AnonPaste features the basic functionality you'd expect, including the ability to expire a paste after 10 minutes, one hour, one day, one month, one year, or never. There's one big problem though: the pastes are hosted on PLF's website.
While you can paste your content on anonpaste.tk, you get redirected to peoplesliberationfront.net when you hit the Send button. For example, here's a paste I made: peoplesliberationfront.net/anonpaste/index.php?308913c82f300cd3#aweRz3sHi72hC0s/VsyXCncwQ3Epg7BTaq9KvMr+FWs=.
That's a ridiculously long URL. There's a "Shorten URL" button, but it just redirects you to snipurl.com. This is a pain. The good news is that this is "AnonPaste Alpha 0.11" so maybe the two groups will eventually host everything on the anonpaste.tk domain.
Pastebin, which has over 200,000 members and 17 million unique visitors per month, has been the de facto choice for hackers who want to publicly post data they have stolen from their targets. Hacker pastes ranges from something simple, like a list of sites that have been hacked, to very detailed information, including administrator credentials for website servers, credit card numbers, phone numbers, e-mail addresses with corresponding passwords, and even home addresses.
Here's how the two groups announced the new site, on AnonPaste of course:
As many might be aware, PasteBin has been in the news lately for making some rather shady claims as to what they are willing to censor, and when they are willing to give up IP addresses to the authorities. And as a recent leak of private E-Mails show clearly, PasteBin is not only willing to give up IP addresses to governments - but apparently has already given many IPs to at least one private security firm. And these leaked E-Mail's also revealed a distinct animosity towards Anonymous. And so the PLF and Anonymous have teamed up to offer a paste service truly free of all such nonsense.
AnonPaste is built using open source software called ZeroBin, a "minimalist online pastebin where the server has zero knowledge of pasted data," according to the two groups. To improve on it, they are asking for donations via BitCoins or WePay.
The duo wants to emphasize the following five AnonPaste features:
That middle point could cause problems later down the road. Without the option to delete content, authorities might argue the site breaks privacy laws. Free speech is one thing, but being able to remove hate speech and other illegal content is quite another.
When Pastebin first announced it wanted to hire more staff to remove pastes, many speculated hacktivist groups were specifically being targeted. With AnonPaste, groups like Anonymous and LulzSec no longer have to worry:
Paste services have become very popular, and many people want to post controversial material. This is especially so for those involved in Information Activism. We feel that it is essential that everyone, and especially those in the movement - have a safe and secure paste service that they can trust with their valuable and often politically sensitive material. As always, we believe in the radical notion that information should be free.
We'll have to wait and see if the various offshoots of Anonymous choose to use AnonPaste. When I wrote about the Anonymous China hacks earlier this month, Pastebin was used multiple times for multiple leaks. A week later, after the Pastebin announcement, the group was still hacking away, but had already switched to Pastebay.
Regardless of whether it's AnonPaste or Pastebay, I think we'll be seeing a lot less of Pastebin when it comes to anything ranging from script kiddies to hackers.