IP address question

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by Randell1234, May 4, 2015.

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  1. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

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    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 a moderator: May 4, 2015
  2. jhp

    jhp Member

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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. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

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    Can it be subpoenaed just because you are curious?
     
  4. jhp

    jhp Member

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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 a moderator: May 4, 2015
  5. me again

    me again Active Member

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    A subpoena for an IP cannot be issued unless there is an allegation that a violation of law has occurred.
     
  6. novadar

    novadar New Member

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  7. jhp

    jhp Member

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    I presume you meant "should not be" . . .

    (emphasis added)
     
  8. me again

    me again Active Member

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    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.
     
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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  10. me again

    me again Active Member

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    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/law-lets-irs-seize-accounts-on-suspicion-no-crime-required.html?_r=0
     
  11. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

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    Thanks everyone
     
  12. jhp

    jhp Member

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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.

     
  13. me again

    me again Active Member

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    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.
     
  14. me again

    me again Active Member

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  15. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

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  16. major56

    major56 Active Member

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  17. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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    Do you really think that ther Supreme Court would do that?
     
  18. me again

    me again Active Member

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    Well, there are checks and balances in the system between the three different branches (executive, legislative and judicial). The pendulum is always swing back and forth. As an example of the extremes of the pendulum, SCOTUS once ruled that owning slaves was legal, but today it is illegal. Regarding Constitutional safeguards relating to the 4th Amendment, the pendulum continues to swing.
     
  19. me again

    me again Active Member

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    Here is more information:

    'Leaves you numb': Store owner still fighting IRS after feds seized his $107G account | Fox News
     
  20. carrishharris

    carrishharris member

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    Nothing happens to IP address as they traverse the network. The IP addresses (Source & Destination) remain same in the entire communication. The communication may be in the same subnet or with the other subnet.
     

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