A month ago, someone posted an ad with my personal details, including my home address, my phone number and my photo on an ad with very a very defamatory write up.
What followed was a week of calls from strangers and friends calling me up asking me if such a thing was true. It took forever for the admins of those ads to take the ads down and the police, whilst helpful to reach out for official request of info, are not very helpful in proposing to me the steps that I must take to link the evidence directly to the perpetrator.
I had to do a lot of digging for info myself, learn how IP addresses work, etc.
I know the person posting it did it from a hotel via wifi. The problem is, I don't know how to prove that it was HIS computer that did it. There are probably 50 guests in that cheap budget hotel that night, any one of them could've posted it. I've called various authorities locally in my country to ask for help and most of them brush me aside with this nonchalant attitude, that it is just a small case. It is unfortunate that I do not have tones of money to blow on this, nor the right 'friends in high places' to push this through.
I read several posts here and I was hoping some of you can help provide me some guidance in this area.
Do you know if ISPs store the MAC addresses of the laptops/computers that uses the IP address to do certain internet transactions? I've read somewhere that ISPs only store the MAC add of the router and not individual computers. Some other sites have indicated ISPs do store the MAC addresses of the individual computers. Which of the two are correct?
The person who posted the ad verified the ad via a dummy email address that was created specifically for that purpose. Do you know if ISPs store historical trail of other websites that he accesses whilst hooked on that IP address. For example, if historical records via the ISP can show that the same user who used that computer accessed his personal email or his internet bank records, then at least the evidence is stronger to show that it was that person who did the defamatory posting.
Any advise you can post here would be much appreciated to help me out. I've badgered the police to raise the request to our local ISP to trace the IP address (I had to chase twice before they did this and that took almost 2 weeks!) and while we're waiting for the results to come back, I'm just afraid that the trail will end at the hotel location. I do not know what other option is there for me to link the ad posting and IP address directly to the perpetrator's computer. Without that evidence, the perpetrator cannot be charged and all that I went through for that whole week, would've been for absolutely nothing :(
*Update ***15th March 2014 Hey guys, it's me again. The ISP has finally come back to the police officer and whilst the information is not revealed to me who that person is, the police officer has indicated that the IP address leads to a particular individual...and get this...the idiot used his own internet connection from his house. I almost clapped my hands with glee when the police told me the trace leads directly to the person's user account with the ISP. Unfortunately, because the whole case is under investigation, the details of this person cannot be revealed to me yet. The next step is to see if the police will seize the computer to try and match the MAC address listed in the ISP...or was it seize the router to try and match the MAC address. I'm not too sure of the details. I'm just told that there was a MAC address that was provided from the ISP in their trace report.
I'm so excited! I'm one step closer to getting this person charged for what he did. I'm going to keep pushing for this case until the police takes the next steps, but I'm very relieved that at least I've managed to get the results of the IP trace that clearly identifies an individual.
Now's just how to make sure the evidence is 'beyond reasonable doubt'for a criminal charge. And trust me, I'm going to do everything in my power to push for them to charge him from a criminal perspective before I slap him with a civil suit for defamation.
Thanks for all your helpful advise here. Wish me luck! And if things progress better, I'll come back here and repost an update :)