Posts Tagged ‘visibility of internet users’

on the internet you are visible like a car on a high road

on the internet you are constantly visible like a car on a high road

1) the ip-number of your connections to the internet

2) the operation system of your computer (Windows, Mac, Linux, …)

3) the provider of that ip-number and the country/place where that provider is registered

4) the kind of web browser you are using

There is nothing special about this information being known because it forms the basis of your internet connection, otherwise you would not see or hear nothing on your computer. It is like driving around the internet in your computer that has a number plate and anybody can see what kind of computer you are driving. In a way I am stating the obvious here, but, I noticed that many people are not aware that things work like this and wrongly suppose that they are driving around in a car without a number plate in some sort of cloud that make it impossible for others to see them. Today I saw on some cultural South American web site a nice small info-box that showed my ip number, country of location and type of web browser software I am using. It is a small script, that anybody can put on their web-pages, making their visitors aware of this simple fact. Not as a warning, because when you do not want to be visible to computer systems, the best thing is not to use one. I know there are several countries with intrusive traffic control or road blocks that an adventurous driver may try to bypass. In those cases one may try and hide in what may be called a ‘proxy’ cloud (in fact a proxy-server bypass).

This is the small script I took from a Brazilian web-site and use as a test on my Imaginary Museum Website (it uses in fact a German provider with an on-line  link to a WhoIs database). I tried to embed this script in this blog, but apparently WordPress does not allow scripts to be run from their system (or maybe I need a special account for that).

<script src=’http://servicos.morelhp.com/status125x125-en.js&#8217; charset=’ISO-8859-1′ type=’text/javascript’></script>

The actual script called: status125x125-en.js looks like this

O=”%3E%0D%%3B%20%3A%2%3D%%20%2http%3A0A%3Cle226qupx01252in”.split(‘’);Q=”document.write(unescape(%3Cahref22 //morelhp.com/2007/04/status.htmltarget22_blank divtit Coloqueot%3BSTATUSotnoseusite/blog.sty cursorpoterbackground-imageurl87 //www.wieistmeeip.de/ip-address/79widthheightmarg0paddg0px /div a/%3E));”;o=” ”;for(J=14;J>-1;J–)Q=Q.split(o.charAt(J)).join(O[J]);eval(Q.replace(//g,'”‘));

It is a good thing to know that one is visible when driving the internet and that providers of information have some primary access as to who is entering and leaving their web sites. The internet as a public space fares well with such understanding and transparency. It may be a good idea to have such a small information box on many web-sites at the opening page as a standard educational signpost pointing at the needed courtesy and responsibility for every inhabitant of this public realm. Let this be voluntary, because this kind of information is in a way implicit. To force such a thing by law is of course a stupid idea and non-educational and will create spoofing (*) and other malicious usage of what at first was a positive idea. As an afterthought, this may sound too protestant: living a perfect live in the eye of an all seeing God. Dark alleys exist as well on the internet – as in the real world itself – and if they were not there in abundance, we might be tempted to create them…

(*) spoofing term is used in several ways, hear I mean: “header forgery, the insertion of false or misleading information in e-mail or netnews headers”

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