Social Media Forensics Expert Witness: Anonymous Facebook Usage
Facebook has become a veritable giant in the world of social media. Although they have not been quite as successful with their recent IPO as originally planned, they still raked in over $3 billion in revenue this past year, not bad for a website. Now they are taking their service one step further in an unprecedented move to an anonymous social media.
For those unfamiliar with how anonymous web surfing works,it is basically a way to hide your location on the internet with a series of relays across the world that allow you to be all but invisible online. It is not hard to do, the Tor Project is one of the most commonly used (and user friendly) anonymous web surfing applications. Its core program known as Vidalia (that name will make sense in a minute) works with relays setup by individuals across the world. If you connect to the Tor network, your internet traffic is routed through four or five different locations (the majority of which are operated by regular Joe’s) before it actually reaches its destination. If we were to use it in Phoenix Arizona, it is not unusual to end up with a “spoofed” location in Europe or Asia. To try and track a person through the Tor network is almost impossible. You have to hac k your way through four or five different computers, networks, and firewalls, before you reach your target, at which point they are probably gone or are using a different circuit. It is these layers (get the Vidalia Onion reference?) allow for a person to use the internet without being tracked down.
Facebook has now implemented a new private address for users of the Tor network (you must be part of the TOR network first) which allows users to tap directly into the Facebook servers under a very strong cloak of digital security, allowing people in countries which may have banned Facebook to access content securely. Why? There are several countries in the world which curb internet usage, China is one of the more publicized of these, where things you may search here willy nilly, will never show up inside China. Facebook is one of these websites which is highly censored by the Chinese government.
So far usage of the new secure Facebook has been rather low, but with time it will continue to grow and have a larger following. To see it for yourself download the Vidalia software. Please note, if you are unaware of how to use this software you should contact an IT professional to help you, also be aware the use of this software is in violation of some companies “Acceptable Use of Technology Documentation.”
For over 30 years, Scott Greene of Evidence Solutions, Inc. has been helping companies meet the challenges of the swiftly evolving computer technology industry. Scott went to work for IBM. Scott studied Systems Engineering at the University of Arizona. He has since earned certifications in many products and programming languages.
The Evidence Solutions team analyzes data from Computers, Cell Phones, Black Boxes, Dispatch Systems, Medical Records, Email systems and more. Scott then explains the digital evidence in plain English.
Scott’s extensive knowledge draws clients to him from all over the United States as well as Internationally for consulting, Forensics and expert witness services. His extensive and diverse experience allows him to be an expert in many facets of digital and electronic evidence. Scott, a sought after speaker and educator, travels throughout the country sharing his knowledge and presenting to local, regional, national and International organizations.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.