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Journal SL Baur's Journal: Age bits redux 1

I've linked to this old article I wrote anonymously 13 years ago before in ordinary postings, but I might as well come clean.

Requiring mandatory age and personal information requirements for internet access is a stupid idea. Stupid.

This was first posted to cypherpunks in April of 1996 and then reposted to the Computer Underground Digest. The original article follows ...

I am going ahead and releasing an alpha version of KiddieFind a free Unix implementation of LolitaWatch. Everything is under the GPL, so the source code is free, hack on it all you want ...

KiddieFind is an enhanced free version of Nubility Inc.'s LolitaWatch for Unix. It works by locating network packets that have the US federally mandated Under18 bit set, and then uses publicly accessible databases to map them into a street address and phonenumber.

The networked version works as follows, using the provided plug in module (a version is provided in 0.01 for AOL, I'm working on a CompuServe version and will have it ready in a week or so) to connect to a major online service. Once connected it goes into the equivalent of promiscuous mode and scans all traffic for the age bit, and forwards the information back to your system.

After collecting all this information, it scans a number of publicly accessible databases to turn the information into a street address. The geographical location can be approximated by running a traceroute on the IP address of the originating packet and works backwards until a host with reliable geographic data can be located. KiddieFind only requires state-wide granularity, and this only to narrow the later phonebook search.

Once a geographic location has been determined, it's not likely that the child has her own phone. Therefore the parents must be found. A search is done through the any number of the available on-line telephone books. By this stage KiddieFind should have a manageable number of candidate numbers. If real names are being used, than it's easy to isolate the correct phone number. Hopefully the Denning geographic information will be mandated soon, thus eliminating nearly all sources of error isolating the correct neighborhood.

If there are still too many candiate numbers a number of other mostly automated searches can be done. The parents' home web pages can be searched for personal information, etc.

Once you have the system tuned, all you merely have to do to locate a street address and phone number for any number of children is just login and poke around a bit. Everything else is done in the background. You don't even have to think about it.

I've obtained the address and phone numbers of over 5,000 children so far, but I expect this will become easier after all the kinks in the system are worked out.

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Age bits redux

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  • If anonymous writing is so evil, why am I able to link to it 13 years later when the disk with the original copy of the email (and the computer) is long since dead and I kept no backups?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

UNIX is many things to many people, but it's never been everything to anybody.