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[liberationtech] Outed via 'anonymous' email address.... Re: Anonymous blogger outed by analytics signature

Frank Corrigan email at
Thu Nov 17 14:02:21 PST 2011

I recently set up an 'anonymous' email address on - I naively
set up an alternative email address with a domain name that can be
traced back to be me. Not a problem you might say, but those who have
the email address can just go to:

type in the address [xxxxxxxx at ] press the 'forgot password'
section and get presented with a masked version of the backup email
addresses domain name, though I did not use [xxxx at]
but could have...

Though at least with aol there is no need to provide a back up email
with registering.


----- Original message -----
From: "G." <griffinboyce at>
To: "Graham Webster" <g at>
Cc: "liberationtech List" <liberationtech at>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 13:24:10 -0500
Subject: Re: [liberationtech] Anonymous blogger outed by analytics

Hi all,

  Yes, this is something one has to keep an eye on when *publishing*
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
across multiple sites you own.  A better option than using One analytics
account (company is irrelevant) is to simply create a different account
each site.

  Adsense has the same disadvantage.  If you run ads, switch over to
something like Project Wonderful that allows you to have multiple
 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
who you're trying to conceal your identity from.  If you're trying to
your identity from the US government, you'll have to go through a lot
trouble than if you're just trying to keep your employer from finding

  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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