Can the government or banks(as employers) find my identity through forums?

through my IP address, or through the email I used to register?

If I post a question that suggests that I intend on denying ever having been arrested, can the government or banks(as employers) get my identity and either blacklist me or put an asterisk next to my name so that when I do apply, they’ll know that there might be a trouble area?

The government might put me on a barred list and then forward it to banks and other employers.

There is no such think as pure anonymity on the Internet. If anyone says otherwise, they’re blowing smoke. The very nature of the Internet infrastructure leaves footprints that can be recorded and traced, given the time and resources. But unless you are on The Man’s radar already, don’t sweat it. The “Government” doesn’t have the time, resources nor inclination to be Big Brother in the manner you infer. And the government doesn’t share what it finds with private entities.

At the same time, most Internet users leave enough visible breadcrumbs of their own which aid in uncovering their identity by others. And that’s where most people are found out.

BTW, Welcome to the Boards. Others will be along shortly to collect a DNA sample, a blood sample and a stool sample. Just routine. And if “the squid” is mentioned, just nod and agree.

There is definately informal blacklists. Formal blacklists are not very common as they can lead to lawsuits. Most industries have connections. One thing I learned is employers definately class you by phone number. I had one company I had interviews with at various hotels. Then I stopped being able to get them. I changed my phone number to a Google Voice phone number and the next day got a call for an interview with the company. So I believe, though can’t prove, the hotel company put my name on a “We don’t like this guy” list and it was channeled through my phone number.

When I worked in H/R we ran a basic check on people. It was 29 dollars and included your driver’s abstract, felony convictions from the last 5 years and court cases filed for the last 5 years. You would not believe the number of females who have a misdemeanor misconduct on their record. I asked a lawyer about that, he said, “They got drunk and flashed their breasts at a public event.” :slight_smile:

Employers can go deeper but it starts costing more the deeper the search runs, so most don’t

As Duckster said, you can’t have pure anonymity on the Internet. But you can make it so difficult to trace that no one will bother. Well that is unless you like murder someone or are a child pornographer or something very serious like that.

Even email or IP address have plausable deniablity. “It was my email but I didn’t write it.” “Someone got on my computer when I went to lunch,” you know that type of thing.

Which is why, when you go to lunch, you should always make sure you have the squid. :wink:

Yes, the government can find out who your are based on your IP address, etc, if you are posting from home or work, but I think they have better things to do than to track down everybody who claims they will lie on future job applications and putting them on secret employment blackball lists.

The government doesn’t have any direct way to tie an IP address to an individual. But if they’re interested, they can ask the message boards to get an IP address (if it’s not publicly available), and then ask the ISP to look up that IP address in their subscriber records. But the ISP and the message board might not cooperate unless they’re compelled by subpoena.

Of course, you might have given away bits of personal information, under your message board handle, which ultimately can be used to identify you. You might have mentioned where you live (both now and in the past), something about how many siblings you have, your age, your first name, and your occupation. A dedicated investigator could piece together these bits of evidence to figure out who you are, without ever obtaining ISP records.

But that’s an awful lot of work to do, and probably not something a government official would bother doing unless your message board post is involved in a police investigation or other official investigation.

Or your message board post might have personally harmed some government official that’s willing to abuse their power to identify you…

What is the squid?

And I won’t be lying if I denied ever having been arrested.

And what other kinds of crumbs may I have left if I’ve never posted personally identifiable information?

Does this very thread raise government eyebrows?

What about banks? No one has mentioned them yet. Can they figure out who’s who?

Apparently you didn’t peruse this place sufficiently before signing up. Don’t sweat it.

Don’t sweat it. We accept all types here.

Stay and post here long enough and you will leave behind bits and pieces of your personality which, in time, can lend to your identification. Won’t happen though. Folks here have more important things to do, like their own lives.

If you support the concept of Echelon, they already know. And don’t care.

Banks don’t do this. They hire people to do this. They don’t come here. If they did, we wouldn’t be in the financial mess we’re in.

It might have changed, but when I joined, we left our stool samples in the Pit.

You’ll notice that a few posters think they have to keep donating every day or two…

Several years ago, I asked this same question in GQ. Shortly later, someone sent me an email with my true name and address to my home email – not the email I used to register at SDMB.

For what it’s worth, I haven’t had any trouble. Yet.

