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Ask Slashdot: What Would Your 'I've Got To Disappear' Plan Look Like?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the waste-several-erasers-and-curse-bugs-bunny-for-his-lies dept.

Technology 789

New submitter diacritica writes "This Ask Slashdot is inspired by manhunts à-la-Bourne movies, but taking a more realistic approach to the world we live in. You are native to and live in a big city (> 1M pop) in a G8 country of your choosing. At T = 0h, you accidentally witness a strange event. At T = 1h, you realize you're being followed and you get the feeling that the police/government might be involved. Contextual data: you are able to speak one language apart from good English. You are 25 to 45 years old. You are computer savvy. You are engaged/married, you have family living in the same city. 99% of your money is in a bank account. You prefer to go 'rationally' paranoid. What would you do in order to feel safe after those first 24 hours? Remember, you didn't commit a crime, but there are plenty of real-world resources invested in catching you."

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it would look like a frosty piss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087395)

Then I'd do whatever jon katz did. I mean, nobody has heard of him lately.

Re:it would look like a frosty piss (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087789)

Nobody misses him either.

Re:it would look like a frosty piss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087797)

Then I'd do whatever jon katz did. I mean, nobody has heard of him lately.

Write books about dogs [wikipedia.org] and their experiences in this post-columbine hellmouth world?

One thing for sure (5, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087407)

I wouldn't go out and get laid.

You're a slashdotter all right. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087667)

Luckily enough, this will not cause any change in your plans...

TBH, one other poster has a good idea. If you disappear for a couple of months you're likely to drop away and be lost until they look again for you for some reason. Go camping for a while.

Whilst you're "offline", work out what evidence you have and figure out a dissemination policy. If you have none, work out who is "after you" and what that means to them, attack being a good defence. Failing that, ignore the problem.

Back to civilisation, disseminate as widely as possible all the data you have before getting back to your life. Investigate and procure information on those you need protection from and if you thereafter think you're being brought in, don't bother playing by the rules. If they're thinking "the rules don't apply to me" then show them what it means when the rules of civilised conduct REALLY don't apply.

And if you have to preemt an attack, don't worry about getting big people, nor even the involved.

If Hollywood action movies have taught me anything, it's that the Big Bad ALWAYS thinks their family is out of harms way. If you're going to be boned, show them how wrong they are. Civilised actions preclude it, but like I said, they think those rules don't apply to them.

Make it so.

Re:You're a slashdotter all right. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087747)

You've got to be kidding, right? I mean, you can't be so naive as to believe that disseminating evidence can help you. Have you seen the justice4assange web site?

Wouldn't YOU like to know? (5, Funny)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087413)

Nice try.

Re:Wouldn't YOU like to know? (5, Funny)

Howard Beale (92386) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087775)

Well, I would have at least posted as an AC...

Re:Wouldn't YOU like to know? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087801)

I think my plan is safe enough to say aloud... French Foreign Legion.

I know where there is a cave near my house (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087417)

It's in the woods and there is a small stream that runs through it. I have a 2 year supply of Wise survival food in my basement I could load up along with the firearm, ammo, and I'd be good.

Re:I know where there is a cave near my house (5, Funny)

OhSoLaMeow (2536022) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087751)

xyzzy

I would ask slashdot (5, Funny)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087419)

see title

Here. (5, Funny)

xevioso (598654) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087421)

1) Hide in the Ecuadorean embassy.
2) Hire a lawyer.

Doesn't always work... (5, Funny)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087617)

I only let in celebrities - or at least internet celebrities.

Took this long? (1)

Latent Heat (558884) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087665)

To come up with Ecuador?

What I would do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087427)

1) Post to Ask Slashdot
2) ???
3) Profit

I would (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087429)

Get the best hooker you can find for the money you have

The first rule... (5, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087433)

The first rule of secret escape plans is that you keep them secret.

WWAD (3, Funny)

tool462 (677306) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087445)

What Would Assange Do?

Re:WWAD (0, Troll)

Blade (1720) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087493)

Try and divert the media away from the serious sexual crimes he is alleged to have committed. But as role models go, he's pretty fucking slimy.

Re:WWAD (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087629)

Serious sex crimes? He didn't corner a girl in a back alley, pull a knife, and force himself on her; she agreed to have sex with him if he used a condom, which he didn't.

Re:WWAD (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087655)

And you don't consider that a serious sex crime why?

