It's very hard to maintain an anonymous Twitter account that can withstand government-level attempts to de-anonymize it


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/02/20/its-very-hard-to-maintain-an.html


#2

If I had a way to send this article to myself 20 years ago I probably would have responded with “WTF is going on in the future? Are you guys ok? Also, give me 10 good stock picks and some Superbowl winners so I can afford to GTFO.”


#3

A phone number is compulsory for a twitter account? I was under the impression that an email was enough. Maybe it is different in different countries?


#4
  1. Any “rogue” government Twitter account is fake.
  2. Yes, that includes whichever one you’re thinking of.

#5

That’s certainly possible. But then why do you suppose they’re making the administration look so bad?


#6

Judging by POTUS tweets, I think at this point every Twitter account is making the administration look bad!


#7

As far as I know; the site does not require that one has a phone to be a Twit; just a viable email account and internet access.

This right here is why I NEVER use my phone for any kind of social media.


#8

Sounds like a business opportunity for someone to sell accounts.


#9

What about @RealDonaldTrump?

Seems pretty rogue


#10

For example, it wouldn’t be wise for Donald Trump to tweet, “The failing @theintercept keeps writing FAKE NEWS. Sad!” from his anonymous account, because people might suspect that he’s the person behind that account.

No no, that was John Barron, Mr Trump’s spokesperson. Unless it was John Miller


#11

The phone is to set up the account without providing an IP address or any other information about your computer, which would give you away pretty quick.


#12

Really? That sounds easier to me. IP addresses are not proof of anything, and OS and hardware footprints can be spoofed or anonymized. Giving the appearance of me signing up from a different area with a different system does not seem very difficult.


#13

Other than the very first National Parks acct, I think most of the others especially rogue potus staff is bullshit. Reading through the early tweets from that acct, pretty sure they are not American.


#14

As soon as you power on your burner phone, it will connect to cell phone towers, and the phone company will know your location. So, don’t activate your phone, or keep it powered on at all, at your home or office — instead, go to a public place, like a coffee shop, before activating your new phone. Keep it powered off while you’re not using it.

…and remove the battery.


#15

Well, if you ask me, the whole thing is overly convoluted just to have a secure anonymous Twitter account. Unless there’s verifiable evidence they actually know what they are talking about, who knows if it’s true or not, anyway?


#16

Or you slip some hobo $20 to go in and buy it for you. He doesn’t know you, he can’t identify you, even if they manage to get him on a witness stand his credibility is already shot due to being a crackhead or sterno bum or schizophrenic.


#17

I still don’t understand. You need an ip to connect to twitter anyway (or to anything else). I understand you are using TOR. Are you saying that twitter detects TOR and then requires a phone number?


#18

It’s to avoid the IP address associated with your desktop computer.


#19

I shall reiterate: Cyberpunk is not nearly as fun when you’re living in it as a rando NPC rather than playing as one of the main characters on game night.


#20

No, you use the browser on a burner smartphone. You’re not using the telephone functionality.