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  1. #1
    Randell1234 is offline Moderator
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    IP address question

    Here is the situation:
    My friend received a catalog in the mail and she never ordered it. She called the company that shipped it and they told her it was an order that was placed and could not say anything else.

    She wants to track down the IP address of the requester and find out who they are. My gut says (and what I figured out) is that she can not get it from the ISP without a court order. Since IPs are dynamic it would take a lot of work to find the answer since the exact time of the catalog request must be known. Since it was not an illegal act, I would say her chances of finding this is next to zero.

    Does that sound right?

    After all, you hear about so much crimes online, I doubt anyone would consider "someone sent me a catalog I didn't want because it contained adult material" an offense that would lead to anything. While it was very upsetting for her, it is not a crime. Am I right?
    Last edited by Randell1234; 05-03-2015 at 03:31 PM.

  2. #2
    jhp
    jhp is offline Registered User
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    As far as the IP address is concerned you are, in general correct.

    IP addresses although issued dynamically by broadband Internet service providers (ISPs like Comcast, Verizon, etc.), they do not change as often as most people think.

    Your chances of getting the IP address from the service provider is near nil.

    The process for normal tracking would be
    ask for the IP and the time-frame of the catalog order from the catalog vendor, then
    ask the ISP for assignment information of the IP at the exact time-frame.

    Normally you would need a subpoena, which costs money.

  3. #3
    Randell1234 is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhp View Post
    As far as the IP address is concerned you are, in general correct.

    IP addresses although issued dynamically by broadband Internet service providers (ISPs like Comcast, Verizon, etc.), they do not change as often as most people think.

    Your chances of getting the IP address from the service provider is near nil.

    The process for normal tracking would be
    ask for the IP and the time-frame of the catalog order from the catalog vendor, then
    ask the ISP for assignment information of the IP at the exact time-frame.

    Normally you would need a subpoena, which costs money.
    Can it be subpoenaed just because you are curious?

  4. #4
    jhp
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    No.

    Unless you have the authority to write a writ just because you are curious - that is you can issue a subpoena and you do not care about being removed from the bench.

    Although still a very very long shot, you might be able to approach this through the US Postal Service.
    Last edited by jhp; 05-04-2015 at 09:44 AM.

  5. #5
    me again is offline Registered User
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    A subpoena for an IP cannot be issued unless there is an allegation that a violation of law has occurred.
    MA, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Theology: in-progress online
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  6. #6
    novadar is offline Registered User
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    Not a big fan of eHow sites but this seems to address the USPS angle addressed above:


    How to Report Harassing Mail to the Postmaster General | eHow
    -------

  7. #7
    jhp
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    I presume you meant "should not be" . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by me again View Post
    A subpoena for an IP cannot be issued unless there is an allegation that a violation of law has occurred.
    (emphasis added)

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  9. #8
    me again is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhp View Post
    I presume you meant "should not be" . . .

    (emphasis added)
    If there is no civil or criminal violation of law, then what justification would the government have to issue a subpoena to force an ISP to disclose private information? The safeguards that are built into the 4th Amendment prevent the government from making unreasonable searches and seizures. If the government (or an investigative governmental body at the city, county, state or federal level) can search and seize property or information when no legal violation has occurred, then please share the kind of scenario that you are referring to.
    MA, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Theology: in-progress online
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  10. #9
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    I agree they're unlikely to do this under these circumstances, but as an aside, it's a mistake to think that U.S. policymakers could care less about whether seizures are unreasonable.
    BS, Info Sys concentration, Charter Oak State College
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  11. #10
    me again is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFoerster View Post
    I agree they're unlikely to do this under these circumstances, but as an aside, it's a mistake to think that U.S. policymakers could care less about whether seizures are unreasonable.
    The IRS has also been in the news for seizing cash owned by small business owners when there is/was no probable cause that a crime had occurred. The seizures are occurring based on the business owners making multiple deposits under a 10k limit i.e. "structuring."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/26/us...ired.html?_r=0
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  12. #11
    Randell1234 is offline Moderator
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    Thanks everyone

  13. #12
    jhp
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    me again, I believe we would all love to have it as you describe it. I believe we do not disagree that theoretically you are correct.

    My response is most likely (at least in my case) the result of crotchety and jaded mistrust as to individual character.

    Quote Originally Posted by me again View Post
    If there is no civil or criminal violation of law, then what justification would the government have to issue a subpoena to force an ISP to disclose private information? The safeguards that are built into the 4th Amendment prevent the government from making unreasonable searches and seizures. If the government (or an investigative governmental body at the city, county, state or federal level) can search and seize property or information when no legal violation has occurred, then please share the kind of scenario that you are referring to.

  14. #13
    me again is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhp View Post
    me again, I believe we would all love to have it as you describe it. I believe we do not disagree that theoretically you are correct.

    My response is most likely (at least in my case) the result of crotchety and jaded mistrust as to individual character.
    A lot of legal things have changed over the last few decades, not necessarily for the betterment of Constitutional safeguards. In the old days (which wasn’t very long ago), law enforcement could not seize and keep (forever) private property and cash unless probable cause existed that a violation of law had occurred. However, under two different scenarios, the government may now do this:

    The War on Drugs
    First, the government has been seizing property and cash of alleged drug dealers, even when there is no probable cause that the property or cash is related to criminal activity. This has been ongoing for the last few years and is a violation of the 4th Amendment. Honest Americans are having their cash and property seized by over zealous officers.

    The War on Terrorism
    Second, the IRS has been seizing and keeping (without probable cause) bank accounts of citizens who make multiple cash deposits in increments that are under $10,000. The cost to litigate against the IRS can easily be $100,000, so it is not financially advantageous for a citizen to sue to collect only 100k because it washes out. The law that the IRS is using was originally passed with the Patriot Act to target terrorists, but it is now being used against small American mom and pop business who transact primarily in cash.

    Again, the safeguards of the 4th Amendment are being circumvented and need to be reinstated by the United States Supreme Court.
    MA, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Theology: in-progress online
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  15. #14
    me again is offline Registered User
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    Civil Asset Forfeiture (violation of 4th Amendment)

    Just ran across an appropriate article about how the government is taking and keeping money without evidence of a crime aka civil asset forfeiture:

    Civil Asset Forfeiture Viper Bites NC Business Owner Who Now Fights To Get His Money Back - Forbes
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  17. #15
    Randell1234 is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by me again View Post
    Just ran across an appropriate article about how the government is taking and keeping money without evidence of a crime aka civil asset forfeiture:

    Civil Asset Forfeiture Viper Bites NC Business Owner Who Now Fights To Get His Money Back - Forbes
    I love this one-

    Judge: Give stripper back $1 million cash seized after traffic stop
    Judge: Give stripper back $1 million cash seized after traffic stop | NJ.com

  18. #16
    major56 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randell1234 View Post
    I love this one-

    Judge: Give stripper back $1 million cash seized after traffic stop
    Judge: Give stripper back $1 million cash seized after traffic stop | NJ.com
    Big ouch … for Nebraska …
    Major56
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