Unshinjutsu is the art of being invisible. It is usually studies in the literal sense: use of hensojustu to disguise oneself, or metsubushi to remove eyesight, or shinobi iri to not be noticed or whatever.

Today’s ninja has a lot more to worry about than someone seeing him where he shouldn’t be. Invisibility is now as much a matter of privacy as anything else. If someone searches for me name on line, they will get (hmm, let’s see…) 19,400 hits. My privacy is shot to hell because of what I do for a living. Invisibility matters even more for me than most because of this, so it has always been an interest of mine. Ninjutsu has renewed that interest.

We have been doing hensojutsu exercises in class, and they largely end with a bunch of guys sitting around giggling like high school girls. It’s hard to practice situational acting – it takes both knowledge and practice. In order to improve on this, I got Meisner On Acting from Amazon, and did a keyword search for Hensojutsu in Amazon.

On of the books I came across is turning out to be very interesting. It is How to be Invisible, by J.J. Luna, and it is very well – if somewhat spectacularly – written. He overstates some examples, but his ideas are just really well thought out and extremely well presented.
His first drive for invisibility is to erase your home address. Now, I am not going to tell you how he says to do it (go buy the book – sheesh!) but I can say this: it makes a lot of sense. Identity is a much more straightforward thing than we think. We are defined by our home address and phone number to a tremendous number of entities.

In the professional world, I am a computer professional with a specialty in the internet. I can say from personal experience that companies – both .com and brick and mortar – give privacy a lot of lip service while doing everything within the law to get as much information as possible. If an FBI agent walked into Target with a warrant, they could know practically everything important about you in a few minutes if you have ever shopped there at all. Trust me.

When you disconnect your address from your name your privacy – electronically and physically – increases dramatically. However, it means a dramatic change in personal habits. Like physical invisibility, which requires a large amount of observation of your environment, privacy will require you to think twice when just ordering a pizza. More take out, less delivery, folks.

Get Mr. Luna’s book and read it if you want to learn about today’s unshinjutsu. Privacy matters.

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Bill Sempf

Husband. Father. Pentester. Secure software composer. Brewer. Lockpicker. Ninja. Insurrectionist. Lumberjack. All words that have been used to describe me recently. I help people write more secure software.

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