I hesitate to make this the last post of 2008, but website owners (as well as their developers) and marketers need to know about this service. IPRental.com just announced the launch of their IP address rental service. Users of the $49.99 monthly service (a $9.99 day pass is available) can change their IP address at any time.
Why would anyone want to change their IP address, you ask? Simple. When you have a virtually endless supply of IPs, you don't need to worry about having that IP banned when you are abusing a system. For example, say you market your products or services heavily on industry forums. Upon seeing abuse, forum moderators routinely ban usernames, but in extreme cases they also ban IP addresses. The result is that those abusing said forum aren't able to access it in the future. When you have an unlimited supply of IPs (and usernames, of course), however, you can continue your spamming unabated. There is virtually an endless list of uses for such a service, and absolutely none are white hat (but that doesn't mean you shouldn't check it out).
Some have and will likely complain about an IP address rental service, citing the tendency for it to be used for gray market purposes. IP Rental, however, "staunchly" maintains its right to deliver anonymous secure web surfing for complete anonymity and privacy. "Yes, we are aware that our service makes grey marketing easier, and could potentially be used for nefarious purposes. We don't believe it is our right to know what our customers are using the service for, and we hold our customers' privacy with the highest regard," stated Founder JP LaMere. "…we're concentrating on providing the best service possible without getting involved in policing the Internet. We believe that individuals should be allowed to surf the web anonymously, and switch their IP address whenever they choose."
My main concern is what will happen when the IP addresses that IP Rental is using all, or a portion, get blacklisted. Hopefully, they have thought through this and it won't be an issue.