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How to Disappear: Erase Your Digital Footprint, Leave False Trails, And Vanish Without A Trace

Frank Ahearn · 1 HN comments
HN Books has aggregated all Hacker News stories and comments that mention "How to Disappear: Erase Your Digital Footprint, Leave False Trails, And Vanish Without A Trace" by Frank Ahearn.
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Amazon Summary
For the first time in paperback we bring you the authoritative and comprehensive guide for people who seek to protect their privacy as well as for anyone who's ever entertained the fantasy of disappearing--whether actually dropping out of sight or by eliminating the traceable evidence of their existence.Written by the world's leading expert on finding people and helping people avoid being found, How to Disappear covers everything from tools for disappearing to discovering and eliminating the nearly invisible tracks and clues we tend to leave wherever we go. Learn the three keys to disappearing, all about your electronic footprints, the dangers and opportunities of social networking sites, and how to disappear from a stalker.Frank Ahearn provides field-tested methods for maintaining privacy, as well as tactics and strategies for protecting personal information and preventing identity theft. They explain and illustrate key tactics such as misinformation (destroying all the data known about you); disinformation (creating fake trails); and, finally, reformation--the act of getting you from point A to point B without leaving clues.Ahearn illustrates every step with real-life stories of his fascinating career, from undercover work to nab thieving department store employees to a stint as a private investigator; and, later, as a career "skip tracer" who finds people who don't want to be found. When Oscar statuettes were stolen in Beverly Hills, Ahearn pinpointed a principal in the caper to help solve the case. An indispensable resource not just for those determined to become utterly anonymous, but also for just about anyone in the brave new world of on-line information, How to Disappear sums up Ahearn's dual philosophy: Don't break the law, but know how to protect yourself.
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Hacker News Stories and Comments

All the comments and stories posted to Hacker News that reference this book.
I have ... interesting ... friends. I'll bet I know scarier people IRL, than I'll find online.

Also, what impressed me about the Disqus incident, was how fast it came back with that list.

In the US, at least, true anonymity takes a lot of work. For example, if you own a house, people can use tax records to find out who you are, unless you do what rich people do, and use shell companies. I also own a couple of [small] companies. I maintain a UPS box, because they get a lot of junk mail (and some business junk mail comes to my home address, anyway).

That's just one of hundreds of ways we can be found. Many predate teh Internets Tubes. My mailbox gets stuffed with junk mail. Some of it is quite specific. They use these mechanisms, and have been, for decades. I have known folks in the collections industry. They can find people surprisingly easily. There was one guy who used to be a skip tracer, and he wrote a book called How to Disappear[0]. It's a fairly sobering read (and probably quaintly anachronistic, these days).

The Unabomber actually did it correctly. He only got nailed, once he posted something publicly.


Also just because there is a law doesn't mean there are consequences codified, and this is most true regarding states laws that “require” an LLC registered in their state. Remember that states are in competition for business, there are hurdles for them to do annoying things. The best example I’ve seen in one state is that a local LLC branch is required after your foreign LLC gets sued, and the limited liability is active and retroactively applied at that point in time. But hey maybe your anonymous LLC deters people from suing to begin with.

(This is different than there being a law codified and not being enforced)

"Anonymous" LLCs are going away. FinCEN will be requiring reporting of everybody with ownership greater than 25% starting in probably 1-2 years from now. The fucking feds won't let us have anything without stalking our every move.
Yes, their proposed implementations of that act look pretty onerous and unnecessarily difficult to comply with

But I’m fine with one agency of the federal government having a private database, shareable for some investigations, which is the direction its going

I hope it gets handicapped or repealed

My name being Matt S Trout, abbreviated on various documents as 'MS TROUT', I regularly get junk mail addressed to 'Ms. Trout'.

Once, my housemate got junk mail addressed to 'Mr. <firstname> Trout' as a result. He was a trifle annoyed by this but his partner found it hilarious.

This reminds me of a post I saw on /r/fatfire about how to buy a house anonymously. I have it bookmarked in case my company ever takes off.

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