Anti-Privacy 1.0 (Beta)

Somebody is watchingImagine you are a systems administrator at a major ISP. The company’s servers log every page your clients visit, and due to your position you have full and unrestricted access to those logs. This comes in handy when troubleshooting network problems, but nobody would find out if you browsed somebody’s web history for other reasons (like curiosity). Would you do it?

Now imagine you are a typical Internet user. You’ve got a bit of technical background, so you know that your ISP and some other companies (e.g. Google) could easily track your browsing habbits – if they wanted to. Imagine you knew for certain that at least one anonymous person was actually tracking what pages you visit. How would you feel?

Anti-Privacy is a little social experiment that gives you the opportunity to explore both of these perspectives.

In more practical terms, it’s a Greasemonkey script that automatically twitters every URL you visit. You install the script, insert your Twitter credentials into the source code (it’s beta, remember? 馃槢 ), and your browsing history becomes public from then on. The script ignores HTTPS sites and localhost by default, but any other page is tweeted as soon as it loads. Welcome to the (semi)transparent society, netizen.

You can see an actual example feed here :


You will need the Greasemonkey addon to use this script. Once you’ve got Greasemonkey up and running, right-click the link below and select “Install userscript”.

anti-privacy.user.js (6 KB)

To configure the userscript, go to Tools -> Greasemonkey -> Manage User Scripts…, select the “Anti-Privacy” script and click the Edit button. Then change the twitter_username and twitter_password variables to your Twitter credentials.

I wanted to make an Opera-compatible version because Opera is my favorite browser. However, it’s userscripting capabilities are very limited, so the script needs a server-side proxy to use TinyURL and post Twitter updates.

The download below includes both the userscript and the PHP proxy script. You should upload the PHP file to your own site and change the .js file to use the new URL. You can also use the proxy script I’ve installed on this server (the default setting), but be warned that I may take it down without warning. (2 KB)

For installation instructions see Using user Javascript in Opera. You’ll also need to edit the userscript and insert your Twitter username/password as indicated in the file.


This software is the polar opposite of secure. It’s also buggy. No sane human should use it. Ever. Well, unless you really want to.

Image source : Theron Trowbridge @ flickr

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7 Responses to “Anti-Privacy 1.0 (Beta)”

  1. underworld says:

    Nice idea! grease monkey is so underused and although I wouldn’t want to stick this on mine – It could also be a funny way to prank your friends!!

  2. White Shadow says:

    Heh, that nasty possibility is one of the reasons why I didn’t make the installation process more user-friendly. This way it actually takes a little bit of work to get it installed, which should deter a few pranksters.

    Or I might be shooting myself in the foot with that approach 馃檪

  3. This is a bit extreme, I’m not sure it’s worth giving up that much privacy. I understand publishing favorite links, but every page… Now I can see exactly how unproductive you are 馃槈

  4. White Shadow says:

    It really is an experiment. I don’t have an opinion about whether good or bad, I just want to see what happens. Also, there’s already a bajillion of sites/tools for publishing favorite links; no point in reinventing that wheel.

    I’m being unproductive, yay 馃檪 Tough I guess it’s true – so far, I’ve spent this week reviewing dozens of frameworks/databases/whatever, looking for suitable components for my “Next Big Project™”. And Reddit.

  5. […] that’s a fun, yet a bit extreme, use for Twitter. Anti Privacy is a Greasemonkey extension (ie javascript) bit that, simply put, tweets every URL you visit, as […]

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  7. pure insanity! i guess if you haven’t done anything wrong then you’ve got nothing to hide from the greasy eye of the monkey!

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