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NEW! Anonymous Posting Is Here on AboveTopSecret.com

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posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 11:13 AM
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Yes it's true, non-members, secret agents, paranoid madmen, careful researchers, angry patriots and more can now post to AboveTopSecret.com with total anonymity.

Anonymous posting has been one of the "missing elements" from AboveTopSecret.com. Many discussion boards in our genre allow various levels of activity from unregistered anonymous users. But in many cases, it can devolve into a bedlam of one-liner posts, insults, and difficult to follow threads. We believe we've solved this issue and have integrated a means for unregistered users to participate in ATS.

All posts from anonymous users are displayed on a new ATS subdomain:
anon.abovetopsecret.com...


Special Announcements!

Anonymous posters can select from a list of our topic areas, including three new categories specifically for anonymous posting to the new subdomain (some members may want to use these as well), the are:

Announce: Protest or Group Gathering Use this to help promote special protests or meetings that fit within the "mindspace" of ATS. Normally we don't allow members to engage in this type of posting on ATS, but this service makes sense on our Anon domain.

Announce: Important Information or Conspiracy Event Is there a convention coping up that is of interest to conspiracists or fans of other ATS content. This is the perfect place to post an announcement and link to more detail.

Announce: Help Needed from All Conspiracists Are you doing research or looking for specific information? Here you can post a request, and perhaps see a response some time later... all in complete anonymity.


Guests Can Reply To Threads!

Guests now see a special "create anonymous post" link at the top of all threads. When they click on the link, they create a response to the thread complete with automatically embedded link to the thread.


Members Can Reply To Anonymous Posts

Each anonymous post has a link that enables ATS members to create a new thread based on the anonymous post, with embedded quote from the anonymous poster. This way, our members can notice an especially interesting post, then create a thread to expand upon the information.


Anonymous Account Created

When you post to the anonymous page, a unique username is created for you and stored in a cookie. This way, anonymous posters can retain a persistent identity throughout their posting history (no detail other than your unique name is recorded in our member database). In the future, we may evolve this feature to award some degree of member status to especially productive and informative anonymous users.


After we have a greater number of posts, we will provide a method to filter anonymous posts by category... but for now, the page displays all categories.




posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 11:15 AM
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But can't it be spammed by banned members?

I take it the posts will be watched and monitored like on ATS?

[edit on 26-12-2006 by infinite]



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 11:17 AM
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This is GREAT! I know many people who won't join unless they can post for a while and test the waters. And others who just don't want to be identified with a particular problem or point of view, but who want to get their thoughts out there. Bravo! Wonderful idea!

Nice hat.



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 11:17 AM
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The unheard will now be heard. The masses have been given a soapbox... A mighty soapbox...

Proceed to pontificate.



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by infinite
But can't it be spammed by banned members?

It might (and has been
) ... but such activity will likely only exemplify and confirm as to the reasons they were banned in the first place.

However, we have means to quickly remove marketing spam and other unsavory content. So fear not.



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 11:21 AM
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just a quick question...

if a member posts something anonymously and then logs out, do they receive a new anon_numberx when they log back in?

i find it sad that some members would post anonymously though - are they so afraid to speak their mind here under their own member name?



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 11:27 AM
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Originally posted by justyc
if a member posts something anonymously and then logs out, do they receive a new anon_numberx when they log back in?


There are two good reasons for ATS members to consider creating an anonymous post:

1) They have an important event of interest to ATS members they'd like to announce.

2) They have volatile information that deserves to be in the public, but would rather not post it under their normal username.

If an ATS member posts from the anon.abovetopsecret.com... domain, their post will be anonymous with a new anon_ username generated. However, when you return to the forum, your member account will still be active (the cookie is specific to the anon.ats subdomain, so we can't read it from the board's domain).



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 11:56 AM
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I like it!!!!!!!!!

It will be very interesting to read what many will like to say !!!!!while been anonymous!!!!!!!



I imagine that they still will have to abide by the site decorum . . . or do they get to post anything they want



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 12:32 PM
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Is it actually possible to remain truly 'anonymous' when posting to the interweb?

This is not a one line post.



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 12:56 PM
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Originally posted by KhieuSamphan
Is it actually possible to remain truly 'anonymous' when posting to the interweb?


