Anonymous Blogging with WordPress and Tor

April 18, 2008

A tangential follow-up to yesterday’s entry on uncensored blogging:

Ethan Zuckerman (co-founder of Global Voices Online) published a very thorough how-to guide titled “Anonymous Blogging with WordPress and Tor”, a free downloadable pdf available on the Global Voices Advocacy* website. Recognizing the dangers certain people face when they express themselves openly in certain environments, Zuckerman also wrote a technical guide back in 2005 that explains how a combination of web tools could be deployed to maintain a high level of anonymity. It was intended particularly for human rights activists, aid workers, and whistleblowers who needed to “ensure that their writing couldn’t be traced back to their identity”.

*Global Voices Advocacy is an online project whose goal is to “build a global anti-censorship network of bloggers and online activists throughout the developing world that is dedicated to protecting freedom of expression and free access to information online”. Different kinds of pirates! We love them just the same.
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BayWords: Uncensored Blogging from The Pirate Bay

April 17, 2008

The Pirate Bay, a controversial Swedish group that runs the “world’s largest BitTorrent tracker“, continues its daring and defiant quest to liberate file-sharing on the Internet by launching a new blogging service called BayWords. Expanding its persistent defense of freedom of speech and uncensored, open-source web, The Pirate Bay started BayWords to provide bloggers with a secure hosting service (using WordPress as its blogging engine) that will not shut down sites due to deviant content. From its manifesto-like homepage:

“Many blogs are being shut down for uncomfortable thoughts and ideas. We will not do that. Our goal is to protect freedom of speech and your thoughts. As long as you don’t break any Swedish laws in your blog, we will defend it.”

Since WordPress (blixity’s host) is based in the U.S., BayWords (like most of The Pirate Bay’s recent activities) is headed for an interesting adventure. In TorrentFreak yesterday, Matt Mullenweg of WordPress seemed cautious:

“WordPress.com supports free speech and doesn’t shut people down for “uncomfortable thoughts and ideas”, in fact we’re blocked in several countries because of that. However as a US-based companies we must comply with US laws, which means if the primary purpose of a blog is distributing illegal material it’s not a good fit for WordPress.com.”

Fortunately, The Pirate Bay has other open-source “No Copyright No License” projects in the works. BayImg is an uncensored image-hosting service, “a place where you can host all your images”. Slopsbox is an email service that protects users’ privacy. And as of May 2007, an uncensored video streaming site to compete with YouTube is apparently on the horizon. We love Pirates!