Post-Roe Privacy

This is an excellent essay outlining the post-Roe privacy threat model. (Summary: period tracking apps are largely a red herring.)

Taken together, this means the primary digital threat for people who take abortion pills is the actual evidence of intention stored on your phone, in the form of texts, emails, and search/web history. Cynthia Conti-Cook’s incredible article “Surveilling the Digital Abortion Diary details what we know now about how digital evidence has been used to prosecute women who have been pregnant. That evidence includes search engine history, as in the case of the prosecution of Latice Fisher in Mississippi. As Conti-Cook says, Ms. Fisher “conduct[ed] internet searches, including how to induce a miscarriage, ‘buy abortion pills, mifepristone online, misoprostol online,’ and ‘buy misoprostol abortion pill online,'” and then purchased misoprostol online. Those searches were the evidence that she intentionally induced a miscarriage. Text messages are also often used in prosecutions, as they were in the prosecution of Purvi Patel, also discussed in Conti-Cook’s article.

These examples are why advice from reproductive access experts like Kate Bertash focuses on securing text messages (use Signal and auto-set messages to disappear) and securing search queries (use a privacy-focused web browser, and use DuckDuckGo or turn Google search history off). After someone alerts police, digital evidence has been used to corroborate or show intent. But so far, we have not seen digital evidence be a first port of call for prosecutors or cops looking for people who may have self-managed an abortion. We can be vigilant in looking for any indications that this policing practice may change, but we can also be careful to ensure we’re focusing on mitigating the risks we know are indeed already being used to prosecute abortion-seekers.


As we’ve discussed above, just tracking your period doesn’t necessarily put you at additional risk of prosecution, and would only be relevant should you both become (or be suspected of becoming) pregnant, and then become the target of an investigation. Period tracking is also extremely useful if you need to determine how pregnant you might be, especially if you need to evaluate the relative access and legal risks for your abortion options.

It’s important to remember that if an investigation occurs, information from period trackers is probably less legally relevant than other information from your phone.

See also EFF’s privacy guide for those seeking an abortion.

Posted on July 13, 2022 at 6:00 AM67 Comments


Winter July 13, 2022 8:26 AM

I think organizations that want to help these women should take an example from those catering to whistleblowers. They might set up onion servers and use SecureDrop for exchange of orders.

Help Women on Waves where you can! [1]

I would advice women to not use search engines based in the US. There are those that are based in e.g., Europe [2]. If you already advice women to set up Tor, use that for search too.

And make all this information available using plausible deniable search terms, e.g., Privacy for Women, When a girl needs privacy, Privacy and female health [3].

[1] ht-tps://

[2] List in: ht-tps://

[3] These are all terrible titles, but this is just to make others come up with better titles)

jones July 13, 2022 9:11 AM

Given the current Supreme Court, I guess it’s important to keep in mind that we don’t have a right to privacy in the US — either by statute or in the constitution.

To the extent that we talk about privacy as falling within the “penumbra” of other rights

we should also be cognizant that legal authority can readily be structured to evade rights so construed.

For example, one of the things we learned about the Bush-era Stellarwind surveillance program — which is certainly still with us in some form — is that, prior to being moved under FISA authority, the presidential authorization for the program underwent some 43 modifications.

Only the first of these authorizations used the term “probable cause.” Whatever right to privacy we might think we are due under the 4th Amendment does not apply to the legal authority for dragnet surveillance.

Ted July 13, 2022 10:25 AM

Never consent to searches of your phone if it’s at all feasible for you to refuse — police are required to get a warrant!

I love all this information coming out.

I’ve been waiting for a podcast on the July 8th Executive Order protecting access to reproductive health. The administration also put out a website.

There’s info there on how to find abortion access plus how to file privacy complaints with HHS or under HIPAA. Let’s see some lawsuits make it to the FTC too.

I’d kind of like to know how providers, who have the most liability, are handling these issues as well. Also how much money are states (or whoever) going to throw into this? You’re going to have overseas abortion pill providers (Aid Access), religious liberties arguments (the Jewish faith), countersuit defenses (Connecticut), and on and on and on.

anton July 13, 2022 11:39 AM

DuckDuckGo browser allows Microsoft trackers due to search agreement.

