TTFA2: Anonymous Blogs and Websites

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Anonymous Blogs and Websites

According to the statement provided to the Court on 22nd November 2010 by the barrister instructed by the University of Salford,it states unambiguously that ... Automattic Inc (WordPress)were prepared to make a “voluntary disclosure” of the website’s creator .... What I find truly astonishing is that WordPress did not appear question the sheer extensiveness of the UoS request for information within this ‘Document request’...this is in my opinion, a clear breach of privacy and has far reaching implications for all bloggers who have an account with WordPress. Gary Duke (University of Salford lecturer sued for libel) [blogging-anonymously#InsertNoteID_8 1]

This chapter will;

  • Recommend more secure blogs and websites
  • Explore the issues of anonymous blogging
  • Explore different ways and tools to blog anonymously

Get a secure blog/website at Network23.org

You can sign up for a blog or website at network23.org. They have a similar commitment to not log any personal data. This service does keep a copy of your email address for password resets. To keep anonymity make sure to sign up from an independent email - See chapter on email for more info.

These services do keep a copy of your email address for password resets so do make sure to sign up from an independent email - See chapter on email for more info.

You can also get a blog that doesn't log your ip address at https://blogsport.eu and https://noblogs.org

Get more secure hosting

Wordpress is Free Software which you can install on your own server. If you set up your server correctly then you can make sure that the people posting on your blogs are not at risk of leaving personal data. Other website software like Joomla and Drupal can also be set up in this way.

We would define 'secure' here as a hosting service that doesn't log the IP addresses or details of those uploading or viewing the site. This can be achieved by installing the 'remove ip' module for Apache.

Tachanka offer solid, security and privacy concious website hosting facilities to radical and grassroots groups internationally.

ox4.org was set up by some activists in the Oxford area who in their words like doing activism, supporting activism infrastructure, and techie stuff. Most of their sites are Oxford based, and their level of security is not as high as Tachanka.

Tech Tools for Activists is working to try to implement the Social Contract for Communications Providers which is a way of formalising some of the secure ways of working and hosting. We would be very happy to work with other collectives to try to implement this.

Issues of Mainstream Blogging sites

Many activists and campaign groups use sites that offer free blogging like blogger.com or wordpress.com. However, there can be issues with the logging of IP addresses which can reveal the identity of the posters and can be then handed over to authorities dependent on court decisions. There have been cases where the service Wordpress.com has handed over identities of bloggers and taken down websites on request of the authorities.

There are different ways you can set up and update a blog or website anonymously.

Using Anonymous Browsing

'See the chapter on using VPN, Tor and other ways to browse the Internet anonymously.

Wordpress Networks

If you are interested in setting up a server for blogging then one way of doing it so that you save time and effort is to set up a Wordpress Network. This is a multi-user set up which can reduce the amount of work that the site admins have to do. When you update the code for the main site it updates all of the subsites too.

The process of using a Wordpress network blog is nearly identical to using a normal Wordpress blog. There is a help guide on the basics of using Wordpress on the FlossManuals site. You can find it here: https://imc.li/xsria

What Next?

  • You can sign up for a free secure blog or website at Network23.org
  • Spread the word and encourage people and campaign groups to move any insecure blogs
  • (If you are a bit techie) Get together with some trusted friends to set up your own secure service for anonymous blogs
  • Install the remove ip module on your server
  1. http://manchestermule.com/article/university-sues-sacked-lecturer-for-libel
  2. https://network23.org/sign-up/
  3. https://we.riseup.net/debian/apache
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