In today’s hyperconnected world, remaining truly anonymous is increasingly challenging. Nearly everyone is being tracked and monitored, predominately through the internet. But Jameson Lopp – the CTO at Casa, a Bitcoin security company – does believe it is possible to live completely off the grid, though you do have to take some extreme measures to make it happen.
Lopp created a highly complex list of 15 steps that allow a person to “escape the all-seeing eyes of corporate American and the government,” according to a report by the Daily Mail.
Some of the steps aren’t incredibly daunting, including creating an LLC as a means of shielding your identity and using cash whenever possible.
However, Lopp also recommends changing your cell phone number and not using your smartphone when you need direction, as the GPS tracks your paths and whereabouts. Additionally, he believes that moving to a new home is a necessity, as well as opening new bank accounts and credit cards, or relying on prepaid debit cards instead of payment options tied to your account.
Lopp also suggests purchasing a “decoy house,” which prevents the DMV from tracking you. Using a pseudonym (fake name), relying on a virtual private network (VPN) when browsing online, encrypting your devices when traveling, and getting a private mailbox away from your home are also steps on the list.
If you own a flashy car, Lopp says you need to get rid of it. He also recommends not working in an office setting as a means of protecting your privacy.
The remaining points on the list are pretty extreme. Lopp says you should wear a disguise whenever you are heading outside and hire a private investigator to confirm you can’t be tracked.
Recent data scandals have increased awareness regarding exactly how much people are being tracked by a variety of firms. Google and Facebook have been under fire for the amount of data they collect, as well as how hard it is to make them stop.
However, many organizations – including everything from hotels to telecommunications companies – also track people. The rise of facial recognition technology and similar forms of biometric authentication may also be concerning to many as the systems potentially make it possible to track users easily and without their direct knowledge.
In total, Lopp believes he spent about $30,000 to get off the grid. Individuals could likely follow suit, though how expensive it would be depends on numerous factors, including whether the person owns property currently and their profession, particularly how easy it would be to detach for a traditional work environment.