Yes, there is.

Wardriving with a hacked MAC address.

I’m not blowing smoke.

I hope you didn’t drive by any surveillance cameras.

…because sweating just makes it angrier?

So as of this instant, have I left enough bits of my personality to lend to my identification?

Are there other ways to identify people besides through IP and email?
Like if I googled something at one computer (not home or work) and then go home and google the same thing, could that tip them off?

Are you sure that banks and the government won’t be alarmed by any of this, like they might get curious and then invest some effort to figure out my identity.

And if banks’ HR divisions have already hired someone to read this forum and track me down, then I’m pretty much done for as far as employment prospects go, right?

A mac address is physically burned into the hardware, so yes, technically you could alter it in a way besides spoofing it. If you were clever enough to physically change how they burned it. And software exists to spoof a mac address. Then once again we’re back to plausable deniablity. My account was hacked, which is pretty much the same as saying, “I left my computer on and went to lunch.” :slight_smile:

The thing about identity theft is it’s SO EASY TO GET without being very sneaky.

Let me tell you, do you fill out a job application. Do you put your social secuity number and references on it. If you do, I could get a credit card in your name. It happened to me. One time the moron in H/R filled it out and I GOT THE JOB. I was working at the hotel as an asst controller and the moron in H/R in corporate used my info.

He was making like $10 bucks an hour and taking info from applicants and using it to get more info to open charge accounts. He normally did this to people didn’t hire. I don’t know why he slipped up and used mine. Most likely he wouldn’t have got caught if I didn’t work there.

As long as you have low paid people in positons which have access to your data, you are in danger. I worked for a temp agency and they put me in a bail bond office. There I learned the power of $50.00

It’s a joke. I mean you ask them they say “I can’t give out that information to anyone who doesn’t work here.” Then you give them money. “What’s up boss?” is the reply :slight_smile:

When I worked at the bond agency, when we bonded you out, we take photos. If we needed to find you, I’d go online and open a Facebook or MySpace page with your photo and pretend to be you. It almost always worked. You see people came TO ME with information.

This is why social engineering as it’s called is far more dangeorus than lags in security. People want to help.

One thing that is especially dangerous is using the same password. Most people use the same login and password for everything. If I have access to the SD password base, I can go to various sites and randomly try. This is why banks have recently started doing more and more challenge questions. My bank account now requires me to answer THREE different challange questions, and they are randomly generated from a total of ten challange questions I had to answer when I signed up.

But this isn’t even enough if someone knows you enough to answer your challenge questins. This is why you should make up answers and stick to them.

For instance, if the challange quesiton is “Who was your childhood best friend.” I wouldn’t use his name but rather the name of his father. Or his mother or his sister.

That way if someone who knew me tried to get in, they’d get the wrong answer.

With all due respect, chill.

The level of background investigation you fear isn’t done by the vast, vast majority of potential employers. They can’t justify the cost nor the business need. More importantly, they don’t have the skill. I don’t want to fan your fire but do some background reading.

Do people in charge of government records do that too?

What employers/government agencies fall outside of that vast, vast majority? Banks? Licensing authorities?


Dude, unless you are a terrorist, nobody is interested in you. Nobody. There isn’t anybody trying to track you down on this board. Nobody cares. let it go.

If you want to work for the CIA they’ll perform an extensive, extensive background check. But investigating your online activities will be a very small part of it. Instead they’ll interview your family members, friends, and other contacts. In person. Like, a CIA guy will come around and talk to your Mom about you.

A regular employer might Google your name, and check out your facebook page and personal website. But they aren’t going to get a subpoena to find out your IP number and get your private email.

See, you’re thinking backwards. You think, someone on a message board posts something that makes them seem like a poor employee. Human resource departments all over the country monitor message boards and see every post, and track the person down. And when they find out who made the post, they alert everyone in their industry not to hire the person.

Except, it doesn’t work that way, and why should it? Instead, someone will do a piss poor job at work, and they’ll check your work computer, and find out you’ve been downloading porn all day, and logging in to a message board, and when they check the message board they find you’ve been posting about how you’ve been stealing office supplies.

Nobody cares about what random assholes say on random message boards, and I guarantee that nobody in HR gets paid to track down the identity of every random asshole on the internet just so they can blacklist the assholes. Do you have any idea how many random assholes there are on the internet?