I'm not satisfied with just knowing that my data is safely encrypted and I'll get my insurance money back. I want my damn laptop back, or at least I want to see the thief get prosecuted.
So my thought is this: Why should I not install a rootkit that mails me every X time-period that the computer is connected to the net with its IP address? I'd encrypt anything valuable on my hd and I'd leave a guest account with limited privileges open so the thief would have a greater chance of logging in with it. This way it would be comparatively trivial to track the thief physically if not be able to identify them directly through an ISP accout.
At this point in my line of reasoning though, I had this sinking feeling as I had a vision of the only conclusion of this line of thought: Security Companies that supply rootkits which dial home to their servers with identifying information. They would sell this as a guaranteed way to ensure that either your computer hardware is recovered or the criminal prosecuted or both. "get kitted" the slogans would scream, and it would be the latest thing to have a security rootkit addon installed. Worse yet, what if the government encouraged this scheme and/or provided these tools to everyone for the same reason... Not that I'm anti-authoritarian, but I'm slightly paranoid about this sort of thing.
Anyway: Thoughts? Rootkits are not something I'm at all familiar with yet. Would a "white hat" root kit like this be feasible option?