It got me thinking recently. Wouldn't a fake/incorrect address be enough to deter investigating/finding a criminal via cyberspace? The reason we know it's so easy to find someone is because they give their real address/info to an ISP -- so obviously with this info they can easily get to someone's residence.
What if you sign-up for some kind of ISP/service while:
1.Giving a different name/alias than your birth/real name (usually allowed).
2.Do so online (anonymity -- you can use any kind of library, cafe, public IP, VPN, etc. with a throaway device) and thus nobody can see/know who is signing up and can't act as a witness for someone.
3.Use some prepaid card/etc. that was also registered with an alias and has no real address linked.
4.Do something blatantly illegal using this ISP (which doesn't have a social security number since it's not require -- i.e., you can get a phone service with ISP and do not need SSN/etc. in the U.S. -- and also no real name, number or address to where they can provide authorities any real kind of leads).
How could they find the person? If they use the ISP given, it can be local or remote. If it's remote they can try and ask the company for info, but the company will only give the info they got and it's insufficient to have any possible leads with an alias; no social security number; and no real address.
You can argue it's possible to narrow down where the person could live, but they could move. Also, nobody knows what they look like and could be using highly anonymous means (i.e., very secured operating system leaving no means of a network trace). With all of this it seems theoretically impossible to identify any criminal. Payment method has no easy trace; everything could be done online these days and fake/wrong addresses are among the easiest things to provide. Face is unknown due to internet anonymity from the very source to the very end of the means of a crime.
Using the internet isn't like a phone call -- you can't merely triangulate/narrow down an exact location a person is connecting from if there is no way to find GPS traces/etc. from such a device.
On TV shows like Criminal Minds they make it seem like they can super-easily trace and lock-down even the smartest criminals, but I'm skeptical that in real-life these methods are anywhere comparable. Also, with zero leads and no address/name I'd imagine most authorities would give up.
So how easy is it really to be untraceable or theoretically untraceable given the ease of fake info/no face/no traces or leads/no social security info/addresses/lack of details to even begin identifying?