After paying bills and buying Star Wars figures from eBay, the most important use of the Internet must surely be for stalking.
Who can resist, for example, looking up ex-partners on Google? Or current partners, for that matter? Or even, in a moment of pure boredom, looking up yourself (auto-Googling)?
In the USA you can of course go one step better and actually request a complete run-down on a person, including if they have been in prison and what it was that put them there. Or find out if your neighbour is a child molester – or even worse, a Republican.
There are many ways to stalk. One relatively unknown way is via blog comments. When a comment is left on a blog, the IP number is recorded for the blog owner. With a simple IP lookup, you can see where the person is from, which broadband company they use and sometimes, if they commented from their work, which company they work for.
But oddly enough, Sweden is very sloppy with all kinds of information. For example, on this site you can search for any person and find out when their birthday is. Or on this site you can get a free credit listing, showing the person’s income for the last year. All of this is public information. And this credit listing site will even give the addresses of people who you cannot find through the phone books, possibly because they are not listed.
Example: a search for my dream Swedish squeeze, Stina Nordenstam, gives nothing on the main search sites. However…on the site mentioned above you will find the lady’s income plus her real address (which I will not reveal here out of respect – so just go in and do it yourself!).
And this is the country where any surveillance camera going up creates a storm of protest, but a stranger can easily go on-line and find out your income, your birthday and the colour of your underwear. A funny land indeed.
And by the way – thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that the Irish entry only scraped together 5 points in the Eurovision. Down with folk music, flutes and badly choreographed men with silly beards! And good luck to Serbia, even though they sucked too.