Re:WWAD (2, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087707)

Maybe because it's senseless, unprovable, he-said she-said bullshit?

Re:WWAD (3, Insightful)

Blade (1720) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087749)

It's a formal and serious allegation which he is avoiding answering to by hiding. If he's innocent, why is he hiding? Read up on the extradition laws and you'll find it's *harder* to be extradited from Sweden than the UK, and that if he gets extradited to Sweden then *both* Sweden and the UK have to consent to extradition to the US on charges that haven't even been brought yet.

Two women have made serious allegations, he should face them using legal due process.

First off... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087451)

...I'd click my heels together, and say to myself "There's no place like home...there's no place like home..." For those of us in the real world, however - these kinds of situations don't happen to normal people. One of the only reasons you disappear is because you did something REALLY wrong, or you witnessed a horrible organized crime... and then you go to the POLICE! They make you disappear...in a way that doesn't involve erasing YOU. It's called Witness Protection - and it's not as bad as Law and Order OR Dick Wolfe show it to be. The Russian mob don't always make everyone you ever knew or those who met you dead - including the pool guy.

Re:First off... (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087647)

The Russian mob don't always make everyone you ever knew or those who met you dead - including the pool guy.

Perhaps not, but these guys [wikipedia.org] might, just for shits and giggles.

Simple enough (5, Insightful)

log0n (18224) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087453)

Withdraw enough cash to feed yourself for a week, then leave. Go camping. Get out into nature. If technology is your concern, get away from the technology.

Re:Simple enough (1)

log0n (18224) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087475)

As a followup, you don't have the resources to circumvent big brother if he's after you. And actively trying to do so will splash you with a bigger target.

sucide (1)

kiep (1821612) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087455)

would be found hanged

Hide? Why? (5, Insightful)

Blade (1720) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087465)

I'd get a good lawyer, let the press know what I'd seen and then go to the police and give them a statement.

Re:Hide? Why? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087663)

That didn't work too well for Bradley Manning.

Re:Hide? Why? (2)

Blade (1720) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087769)

Bradley Manning committed a crime. I thought the original post said that in this case, the theoretical person had not. I sympathise with Bradley, and I think his treatment at the hands of the US is despicable, but it's hard to argue he wasn't committing a crime and equally, didn't know it.

Re:Hide? Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087773)

That might be at least partially due to the fact that when he purposefully downloaded and transmitted all those classified documents he didn't accidentally download and transmit all those classified documents.

Re:Hide? Why? (1)

escay (923320) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087727)

submitter mentioned that the police/government could be complicit so going to the police may not be a smart idea but lawyer and press are good ideas though.

In general, making use of media and putting it all out there is the best chance you have; first, record and reveal, to as wide a public forum as possible, all that you have witnessed and your potential risks as a result. then, start filming your own life as much as you can, at home, at work and in between; broadcast it, put it on youtube, let people watch you and let them watch the people watching you.

it's a really radical step to go the Bourne way, especially with family, but if you really have to do that then your best bet would be actually the Assange way; seek asylum in an embassy that does not have an extradition treaty with any of the G8 countries.

Regret... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087471)

...that I posted my plan to /.

First, hire a good lawyer (3, Insightful)

neminem (561346) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087473)

Then, after I had succeeded in hiring a good lawyer, and maybe a bodyguard, depending on who I thought was after me... start posting whatever it was I saw to every communal blog and forum I could think of, then start spamming newspapers with it, too. If I've done nothing wrong, why hide?

How to disappear (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087477)

If you wanna be disappeared, just turn yourself in.

Dear Slashdot, (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087481)

Please write my book for me.

Disappear? (5, Funny)

Antipater (2053064) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087485)

Any G-8 country, you say? I pick Russia.

First step: Start preaching revolution.

Second step: Unneeded. I've already disappeared.

Re:Disappear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087541)

In Russia you don't disappear. You are disappeared.

Re:Disappear? (1)

That was the joke (2713333) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087785)

Yes, that is the joke.

Take whatever you can out of the closest ATM... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087501)

...And then login at the closest place and transfer the remaining cash to bitcoins. After that, leave the city and forget you ever had a bank account. If you ever use that card again (or any other credit card again) you will be traced. Your life is cash only now.

Along with that take your cell phone, leave it on, and tape it underneath the nearest moving truck.

