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Re: [tor-talk] Anonymous Publishing Is Dead.
On Sat, Jun 30, 2012 at 4:15 PM, Anonymous Person
> I know it is dead, because I have tried to do it, and I can assure you it is dead.
I had a similar experience.
When I decided to publish a large collection (30gb) of previously
paywalled (but public domain) JSTOR documents I initially planned
to do so anonymouslyâ simply to mitigate the risk of harassment via
the courts. Ultimately, after more consideration I decided to publish
with my name attached and I think it made more of an impact because I
did so (even though quite a few journalists reported it as though it
were a pseudonym)â though if I didn't have even the prospect that I
could publish anonymously I can't say for sure that I would have
started down that road at all.
I perused anonymous publication for some days prior to deciding to not
publish anonymously and I encountered many of the same issues that
Anonymous Person above named at every juncture I hit roadblocksâ
though in my case I already had bitcoins, but I couldn't find anyone
to take them in exchange for actually anonymous hosting especially
without access to freenode. If I'd wanted to emit a few bytes of
text fineâ but large amount of data, no.
It's also the case that non-text documents can trivially break your
anonymityâ overtly in the case of things like pdf or exif metadata, or
more subtly through noise/defect fingerprints in images. I think I can
fairly count myself among the most technically sophisticated parties,
and yet even I'm not confident that I could successfully publish
anything but simple text anonymously.
The related problems span even further than just the anonymity part of
it. Even once I'd decided to be non-anonymous I needed hosting that
wouldn't just take the material down (for weeks, if not forever) at
the first bogus DMCA claim (or even in advance of a claim because the
publication was 'edgy'). I ended up using the pirate bayâ which
turned out pretty well, though there were some issues where discussion
of my release was silently suppressed on sites such as facebook
because they were hiding messages with links to the pirate bay, and it
was blocked on some corporate networks that utilized commercial
So I think that the problems for anonymous publication on the Internet
are actually a subset of a greater problem that there is little
independence and autonomy in access to publishing online. You can't
_effectively_ publish online without the help of other people, and
they're not very interested in helping anonymous people, presumably
because the ratio of trouble to profit isn't good enough.
About the only solutions I can see are:
(1) Provide stronger abuse resistant nymservices so that things like
freenode don't have to block anonymous parties, thus facilitating
person to person interactions.
(2) Improve the security and useability of things like freenet and
hidden services, so that they are usable for publication directly and
provide strong anonymity.
I'm disappointed to see some of the naysaying in this thread. It
really is hard to publish anything more than short text messages
anonymously, at least if you care about the anonymity not being broken
and you want to reach a fairly large audience.
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