I'm in the Anoniblog meeting, one of the warm-up meetings to Blognashville. The point of this meeting is to look at ways we can help protect the anonymity of bloggers who are in physical danger of government or corporate reprisals if their identities become known.
Matthew Sheffield has been telling us some useful things about using p2p (peer-to-peer) networks for anonymous blogging. Check out his blog post on the topic. He talks about systems like Freenet and Mute.
Bennet Haselton of Peacefire: talks about "circumventor" software.
However, a number of people are pointing out that ultimately, there is no technical means that cannot be subverted if enough effort, resources, and means are applied. The fact that a person is frequently using proxies and encryption will attract attention. Also: If you really want anonymity, you should not post your blog entries yourself and must ask somebody to rewrite for you - because text analysis can always be used.
Alex Yuriev (CTO of Zubr Communications) agrees, you can't solve a social problem with purely technological solutions. If somebody really wants to catch you it's likely they will eventually succeed. The ultimate solutions, he believes, must be human and social.
Adam Shostack from Spirit of America asks: Do we need to spend more time on better technology or is the more important work needed now more related to the social structures and human interactions?
There is also the issue that solutions (both social and technical) will differ greatly from country to country and will change rapidly.
Hossein Derakhshan (Hoder) points out that sometimes low-tech and social solutions are best. Email is the best way to get around filters in Iran. He believes the best way people can help Iranian bloggers is:
1. do more to internationalize the software.
2. make simple technologies like RSS to e-mail.
3. link to weblogs that are not written from U.S. & Europe, so that bloggers who are risking jail to post know that they're actually being heard.
Other discussions & writings on anonymous blogging and related issues include:
- Ethan Zuckerman's post on onion routing, and earlier post on anonymous blogging.
- Also see the EFF's report on blogging safely.
- The most sophisticated internet filtering, monitoring and censorship system is in China. See the recent ONI China Filtering Report.