Tell your family "Thanks for all the good times" in a letter. Give them the hashes to whatever number of bitcoins is appropriate in the letter. Your family no longer exists, they are a liability.

Now you move, maybe even move countries if you think you can. Wherever you move, it's going to have to be big enough to not be known, but also small enough the cops haven't installed their own CCTV. Consider not driving anymore, either, that's a strong liability you'll be pulled over. If you must, ensure your car doesn't violate any laws, especially for burned out bulbs, tint, etc. And by "your" car I mean your rental car, because owning a car puts you back on the radar. Have fun! The rest I don't know about. You'll probably want to make sure you live in a room and don't rent proper and DEFINITELY don't own a house.

Go for the simple solution (4, Insightful)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087503)

Record yourself recounting everything you saw, then post the video to as many sites as you can. The more you can say about the event the better, don't make it short and look like you know more then you're saying. Start babbling if you can manage it.

That way, there is not much of a point silencing you, since you've already done the worst you could.

Re:Go for the simple solution (3, Funny)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087557)

Asange tried that, didn't help him. The man hates to be shown off.

Re:Go for the simple solution (3, Funny)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087693)

That's why you should try to babble. If you look crazy enough, they won't have much of a reason to either arrest you or make you disappear. Just another conspiracy nut on the internet. If they do something to you, it would just give your words some weight.

Change my name (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087507)

Change name to Julian Assange.

I'll Become...Presidential Green Party Candidate. (5, Funny)

jaskelling (1927116) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087513)

Nobody will ever hear from me again or know who I am that way.

"99% of your money is in a bank account." (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087517)

Ya blew it.
That's really all there is too it. You need cash to disappear. "They" would've already frozen or started watching your assets.
You're already dead.

id wake up dead in a ditch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087525)

because if you see something big enough that the government wants you dead, guess what? you are fucking dead!

Remove myself as single point of failure (5, Interesting)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087529)

I'm not interested in running for the rest of my life, so my goal would be to solve the problem permanently. If the problem is that I witnessed something, then I'd get my testimony and any relevant information in my possession as widely distributed as I could. Once the information is beyond containing, stopping me will no longer solve my opponent's problem. They'll have bigger problems to worry about than me. You can distribute your materials from anywhere these days - record a video on your phone, upload it to as many websites as possible, stick it on Wikileaks, email the press...

Re:Remove myself as single point of failure (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087625)

I'm not interested in running for the rest of my life, so my goal would be to solve the problem permanently. If the problem is that I witnessed something, then I'd get my testimony and any relevant information in my possession as widely distributed as I could. Once the information is beyond containing, stopping me will no longer solve my opponent's problem. They'll have bigger problems to worry about than me. You can distribute your materials from anywhere these days - record a video on your phone, upload it to as many websites as possible, stick it on Wikileaks, email the press...

At that point, their best bet is to discredit you, using the same ease of spreading information. And once you are discredited, you are once again "solvable".

Re:Remove myself as single point of failure (4, Insightful)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087763)

and the police will find a large cache of child porn or marijuana or bomb-making material (or all of the above) in your house/car.

Re:Remove myself as single point of failure (3, Insightful)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087725)

I'd get my testimony and any relevant information in my possession as widely distributed as I could. Once the information is beyond containing, stopping me will no longer solve my opponent's problem. They'll have bigger problems to worry about than me.

How's that working out for Julian Assange? Once you spread the information, their priority changes from containment to revenge.

Mwahahaha! (1)

ChasmCoder (1818172) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087555)

If I told you, then SkyNet would know! So ... "I'llll Neeevvveerrr Teeeelllllll..." (head rotates 360 degrees)

hide out in a unabomber stile shack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087559)

hide out in a unabomber stile shack

Jamaica, mahn! (1)

gatesstillborg (2633899) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087563)

Sounds like you could use it your self.

I smoke two joints in time of peace and two in time of war.
I smoke two joints before I smoke to joints and then I smoke two more!

Obviously (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087567)

First thing to do is check yourself into a psychiatric hospital, because this sort of scenario happens only in the movies, not in real life.

When one starts confusing fantasy with reality, it's time to get checked out.

