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1. Drive to coffee shop.

2. Change MAC address?

3. Create new account on Blogger/Tumblr/etc.

4. Publish.


In China coffee shop wifi requires citizen ID to use. At least in Beijing.

Yes fuck Chinese government, but 5 years later western governments will follow this way

> but 5 years later western governments will follow this way

I don't want to minimize the assault on our privacy and anonymity from all directions, but the one positive trend in the US and Canada has been toward less ID or no ID for using Internet cafes.

I remember the early days of Internet cafes in North America, and they very often wanted to see ID.

These days there are lots of public wifi hotspots, where at most they ask for an email address (a throwaway email address works fine). The purpose of collecting an email address appears to be CYA -- they get some assurance that you've agreed to their Terms and Conditions.

But I have also seen a trend where cafes and bookstores are moving towards brand based wifi service. For example, Barnes and Noble stores offer free wifi through at&t. This require not only for you to be a at&t customer, but also to give up a good amount of your privacy.

I am an AT&T customer, but I have never, ever been asked about my AT&T subscription on B&N's wifi. Or anywhere else that uses AT&T's hotspot service.

Perhaps you already have the cookies.

On machines that access the Internet at home via Verizon and at work via Comcast?

I was in Beijing a few days ago and in most of the restaurants/cafes I only had to ask the waiter for the wifi password. No id checks required.

Some of the "western" bars even have a vpn running so you can browse facebook when connecting to their wifi.

Do you look western or Chinese?

I'm western looking but they gave the password to anyone who asked (including locals)

That's oddly similar to network access in Ender's Game.

Meh… It's not a good idea, but thanks to camcorders.

This would be problematic if there was not rampant corruption in China.

Somehow doubt this will happen - as other posters pointed out, it's not even as strictly enforced as you make it sound.

see: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501465_162-20027837-501465.html title: Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans

Your MAC will only be known to the router of the coffee shop and the router's MAC will only be know to their ISP's router/modem. The ISP MAC will be in the logs of all the servers you and other cafe customers access.

I don't think this is correct. The servers you connect will see an IP address only. This could only be converted into a MAC if the IP was resolvable locally via ARP (i.e., you're on the same LAN).

The danger of retaining your real MAC should be obvious; it's a unique identifier specific to your machine that will at least significantly narrow the scope of the machine/owner your adversaries are looking for if it doesn't give the investigators a direct link back to you (e.g., manufacturer records MAC addresses next to serial numbers, adversary gains access to manufacturer's data and sees "MAC X / Serial No Y sold to consumer Z online").

Depending on the configuration of the router on the open access points, it may be possible to retrieve a list of all connected MACs over the whole lifetime of the router. Then they simply have to correlate, "OK, which machines had a lease when the access from this machine was made?", and then investigate the 5 matches that come up.

This is not very safe, clearly.

Thanks cookiecaper, I was thinking of DHCP. httpd doesn't log MAC.

That aside, MAC addresses can be easily changed and spoofed.

If one was really concerned, a throw away USB WiFi dongle could be used.

Thanks, good to know.

A coffee shop somewhere in africa would be ideal,

That works. There are shit loads of open WiFi networks in London as well. You could wardrive 10-15 of them in a few hours.

Would this work at starbucks?

I don't see why it wouldn't.

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