The discussion about Dateline, and the accusations about me being some agency owner tonight got me to thinking I should share a few tidbits. As I have said before, there is no such thing as net privacy. It is easy to find out stuff about users, sites, and so on. There are plenty of good utlities to help make it a bit more difficult.

I offer these as a way to help Sps and agencies keept a little bit better covered up. Check out your domains and stuff if you are worried about the peanut gallery prying around.

First off is DNS Stuff which has a huge bunch of useful utilities - they are pretty much self-explanatory (scroll down past the top part of the page for all their free gizmos). They also offer DNS Report which is a very very good thing to run against your domain.

Here, for example is the DNS report on
They have a couple of small issues to fix. Here`s, just for reference. The smart people here will note the various differences between the two reports. offer anonymous domain records - you pay a little more, and your name is kept off the record, and they are a cheap place to register domains. Anonymity isn`t too hard to rip away with a court order or a credible complaint from an ISP, so don`t count on it being a complete mask. can tell you who allegedly owns a domain (there is a lot of fake and incomplete information in the whois database), and where the site is located (rather, where the hosting service of the site is located). Knock yourselves out looking up various domains if you are bored.

What else? Ah yes, Gmail. If you want to keep the IP address of the computer you are using out of an email, post from a gmail account with their web interface. It is not recorded nor transmitted in the email. Don`t bet on Google not having it or not be willing to hand it over to LEA if asked.

As always, there are ways to stay safer online, one thing you should always make sure you do is update your system software daily, and have a firwall on your connection, and use anti-virus and anti-spyware software which is also updated.

If you think you have problems with anonymity on MERB, what bad guys can do with your personal information sitting on your computer would make your eyes bleed. There`s a nice piece in The Economist explaining how cheap your life is online. Sorry, I don`t know if it is subscription-only, I am subbed and can`t tell if everyone can see it or not.

Be safe out there, and don`t say anything online you wouldn`t want your Mom to know about. If I can be of help to any of the agencies in fixing some security problems, or MERB itself (YUCK! you guys have got some serious issues with your DNS), feel free to PM me, I`ll try to give you a hand.