anon
Do you love to troll? Are you one of those people who blog anonymously about things you hate? Well, watch your words because Berkeley and Stanford researchers suddenly made it a lot easier to find people like you (with some fine print as well).

Something called linguistic stylometry allowed the team of researchers at Berkeley and Stanford to create an “algorithm that can often match existing bodies of writing–for which the author is known–with anonymous postings.” If you were concerned in the beginning of this post, worry not, this technology is mostly aimed toward online security, especially considering the rise of hacktivism. Organizations like Anonymous and Wikileaks have forced authorities to step up the security game, but how much can they improve without invading the privacy of a bystander?

We’re also a bit skeptical of the technology. We’re all for security because we love the secrets we hide in our computers as much as the next person, but the researches were reportedly able “to correctly identify authors 20 percent of the time when analyzing a ‘corpus of texts from 100,000 authors’ for which they had an average of 20 posts per person.” Sure, we bet it makes the FBI go through a lot less paperwork, but 20 percent doesn’t sound effective no matter how you put it. The accuracy of this algorithm goes up when the number posts increase but only to 35 percent.

Do you think this technology is necessary? Do you support organizations like Anonymous? Until the next Clog post … be wary of what you put up as well. *Cue dramatic music*

Image source: lyk3_0n3_tym3 under Creative Commons
How Anonymous Are Your Online Posts? [InformationWeek Security]



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