I have noticed some stuff on that previously. Not just that DuckDuckGo seems to be querying Bing for its search results, due to the similarity between the results. But also if you click on the ad-links on DuckDuckGo, your navigation typically flows through a Microsoft “bing” server.

It’s like a front end for Bing search.

Jake July 13, 2022 11:50 AM

DuckDuckGo may not be as private as has been touted. But another concern are those ”period tracking apps”.

Concern because any period calculation can easily be done locally by the app. So such an app would never need to send data to anywhere. Unless they collect it to sell it or something.

Paranoia July 13, 2022 12:11 PM

Or they will just start demanding purchase history for feminine hygiene products and track you that way. Does menstrual opsec require never buying such products from the same store twice?

Ted July 13, 2022 12:26 PM


So such an app would never need to send data to anywhere. Unless they collect it to sell it or something.

Period tracking apps (or even location data) may not be the primary threats to reproductive privacy, but what the heck happened here? 😳

And just recently, the FTC reached a settlement with Flo Health, alleging the company shared with third parties – including Google and Facebook – sensitive health information about women collected from its period and fertility-tracking app, despite promising to keep this information private.

lurker July 13, 2022 12:54 PM

Paper, paper, always paper. Showing my age, many women had a calendar, a whole year on one small card, kept in the top drawer in the bedroom. Some even used a red pencil for marking the special days. This is just another case of “Why do they need an app for that?”

There were certain magazines that carried ads in the back for discreet mail order purchase of all sorts of stuff.

When is the Butlerian Jihad coming?

PeteG July 13, 2022 12:54 PM


…despite promising to keep this information private.

Shows that such promises are not worth much of anything. The intention with promising privacy is often just to get the users to trust the website/app with their data. So that the company can then monetize it one way or another.

Peter A. July 13, 2022 12:56 PM

Ladies, track it on paper, why app? If you want to predict fertile days for any reason – are you really going to trust algorithms hacked up by a random app provider? Read a book or two on the subject, ask your gynecologist for help in interpretation of your tracking notes, maybe attend a course – and do it yourself. This way you control your life – and you are responsible, along with your partner, if any.

Well, there may be a few reputable apps based on good science that do not betray you, but how would you know?

Clive Robinson July 13, 2022 1:07 PM

@ Bruce, ALL,

Summary: period tracking apps are largely a red herring

For now, or so far, but…

History shows that invasion of privacy for evidentiary reasons, is “progressive” and tends to start with prosecution for serious crimes.

However with time two things happen,

1, They get used for steadily less serious crimes.
2, The level of actual evidentiary burden presented goes down.

So whilst it is currently direct information searches to show premeditation, in time it will be indirect searches, or just news articles read to show the first step of “means” (ie knowledge) and prosecuters will talk that up from circumstantial evidence to primary evidence of a “guilty mind”. As has been shown in the past, you don’t need a corpse to hang someone for murder.

People will say “but they would not do that, but they do, because as we see from outside the US looking in, for US DA’s, “Points make Prizes”. And justice is not on the plus side of their ambition list, but pushing their luck in court and dragging the goal posts to more favourable advantage most definately are.

I keep warning that people in the US take a way to short term view on life, unless of course they have strong “Dark Triad” etc mental aberrancies and are working forward.

It does not take a genius to see what direction this is going to go in unless certain major steps are taken above US State level.

But the worrying thing is as even some US commentators have noted, “Post-Roe” is not just about “Privacy” it’s going to become about the fundemental way unacountable entities will gain increasing control over US citizens that is going to be far from benificial to the citizen, especially those on or forced onto the lower socio-economic rungs of the ladder.

It’s no secret that the US middle class are under attack, as their assets are wanted by those who see “rent seeking” as the next major wealth investment. Post-Roe 2022 this is going to become so much more easily obtainable as an objective, because a fairly fundemental change in the societal balance has been achived by those you realy would not want controling your prospects and life.

But a point most often missed in the US MSM is that,

1, The authorities are alowed to lie to you.

