Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How to Sene Anonymous text Messages to Mobile Phones

Want to send a mash note to someone you’re secretly admiring? Got a tip about some shenanigans at your office that you want to let the HR department know about? Just want to really freak someone out? AnonTxt.com is a service that lets you send anonymous SMS text messages to anyone.

Just visit the AnonTxt home page to get started. (For sending text messages outside the U.S. and Canada, use AnonTxt’s international page.) If you want, you can enter an alias for yourself in the first box. Put an optional subject line in the second box. Then type the recipient’s phone number and your message. When you hit Submit, your message will go off into the either, winging its way anonymously to the recipient.

When they receive the message, it will contain your message together with the subject line. The sender will appear as “Anon@AnonTxt.com” unless you entered an alias, in which case that’s what the “sender” field will show. And since you’re not required to enter any information about yourself to use AnonTxt, the odds are very low that the message can ever be traced to you.

Note that it may be possible for law enforcement officials to subpoena the AnonTxt company, get their web traffic logs, and figure out the IP address of the computer you used when you visited AnonTxt.com. (The company’s privacy policy acknowledges this.) In that way, it might be possible to trace your message back to you. But it would take a serious law enforcement reason to do something like that. For love letters and gentle pranks, this is as anonymous as it gets.

But please, be kind. Anonymity is a useful and even critical service for many good reasons — for instance, people in repressive regimes may depend on anonymity to get the news out, organize themselves, and resist their governments. But it’s possible to abuse the privilege of anonymity too, and that can undercut the case for keeping services like this truly anonymous. When you use AnonTxt.com, don’t be a jerk.


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