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Website Visitor, We’re Watching You

I have noticed that since the “Snowden” story broke, there have been many articles and posts on the subject of spying.

I had responded with a comment on one of the Snowden stories after reading how foolish we must now look after accusing China of spying on the USA.

I operate a forum in Washington State, and I had made the comment that I have had well over two dozen hits on my site from the same location out of Beijing and had been banning the IP addresses to prevent them from scanning my site. When I would ban an address, another would pop up from the same location within seconds to take its place, which leads me to believe that they’re not from a citizen simply interested in my site (no one from China has joined).

That fact didn’t seem to bother anyone, what DID bother some was that as a forum administrator, I could click on an IP address and locate the person/people looking at my site, i.e., country, state, and city.

Rest assured, I do not have access to anyone’s physical address, and I am not trying to gather any kind of personal information about you. Though there are software programs out there that would allow me to gain that ability, I do not care to use them. We don’t know each other, and chances are, we won’t be barbecuing together this summer, so why would I?

On the other hand, I cannot say the same for all site operators. For the most part, if you’re a member of a site such as Facebook, Twitter, and so forth, you’ve already put much more personal information out there than we can gather by simply visiting our site(s).

I know everyone’s heard this time and time again, but I feel almost obligated to say it once more: There is absolutely NO anonymity on the Internet. When you visit any website, blog, forum, etc., either as a member or a guest, as administrators, we know that you are there. We know what page you are visiting, what topic you are looking at and, ultimately, we have at the very least, a general idea of where you are physically located.

To the people who don’t like the idea that you can and are being tracked whenever you use the Internet, there are programs that you can buy or even download free that can be used to hide or reroute your IP address. The only other option that I know of is to log off, cancel your Internet subscription and never log on again.

Website Visitor, We’re Watching You

I have noticed that since the “Snowden” story broke, there have been many articles and posts on the subject of spying.

I had responded with a comment on one of the Snowden stories after reading how foolish we must now look after accusing China of spying on the USA.

I operate a forum in Washington State, and I had made the comment that I have had well over two dozen hits on my site from the same location out of Beijing and had been banning the IP addresses to prevent them from scanning my site. When I would ban an address, another would pop up from the same location within seconds to take its place, which leads me to believe that they’re not from a citizen simply interested in my site (no one from China has joined).

That fact didn’t seem to bother anyone, what DID bother some was that as a forum administrator, I could click on an IP address and locate the person/people looking at my site, i.e., country, state, and city.

Rest assured, I do not have access to anyone’s physical address, and I am not trying to gather any kind of personal information about you. Though there are software programs out there that would allow me to gain that ability, I do not care to use them. We don’t know each other, and chances are, we won’t be barbecuing together this summer, so why would I?

On the other hand, I cannot say the same for all site operators. For the most part, if you’re a member of a site such as Facebook, Twitter, and so forth, you’ve already put much more personal information out there than we can gather by simply visiting our site(s).

I know everyone’s heard this time and time again, but I feel almost obligated to say it once more: There is absolutely NO anonymity on the Internet. When you visit any website, blog, forum, etc., either as a member or a guest, as administrators, we know that you are there. We know what page you are visiting, what topic you are looking at and, ultimately, we have at the very least, a general idea of where you are physically located.

To the people who don’t like the idea that you can and are being tracked whenever you use the Internet, there are programs that you can buy or even download free that can be used to hide or reroute your IP address. The only other option that I know of is to log off, cancel your Internet subscription and never log on again.

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