By Deane Barker on September 29, 2004
Visiting the site could result in the compromise of government IP addresses. Searching the site for a particular name could result in that name being cross-indexed to the IP address of the computer used to make the inquiry. Searching for the names of officers or informants could compromise those individual’s identities. Any website is capable of collecting IP address and search information from visitors, but this site is remarkable because it makes visitor information public.
I’m trying to nail down the scenario here. Say I’m a cop, and I have a confidential information named Willie the Weasel. I’m interested to see if he’s on Who’s a Rat, so I go search for his name.
Now, the proprietor’s of Who’s a Rat can see that someone searched for “Willie the Weasel,” and they have my IP address. If they trace this IP back to the local police department…does that tell them anything? I’m not sure, I guess.