[Novalug] IRC chat and IP address privacy

James Ewing Cottrell III jecottrell3@comcast.net
Thu Dec 22 22:46:28 EST 2016

On 12/16/2016 9:23 PM, Peter Larsen via Novalug wrote:
> On 12/16/2016 08:01 PM, James Ewing Cottrell III via Novalug wrote:
>> Why? Can't you even be Comfortable with Your Own Kind?!?
>> I could see this kind of Obfuscation in e Political Forum perhaps, but
>> among Linux Geeks?
>> Once again I ask WHY?!?
> Jim - I get the feeling you're not hanging out on IRC that often?

Not since, well, Ages Ago.

? I wear
> a cloak - I've done that pretty much constantly since I started with
> Relay Chat in the late 80ies (yes, before the WWW).

Like when IRC became as Relevant as Usenet...

> I would not be able
> to use IRC if it wasn't for the cloak. We meet all kind of people on
> IRC,

Well, one who hope that the Flames in a Linux Group would be Safer and 
Saner than the Flames in Other Places.

> and I have no interest having anyone showing up at my doorstep one
> day because they looked up an IP address/trace of my connection
> information.

At Your Doorstep? Surely an IP Address doesn't give you That Much Precision.

? Also, part of the security on IRC is tied to your location
> and ID - keeping the easy identifiable information hidden. That's
> regardless of the topic - from sillyness, IRC management to FOSS groups.
> If you enter FOSS channel on Freenode for instance, you'll find all OPS
> and frequent volunteers are all cloaked.

I suppose this hides you from DoS attacks, but I would hope your ISP 
does that for you.

> Other reasons for cloaking is to show association with the group. It
> shows you have a history with them, have a certain level of "cloud". It
> shows you sponsor and support the group (or service). And some cloaks
> have been given out honorary. Remember, this is from before we had
> "badges" and cloaks have worked much in the same way.

I don't get it. If Everyone is Anonymous, how can you tell who the 
Imposters are? All you have done is to Identify the Noobies.

> For instance, on Freenode this is my "whois":
> plarsen[~plarsen@redhat/jboss/pdpc.professional.plarsen]
> realname : Peter Larsen
> server: niven.freenode.net [London, UK, EU]
>           : is using a secure connection
> Some even hide their names - or use the name field for "statements" -
> political, humor what-ever.  My cloak explains to people who I am so
> there's no hidden agenda. But it also hides identifying information
> about where I'm connecting from which is also important.  The Cloak in
> my case proves my association with Red Hat, Fedora and JBoss. You don't
> have to trust that someone is why they say they are that way.

Well, you have merely Claimed to be that, not Proved it. How could you 
tell if I used that same whois info (don't worry, I won't)?

> Quite frankly I cannot recall seeing FOSS members without a cloak in a
> long time. Once people become active on IRC they usually get a cloak
> very fast.

As Scump would say, "Very Sad".


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