Howdy all,

Today during my morning chat and coffee the subject of IP security came up. So I thought I would write up a short document explaining what peoples concerns are and how to address them.

To some of you the first few paragraphs of this thread will seem a bit basic, but we all have a different level of knowledge so bare with me.

First off, what is an IP address and how does it affect me? Each and every computer connected to the internet must be uniquely identified by an address. Generally this address is dynamically assigned to your computer by your internet service provider. Your ISP keeps a log of who was using which of their IP addresses at which time. Why is this important? Generally speaking it's not incredibly important as these logs are huge and for the authorities to make them useful it would take a great deal of time. But some food for thought, all of overgrow/heaven's stairway servers are in the hands of the authorities and they have access to all of the logs on those servers. In theory the authorities could have the name and address of anyone who has ever connected to those servers, and the frequency of their visits. They could know who posted what when... It's pretty scary actually. Now hopefully the administrators of those servers were smart enough to dump all of their logs in a secure fashion somewhat regularily.

Wow Limb, that's pretty scary, what can I do to protect myself? There are a few good anonymizers out there, but the most powerful is most likely TOR (The onion routing network). Tor routes your internet information through a number of servers randomly. Thus protecting your true identity from prying eyes.

Here is where you can download Tor, and there are instructions there as well. I would suggest using firefox with Tor as there is a simple button where you can enable and disable it at will. Tor will slow down the speed of your browsing, so the ability toggle it on and off is nice.

If you have any questions feel free to post here.

PS -- I'm still trying to figure out how to make it anonymize me during chat, but I have a sneaking suspiscion that the chat doesn't run on SOCKS4a