To set up Google/Facebook accounts or sometimes as recovery method, you are asked for a cell phone number. This is how to get a GSM number that isn’t linked to your identity.
Updated 9 December 2017 v1.0
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A VPN for your internet connection (note 1).
- Step 1: Get a standard GSM phone (preferably not a smartphone) that has never been used with a SIM card under your name (note 2).
- Step 2: Get a pre-paid SIM card bought with cash in a drug store, do not use credit cards. Choose one that has no expiry date (note 4).
- Step 3: Activate the SIM by SMS, if you have no choice than to activate online, read note (note 4). Usually upon anonymous SMS activation the SIM can be used straight out of the box for 2 weeks before you actually need to register online. If you need to create burner (temporary) Google or Facebook accounts, do it now that you haven’t registered online your SIM card.
- Step 4: Activate the carrier’s account online (note 4).
(1) This is done to hide your IP which gives away your location and identity. You can purchase plenty of such services online, a good one would be Protonmail (https://protonvpn.com/about).
(2) Because if it has been used before with a SIM card under your name you can be identified .Why is that? Every GSM phone has a unique ID called IMEI which cannot be changed. The instant you put a SIM into it, the phone will send to the carrier the IMEI which will be tied to the SIM which is tied to your identity, now the IMEI is tied to your identity forever, it’s in the carrier registry which is shared with other carriers and state-sponsored criminals (3), you’re burned. Even if you change the SIM, you can be tracked by IMEI.
(3) Police, prosecutors etc. Their crimes are “legal” since they’ve corrupted state institutions. They are the most dangerous sort of criminals, to an individual or to a country. If they’ve done something illegal, they can cover it up any ways they like. They can intercept and read IMAP, POP3, TLS, SSL. They can spoof your email provider SSL certificate. They can have access to your SMS, emails, meaning a recovery option is often an easy attack possibility for them. That’s why you should always use encryption software, encrypt your devices, and buy hardware outside the country you operate.
(4) The non-expiry ability will depend on the country you live in because in countries like EU States or the US you cannot have a non-expiry card if you don’t register it. However you can generally register with dummy information. When you register online they ask you for identification details including ID or passport number but you can put dummy (fake) information. Make sure your VPN is connected before going to the website. If your provider doesn’t offer online registration nor non-expiry ability, just let the SIM expire and purchase a new one, that’s the cost of protecting its privacy.