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Re: Spying on alt.internet.search-engines

__/ [John Bokma] on Friday 09 December 2005 21:09 \__

> "WhoTurnedOffTheLights" <Lights@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> "www.1-script.com" <info_at_1-script_dot_com@xxxxxxx> wrote in message
>> news:DYimf.312540$Kr.130728@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>> WhoTurnedOffTheLights wrote:
>>>> Well, it certainly goes a long way in showing off a poster's posting
>>>> habits.
>>>> I'm sure lots of folks might not like this sort of thing.
>>> I'm sure lots of folks will be relieved to know that this system does
>>> not keep the actual body of the message. That would not only reveal
>>> the poster's interests but also opinions. If you were actually spying
>>> on people, knowing opinions would be much more useful than posting
>>> habits, so this is truly a research tool in my opinion (no pun).
>> Yah. But this only shortchanges one of that single hurdle: Doing an
>> advanced search on Google Groups using the information provided by
>> this "Research" tool. That is, if one were looking to spy.
> Nobody can stop someone downloading this and a few other forums and doing
> this kind of research on his/her own computer.

All that Microsoft are doing is run scripts that parse newsgroup data feeds,
then making the output public. There are many such scripts and many large
newsgroups have yet another genius that wrote a script which summarises, in
one way or another, the behaviours within the group.

The outcome gets posted periodically and more sophisticated scripts reveal
relationships between the participants. I can think of at least 3 separate
implementations of that. Given enough computer power (storage is an issue),
large-scale statistics like Microsoft's can be assembled. This is nothing
innovative, just a brute-force beast.

>>> With that said, if you did not want your posting habits or opinions
>>> known to the world, why did you post in a public forum like USENET? I
>>> want to let my word out but I don't want to be held responsible for
>>> it? Na-ah. Not on the Internet.
>> Thus the reasoning behind using anonymous id info.
> If someone really wants to track you down he/she can do it. The message
> body contains a wealth of information people are not aware of. The kind of
> words you use, the errors, the length of sentences, etc. I have in the
> past matched several ids into one. It's not that hard, and when one
> downloads all messages in a few groups, it can be automated a lot.
>> I do think that if more folks were aware of this tool
> It's very old news, it was on slashdot like 2-3 years ago? Maybe more. I
> have seen it discussed in several groups I participate in.
>> and if it were
>> widely used then alot more people will tend to behave on these
>> NGs....whatever that means. :-)
> It's not going to happen.

Not everyone identifies him/herself. Trolls most often remain anonymous.


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