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If you thought you could easily be anonymous on social media, think again.
Cybersecurity expert Jeff Kosseff warned that people are losing their ability to be anonymous online. He said he thinks “everyone should be concerned about being able to be tracked by companies and by the government and want to figure out a way to avoid that outcome.” Kosseff authored The Twenty-Six Words that Created the Internet and just released a new book titled The United States of Anonymous about First Amendment protections for anonymous speech.
The new book covered the history of anonymous free speech from American colonial writings penned with pseudonyms to online usernames. Kosseff explained how the courts have upheld anonymity as a First Amendment right of speakers who otherwise may have remained silent. Kosseff also explored the challenges of protecting anonymity on social media. “[P]eople don’t realize that data points, even if they don’t contain your name, can identify you,” said Kosseff in an MRC Free Speech America exclusive.
In The United States of Anonymous , Kosseff vividly explained how social media posts can identify users. He recalled a 2015 presentation given by Navy Lt. Zac Dannelly who demonstrated software that could “build geolocation-based profiles” using public social media posts. According to Kosseff, Dannelly used a West Point cadet as an example.
“With a few clicks, Dannelly managed to trace his movements, pinpointing details such as the cadet’s hometown (and, in fact, home address thanks to geolocation tags on his social media posts) and where he visits for vacation,” Kosseff wrote. “All this came not from highly sensitive databases of confidential information, but social media posts and check-ins that the cadet voluntarily provided to the world.”
Kosseff explained to MRC Free Speech America that when users offer multiple pieces of information about themselves “there might only be one person […]
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We Often Feel Like David Taking on Giants
Today’s Goliath is the Mainstream Media Industrial Complex that brainwashes the masses.
Our mission is very straightforward: To counter the false narratives and nefarious agendas destroying America today. It isn’t easy for obvious reasons; despite incredible growth over the last year we are still a very tiny fish in a huge media pond. But we’re fighting and we will continue to do so, Lord willing, for as long as we possibly can. The battle for America’s present and future is too important for us to back down to the giants that stand in our way.
We need help. I don’t want to say “desperately,” but the need is definitely great. If you have the means, please donate through our GivingFuel page, PayPal, or our Substack page. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!