Computer Addresses in the Internet

Every computer that wants to exchange data with another computer over the internet needs a unique address. This address is unique across the entire world and could look like the following example:

120.76.75.100

In the internet, information is transported in small packets which always contain the address of the sender and that of the recipient. The address of the sender is necessary so that the receiving computer knows where to send its responses, even if the response is as simple as, "confirm, packet received".

An eavesdropper only needs to collect the packets from a certain address as they come by in order to reconstruct the communication correlation and even the contents of the sent information.
In addition, every packet contains a so-called "sequence number", so that the receiver (and the eavesdropper!) can correctly order the bits of data from each packet.

Connecting to the Internet by Telephone

Most internet users' computers - usually all those who connect to the internet from home using an analog or ISDN modem or DSL - receive a dynamic IP address from the Internet Service Provider (ISP). That means, that the user gets a different random address from the pool of available addresses of the provider for a given session. The next time the user connects, he most likely gets a different IP Addresss.

In this respect, an eavesdropper or a web server cannot usually uniquely identify a user. On the other hand, the service provider knows and saves the relationship between the user (or at least the user's telephone number) and the IP addresses handed out to users during any given time period. If the service provider and the web server work together, unique identification of the user is possible. This happens in case of a legal prosecution, for example.

The service provider can always observe the user. The provider has access to both personally identifiable information (for example the user's telephone number) and all transferred data.

back

 

Download

Stable Version
00.20.001


Beta Version
00.20.002


InfoService

Status of available AN.ON services and information about them.


Aktuell / News

Restrictions for the Dresden (JAP) anonymisation servers
After careful consideration we have decided to restrict the size of downloads over the Dresden (JAP) mixes a little. The reason is to allow a more fair use of scarce resources of our servers especially for users who simply want to surf the Web. more...

 

 
---