Thursday , June 21, 2018

Editorial: Internet footprints: What you leave behind

THE expose of Edward Angelo "Cocoy" Dayao as the man behind several anti-Duterte blogs and social media accounts underscores what security experts has been warning us about: the footprints you leave behind that can compromise your privacy.

Filipinos are active on the internet, but very few are concerned about their privacy. This was already apparent in the first expose by the social media bloggers who are supportive of the President when they exposed a Yahoo! Group Chat, which was set on public, meaning, anyone can access the conversation initiated by US-based billionaire Loida Nicolas-Lewis and her sister Imelda Nicolas on how to create a negative image for the Philippines and as a result destroy President Rodrigo Duterte.

Her blurb has since become popular: "Doesn't have to be true. Just needs to LOOK like that." Nicolas-Lewis has since been identified as the one bankrolling anti-Duterte activities in the United States and is an avid supporter during the 2016 campaign period of candidate Mar Roxas and Vice President Leni Robredo.

Like the #LeniLeaks where Nicolas-Lewis was exposed, the identification of Dayao, said to be a former staff of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) during President Benigno Aquino III's administration, the expose of who is behind the anti-Duterte blogs were done by political bloggers RJ “Thinking Pinoy” Nieto and Sass Rogando Sasot.

Sought out to explain how they were able to find out that the SilentNoMore PH,, madamclaudiaako, and Madam Claudia Official Page on Facebook,,,,, NDuterte on Facebook,, backroompolitics on Facebook,,,,,, and has only one single person leading the pack. Nieto explained that they got a lead on Dayao when netizens reported the domain registration information of the Pinoy Ako Blog.

"Tapos out of curiosity ni reverse lookup namin yung Google ads (Then out of curiosity, we did a reverse lookup of the Google ads)," Nieto said thru Messenger.

By that simple action, they were able to dig up the domain registration information on Google Adsense. Nieto described Google Adsense as the most popular way to earn money from a website. Except that, Google requires site administrators to verify their identity and physical addresses before they are even allowed to insert ads in their websites. Meaning, there is one large footprint there.

The excuse of Pinoy Ako Blog that Dayao is their webmaster and that they got their domain from him just does not wash simply because this is not about the domain, but about who gets to earn from the website. No web owner in his right mind would give away the earnings of a website to the webmaster, Every blogger who earns his keeps from blogging knows that.

The fact that Dayao did not even realize that his full name, address, email, and phone number can easily be tracked through Adsense again exposes this absence of concern about Internet security.

It was only later that Dayao thought of subscribing to Oneandone Private Registration to secure his personal details. One thing is sure: amid all the denials now being spewed out by the named websites, a company, blogger or group of bloggers would normally not get just any web administrator. Web administrators are either organic or under contract, thus, no matter how loud the named groups may cry, they are operating under the baton of one single entity represented by Dayao, such that he gets the earnings from all these.

The challenge now is to unmask who is paying Dayao to administer to all these orchestrated anti-government propaganda machinery.