Skip to main content

Swift Pick-Up

I've been having a bit of an introduction to how the police and the courts, reverse-out an IP address and resolve it to a person's identity. It's really quite fascinating.

As long as a visitor to a website(s) or a chatroom has left a trail of breadcrumbs in the shape of a date, time and IP address, dynamic or otherwise, this history can be matched up, as the first part of IP address identifies the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the remainder, the account holder at that moment in time. Of course, it's a little more complex than this but close.

Once this information has been gleaned, then the next stage is an application for a court-order, normally uncontested by the ISP, given the recent changes in the laws governing electronic communications. The next step only takes a few minutes as the times and addresses are matched, a bit like CSI New York and with a bit of "mash-up" technology with Google Maps, you've got the location and even a satellite photo of the person's house.

Of course the police and the intelligence services can get this information in minutes. I recall an incident several years ago, when my business was receiving obscene emails into its server-driven chatroom. We involved the Metropolitan Police and waited for the sick individual to re-appear. When he did, it took about ten minutes to ascertain that he was on a computer at Kensington Town Hall (an employee) of all places and a two detectives were duly despatched to collect the suspect.

Popular posts from this blog

Median Saleh

I mentioned in the last post, the 1981 expedition that took in Median Saleh, the ruined Nabatean city in Saudi Arabia


A temple carved from the rock from Petra's sister city.

By coincidence, one of the most important train stations on the Hejaz railway sat next to the ruins and when Lawrence of Arabia blew the line in 1917, the trains were trapped there and are still there today, gathering dust and with "Krupp" on the engine casings.


One of the trains, sitting where T.E. Lawrence left themwith Dr Paul Garnett as the passenger

Below, you can see one of the fortified train stations that Lawrence attacked along the Hejaz railway between Damascus and Medina.



More photos Medain Saleh can be found on THIS Site - Apparently you can catch a tourist bus these days, rather different from risking life and limb to cross an unfriendly Saudi Arabia twenty years ago!
A Christmas Tale

It’s pitch blackness in places along the sea wall this evening and I'm momentarily startled by a small dog with orange flashing yuletide antlers along the way. I’m the only person crazy enough to be running and I know the route well enough to negotiate it in the dark, part of my Christmas exercise regime and a good way of relieving stress.

Why stress you might ask. After all, it is Christmas Day.

True but I’ve just spent over two hours assembling the giant Playmobil ‘Pony Farm’ set when most other fathers should be asleep in front of the television.



I was warned that the Playmobil ‘Pirate Ship’ had driven some fathers to drink or suicide and now I understand why. If your eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’ve had a few drinks with your Christmas lunch then it’s a challenge best left until Boxing day but not an option if you happen to have a nine year old daughter who wants it ready to take horses by tea time.

Perhaps I should stick to technology but then, the instruc…

A Matter of Drones - Simon Moores for The Guardian

I have a drone on my airfield” – a statement that welcomes passengers to the latest dimension in air-travel disruption. Words of despair from the chief operating officer of Gatwick airport in the busiest travel week of the year. Elsewhere, many thousands of stranded and inconvenienced passengers turned in frustration to social media in an expression of crowd-sourced outrage.

How could this happen? Why is it still happening over 12 hours after Gatwick’s runways were closed to aircraft, why is an intruder drone – or even two of them – suspended in the bright blue sky above the airport, apparently visible to security staff and police who remain quite unable to locate its source of radio control?

Meanwhile, the UK Civil Aviation Authority, overtaken by both the technology and events, is reduced to sending out desperate tweets warning that an airport incursion is a criminal offence and that drone users should follow their new code of conduct. Yet this is not an unforeseen event. It was i…