How to Steal an Identity (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087569)

Hour 1.5, go to local soup kitchen
Hour 2, trade half of your 1% of your money not in a bank account for a bum's SIN and dirty ratty clothes.
Hour 3, attempt to submit forms for a birth certificate for said bum
Hour 4, use remainder of 1% to buy copious USB devices
Hour 5, spend an hour creating USB devices that "phone home" when plugged in (you want at least 20-100 USB's here)
Hour 6, pretend to lose these near where the government agents might be (also why you need many)
Hour 7, hopefully get a hit - start enumeration and finger printing on FBI (or what ever agency is after you)
Hour 8, check into a motel under a fake name
Hour 9, pull a Kevin Mitnick and setup a pager/cellphone to notify you when they are going to setup the Sting
Hour 9.5, put on dirty ratty bum's clothes and GTFO coz they've set up the sting and are on their way to the motel, if you're lucky no one will see you
Hour 10, sit in busy area of city pan handling in the bums clothes
Hour 24, no one will notice you for 14 hours or more because no one cares about homeless people :( ...
6-8 weeks later: obtain your fresh new birth certificate
day after: apply for a new passport, say you're traveling soon and get it rushed, use the money you pan handled to pay for it
week later: have your new passport, leave the country under your new identity

Enjoy!

Depends on your ethnicity (0, Flamebait)

jaymzter (452402) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087571)

If you're not a caucasian you should be able to ditch your cell phone and any identifying papers and disappear into the background. In the US at least, if you're Hispanic you can probably run all over the country and no one will seriously stop or detain you, regardless of documentation. Even if local enforcement does, claim to be illegal and the Feds will likely release you. At best the government will even send you out of the country "back" to Mexico. From there it's to any country you want.

There's no easy answer for family though, but keep in mind that they can't be stopped from leaving US soil, only prevented from entering.

Re:Depends on your ethnicity (0)

fuzzywig (208937) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087829)

erm [kym-cdn.com]

just tell everyone you're gay for THEM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087575)

just go around telling everyone you know that you're gay for them and you want to date them exclusively and so on and so forth....

the whole world will do all the legwork of cutting ties and vanish.

then its just a matter of changing emails and your phone number.

Where's my cut? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087577)

I don't work for free. If we're going to crowd source this spy novel, what's my take?

My escape plan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087591)

Strip naked and go running down the highway screaming yankee doodle with a sparkler up my rear. After that, everyone would think I am too insane to be worth catching. Sure I'd get arrested, but I would likely be set free.

Realistically... (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087593)

This would mean giving up all connections to friends and family and all the comforts of civiliation. You couldn't buy anything, including transportation. Hitchhiking would probably be out of the question, too, if they put your face on the news. Hiding in the woods would not work -- at least not anywhere "they" would conceive of looking for you. Between dogs and infrared cameras, there'd be nowhere to hide.

Your best bet would probably be to get as far away as you can, as quickly as you can, from everything you've ever had a connection to, by some means that requires no interaction with any other person. Look to the homeless for a glimpse of your new life.

The standard (1)

AG the other (1169501) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087595)

I could tell you but...

Re:The standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087715)

I could tell you but...

..but you'd have to kill me? That's what the other guy said too, and that's why I have to disappear now.

"Enemy of the State" (1)

Vexler (127353) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087599)

That's pretty much what I have to do, except maybe the part where I disrobe in front of a Chinese couple. As Brell said so eloquently, if I live another 24 hours that would be very impressive.

I think the challenge is how would you disappear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087607)

wear a hat.
Tell your wife you went to visit family.
Use a friends basement to hide out in for a bit.
Only use cash.

declare for Congress and hold a news conference (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087613)

tell all, make the media circuit, and when the 15 minutes of fame is over, they won't care about me any more. lose the election, go home, it's over.

Find an agent ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087619)

and a lawyer to represent my interests and sell the information to the highest (governmental) bidder. If a politician can buy the information (or the silence) then you can pad that number in your bank account with a few zeros and continue on like nothing happened. In fact, given the disorganization of most governments you may even be able to make the deal more than once for extra padding!

Remain anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087639)

and you wouldn't have these problems.

Ditch Cellphone, Create insurance and dissapear (1)

cynop (2023642) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087643)

first things first: For how long would i have to stay off the grid? For argument's sake, i'll assume i'll have to be out of sight for 6 months.

