Folded Note Could Be Unfolded Too Easily For Strong Anonymity
www.foldednote.com is another in the long list of web based services that offer some form of anonymous email messaging. Theirs is somewhat different than most I’ve seen in that it involves a four step process and even allows the anonymous sender to recieve a reply. All this while ostensibly remaining anonymous. Of course, I decided to check it out.
You’re presented with a form where you enter the recipient’s email address and write your message (which is limited to 500 characters). When you’re done, you click on “Review your note” which takes you to a page that allows you to preview the note and, if need be, continue editing.
I have to say that I also found it interesting that they actively prevent users from sending messages to themselves. Fortunately I have plenty of secondary email addresses to use for testing the site.
Once you’re satisfied, you then need to enter your email address and solve a captcha. This causes a confirmation to be sent to your email address. The confirmation contains a link that you must use in order to sent the email. I’ll give ’em one thing, their use of confirmation of the sender’s email combined with a captcha means that this system is like pantry moth traps for spammers so the site will definitely not be abused by spammers.
It also insures that they’ve got your email address because the system will not send your message unless it’s got yours confirmed by clicking the link in the confirmation email they send you.
The next thing that happens is that the recipient get an email from folded note saying that there’s a message waiting for them and gives them a link to click on to pick it up. Once they click on the link they get the note presented on the folded note site.
At this point you have the option to rate the note, block the sender permanently or send a reply. The reply can only be up to 200 characters long
Finally the sender gets to see the response if any.
The folded note site makes it clear in their terms of service that they’ll cooperate with law enforcement, court orders and the like. Anyone using this system should make very certain not to trust it with anything important at all and certainly not anything illegal. Remember, it makes a point of not only collecting, but confirming a real email address that can be used to reach you.
In addition to that there’s the usual reminder that because this is web based, they have your IP address in their server logs from the moment you connect.
In terms of the level of anonymity and security you get from this site, I would class it as little more than a toy that should never be used for anything serious or trusted with any real secrets.
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