No. And we make it clear there is a limit to the anonymous nature of this feature with this notice on the posting form:

Please note. The IP addresses of anonymous posters are retained and encrypted separate from your posts. We are legally required to retain the IP address of posters. This method ensures we meet that requirement while keeping your IP absolutely private and secure. If you post abusive or personal information, we may review the originating IP and block access to the domain.


However, our anonymous tool is more focused on allowing non-members to provide content without creating an account, enable members to share extraordinary content without revealing their account name, provide a means to announce important events, and reassure the very-paranoid with an ultra-secure IP retention system. (Only I have access to the IP', stored outside the post database, through a decryption key that is not stored on the site or database servers.)

Also, we do not keep logs on the web servers, so there is no way to look-up specific IP access through that method either.



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 01:00 PM
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It's a great idea theoretically, but I too am concerned that it will just be an invitation for people to bash each other and ATS, spam, and porno. It'll take a lot of work to keep it clean IMO.

I hope I'm wrong.



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 01:08 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
It'll take a lot of work to keep it clean IMO.


In the end... I think if 10% of the material is useful to ATS and the conspiracy theory community online, it will be worth the effort.

We've created tools that enable near effortless removal of spam and hate-crap... the rest is up to the people who use it.



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
In the end... I think if 10% of the material is useful to ATS and the conspiracy theory community online, it will be worth the effort.


the other 90% will be for our amusement



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Also, we do not keep logs on the web servers, so there is no way to look-up specific IP access through that method either.

This may be true, but surely there is a way for someone to trace specific IP data, if they wanted to, say, in relation to...



...important event(s) of interest to ATS members they'd like to announce.

Such as gatherings of 'like-minded people' (activists?), or maybe planned demonstrations etc..

Or,



...volatile information that deserves to be in the public, but would rather not post it under their normal username.

A whistleblower, perhaps, or a journalist, or maybe, again, an activist.

I suppose what I am getting at is that if someone posts information that could place them in the crosshairs of 'The Man', then the internet is probably not the best mode of dissemination...but then again, any subversive worth his salt will already know this.



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 01:38 PM
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This sounds like an interesting idea. It might be what some of the silent members need to get their feet wet.

One thing I figured out is you can't see the "create anonymous post" link unless you are logged off your user name, which makes sense.

I was wondering though, if someone posts an anonymous post to an existing thread, will it show up in the thread? From the description it doesn't sound like they will. If not, will there be a way to tell if any anonymous replies were made to a thread without going through all of them?

Maybe there could be a link for each thread that displays all the anonymous replies for that thread. I have no idea if that is even possible, but that would be pretty cool.



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 01:39 PM
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cool idea...but I went to the link and towards the bottom there were tons of one liners.
Along with the one liners were off the wall comments like "place-holder".

Again, if the system can delete these type of post, it might work.
It seems that people will loose interest if they have to wade through all the one-liners and off the wall comments.

Peace

dAlen



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 01:41 PM
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Originally posted by KhieuSamphan
but surely there is a way for someone to trace specific IP data, if they wanted to

No. On this page, there is no way it could happen... really.

No server logs.
No registration.
No IP recorded in the post database.
No ads or tracking (not even Google Analytics or the Big-Boards button) on the post form.



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 01:41 PM
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To be sure I'm understanding what this really means.....

I can post anonymously with respect to the mods/members who read the post, but I will not be anonymous with respect to the owners/admins of ATS, correct?

Always,
Shawnna



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by Shawnna
I can post anonymously with respect to the mods/members who read the post, but I will not be anonymous with respect to the owners/admins of ATS, correct?

The only thing I could see, if I want, is an IP address that is stored in a different database and which requires a secure decryption key... and only I have that key.

We originally intended not to record any IP's, but after some research and consultation with an expert on the matter, we would be breaking at least two applicable laws by not storing the IP in some way. So we picked a method where only one person has access, and the method is not something simple to do. That's as anonymous as *we* can be and avoid legal concerns. But certainly, there are additional measures concerned individuals can take.



posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
No. On this page, there is no way it could happen... really.

While I respect your sincerity, my tinfoil hat precludes me from accepting the idea that 'the authorities' cannot trace anonymous posts back to their originator without your assistance.

However, as a thought exercise, lets say the men in black cannot follow the electronic paper trail...

If an 'anonymous' post piques the interest of some agency somewhere, but is not neccesarily illegal, and pressure is brought to bear upon yourselves by said agency, can you guarantee that information will not be revealed that would lead back to the post originator.



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