2, The law with regards searches and what you can and can not say is very deliberately vague.

3, Trying to ascert your rights even with expert help is often difficult, again deliberately so.

4, The laws on privacy and digital searching are effectively up in the air and continuously in churn, and generally do not change in the citizens favour (loss of the right to refuse the use of your bio-metrics against you).

All the apps on your phone have two issues,

1, They leave data trails.
2, They can all be done other ways.

There is unfortunately a “perversion” of “doing it on your phone” and realy people should stop saying things like,

“Of the many things that bug me about… …security discourse, one is people flippantly dismissing why others need them, despite the privacy risks.”

Firstly security is as I’ve explained over and over,

1, A movable feast with fleet feet
2, Mostly incomprehensible to all
3, Data is mostly for ever somewhere
4, The number of data stealing apps is high despite Apple and Googles promises.
5, Once you have lost control of private data it is effectively public if someone wants it to be and you have no say.

Thus dismissing what are very real security concernces by saying people expressing them are being flippant is not a good thing at all.

Especially when less than half a lifetime ago “smart device” mobile phones did not exist.

So people did things “other ways” for hundreds of years, that were certainly a lot more controled and secure.

Whilst this,

“We all deserve high quality, private, affordable technology to support our daily lives.”

might be a laudable objective,

Smart Device Mobile phones are most definately not “private” in any way (think back to CarrierIQ scandle). Nor are they anything close to being “high quality” or “affordable”.

Thus the security risks are not just high but increasing daily. Worse as individuals have found out, their medical information is considered fair game for ransomware operators when others who lost the individuals private data will not pay, the individual gets blackmailed.

Putting anything you wish to keep private, or could conceivably harm you now or in the future is not just unwise it is reckless in the extream without due caution. With due caution being difficult even for experts.

And people should not for the sake of a little convenience, risk their future or place it in the hands of others to profit by one way or another.

Vader July 13, 2022 1:13 PM

Not just that DuckDuckGo seems to be querying Bing for its search results, due to the similarity between the results. But also if you click on the ad-links on DuckDuckGo, your navigation typically flows through a Microsoft “bing” server.

There are some (supposedly) privacy-preserving alternatives to DDG as well

tim July 13, 2022 7:34 PM

Observation: a whole lot of men in this forum discussing a topic they are ignorant of

Ted July 13, 2022 8:35 PM


Observation: a whole lot of men in this forum discussing a topic they are ignorant of

I think this group is pretty privacy supporting. Actually very privacy supporting. Also, Roe was just undone a few weeks ago, so lots of people are still gathering and sharing info.

Did you find anything interesting in Cynthia Conti-Cook’s article? It’s really good, although I haven’t finished reading it yet. Also, if you have any other sources of info on post-Roe privacy issues, please share.

lurker July 13, 2022 9:16 PM

@tim, “discussing a topic they are ignorant of”

Does that include writing poetry about it?


MrC July 13, 2022 10:21 PM

Afraid I have to disagree about the article being excellent. I think it’s wildly off-base.

  1. The notion that we don’t need to worry about bulk surveillance kicking off abortion investigations/prosecutions because (we think) the cops presently rely solely on informers and “[w]e can be vigilant in looking for any indications that this policing practice may change” is deeply naive. If Snowden taught us anything, it’s that our government is willing to implement unthinkable bulk surveillance programs, and it’s damn good at keeping them secret. We are not going to spot the moment when the national pregnancy surveillance system gets flipped on and Gladys Kravitz goes from being a vital informant to a parallel construction patsy. The only safe course of action is to include bulk surveillance in the threat model now.
  2. The focus on evidence introduced in prosecutions is misguided. The goal should be to avoid being investigated in the first place. (For two reasons: First, the process is the punishment. Even when the criminal legal process ends with an acquittal at trial or no charges brought, it’s still miserable and ruinously expensive. Second, once you become the target of an investigation, investigators tend to settle into a mindset that you must be guilty of something, and it’s their job to find something that will stick. They kinda lose track of the possibility that you’re innocent and should be left alone.) But the universe of evidence that’s admissible in court, and prosecutors are willing to disclose, is not coextensive with the universe of evidence that investigators rely on. In order to avoid investigation, the threat model needs to include avoiding things that rile up investigators, in addition to things used by prosecutors.
  3. The only sane advice that can be given with respect to smartphone security is that there is zero hope of rendering a smartphone even marginally secure. You should always act as if any information entrusted to a smartphone is immediately made public. Which basically means you must start using your smartphone like a “dumb phone” and stop using it like a computer. Or at least treat it like a public computer in a library or hotel business lounge rather than your personal computer. So, yes, you should delete your period-tracking app. And also delete a bunch of other apps, and fundamentally rethink your relationship to your smartphone.

