In MAKE Volume 15, we ran a simple 5-step project on how to acquire a bulletproof, anonymous online identity. Every day this knowledge seems to get more relevant. The article was authored by Publius, who “prefers to write anonymously about anonymity.” Published in August of 2008, the intro reads:
In May of this year, a judge ordered Facebook to turn over the identity of someone who created a fake profile of a high school official. Other school officials have sued over fake MySpace profiles. Not all judges take free speech rights seriously; even fewer high school and university administrators do. Setting up an anonymous blog or website is the obvious way to protect yourself from being punished for speaking out, but is this legitimate? And if so, how can you accomplish it?
Anonymous speech has a long and distinguished history. It was part of the political debate leading to the rift with Great Britain; revolutionaries relied on it to conceal their identities from the Crown. The tradition continued with the Federalist Papers, which presented arguments for ratifying the U.S. Constitution. They were published in the 1780s under pseudonyms including “Publius.” The authors of the Anti-Federalist Papers, who predicted that the Constitution would lead to a tyrannical central government, used aliases including “Federal Farmer.”
Internet anonymity is something of a high-wire tightrope act: one tiny technological misstep, and you’re doomed. Fortunately, technologies for anonymous website publishing are both secure and, finally, easy to use. You can create an anonymous or pseudonymous persona that’s proof against not just random busybodies, but attorneys armed with subpoenas too. (You should be familiar with relevant state and federal laws, of course, and do nothing illegal.)
Want to know how? Check out the full article in our Digital Edition.
You can still pick up a back issue of MAKE, Volume 15, our Music issue, over in the Maker Shed!