So the first thing to do is off course ditch any cell, or anything i have that can be traced. That includes cameras with gps sensors, gps devices and other similar gadgets that are location aware. I'd try to withdraw as much money as i can using ATMs in the first 3 hours, after that burn all debit/credit cards.
I'd probably try to set up an "insurance" against my dissapearance. Something like the encrypted torrent wikileaks published. Whatever i witnessed is probably importand enough, and interesting enough that members of the press, or wikileaks would be interested for. So i'd send them an encrypted copy of the story of what i witnessed. Then i'd set up a deathswitch account http://www.deathswitch.com/ [deathswitch.com] were in case i was unable to enter the password the password would be sent to all those interested. Final thing would be to let those that are after me know that they should make sure i don't die or get caught if they want the event to stay private.

After that? Leave a note for your family letting them know that you're ok, but that you have to leave, and that they have to trust you. You'll communicate in a couple of days. Then get the hell out. Get on a bus, and try to get as far as possible from where you could be found. Stay out of major cities and try to stay low. If the search for you goes public, then change appeareances as much as you can. Different dress styles, shave your beard, color your hair etc etc. And keep running.

Simple? (2)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087645)

I do not speak another language besides English, though I can get by in French.

- ATM, get cash.

- Drive to airport, ditch car in cell lot.

- Bus into town, taxi to real bus station, bus anywhere.

- Disposable phone. Use my wife's Google Voice account to leave her a message. Thrown in the trash at any bus stop.

- Another bus ticket. Different direction.

- No McDonalds. Taco Bell, or worse, for food. I'm known for my fast food habits, let's not make it too easy.

- I'm inclined to cross the border at a place I know they are perpetually lax in one direction. I won;t be coming back for a while.

- Find work in a kitchen. Cliché, but hey. Or landscaping. You can do this easier than you think, and I can pretty much make up Social Security numbers, easy when you know the formula. I will, of course appear to be very old. And my favored employer won't care. They still exist in North America

Maybe this keeps me alive for a month. I obviously will not be very happy.

- Slither into the library/etc. and create a Slashdot indentity.

Re:Simple? (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087733)

Oh, and I'm not 25-45, which is fine. My biggest problem will be cash, of course. I would need a co-conspirator to solv ethat, and I might get lucky and conscript an acquaintance from way, way back in my past, someone too hard to find quickly. One I'm pretty sure would help me, the other slightly less likely. I have more if I think of them. Not a very inventive plan, but adequate. You have to pick the city carefully, since facial recognition systems are springing up everywhere. Something like Markham or York PEI. Not that I would go there, of course, Happy Valley or Cartwright would make more sense.

If I could somehow get across the Pond, then it gets a lot easier.

Re:Simple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087739)

- ATM, get cash.

And they already got you. Thanks for playing.

Can't tell all but (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087673)

involves a shrink ray.

could be worse (1)

kc600 (1039792) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087677)

So the cell phone still works, the computer isn't hacked, the car hasn't exploded yet?

First thing you'd need: a time machine (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087681)

It takes a lot of time, preparation and MONEY to disappear permanently and effectively. You need a separate identity that already has a well-established "legend" and has no links of any sort to anyone in your "old" life. You can't just do that at the snap of a finger. It would take years to build up your "other you": credit rating, job history, you'd need to be running 2 homes some distance apart and in this day of FB tagging you'd need to make sure you weren't involved with anyone who owned a smartphone.

Straightforward answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087687)

I see a lot of going against the spirit of the question, but to be more straightforward, you want to do a couple of things:

1) Get rid of your identity and get some cash - wipe and sell your phone, jewellery and anything else valuable on your person.
2) Get a backpack and clothes from a secondhand shop
3) Go to the library and find obituaries for kids in rural areas of different locales who died young and were born around when you were - steal their identities and open bank and credit accounts in their names
4) Get out of town by bus and find a DMV to issue you a license with one of your new identities - use it as identification for a low profile job

(Some of these steps are probably illegal. I don't recommend doing any of it.)

I can tell you what I WOULDN'T do. (1)

He Who Has No Name (768306) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087691)

...and that's post about the precise details of my plan on the internet.

OPSEC, motherfuckers.

Step 1 (3, Informative)

Zadaz (950521) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087703)

I doubt it's hard, technically to truly disappear. The hard part is that you have to be willing to leave absolutely everything behind.

Step 1: Phone off, battery out. If battery can't come out it gets destroyed.

Step 2: Wipe and leave behind anything that connects to the Internet.

Step 3: Turn everything into cash immediately.

You won't be able to hide that you're doing a runner, but you can make it harder to get your trail after you do run.