Winter July 14, 2022 2:30 AM

@Ted, Tim

you might appreciate Senator Tim Kaine’s remarks at a Congressional hearing today.

It has been clear from the start that the “Pro-Life” movement is about getting more (white) babies [1]. They have never been interested in more life-years for women [2]. What Tim Kaine is reading is utterly irrelevant to the pro-lifers. That women he talks about should just die as she cannot make new babies anyway.

[1] ht-tps://

physicians argued that middle-class, Anglo-Saxon married women were those obtaining abortions, and that their use of abortion to curtail childbearing threatened the Anglo-Saxon race.

[2] Just as the old religious (Catholic) objection to family planning was to get more baptized souls to go to heaven. Any women going early to the after world were never a problem as their demise would not reduce the number of souls going to heaven. More likely, their death would make room for even more babies.

Winter July 14, 2022 12:32 PM


But they’re getting the simile all wrong.

This is probably a troll post. But just in case.

The women are forced by law into servitude. Their body is used by others, the state, for it’s purpose, is, breeding babies. This is done against her will, with the force of the law.

Whatever the woman is forced to produce, does not exist when the law is brought down on her. Only the possibility of a future existence is there.

That there are religions that proclaim the possibility itself is reason enough for enslaving these women is irrelevant. The same religions burned women at the stake for the possibility that they had intercourse with an entity that had no proof of existence.

Ted July 14, 2022 12:35 PM


It has been clear from the start that the “Pro-Life” movement is about getting more (white) babies

Well that tactic isn’t going to work very well. According to Khiara M. Bridges, Professor Of Law at UC Berkeley:

Indeed, black people’s abortion rate is three to four times white people’s abortion rate.27

Thanks for the article. I hadn’t been aware of the earlier historical milieu. I think it was actually talked about in Conti-Cook’s article too, but your comments helped highlight that particular point.

SpaceLifeForm July 14, 2022 4:39 PM

As the insanity continues

As I knew the following would be covered, I did not post about it yesterday.

But, what is being overlooked is that this lone reporter was paying attention, connected dots via public records, and broke the story.

One single person, paying attention.

I can only ask that everyone tries to do the same.


I was the ONLY reporter in the courtroom this morning as the man accused of raping a 10-year-old girl, impregnating her, leading to an abortion in Indiana, was arraigned.

This confirms that the case exists.


And, then you have insane goppers that try to deny, like Ohio AG Yost, and immediately flip their story as soon as the facts come out.

They are insane. So many insane people, but storage is limited.

Clive Robinson July 14, 2022 5:06 PM

@ Marlon, ALL,

The slave is the fetus, not the woman. The woman is the slave-holder. The simile ends there, since the fetus is powerless and cannot “flee” the fate the woman would wreak on him.

Yiu are either a twit or a messed up troll, so I’ll assume the former.

It can easily be shown that the fertilized egg is a parasite and the woman the host on which it detrimentally feeds.

This is not somr mumbo-jumbo hand wavery ethics but proven biological fact.

If you want to argue that a woman has no right to defend herself against a detrimental parasite fine, but remember it’s an argument you will loose if you talk about rights and freedom.

But just so you understand the nonsense you are spouting consider the mechanics of fertilization and the use of the pill.

The egg is released and if the woman has sex voluntarily or not within an aproximate 3day window then the egg will be fertilized at some point, usually in the fallopian tubes where the hairs waft the egg towards the womb.

