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I can see you – well, your computer – naked. This statement is true when we are discussing the internet. Ordinary people would be amazed about much information can be retrieved from someone’s computer everytime that computer is connected to the net.
The paranoids have said that this information can and will be abused. Either by some government organization somewhere in their attempt to monitor and control all communications, or by marketers to determine ‘the customer’s profile’ to be able to ‘provide better service’. That’s why the paranoids are crazy about anonymous internet surfing and make sure to cover their tracks on internet. It’s crucial to cover your tracks on the internet.
Personally speaking, I haven’t reached the privacy paranoid level yet, but I always could use some anonymity here and there – and I’m sure that everybody else does too.
Usually I use Toonel to hide my tracks, but I accidentally ran into another application called JAP (JonDo) [No Longer Available] and decided to give it a try. It’s another “cover your tracks” software which gives users the ability to stay anonymous online.
Some have said that this one is the best out there. The degree of the featured software anonymization abilities is so good that in 2004 the German police, while investigating cases related to child pornography, insisted on opening a back door to the product allowing them complete access. Even though the required modification was performed, it was subsequently removed as a result of court action by JAP.
You can download JAP from their download page [No Longer Available], and they have one for everybody – Windows, Mac, Linux, and OS/2. They also have Java and (still in alpha) a Firefox version.
How Does It Work?
An ordinary internet connection will use a traceable address that can track which site you were visiting, and who your internet service provider (ISP) is. By knowing this, people can also tell where you come from. If there’s someone with ‘authority’ who wanted to push things a little bit further, they would be able to trace the specific location of your computer.
JAP will re-route your connection via a single static address which is shared by many JAP users. That way you become one among the many similar users. Neither the visited website nor an eavesdropper can determine which user visited which website.
So, instead of connecting directly to a Web Server, JAP uses integrated proxy services that hide the real IP address through a proxy mix cascade that effectively hides the identity of any one single user among the connections of all the other users – making it impossible, even for the proxy provider, to determine which IP belongs to which user.
Configuring Your System
After installing JAP, you need to configure your browser to use the local proxy server (127.0.0.1 – and the installer will tell you which port to use) for web browsing. Windows’ Firefox users can do this by going to Tools –> Options –> Advanced, then select the Network tab and choose Settings. Different browsers will have slightly different menus, but I’m sure everybody can get it right without too many difficulties.
If you want to stay hidden for any other activities besides browsing, you would also need to reconfigure the proxy settings for other applications which are connected to the internet. JAP supports various internet protocols such as: HTTP, HTTPS, FTP (download only), and Gopher; while file sharing, P2P, chat, IM, email and Internet telephony are unsupported.
To use the service, just do your normal internet activity while turning the JAP on. The provided control panel allows you to turn anonymity on or off, and also displays the current level of security. JAP comes pre-configured with several free service providers and also supports pay services. Services run by universities and other public infrastructures are free of charge for the user.
Have you used JAP? Or do you use another anonymity service? Please share your opinion and/or information regarding this issue using the comment section below.