Don’t Post Comments to the MPD Site

by Staff on January 13, 2007 · 18 comments

in Off-topic

I just thought I’d post a little warning who may be tempted to send a message to the Mitchell Police Department through their comments page.

The MPD site says the following: “Let us hear from you. Need assistance? Have a suggestion? Got a tip? Click on the contact link below and we will forward your comments to the appropriate people.”

The form looks innocent enough, right? There’s places for you to enter your name, address, phone number, e-mail address and your comments and send it off to the “webmaster” (which is Chief Hardman).

What you don’t see when you click the “Submit Query” button is that they are also logging your computer’s IP address. The IP address is a number assigned to your computer by your Internet provider when you connect to the Internet. This number uniquely identifies you on the Internet and is the #1 way that people are tracked down via law enforcement on the Internet (I work in computer security and use this same method to track people down all the time).

In short, if you have something you want to say to the Mitchell Police Department but want to remain anonymous, *DO NOT* use their contact page. The only reason they’re tracking your IP address is in case you piss them off. That way they can track you down and punish you for saying what you think.

That said, I also believe in full disclosure, so let me say this. When you send a comment through my web site, the software running on this website also includes your IP address. The difference here is that I have no interest in tracking any of you down (nor any legal way of finding out who you are from your IP address — unlike law enforcement), and that information is also deleted automatically at midnight every night. They can’t subpoena information that I don’t have. =)

Perhaps I’ll make up my own contact page for the Mitchell Police Department, and let you good citizens send your comments to them in a 100% completely anonymous and confidential manner.

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