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It's just a puzzle box!

3 April 2008 21:50


I've made a new release of the chronicle blog compiler, primarily to allow the "Subject:" header to be used for new blog subjects.

(That allows new entries to be automatically posted via email, with an appropriate procmail setup. I'll add one as an example shortly.)

RSS Utility

Whilst on the subject of RSS creation (huh?) I've written a tiny utility which will create an RSS feed from a list of text files. It will also create an index.html file to match.

To see why this is useful you could view my recent changelog.

I think there is a need for a small tool to read files and create feeds from them - like mod_index_rss does, but without messing with Apache.

If there is any interest I'd be happy to release the code, as-is it doesn't use a template..

Anonymous Hosting?

Online privacy is important. Mostly when this is discussed it is in the context of client-side anonymity.

Looking at it from the other side, though, How do you host a website anonymously?

You could register the domain via a proxy, or with bogus details. But if you host the site yourself the IP address may be traced to the hosting provider, and that may be used to trace back to you.

So, the alternatives? Well you could use a hosted site such as livejournal / wordpress / googlepages / etc. But pretty surely they'll be able to trace content back to you - and if you don't host it there's a high chance they'll just pull it if you talk about "bad things". (I guess you could use TOR for uploading / your connections there.)

So, going back to the question. How can you host something, easily accessible to the world, without risk of your identity/association being discovered?

I'm, obviously, ignoring FreeNet. Two reasons for that:

  • It's slow, has no search-engine goodness, and is unproven.
  • It requires an atypical client. Aunt Milly won't be able to surf Freenet...

I almost think the best way forward would be to write a site which was a proxy for a file-sharing protocol, then link people to items that way. Relying on the swarm to host the files..

The downside is that you'd have to have a convincing argument for when RIAA comes calling, suggesting that you're sharing their stuff too. If it wasn't a general purpose proxy then the deniability is gone, and if it is you're at risk of general copyright infringement claims.

Hard problem. Shame.

ObQuote: HellRaiser