Question regarding Anonymity and Youtube

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The Great Hippo
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Question regarding Anonymity and Youtube

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:24 am UTC

I'm writing a short story (for fun!) where a character (who is more tech-savvy than myself) wants to upload a youtube video anonymously. He does this by going to a public library, connecting to the Tor network, creating a dummy youtube account, and uploading the video.

In writing that sentence, it occurred to me: I don't actually know that much about Tor, youtube, or uploading things anonymously -- so it bears asking those who do know -- is that a pretty reasonable way to ensure your Youtube video uploads remain anonymous?

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bachaddict
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Re: Question regarding Anonymity and Youtube

Postby bachaddict » Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:43 am UTC

All the library computers I've used are very carefully locked down so you can't run any unauthorised programs (like the tor browser)
Tor should be safe enough to use from home.
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The Great Hippo
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Re: Question regarding Anonymity and Youtube

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:33 pm UTC

bachaddict wrote:All the library computers I've used are very carefully locked down so you can't run any unauthorised programs (like the tor browser)
Tor should be safe enough to use from home.
Cool -- thanks!

Story
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Re: Question regarding Anonymity and Youtube

Postby Story » Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:47 am UTC

First you'd have to figure out how to anonymously create a Google account. Given that they presumably have to screen out spam bots, it might not be easy to create over Tor, and you usually need to provide a phone number or something.

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roflwaffle
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Re: Question regarding Anonymity and Youtube

Postby roflwaffle » Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:48 pm UTC

It's good for psuedo-anonymous communication, where you're trying to hide your identity from other people in general, but I think large government agencies can figure out what is sent from where via traffic analysis.

http://thestack.com/chakravarty-tor-tra ... sis-141114

LighteningJim
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Re: Question regarding Anonymity and Youtube

Postby LighteningJim » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:41 pm UTC

It may not be possible from Library computer, but it is not very difficult to make an anonymous account and share a video on youtube. Don't want to go in detail but it is not very difficult. Hopefully, you'll figure it out yourself.

Tub
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Re: Question regarding Anonymity and Youtube

Postby Tub » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:59 am UTC

Even TOR isn't completely safe. I'd always assume that it's possible to trace the video back to the uploader's IP address. Depending on your local laws, the ISP will log which person used the IP for variying lengths of time.
And you don't want anyone to associate the upload with your IP. Nor with the IP of a library just around the corner.

What I'd do is this:
a) prepare an anonymous laptop: install a lightweight linux distribution with nothing but a browser and a copy of the video.
b) travel to a remote city that is in no way connected to you. Leave your cell phone at home. Use anonymous public transportation, paid in cash.
c) find an open WLAN. Starbucks works, or maybe the library. If you're concerned about security cameras, disguise yourself. Again, pay in cash.
d) use HTTPS for everything. Don't use the connection for anything but uploading (and maybe promoting) the video.
e) Leave. Format and reinstall the laptop, get rid of your disguise etc.

That should make it pretty hard for anyone to trace the upload back to anything other than the public wlan. I suppose one could try to assemble security footage to try to trace you back to your home town, but getting access to footage from starbucks/library/mall, the buses and public roads you took and all the trains wouldn't be easy. Not sure how many of those even have security cameras and how long they're kept.

For extra paranoia, upload the video, but keep it hidden. Do a second trip to a different city months later, switch the video to public, then leave.


Of course that's all money and effort, and unlikely to be worth it unless you're pissing off the NSA directly. And if you did, it'd probably just get deleted, so all your sneaking around was in vain. Maybe you just want to snail mail a disc to a reporter or news station, and let them do the rest?
If you're just pissing off a company or private person, using any public WLAN should suffice. They don't have the authority to request surveillance footage.



One thing you should be aware of is that most of today's file formats contain meta information. Some encoders will add their name and date of creation, some may add the computer name, name of the logged in user or something similar.
If the footage is filmed, you have to be very very careful about background noises. Sometimes it's even possible to extract the 50Hz sound of a power supply and use slight variations in the frequency to determine the location the video was shot in (wish I could find the link - sorry!).

So not only do you need to be careful about uploading anonymously, you also need to be very very careful for the video you're uploading to be free of incriminating information.

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Wildcard
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Re: Question regarding Anonymity and Youtube

Postby Wildcard » Wed May 20, 2015 8:26 am UTC

Wow, I don't have anything to add about how to post anonymously on YouTube, but I just wanted to say...
Tub wrote:very specific instructions
@Tub: I was wondering if you had read this?
The Great Hippo wrote:I'm writing a short story (for fun!) where a character (who is more tech-savvy than myself) wants to upload a youtube video anonymously....
(If so, that's cool. I mean, your post was fascinating to read. Almost frightening, in fact. But just wanted to make sure you noticed what the question was about....)
There's no such thing as a funny sig.

Tub
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Re: Question regarding Anonymity and Youtube

Postby Tub » Fri May 22, 2015 6:27 am UTC

I'm aware that it's for a short story. But since the point was to make the character behave realistically, why should I reply with anything but real world pitfalls and real world solutions?


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