Question about (cypher)Twitter

Tyler Durden camera_lumina at
Sun Jan 23 18:05:32 PST 2011

> Are you thinking specifically about the request for info on Wikileaks
> followers? If you just follow the public RSS of that twitter account
> (assuming it is public) surely they don't have any info on you,
> because you haven't had to join twitter to do that. I must admit, I
> don't have much of an idea of how twitter handles that stuff, as I
> haven't used it for a few years.

> silky

Well, say for instance you're in Iran or Tunisia. You want to keep up with
where protests are occuring or where the JBTs have recently been seen. BUT,
said authorities somehow obtain a list of subscribers to that Twitter feed and
go chase them down. If the tweets can somehow get routed into a TOR-ish cloud
and then pass through some service located therein, it could be made
impossible for the authorities to find where those Tweets are going.

Of course, as twitter is an American company, you could argue that in Iran
they would not be able to get ahold of a such a list. But consider it possible
(through various means) for them to obtain such a list. That list, then,
becomes veritable gold insofar as it lets the authorities know who a large
number of troublemakers are. (Of course, this could never happen in the US
where civil liberties are so highly respected.)

RSS is OK, better than nothing, but in many situations (ie, with dumbphones or
where conditions are rapidly changing), a pull model has some distinct
disadvantages to twitter's push model. Or am I missing something? Seems both
real time as well as anonymity are hard to do in this context. (I'm assuming
that if a twitfeed is sent to an RSS-iator, then authorities could see that
and then find who is subscribing to the RSS.)


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