[tor-talk] Anonymous Publishing Is Dead.

Anonymous Person anonymousperson90 at in.com
Sat Jun 30 13:15:33 PDT 2012

I know it is dead, because I have tried to do it, and I can assure you  it is
dead.Text is easy of course  I can still blast a simple email out to a mailing
list, I can lay my claims out in 7bit ASCII and let the world judge the merits
solely on this simple medium.But media  publishing a story with supporting
images, scans, video or audio  it is dead, left only to the elites. And
perhaps worst of all is the promise made by all of you that if you just....
try a little harder, if you just use this service over here, if you just think
about it another way  that it is still possible.It is not.Some time ago as an
experiment I began the process to publish material fully anonymously  no
compromises.I obtained a prepaid line of credit, paid in cash, verified with a
prepaid telephone, also paid in cash, and only turned on in an ambiguous
physical location.And I set about to find a Virtual Private Server I could run
a Tor Hidden Service on.My requirements throughout all of this were si
 mple: use Tor for everything, pay cash or cashequivalent for everything,
leave no account on a service run by a US/UK/AUS/NZ/CA company, have the VPS
hosted outside the same, pay a reasonable sum.I needed an email of
course.Nymservers like http://isnotmy.name/ or http://mixnym.net should have
been the solution  but of course they didn't work.No amount of guesswork or
trial and error got me a nym.Free webmail became the next goal.The more
trustworthy (gmail), the less satisfactorily anonymous it was.The easier it
was to register (in.com)  the less trustworthy it was deemed.After signing up
for a lowtrust but easytoget email, I narrowed down my hosting options to a
group of VPS in the price range, hosted outside the 'bad' countries, and whose
company itself was also outside.There aren't a lot.The next problem became
finding a VPS I could pay for.You see, most VPS sellers are small resellers
and don't process their own credit cards  they outsource it to a payment
processor, usu
 ally Paypal. Paypal doesn't work.Paypal or AlertPay  too stringent
verification; Liberty Reserve  blocks Tor; CashU  no easily found online
merchant able to convert from a prepaid Credit Card; one after another all
online payment methods fell by the wayside.You might think 'Bitcoin'.You would
be wrong.No bitcoin service accepts any anonymous funding source  most only
accept bank transfers.Apparently people performed chargebacks on credit cards
to defraud the merchants.I can't blame them for this, but it certainly kills
the idea of 'anonymity'.And I don't trust the blockchain to provide
anonymity.After finding one of three or four VPS' I thought I could pay for, I
encountered the next obstacle: MaxMind.MaxMind is a fraud detector built into
WHMCompleteSolution which in turn is the VPS management tool used by every
budget VPS.I set off every detector it had: proxy software, low trust email
account, strange addresses, no valid phone number, etc etc.When I inquired to
one compan
 y about this, I was laughed off.Even though I was willing to let them charge
my card and sit on it for a month before providing service  no such luck.At
this point, I needed to find a company large enough they processed their own
credit cards, didn't block Tor, and didn't use fraud detectors.I found one, a
competitor to Amazon EC2, that I thought I could fall through the cracks of.It
didn't like my low trust email address, but after enough searching, I found an
ISP I could get an account on without paying.After getting that, creating and
verifying an account, and finally set up to make my payment... the prepaid
card is declined.There's no explanation, it just didn't work.I thought at this
point, perhaps there was a service that could be used.There was an
announcement recently: http://karelbilek.com/anontorrent/ Supposedly this guy
will seed anything until it has 20 seeders of its own.Except the file limit is
50MB.And you can't upload copyrighted material.How about any of the
  muchacclaimed 'leak sites' that spun up after Wikileaks shuttered their wiki
and submission system?Well, I went through all of these:
leakdirectory.org/index.php/LeakSiteDirectory and all of them seemed to be
either wannabes who had never published a thing or news organizations who were
security illiterate and had no way to accept content.Anonymous Publishing Is
Dead.You may seek to respond with the 'right way' to do it, the company you
know will let me fall through the cracks, the trick you use to whitelie your
way through the process.Don't bother.If there is a way through, and I'm not
convinced there is, it is so difficult to find that a technically unsavvy user
would never be able to; and even technically savvy users like myself  who
understand all the tricks of firewalling off my machine so nothing but Tor
escapes  are groping blindly for it, unlikely to find it.What can be done
about this?What compromises are 'safe'?Is a Hidden Service sufficiently
trustworthy to host
 any material, and have it stand up to investigation when the server running
it is in your name?Is the correct approach not to publish anonymously at all,
as cryptome.org does?Should we rely on the Streisand effect, bittorrent,
newsgroups, something else?These are mostly rhetorical questions.My purpose in
this email is to tell you that anonymous publishing is an unsolved problem.Any
solution available today is not robust: it falls down in some situation:
content, capacity, anonymity, or something else.What can be done about it?
What will be done about it?Dear tortalk! Get Yourself a cool, short @in.com
Email ID now!
tor-talk mailing list
tor-talk at lists.torproject.org

----- End forwarded message -----
Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE

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