Here's a basic example of the situation I am in:

1.Friend downloads full-length, new release movie on shady internet site (felony).

2.Uploads it to a randomly created, cloud hosting service account (fake info, such as name/etc.).

3.Uses my home IP address to create the account from my ISP with no anonymity.

*Note that this happened over four years ago, and nothing's happened so far.

Now he wants to get the movie off the cloud service without tracks leading back to him. But he already logged in and created the create from my home ISP, then uploaded the movie from another IP, so there's a good chance they have logged it and can get straight to me if anyone knew it was illegal content, which I doubt anyone actually checks. Anyways, here's the tough question:

Even assuming the fact that he created the account from my home ISP, which is the same account later logged in from a remote IP and which the movie was uploaded from, is it worth it to:

1.Try and login anonymously (Tor, Elite proxy, VPN, etc.) to download it back and close the account.

2.Or would one be just as likely to get in trouble doing it from behind Tor as from the same home ISP?

ASSUMING anything happens here, and in hopes that, since 4 years have passed, chances are the only savior here from charges. So basically, is it dumb to try and "get the file back and delete the account" from an anonymous location, or would we be both no more or no less likely to get in trouble downloading it and logging in right from my home ISP than from, say, Tor/Proxy/VPNs?

This is all in dire hope that nobody ever knows and this just stays as a silent boo-boo forever.

  • 5
    There is no such thing as "get the file back" - the general rule is "what goes on the internet stays on the internet... Forever" – Rory Alsop May 2 '15 at 21:38
  • But that's not exactly true, no matter how the rule goes. It was stored in a private cloud storage service for one, and nobody else can reach it without logging in to the account. So yes, you can get the file back, and delete it from your private storage account, and they may eventually delete logs/never find out. General rules do not apply to all circumstances, and it's speaking volumes of you to assert such nonsense. – Purpose Bunny May 3 '15 at 4:20
  • No - you misunderstand. Getting it back makes no sense in this context, and deleting it almost certainly won't remove it either as the provider will have backups of some type. – Rory Alsop May 3 '15 at 8:08
  • Considering that four years have passed, I find it highly unlikely that anything will come out of it. But if anyone were to conduct a serious forensic investigation, there's really nothing you can do at this point to cover your tracks; if anything, you'll make it worse by creating new ones (like this post?). Most companies retain deleted user data for quite a while so deleting the account won't accomplish much. The general rule of "what goes on the Internet stays there" still applies. – tlng05 May 4 '15 at 1:32
  • Once that while ends, so does the rule -- so the "rule" doesn't apply indefinitely. – Purpose Bunny May 4 '15 at 4:37

Short answer, I do not think that any society will prosecute anyone for removing illegal content. You are just cleaning some mess, that's all you are doing.

Would you talk about uploading new content of the same kind, creating new accounts for such usage, etc., then anonymity would be preferable. But here you are just cleaning your account.

From a more general perspective, a lot of service are logging the n last IP addresses associated to an account. This information can be useful in a lot of situations, from finding the real account owner as in your case to being able to track down identity theft in case someone tried to steal impersonate you using your own account. The size of this n just depends on the website owner choices, there is no standards about this.

  • Not very helpful, but it's the best of two answers. – Purpose Bunny May 4 '15 at 4:40

It never hurts to anonymize the traffic. Chances are nothing is going to happen either way, but if you do login hide the current IP address. It would depend on log retention length and a LOT of other factors.

  • 1
    Can you give some examples of these other factors? And why hide it? – Purpose Bunny May 3 '15 at 4:22

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