Three Ways the Government Can Track You Online

A vocabulary lesson from Chicago author Nate Anderson’s new book, out today, The Internet Police: How Crime Went Online, and the Cops Followed.

‘EYE’ by Tony Tasset

Photo: William DeShazer/Chicago Tribune; Artwork: Tony Tasset, EYE, 2010
 

In The Internet Police: How Crime Went Online, and the Cops Followed (August 19, W. W. Norton, $27), the Chicago author Nate Anderson describes how the FBI began using the same tools beloved by criminal hackers in an effort to bust cybercrimes and—as the recent NSA spying scandal made clear—foil possible terrorist plots.

Don’t have time to read the book? Just toss out these acronyms and everyone will think you have.

CIPAV
Also known as Computer and Internet Protocol Address Verifier, this software lets users view the dates, times, and destinations of all e-mails sent from a given computer.

RAT
The remote-access tool allows users to break into a computer’s webcam and record images there.

TOR
Short for “the onion router,” the free software program routes data through multiple layers of encryption and re-encryption (like the layers of an onion—get it?), giving the program’s user complete anonymity (shiver).
 

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