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You should accept bitcoin so that the bank and the NSA won't have a list of all of your customers.

edit: I see in another comment that you're adding this (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5840440)

Also, if you want to prevent tracking at the USPS -- ship the phones in unmarked boxes with postage purchased with cash. Don't use a return address and randomize the post-offices drops you utilize to send the packages.

Fun problem:

When the phone is turned on, the phone communicates with cell towers. This can approximate your location. To be truly anonymous (as much as possible) you should have the phone cut ALL communication with the cell towers. When you make the call, the antenna turns on, call is made, antenna turns off.

Additionally if the phone can be configured to use wifi for phone calls, then ideally you decrease the possibility of the location being tracked.

If the phone is on in theory authorities should be able to pull records from the cell companies and track every place the carrier of the phone visited.

For added shipping security always ship from a VERY high volume shipping place. This way its hard to isolate your package, but not impossible.

If you turn the antenna off when not making a call, how would you be able to receive incoming calls?

Using the existing phone network? Probably not easily.

I think the ideal way would be to make the device a passive satellite receiver. Then when a phone call arrives for your device, the satellite broadcasts a message which your device can passively receive which tells it to wake up and get on the cell network.

In theory you can do this with cell towers (it's how pagers work -- you may even be able to reuse the existing infrastructure), but in that case you either have to know somehow which tower is in range of the device (which obviously leaks the device's general location) or you have to broadcast on all towers everywhere (which, as wireless bandwidth increases, becomes increasingly practical since the incoming call message would have nearly trivial length).

Then if they get hold of your number, they can ping your phone so that it comes up on the radar, and track you hourly for example.

That would be pretty obvious given that it would cause your phone to ring every hour. Also, they could do the same regardless by just calling you.

Working on this now -- we should have Bitcoin support by tomorrow.

Bitcoin isn't anonymous, and if the NSA has infiltrated the various Bitcoin whitewashers (er, "exchanges") it also has your incoming transaction history, to boot.

Bitcoin, like Tor, is essentially a honeypot for surveillance. Better to hide out in plain sight in my opinion.

What evidence have you got that Tor is a surveillance honeypot?

Never forget: ToR is funded by the US government.


If you control both the tor entrance and exit nodes, you can unmask the user. Statistically, controlling 300 nodes (~1% of the network) should be enough to unmask a large number of users. It is not hard to spin up a whole bunch of servers to the mix, and I would find it very hard to believe that the NSA/similar does not already control a substantial portion of the network.

Buy bitcoin for cash, preferably from someone you don't know.

LocalBitcoins.com might come in handy here.

Nice - fast implementation and this should shore up what seems to be by far the weakest link in your (privacy-above-all) offering.

Using a preloaded credit card bought with cash also works in a pinch.

Have you ever actually tried to use one of those online?

Since pretty much every place I tried to use one on the Internet does address verification when processing the transaction, they simply don't work.

You can go online and add an address or call the number on the back. I have done this with a pre-paid Amex, simple as can be (you can choose any address!).

> go online

IP address

> call the number

Phone number


Yeah, I've tried that... with three different cards in the last month. I have yet to have a transaction complete successfully.

Smarter sites know its a prepaid card by the BIN and turn off the AVS check.

Smarter sites know it is a prepaid card and decline the transaction.

Why is turning away business smart - don't prepaid cards get authed the same way normal cards do? Are they commonly associated with fraudulent orders? I am genuinely curious, they seem like they would be generally safe for merchants to accept online.

They're generally associated with fraudulent orders in a lot of markets. They're easy to get and hard to trace, and limit the liability of the person doing it. I've heard that they're common to use for buying resealable goods to launder smaller amounts of money.

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