The hypnotist claimed to have coded the anonymizing software. According to a data security expert, this is unlikely.
A hypnotist Sami Minkkinen said on Friday in his Instagram stories that he had coded a software package that removes anonymity.
– It doesn’t matter if the author uses a library computer, a VPN connection or the Tor network – you can’t hide in the end, Minkkinen wrote.
– It’s great that we have such brilliant inventors who put Finland on the world map, information security expert Petteri Järvinen commented to Iltalehte with a twinkle in his eye on Saturday.
– Now he (Minkkinen) has to watch out for FBI, KGB and NSA agents, because they all want to seize his invention.
There is a clear reason for Järvinen’s wild rants: according to his information, coding the kind of software described is not possible.
– You would have to know if it is a technical invention or telepathic.
– If there was such a technical method, probably the police in Finland, Sweden and the United States, as well as Russian agents, would have already invented it and implemented it ages ago.
“Not a hacking tool”
Sami Minkkinen tells Iltalehti that the application he developed is not a hacking tool, and it is not based on monitoring online data.
According to Minkkinen, the application analyzes the structure of the language, and based on this, connects the author to other texts he has published.
– Over time, it (anonymity) is revealed to everyone who is an active writer.
Minkkinen talks about the software cautiously and, citing information security reasons and business secrets, does not reveal much about it.
According to Minkkinen, the application is able to recognize the people who write on the forums, as long as there is enough comparison material. Data is mined from public sources, and according to Minkkinen, it is constantly refined.
– The more people write on the forums, the better they can be identified.
According to Minkkinen, the application does not create any kind of register or process personal data.
Minkkinen has had the idea for a long time. He says that he got a kick out of the hate speech his spouse and public figures faced. Minkkinen says he spent one day on the design work, another day on the coding.
The work is still in progress. Minkkinen says that the web-based version can probably be tested in 2–3 weeks.
“Quite an upheaval”
Petteri Järvinen is familiar with software based on text analysis. He says the method is also used by the police.
– However, with this information, I think it is far-fetched that anonymity could be broken. It is possible to find similarities in the texts, but on a general level it seems impossible.
Järvinen signs the downsides of anonymity: anonymously or with the power of a pseudonym, you can bully, spread hate speech, cheat or blackmail.
According to Järvinen, software that breaks anonymity would also significantly affect freedom of speech.
– There are people who cannot talk in public on their own or who have reason to fear that revealing their identity will endanger their safety.
– In many countries, freedom of speech is weak. If there was a way to find out the identities, it would have shocking effects. Not only to the internet, but to the national security and political conditions of different countries. That would be quite an upheaval.