An anonymous blog is a blog without any acknowledged author or contributor. Anonymous bloggers may achieve anonymity through the simple use of a pseudonym, or through more sophisticated techniques such as layered encryption routing, manipulation of post dates, or posting only from publicly accessible computers.[1] Motivations for posting anonymously include a desire for privacy or fear of retribution by an employer (e.g., in whistleblower cases), a government (in countries that monitor or censor online communication), or another group.

Deanonymizing techniques

Fundamentally, deanonymization can be divided into two categories:

These techniques may be used together. The order of techniques employed typically escalates from the social correlation techniques, which do not require the compliance of any outside authorities (e.g., Internet providers, server providers, etc.), to more technical identification.


Just as a blog can be on any subject, so can an anonymous blog. Most fall into the following major categories:

Recently, anonymous blogging has moved into a more aggressive and active style, with organized crime groups such as the Mafia using anonymous blogs against mayors and local administrators in Italy.[17]

How online identity is determined

IP addresses

An IP address is a unique numerical label assigned to a computer connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.[18] The most popular implementation of the Internet Protocol would be the Internet (capitalized, to differentiate it from smaller internetworks). Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are allocated chunks of IP addresses by a Regional Internet registry, which they then assign to customers. However, ISPs do not have enough addresses to give the customers their own address. Instead, DHCP is used; a customer's device (typically a modem or router) is assigned an IP address from a pool of available addresses. It keeps that address for a certain amount of time (e.g., two weeks). If the device is still active at the end of the lease, it can renew its connection and keep the same IP address. Otherwise, the IP address is collected and added to the pool to be redistributed. Thus, IP addresses provide regional information (through Regional Internet registries) and, if the ISP has logs, specific customer information. While this does not prove that a specific person was the originator of a blog post (it could have been someone else using that customer's Internet, after all), it provides powerful circumstantial evidence.

Word and character frequency analysis

Character frequency analysis takes advantage of the fact that all individuals have a different vocabulary: if there is a large body of data that can be tied to an individual (for example, a public figure with an official blog), statistical analysis can be applied to both this body of data and an anonymous blog to see how similar they are. In this way, anonymous bloggers can tentatively be deanonymized.[19] This is known as stylometry; adversarial stylometry is the study of techniques for resisting such stylistic identification.

See also


  1. ^ "Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress & Tor". Global Voices Advocacy. Global Voices Online. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  2. ^ "How to Blog Safely". Electronic Frontier Foundation. 11 April 2005. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  3. ^ Sandhya Menon (February 15, 2010). "For the love of change and blogging". Times of Oman.
  4. ^ Schemo, Diana (September 8, 2008). "Wonder wonk unmasked". New York magazine. New York Media.
  5. ^ Chris Elliott (13 June 2011). "Open door: The authentication of anonymous bloggers". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  6. ^ Wright, Robin (27 October 2016). "The Secret Eye Inside Mosul". The New Yorker. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Media, spiritualities and social change". Reference & Research Book News. August 1, 2011.
  8. ^ Charlie Taylor (27 August 2010) "Red Cross blogger reveals identity" Irish Times
  9. ^ "Irish Red Cross: 15 Dec 2010: Dáil debates (". Retrieved 2020-12-06.
  10. ^ Flynn, Nancy (October 1, 2006). "Need-to-know basics of workplace blogging". Voice of America, Work & Family Life.
  11. ^ Waters, Darren (July 20, 2005). "Summary about Dooce By BBC". BBC News. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  12. ^ Joe Garofoli (January 13, 2007). "KSFO radio hosts take on blogger's allegations". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  13. ^ Thomas, Christine (February 5, 2012). "Explore life's conundrums". Honolulu Star.
  14. ^ Sarah Wu/Mrs Q. (October 5, 2011). Fed Up with Lunch: The School Lunch Project. # Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-1452102283.
  15. ^ Abby Lee (5 Mar 2010). Girl With a One Track Mind: Exposed: Further Revelations of a Sex Blogger. Pan. ISBN 978-0330509695.
  16. ^ "THE LATEST WEAPON TO FIGHT EXTRA FLAB - BLOGGING!". Hindustan Times. January 27, 2009.
  17. ^ "Fewer bullets, more blogging". The Sunday Herald. December 4, 2011.
  18. ^ RFC 760, DOD Standard Internet Protocol (January 1980)
  19. ^ Schneier, Bruce. "Identifying People by their Writing Style". Schneier on Security. Retrieved 20 October 2014.