A judge from Galveston County named Chris Dupuy has been forced out of office after being charged with online harassment for placing fake hooker advertisements with the photographs and phone numbers of two former girlfriends in the escorts section of a classifieds ads website.
Harris County Sheriff’s investigator Scott Hardcastle subpoenad Backstage.com to find out who had placed the adverts and found out that the IP had been masked with offshore proxy servers. Houston Press reports that the affidavit of the lead detective says that he “had worked backwards from the ads to trace masked IP addresses in Venezuela, Colombia and Germany.” and the articles goes into making fun of the software name “hidemyass.com“
If Chris Dupuy was using software to hide his computer IP, it could not have been Hide My Ass free online proxy as it is web based and there is no need for software, the article also mentions masked IPs in Venezuela and Colombia, servers that are not available to free users, only somebody with a paid account can access those proxies. Based on this Chris Dupuy was possibly using HideMyAss VPN and not the online proxy.
There are no further details on how the detective “traced masked IP addresses” from HideMyAss but the VPN provider logging policy page states that HideMyAss keeps logs of:
- a time stamp when you connect and disconnect to our VPN service;
- the amount data transmitted (upload and download) during your session;
- the IP address used by you to connect to our VPN; and
- the IP address of the individual VPN server used by you
The data is more enough to identify a customer if necessary and it is stored for in “between 2 and 3 months“, or “longer if required by law”, HideMyAss parent company Privax LTD operates from England and was recently acquired by AVG Technologies.
Futhermore, HMA terms and conditions do not allow using the VPN for filesharing, if you are found doing this “then we may store your VPN data for an extended period of time beyond the normal 3 month maximum“, and HMA online proxy is even more detailed than VPN logs, they record the address of every single website you visit and files you view, keeping it for 30 days.
If HideMyAss has handed over the logs for one of his users, which is not confirmed as there are no specific details on how the detective traced back the IP, this would not be the first time they help out the law enforcement, in 2011 Cody Kretsinger, was arrested thanks to HideMyAss handing over logs proving that he was responsable for hacking Sony.