Get a hair cut, color hair (just 2 shades different, not drastic), add/remove facial hair, buy some cheap glasses frames with 0 correction glass in them. Buy entirely different wardrobe, half from Wal-mart, half from thrift stores.

A trip to Kinko's to print a temp set of fraudulent license plates for my car. Or better yet, swap plates with someone with the same model and color as mine. Or best give a buddy who looks like you $500 to drive the car to city X and fly back. You take the train/bus to city Y, in a different time zone from X and forget about the car.

After that it would depend on how much cash I had and how well connected the people after me wanted me. A good fake ID would be in the loop somewhere, but I honestly don't know anywhere to do that in person any more. Some time at cafés or public libraries with computers (and some attentive browser washing) would probably turn up something. Drive to a city chosen completely at random that I don't have any previous contact with. (No visits, family, friends, etc.) Population of at least 50K.

I'm not sure if I'd leave the country or not. (In this case I'm in the US.) It would require a better fake ID and borders are choke points of surveillance. Also fingerprints.

If I felt the need to send "I'm okay" information to my friends or family I'd do it through the post at least a 3 hour drive from where I've set up camp. No return address.

You're screwed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087723)

If it was anything serious, you would be on a radio based neural interface within minutes.

There is no vanishing anymore, this is not the 50's or 60's.

Sans Cell Phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087737)

Any plan has to include turning all of your family's cell phones off.

Step 1 (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087757)

Step 1: Post the video on YouTube. After that, too many people have seen it, and other than revenge, there's no good reason to come after me.

If that isn't an option, step one would be to publicly post my escape plan, then do something completely different.

The best overall solution is probably to try to get lost in a crowd:

  1. Head for a busy shopping mall, exit through a nonstandard door, setting off the fire alarm as you do so.
  2. In the resulting confusion, slip into a subway station and grab the first train.
  3. Go exactly one station, leave your cell phone on the train (concealed), and then without exiting the station, change trains to go back in the opposite direction. Stay in the middle of a group of people on the train while you're passing the original station to avoid being seen by any spooks on the platform.
  4. Go several stations, get off, and hail a cab.
  5. Take the cab to an ATM (they're more than willing to stop and wait) and get as much cash as you can in a single day.
  6. Take the cab to a tourist location that is at least an hour's drive away, but is within a twenty minute walking distance from the nearest Amtrak station. Pay for the cab fare in cash.
  7. Walk to the Amtrak station and buy a train ticket with cash.
  8. Travel to your nearest border or near-border train stop (San Diego, Seattle, Niagara Falls, San Antonio, etc.), paying only in cash.
  9. Hail a cab for the border. Cross.
  10. Hail a cab and travel to the nearest airport in another country.
  11. Fly somewhere else.

If you're lucky, by the time they follow the trail of security camera breadcrumbs to your final subway stop, contact all the cab companies to find out if they picked up anybody near there, figure out where they took you, and check all the security cameras for all the transit hubs near there, you'll be across the border. If you're really feeling insane, buy an Amtrak ticket to a different destination on a different route (using a credit card with your real name) just before you head a different direction. As long as the platform is outdoors, it is unlikely that they'll be able to determine whether you did or did not get on that particular train, which might provide an additional delay.

Oh, yes, and as you're getting out of the cab, give a homeless person one of your credit cards. Make them chase a ghost.

sell everything (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087759)

sell my house, my car, all the rest of my possessions, keep and spend ONLY cash, (no credit cards, no bank accounts) buy a dual sport motorcycle and some camping gear and leave civilization, camp out in remote wilderness areas, (not state or federal camp grounds) and you can forget a cellphone, forget a smart phone, the only electronics you should even have would be a portable AM/FM/Shortwave radio receiver if you just got to have one for news & weather, music, general talk and bullshit to listen to.

Go to Mexico (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087777)

Go to Mexico, buy a Fast and Furious gun, bring it back to America and kill somebody with it. You'll be completely invisible to Obama's administration and to major news media.

To dissappear... (1)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087779)

I'd just delete my facebook account...

Texas to Mexico (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087781)

Living in Texas this sort of scenario has occurred to me before. First things first:

Grab the backpack of clothes, jacket, cash, a heavy knife, and burner netbook (aquired second hand a couple of years ago) all wrapped in plastic. Pull out as much cash from the nearest ATM as possible as quickly as possible, and get in contact with the most trusted friend possible in the shortest amount of time. Leave my cell phone with him, ask to borrow car or if he/she will rent a car for me with the intent of avoiding license plate scanners. Make it to the nearest Rio Grande Crossing (ideally I would already be near El Paso, though no one in their right mind lives there).

