Do you know how many people disappear without a trace annually? French duo Lina Mauger and Stéphane Rimmel spent five years traveling around Japan starting in 2008, gaining the trust of locals to learn up close about the troubling phenomenon of someone suddenly disappearing from both the internet and the real world, and met their missing loved ones. Abandoned fathers, housewives, ex-lovers. There is no official government data on this trend, but from this duo’s research, more than 100,000 people annually “disappear” in Japan without a trace. (1)
In their book The Disappeared: Japan’s Vaporized People in Stories and Photographs, duo Moger and Rimmel trace their stories in short essays, each dedicated to one of those who have fled modern society in search of a more secret and less shameful life. These are called “johatsu”, which is a Japanese term for “evaporating people”, because they vanish just like steam.
None of these people disappear physically, and most likely this “evaporation” is voluntary disappearance. Similar to those included in the Witness Protection Program in the United States, “juhutsu” choose to change their names, addresses, and business relationships, and can essentially clear their entire history just as you would your browser’s history.
This escape in Japan can be surprisingly easy, as Japanese privacy laws give citizens a great deal of freedom to conceal their whereabouts. Only in criminal cases can the police mine people’s personal data, and relatives cannot search for financial records. (2)
Folk beliefs make it easier, too. In Japan, people believe in kamakukchi (spirited away), a folk belief in which people in villages believe that the gods are hiding people, and use this belief to justify people’s disappearance without warning to make them accept the disappearance. The real reasons for disappearance range from escaping domestic violence, away from societal pressures, such as work pressure or even completely getting rid of strained relationships, and perhaps evading debts. (3)
Surprisingly, this increasing tendency towards disappearance has caused the emergence of companies that help people in this matter, these companies are known as “night moving shop”, which pack and move luggage, work on new identities for those who wish, and rent out new accommodation for a fee Simple money. (3)
But these days, escaping and disappearing cleanly and completely is more difficult than we imagine, and thanks to our smartphones, which leave a mark on every website and application, every content you interact with, every tweet you write, and even every post you ignore, can contribute to Tech companies know you better, but what if we want to go the digital juhutsu route? Can we completely disappear from the Internet?
Social media accounts
Let’s start with your social media accounts. You know that most of the data collected by social media platforms is publicly available, easily accessible, and even sold for commercial purposes. In fact, there is a service called DeleteMe that you can use to delete your account, but the other bad news is that your deleted data is still in the databases of each company. To be sure, you can enter the data of your deleted accounts on the “Background check” site, and you will find that it is difficult to delete your data completely. What to do in this mess, Juhutsu?
You may choose to apply to these companies to delete your data completely, but believe me, it may take a full revolution of the Earth around the sun to do so, and you also do not guarantee that the companies will agree to your request, and even if you do, what guarantee do you have that they actually deleted your data? Well, there is no guarantee, so you have to smudge your accounts.
The word “smudge” here means to “dilute” all of your personal information, by sending random friend or follow requests to random people, then sending other requests and following random friends of friends, and simultaneously, entering groups far from your interests, adding Hobbies not related to your real interests in your profile.
To make it more difficult for the algorithms, add pictures of many faces to your accounts on social media, and this ensures that the face recognition system will not track you, in fact, it has distracted it and it does not know which face is yours. Of course your country’s intelligence agencies may have information about you that discredits everything they do, but here we don’t want to hide from the intelligence agency, all we do is smear public information about you on the Internet.
Morally and legally, you should not upload pictures of people you do not know on your accounts, this may expose you to legal accountability, but we will fight fire with fire, and we will confront AI with AI like it too. What you will do is insert pictures of famous actors, for example, on an artificial neural network site, to generate pictures of people who don’t even exist for you.
And just as you stain your social media accounts, so do your email if you use it a lot. You can subscribe to newsletters for magazines and newspapers that you don’t care about at all, or sign up for dating sites to send you recommendations for example, and then send a reply to all those spam messages.
Well, now let’s move on to your location data. You may be aware that most browsers store your search and location history, so it is recommended that you use a browser like “Duck Duck Go” that does not use your location data when browsing the Internet. The next rudimentary tip is to use incognito mode, which is used by 46% of Americans, but we call this advice rudimentary for good reason: websites and advertising companies still have the ability to know what you’re looking for, so this option isn’t enough in Our journey in search of invisibility. (4)
The first acceptable level is the use of proxy services. Let’s imagine that you are a spy and you want to pass a message to one of the observers in the organization you are spying on, it would be dangerous to pass the message yourself, so you will look for someone to pass the message to the observer, and the same person will carry the reply from the observer for you, this is exactly what the proxy does, it acts as a delegate or The proxy is between you and the websites you visit. One example of a proxy service is hide me proxy, and you can find out more about it with a quick search on the Internet.
The second level is the “virtual private network” known for short (VPN). VPN services provide security and anonymity, whether for your IP address, or for your communications that are encrypted, and using this service may protect you from many cyber-attacks, and will benefit you in opening blocked sites, but its only drawback is the cost, Because if you want to remain hidden from view, you have to pay relatively high amounts for the service. Of course there are free versions of the service, but it is not recommended to use it because it sells your data to data brokers.
The third level, which is the highest in terms of invisibility, is the use of the “Tor” browser for “The onion router”, and this is because of its use of multi-layer encryption (the onion is multi-layered as well), so the data here is protected by many layers of encryption, which makes it the perfect solution for anonymity The only drawback is its slow data transfer.
Well, suppose you want to disappear virtually and from the Internet at the same time, here there is more than one step that you will take to completely destroy your old identity.
Destroy the data on your computer
Your laptop is like a time bomb. If you want to disappear completely, you should leave your favorite devices behind your back, including your phone and computer, whatever you are attached to them, you know very well that they are a good tool for tracking. Here you are faced with two options, either destroy your computer completely, or perform a smear process. I think you will make the last choice.
First, you have to download digital currency mining tools, there are many of them available for free on the Internet, and you have to buy some of the famous bitcoin, why? Because we will create a price loop back and forth between your different wallets, which will give the impression that you are interested in crypto in general, so if someone searches for you, they may think that you owe one of the cryptocurrency exchanges and that is why you ran away, so it is used as a good cover.
Then you have to put in an easy password, one of your parents’ birthday will suffice, and then find several places close in the distance that you don’t intend to go to on your computer, even if a remote hacker opens it, that information will mislead him.
bye my phone
Your plan to hide is only in your mind, you should not look for any place you intend to hide Juhutsu on your computer or even using your mobile phone. Speaking of your mobile phone, you should repeatedly intentionally forget it at home some time before your disappearance, because telecom companies can easily track your movement.
While you leave your phone at home, go to ATMs far away from you and withdraw small amounts of money, to disperse the data that may come from your card to the bank, use this money to buy an old phone that does not connect to the Internet and does not operate within range of your smartphone itself, no Never turn it on until you go to your secret shelter.
- ‘Evaporated people’ could be disappearing from Japanese society by the thousands:
- Japan’s ‘evaporated people’ have become an obsession for this French couple:
- Vanishing without a trace:
- Is Private Browsing Really Private