[bdj] How To Blog Anonymously (and how not to) … Brooke Magnanti (aka Belle de Jour) gives a master class in how to avoid detection from the press and nosy bloggers like me

The timing of everything as it happened was key to why the papers did not immediately find out who I was. The old blog started in 2003, when most press still had to explain to their audience what a blog actually was. It took a while for people to notice the writing, so the mistakes I made early on (blogging from home and work, using Hotmail) had long been corrected by the time the press became interested.

Today, no writer who aims to stay anonymous should ever assume a grace period like that. It also helped that once the press did become interested, they were so convinced not only that Belle was not really a hooker but also that she was one of their own – a previously published author or even journalist – that they never looked in the right place. If they’d just gone to a London blogmeet and asked a few questions about who had pissed off a lot of people and was fairly promiscuous, they’d have had a plausible shortlist in minutes.

Tips On How To Blog Anonymously From Belle de Jour

This entry was posted on Monday, May 14th, 2012 at 8:00 am and is filed under Belle de Jour, Blogs, UKblogs.

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One thing missing that is an easy one is to turn off automatic image loading in email. As the email reader has to connect back to get the image info that can reveal an ip address where the request came from.

Brooke touches on that in the first section – using a webmail client is I think one of the riskiest things you can do if you wish to stay anonymous.

In an earlier blogpost Brooke also mentions an attempt by the Sunday Times to out her using some kind of trojan or image bug. Zoe Margolis has also commented in the past that she may have been outed by similar methods and the Police blogger Nightjack was outed by hacking his webmail account.

If you wish to remain anonymous using Hushmail seems to be one of the smartest moves you can make.

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