When You Need To Disappear
Whistleblower Edward Snowden needs to disappear if he is to avoid kidnapping, assassination, extradition, or deportation to the United States. If you’re ever faced by a situation in which you need to disappear, right away, what would you do?
Perhaps someone is bent on revenge and has threatened to kill you. Perhaps you’re caught in an impossible personal or financial situation and you feel that “going underground” is the only way out. Or perhaps like Snowden, you find yourself an enemy of the state.
If you’re in such a situation, privacy may be a matter of life or death. You need to be prepared to act quickly, and when the time comes, not to hesitate.
When that time comes, first, throw away your cell phone. A cell phone may be bugged so that its location can be tracked even if the phone is switched off. When you turn it on, if the person after you has access to the cellular network – and it’s not difficult for a hacker to gain such access – your cell phone may betray your location.
Replace your existing cell phone with several anonymous prepaid cell phones, if you live in a country where you can buy one. You can still buy such phones in the United States. Buy phones with wi-fi cards so that you can connect to the Internet. Be prepared to throw away your anonymous cell phone – potentially, after just a single call. Also, purchase prepaid calling and prepaid Internet access. Pay in cash. Activate your phone at a pay phone – not with a phone connected to you in any way. Don’t give out your real phone number when you activate the phone.
Pack a suitcase with anything you need to exist for the next few months, including your new cell phone and a laptop configured with a virtual private network (VPN) like Cryptohippie. Travel as lightly as you can.
Keep several thousand dollars in cash (or equivalent local currency) on hand at home, stored in a secure location. Don’t use an ATM unless you have no alternative. Using an ATM will reveal your location to your pursuers. If you must use an ATM, withdraw as much cash as you can, and don’t use an ATM again as long as you’re on the run. From that point forward, use cash only.
Don’t use credit or debit cards, unless they’re not in your name and drawn on an account that only you know about. They can also betray your location.
Once you’ve left home, get as far away as you can. That means leaving your city, your state, and ideally, your country. You can drive your car, but an adversary with access to automatic license plate recognition networks can instantaneously match your license plate to your location. It’s better to travel by bus or train, unless you think your adversary might be waiting at the station. In public places like bus stations and railway stations, wear a hat and sunglasses. If you’re a male, don’t shave. To avoid CCTV face recognition technology, look up from the floor only to find your way to the correct bus or train. Don’t leave by air – if your stalker can gain access to flight logs, he might arrange a “welcome reception” when you land. If you’re crossing a U.S. border, keep in mind that persons walking across the border are subject to less surveillance than those crossing it in a vehicle or a plane.
Once you arrive in whatever destination you’ve decided to use as a temporary refuge, stay in hostels or small family-run hotels that accept payment in cash and don’t require proof of identity. For longer term stays, look for a resort community where strangers aren’t out of place. Ideally, find a short-term furnished rental, including utilities, offered by an individual. Pay cash in advance for the rental term to avoid a credit check. If your adversary has access to credit reports, a credit check will lead straight to your new address.
Read the full article at: lewrockwell.com