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Re: [tor-talk] Anonymous Publishing Is Dead.

The conversation has landed on cryptome.org and hackerne.ws . The last comment at cryptome.org is interesting for the discussion.


Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>On Sat, Jun 30, 2012 at 4:15 PM, Anonymous Person
><anonymousperson90@xxxxxx> wrote:
>> 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[1] 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.
>[1] https://thepiratebay.se/torrent/6554331/
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