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[liberationtech] Anonymous blogger outed by analytics signature

G. griffinboyce at
Wed Nov 16 10:24:10 PST 2011

Hi all,

  Yes, this is something one has to keep an eye on when *publishing* while
maintaining your anonymity online.  Any overlap in identity can give you
away if you are an anonymous blogger.  This is the same as using a User ID
across multiple sites you own.  A better option than using One analytics
account (company is irrelevant) is to simply create a different account for
each site.

  Adsense has the same disadvantage.  If you run ads, switch over to using
something like Project Wonderful that allows you to have multiple accounts.
 Or, run ads yourself and accept payment with WePay.  Or have merch, or
accept donations. Or forego advertising altogether.

  What you do to protect yourself as an anonymous blogger really depends on
who you're trying to conceal your identity from.  If you're trying to keep
your identity from the US government, you'll have to go through a lot more
trouble than if you're just trying to keep your employer from finding out.

  If you want to be truly anonymous, you need to have no overlap in
accounts (hosting, analytics, etc) at a minimum.  I'd like to see more
discussion about this issue, since it affects so many people.


On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 11:34 AM, Graham Webster <g at> wrote:

> Hi Libtech,
> Thought it would be worth pointing out this article that reports it's
> possible in some cases to determine who runs a site because of shared
> analytics signatures. The writer notes that this risk isn't found in guides
> to anonymous blogging he consulted.
> Graham
> --
> Graham Webster
> g at
> web
> twitter @gwbstr

"I believe that usability is a security concern; systems that do
not pay close attention to the human interaction factors involved
risk failing to provide security by failing to attract users."
~Len Sassaman

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