7 ways to blog anonymously {updated}

Following today’s landmark judgement on one blogger’s right (or not) to anonymity, I thought it might be useful to post the following tips on maintaining anonymity online.

1. Use an anonymous email account to register your blog. Hushmail is one free service that provides encrypted accounts; RiseUp is aimed at activists; MintEmail gives you a 3 hour temporary email address and FilzMail gives you one that expires after 24 hours. You could also use these to post to your blog via email. Posterous is a great blogging service that allows you to do this.

2. Make sure your IP address isn’t logged when you register or post to the blog. You could use something like Anonymizer or Tor or Psiphon. Other services that mask your IP are listed on this forum.

3. Or you could use an anonymous blogging platform. Invisiblog was one but no longer exists. BlogACause claims to be “anonymous” but I’m trying to find out exactly how UPDATE: here’s how, apparently. In the meantime, this post recommends WordPress and something like Tor.

4. Use a pseudonym that you don’t use anywhere else. If you use a pseudonym, don’t use it on other services as well, as this will make it easier to trace you. If you’re struggling, this Random Name Generator will create one for you.

5. If you’re going to register a domain name do so anonymously with a service like The Online Policy Group.

6. Be careful what information you include. Although police blogger NightJack changed or did not include names in cases he was involved in, the details were specific enough for a journalist to track him down.

7. Don’t win awards. Or book deals. It’s safe to say that a major newspaper would not have been interested in the identities of NightJack or Girl With A One Track Mind if both had remained cult underground heroes. So just pretend you’re sub-literate, OK?

For more information, the following guides go into much more detail:

More links and tips welcome. My Delicious bookmarks on anonymity are at http://delicious.com/paulb/anonymity

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26 thoughts on “7 ways to blog anonymously {updated}

  1. jimspice

    Also, re: #4. It’s not particularly reassuring that in visiting The Online Policy Group, one is informed that the site’s SSL certificate is no longer valid.

    Reply
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  4. paulbradshaw

    He did use WordPress. At the end of the day, he could have used all the technology in the world, but it was the detail in his posts which (it is claimed) led to his being traced.

    Reply
  5. JacktheSmilingBlack

    Reside beyond HMG jurisdiction. An Internet cafe in downtown Vientiane looks promising. “I say, does anybody here speak English?”
    Problem is, to have a whistle worth blowing; you have to be where the action/corruption is. That said, time spent in research is never time wasted, as the truth is almost always out there on the Web.
    But bottom line, Authority has been wrong footed and out flanked by the spare-bedroom blogger and mobile phone camera operative. So assume YouTube will be in the frame for “terminate with extreme prejudice”.

    Reply
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  8. Hibbo

    This is absolutely brilliant advice, thank you so much. I mean, surely no-one wishing to blog anonymously would have thought of such revolutionary ideas as to use a pseudonym or not include details that might give you away.

    I hope the oppressed of the world may read your technological and cutting edge tips.

    A triumph!

    Reply
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  10. Nell Darby

    Hibbo, why resort to unnecessary sarcasm? You may be the world’s expert on anonymous blogging, but many people – myself included – aren’t aware of all the ways to try to avoid being identified.

    Paul, thanks for the useful links. Nightjack’s identification has extensive ramifications for anyone who blogs, and it’s helpful to know what mechanisms are out there to aid anonymity.

    Reply
  11. RadioElectric

    Actually, I’d advise against using that online pen name generator if anonymity is what you want. Or at least if you do then don’t put your real name in it to start with! It gives the same name back for your input each time, so somebody taking a guess at your real name could use that to confirm it.

    Reply
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  17. Al

    I worked for a very small property management firm, the strategic plan is to increase the number of management accounts by way of building a solid reputation.  The current plan entails: maximizing the value seen by  current account holders while marketing the managing services to gain new accounts.

    Currently we are bringing in a new management account through use of a current account as a reference.

    Sent from my iPad

    Reply
  18. Rob

    Thanks for the useful tips. Sometimes, I just want to ditch my online persona and go “off the record.” I used to use a pen-name, but I make something better! — http://Lettur.com is an anonymous blogging site. I created it so that everyone can generate beautiful web pages, totally anonymously, in seconds without the hassle of registering. If you give it a try, please be sure to let me know what you think!

    Reply
  19. Pingback: How to blog anonymously « Peoria Pundit

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