anyone really believe that with a unique IP address on their computer, frozen and recorded in time, they can escape being pinned down if they get on the right folk's radar screens.

If that's directed at me, it's a straw man, as I've never claimed what you are refuting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nebulous? It's the exact definition of what an IP address is.

Exact? I think not. A layer 2 switch has a definite "location" on a network, but yet it has no IP address of its own. How does that fit in to your definition? Something is definitely missing. It is more than a "location." It is an entity that can generate or receive internet packets on its own.

A person can't do that, and I've never claimed that an IP address is a person. A pure layer 2 switch can generate packets -- usually spanning tree -- but can't communicate at Layer 3.

That is correct, but your reverse argument does not prove your forward argument.

That it is plainly evident that a computing device absolutely requires a unique IP address is the argument. In order for that computing device to successfully communicate with some other device on the Internet, a "path" will have to be "mapped" out for the two points in between. Given even one valid IP address, a good forensic analyst with proper support can determine that path -- right back to the originating client. Your argument appears to claim it can't be done, because one IP address may be a proxy for many IP addresses behind it. Even though that may be so, my experience demonstrates otherwise as to getting to the ultimate source.

Now, a company like Facebook -- I would bet -- has the proper support behind it to ultimately trace out any IP address to a specific computer. I think you can pretty well forget about "anonymity" on the Internet once your activities appear on the right folks' radar screen -- VPN or no VPN.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Exact? I think not. A layer 2 switch has a definite "location" on a network, but yet it has no IP address of its own. How does that fit in to your definition?

It doesn't. I've been defining an IP address. You are defining something else that isn't an IP address. I didn't claim that all network locations have IP addresses, I claimed that all IP addresses are locations on a network. We are back to the fact that just because all A are B, does not mean that all B are A.

Something is definitely missing. It is more than a "location." It is an entity that can generate or receive internet packets on its own.

I didn't claim it's not more than a location on the network. Look at the definition I posted earlier - it clearly states that an IP address is more than a location.

That it is plainly evident that a computing device absolutely requires a unique IP address is the argument.

And again, that does not prove the reverse is true. All computers do have a unique IP address as you claim, but not all IP addresses refer to a unique computer.

Given even one valid IP address, a good forensic analyst with proper support can determine that path -- right back to the originating client.

Theoretically, yes. Anonymous VPNs will not provide that 'proper support' you require though. But ignoring that, how does this counter the thing I've been saying all along, that an IP address is not a person or a computer?

Now, a company like Facebook -- I would bet -- has the proper support behind it to ultimately trace out any IP address to a specific computer

Facebook is not magic. They have the same limitations on the internet as anyone else. Now, they can plant a cookie on your computer that will allow them to track you across IP addresses, so if you access them from behind a VPN, then from not behind the VPN, they will have a record of your access from both IP addresses. But if you only access them from behind a VPN, they will only have a record of IP address from behind the VPN. Even they cannot penetrate that from their end.

Given even one valid IP address, a good forensic analyst with proper support can determine that path -- right back to the originating client. Your argument appears to claim it can't be done

I have not claimed that at all. Very few people are using anonymous proxies that would prevent their being able to be identified from their IP address. Most people can be identified by their IP address.

And I think this quote is the crux of the problem with your argument - you are trying to argue against something I haven't claimed. You keep going in circles, trying to prove that I'm wrong about something not only have I not said, I actually agree with.

The crux of what I have said boils down to three things:

1) An IP address is not a computer (though it can refer to a computer)

2) An IP address is not a person (though it can refer to a person who is using a computer)

3) An IP address can refer to one more many computers on a network (though sometimes it will refer to a single computer)

If you'd like to show how I'm wrong on any of these, please feel free. But enough of the strawmen, and arguing against things I haven't claimed, just so you can feel like you are winning an argument on the internet

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