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Wired Writer Disappears, Find Him and Make $5k 135

Posted by samzenpus
from the hiding-in-plain-sight dept.
carp3_noct3m writes "A freelance Wired magazine journalist has decided to see what it is like to disappear from normal life, all while staying on the grid. The catch, is that he is challenging anyone and everyone to find him, take a picture, and speak a special codeword to him. If you can do that, you can make 5000 dollars, which happens to come out of his paycheck for the article he'll be writing. Oh, and to top it all off, whoever finds him gets pictures and interviews in Wired. He has been posting to his Twitter, using TOR for internet, and the Wired website will be posting his credit card transactions."

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Wired Writer Disappears, Find Him and Make $5k

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  • Re:Is this an ad? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Desler (1608317) on Wednesday August 19, 2009 @01:42PM (#29121547)
    No, it's just more of idle crap that samzenpus is posting to the wrong section again.
  • by sgauss (639539) on Wednesday August 19, 2009 @01:43PM (#29121589)
    Well, if I believe my television, you should still be able to waterboard him!
  • Privacy illusion. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday August 19, 2009 @02:01PM (#29121891)

    I knew a friend once that did skip-tracing. He tracked a guy down who changed his name, flew to the middle-east under an assumed identity and fake passport, dyed his hair, and more. His big downfall? He used a credit card once he landed -- which was under his old name. And this was using just information available to the credit bureaus to find him. Also... witness protection program? Yup... he found a few of them too. I bet I could have this guy nailed in about four hours if I called the police up and said I was a famous celebrity and he was defaming me on Twitter. Game over.

    All he's proving is that Joe Average doesn't have much power. Big deal. Your neighbor isn't the one you should be worried about finding you anyway -- they lack the technical resources, skills, and moral flexibility to do so. Now, if he wants to do a REAL test of his privacy -- photoshop some photos of a male politician in a pink tutu and make disparaging comments about his sexual orientation. I bet you get a knock on your door within a day. -_-

  • Why this fails (Score:5, Insightful)

    by popo (107611) on Wednesday August 19, 2009 @02:14PM (#29122141) Homepage

    The problem, as any Wired writer should know -- is that information wants to be free.

    As the writer himself has observed: Contacting his family or breaking the law are easy ways to retrieve the information.

    Those activities may disqualify the offending "player", but they do not disqualify the underlying data -- which wants to be free -- and can easily be passed on to any party in order to claim the prize.

    So like most "hacks", social-engineering will trump using the "grid".

    And the take-away here is this: There are no rules. There is only data, and it will be free.

    The poor writer is going to find much of his personal life violated, I'm afraid. But the blame falls to him. He should have known better.

  • [citation needed] (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HanClinto (621615) <hanclinto AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday August 19, 2009 @02:42PM (#29122639)

    [citation needed]

    Not necessarily doubting you -- just saying that your post is incredibly unhelpful.

  • by gapagos (1264716) on Wednesday August 19, 2009 @03:08PM (#29123179)

    Except that if you had RTFA, you would be disqualified of the contest for "commiting a crime".

  • by LordKronos (470910) on Wednesday August 19, 2009 @03:16PM (#29123349) Homepage

    How can you be "off the grid" if you are using credit cards?

    How can you be commenting on the article when you didn't read the summary?

  • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe.jwsmythe@com> on Thursday August 20, 2009 @01:00AM (#29129367) Homepage Journal

    He wasn't hiding very well if he still showed up to the same job. The cops are more than happy to walk into your office, throw you on the floor, and arrest in front of all your coworkers, just as much as they are willing to arrest you in the privacy of your own home.

        Isn't it easier to explain to the coworkers that you were out "sick" for a few days, rather than trying to explain the arrest at work?

        Brilliant.

        How about this. With an attorney, you go to the investigator DIRECTLY and explain the situation. "Never happened, wasn't there, didn't know the guy." They get bogus complaints all the time, and know how to filter them. No body, no witnesses (except one loon), no missing persons report, then there was no murder. That's not even enough to get a warrant (usually) to search for physical evidence.

        I actually knew some people that claimed they were serial killers. They didn't know each other, and would sometimes claim to have done the same crimes, with different descriptions. They'd take credit for crimes, even though they were never anywhere near where the crimes happened. From what I understand, the police get false confessions all the time, from people who want the attention.

        BTW, did I mention I knew the shooters involved in the Kennedy assassination? I was there and had drinks with them. George and Felix were interesting fellows. Maybe I can be famous too.

        (Note: I got that information from publicly available conspiracy theories. I wasn't even born when the Kennedy assassination happened.)

  • Another WIRED Ad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DynaSoar (714234) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @01:30AM (#29129525) Journal

    How much is Slashdot getting paid for these ads for Wired? It better be plenty because they're cutting into the credibility here. This latest, a PR boosting (for Wired at the writer) contest announcement, posted in of all places Your Rights Online, is proof positive that if the new eds know what they're doing, they know they're steering this ship towards the icebergs.

    The only thing this article has to do with My Rights Online is people are going to say with mod points that I don't have the right to tell you this shit needs to stop.

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