Once in Mexico I would change my appearance and acquire a false identity as quickly and efficiently as possible. From there it's a matter of finding shelter and income while remaining anonymous. Probably I would teach English and tutor in math/computer stuff until I could afford to open a small bar on the beach and live happily ever after in a country that does not extradite to the United States.

Ignore it... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087791)

... and continue as normal.
Give them enough time to leave the USB stick with the case notes in a pub, and forget all about it.

French Foreign Legion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087793)

That's pretty much it.

Easy (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087799)

I'd just delete my Facebook account and then send regular Tweets about how the cops can't find me.

Not Bourne but Grisham (2)

Megahard (1053072) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087805)

See The Partner [wikipedia.org] .

Ecuadorian embassy (1)

yoldapirate (1304207) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087807)

Search Google maps for the nearest Ecuadorian embassy.

What hide? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087813)

Go up to the guy following you, "Hi. My IQ is about eight billion. I couldn't help but notice someone used a raygun back there. Whether you have invented this or are trying to reverse alien technology, I want in. Go tell your bosses. Off you go now. I'll wait."

How "disappear" do you want? (3, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087815)

If you are going to disappear for a short period, get cash, live in a cash-only motel and contact nobody. A one-time cash withdrawl near home will not tip anyone off as to your location.

If you wanted off the grid completely, you are screwed. You have to have previous long-term plans in place to disappear (and 99% of your cash in the bank is not indicative of such planning). For medium term, take a trip to a country that speaks your second language, but not much English and go some place small, where another person from your country would stand out. Don't hide, go out, make friends. Let them know you think others are after you, they'll warn you if the time comes.

If the question is "how do I live indefinately looking over my shoulder",
Step 1. Drop all routine. Change your route to work daily. Vary your time of any activity by 10 minutes or more every day. Get a gun permit (gun optional, the permit will be found by those after you and cause them extra caution, but if you are comfortable, get the gun to go with it). If you get a gun, get 10. Check them daily. Get them all the same caliber. Keep 100 rounds on you at all times, and magazines stashed around with and separate from the guns.
Buy lots of the WiFi webcams and stream them to a local computer, as well as a cloud storage you have someone else buy on your behalf. Make sure to do both. Everyone stops when they find what they are looking for, except in the movies. If they find the local storage, they won't look for the cloud. If they track the cloud first, they won't look for the local. If you are overly worried about it, buy an old laptop and set it up, then tear down some sheetrock and put the laptop inside your wall, patch it up good, and they won't find it. Ever. Bodies were being found 50 years after mob murders in building sites so concealed. Get a UPS for the local computer and Internet so if your power is cut, you get recording.
Document what you saw, send it to your lawyer. And your family. Figure out why they are after you, and either work with them or against them until they have no more worries about what you know/saw.

Help! (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41087821)

I'm stuck in a bad movie and I can't get out!

seriously though... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087825)

goal - non-extradition country which is pretty, cash is king, sell fish tacos on beach. Probably Belize... internet seems to think you can pay $25k to government donation which will get you legal citizenship and a family that will vouch you were born and raised with them.

stay public, grab spouse, pull cash, max credit cards on prepaid gift cards (these can be sold for 90% face value cash out in a few months), dispose of all electronics, buy goodwill clothes to keep low profile including hat. Greyhound ticket with cash to border town, cross border into Mexico, get to private flight instructor with only plane (no GPS, transponder), pay cash as tourist for a landing in Belize...kill instructor (only witness to know your location), sink plane - start new life in favela factory selling soda.

Go to Cambodia (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41087833)

...Or any third world country.
It's very hard to get "off the grid" in a modernized country.
Most things take documents and ID, and people generally don't accept bribes.

If you were able to get to a third world country, disappearing would be a easy. Money goes a long way and people are more relaxed about needing passports and ID. There's lots of under-the-table dealings for work, so it's not like you need a social security card. There's good transportation and Cambodia shares an extremely porous border with Vietnam, Thailand and Lao. Tell people you're canadian. Blend in with the backpackers and disappear. You could spend the rest of your days on the beach with beautiful asian chicks...or sweaty backpackers.

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