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September 22, 2005


helping folks set up anonymous weblogs and avoid censors in places where blogging can be dangerous to one's employment or even health.

But will this keep me safe from the Federal Election Commission?

And remember not to sign your blog posts with your real name!

don't forget the corollary: don't disclose your alias to anyone you work with.

I use tor all the time. I'm pretty tech-savvy, but I think it would be easy to install even if I weren't. The biggest down sides I've noticed: (1) Wikipedia, indeed, blocks editing (not reading) from tor nodes, (2) Google appears in many languages, and (3) it's slower.

Anyway, I recommend it.

Why do you use Tor Kyle? What are it's non-paranoid applications?

If you really have to upload pictures, MS office documents, or basically anything other than text, make sure you carefully strip out all the meta-data. Pictures from digital cameras have all sorts of data embedded in them, as does your average word document.

Don't leave cookies, or anything else, on your machine from suspect web-sites. Also, don't add said suspect web-sites to the block-cookies list in your browser.

Remember that everywhere you visit logs the fact, even if you don't post anything.

Just 'cause you are paranoid, Edward_, doesn't mean they aren't after you. :)

Frankly, for non-professional non-cat bloggers, I don't understand why ANYBODY would be non-anonymous. A half-dozen or so virtual people know my real name, and two flesh-and-blood people know my bloggonym. Sometimes, I wish even they didn't. Unless you are being hired (introduced, offered an apartment, bought from, etc.) based on having opinions, why court trouble?

I don't care angua.

The kind of trouble blogging might bring me is the kind I'm totally capable of dealing with, I believe.

Sure, psychos exist, several right on my block, but at a certain point there's nothing I say on a blog I won't say to someone's face, so I don't understand the anonymity issue really.

Mind you, I'm perfectly happy to not be proven wrong about that. ;-)

I suspect that's the difference between spending your formative years in the evil United States, evily controlled by the oxymoronic moral majority vs. the freedom-embracing Soviet Union :)

More seriously, the world is full of stupid people, some so stupid they cannot tell the difference between online ranting and real life. You cannot go broke by overestimating people's stupidity.

so I don't understand the anonymity issue really.

i've probably told this story here, but i'll tell it again:

a long time ago, i told my Slashdot alias to someone i work with. years later, i was laid-off. i was angry and posted some rant about the situation on an outsourcing thread on Slashdot. i didn't say anything specifically about the company, and i didn't say anything offensive or give away any secrets; i just said something along the lines of "talk to me about cost savings of outsourcing after your job has been moved to India so your company can save 2/3s of the cost of your salary", etc..

over a year later, i was then brought back in to interview at that same company for a short-term contract. during the interviews, two different people referred to my Slashdot posting: a pseudonymous post i made over a year prior that had no specific details about the company, myself or the situation.

unfortunately, i have many many years of usenet and CodeProject postings under my real name. what i post as 'cleek' is really tame compared to the kind of flame wars i've been in under my real name.... alas

Why do you use Tor Kyle? What are it's non-paranoid applications?

This depends on your definition of "paranoid."

Tor encrypts everything until the "last hop" to the web site itself, so local listeners (i.e., my ISP) can't read, regardless of SSL. You can (probably) push your IM through it if you want. I've always been a lot more worried about nearby intruders than someone "out there" listening, so tor takes care of that nicely.

I've also remarked that I like the peace of mind of being able to do things that are innocent even when they look suspicious.

Some site owners have contacted the employers of a visitor to express their displeasure at the visitor's behavior. I don't always want to tip-toe around a confrontation because someone knows where I live and isn't afraid to use it against me.

Those people playing referrer games are only playing them with other people (though this is a feature of Privoxy, not tor--they go together like Batman and Robin).

In short, it's liberating.

Hmm. Aren't there places that outlaw civilian use of PGP? And don't those places tend to be in countries with repressive governments?

Why do you use Tor Kyle? What are it's non-paranoid applications?

Depends on where you are blogging from, I guess. Definitely need it in China -- in case yahoo sells you to the highest bidder.

(That's the other thing -- don't leave any email address, even free hotmail/gmail account, on your blog or comment -- no telling when these companies decide to send you to a labour camp.)

This is really help full thanks


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