Therefore the egg is already undergoing cellular divisions that are the basic mechanism of life, before the parasite has attached to the womb lining if the hormon levels in the womans blood stream alow it to do.

The Contraceptive Pill and Morning After pills try to adjust the hormon levels so the parasite can not get a toe hold, thus the still dividing egg exits the womans body.

So every woman on the pill etc who has sex voluntarily or otherwise is potentially killing a fetus every time she ovulates.

Is she a criminal?

Then consider women who want to get pregnant, around 1 in 4 has some kind of spontaneous abortion even in the first world. Sometimes the womrn are aware of it, but many women are not so the figure could be higher thsn 1 in 4. What of a woman who suffers this.

Is she a criminal?

I can go one but I think most people will get the point.

The question is “Do you?”

SpaceLifeForm July 14, 2022 5:42 PM

@ Clive

I would go with 6 days, mid cycle. Sumptin, sumptin, about paper tracking.

And that assumes regular homornal regulation, which is known to not be regular. Which is why 6 instead of 3.

I doubt Marlon has ever heard of Endometriosis or Ectopic.

Tim is incorrect also.

Ted July 14, 2022 9:00 PM


They are insane. So many insane people, but storage is limited.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

The lawyer of the Indiana doctor who was doxxed and threatened with investigation said the doctor is considering legal action against Rokita and others who smeared her.

Also 1000+ Ohio Physicians have signed a letter in support of the “sanctity and privacy of the patient-physician relationship.” Oh and also “evidenced-based medicine.” It looks like they may have some activism going on.

I get the feeling there will be news on this every day and then some.

Winter July 15, 2022 12:37 AM


So every woman on the pill etc …
Is she a criminal?

According to Pro-Life zealots, she is [1]. But remember, they want to force women to breed babies.


around 1 in 4 has some kind of spontaneous abortion

That is a conservative under-estimate. Those working in IVF see 60% and more not attaching. If you only look at how long it takes couples who really want children to get pregnant, 60% even seems overly optimistic.

Also, any embryo that is not developing near perfect will be aborted within the first 2 months (that is why women should wait telling the world until the third month). The reason older mother’s have more babies with disabilities is that this mechanism falters with age. Young wombs are better at selecting healthy embryos.

In the words of the religious: God is the greatest abortionist [2].

[1] ht-tps://

[2] ht-tps://

Givon July 15, 2022 5:47 AM

@jones thumbs up
@sofakinbd would using ghostery help?
@rapidgeek exactly. and, notice how google makes the law? now, they decide to delete the tracking data for this issue. for this, they won’t cooperate. is anyone considering holding them liable for destroying evidence. i’m not against what they are doing just how they are doing it and its implications.
@paranoia perhaps old school might help. pay cash or postal money order. and good old pen & paper — burn it when done.
@ted thumbs up
@lurker thumbs up
@clive The FBI started as a big library. Keeping articles on people to track their intent. Hoover, interestingly, worked for the Library of Congress before he started with the FBI. Taking pictures of funerals, guilt by association, was before Google or Facebook.
thumbs up
@MrC thumbs up
point #3 would seem to apply to apps on your computer too

personally, i think autowiping is good countermeasure. do they keep the passwords for restoring encrypted stolen devices?
@winter there is much to say that but, i’ll just stick to the security/privacy issues

Rich July 15, 2022 6:00 AM

I don’t know why I am not surprised a bunch of dudes on a tech site support killing innocent human life; it’s easier to do the deed with whomever you want when killing the baby is an option and enough people are convinced this is somehow a right.

Clive Robinson July 15, 2022 6:44 AM

@ Rich,

I don’t know why I am not surprised a bunch of dudes on a tech site support killing innocent human life

You are vested in your assumptions, and thus make them the lies you want them to be, which is a typical position of those who’s argument is neither ethical or rational.

Start by first defining what “human life” is.

Secondly define what “innocent” is in your view.

Then go on to reason why the parasite should be any more or less innocent than the host.

Then explain why the patasite should have rights over the host, you chose to deny the host?

Oh and stop with the aspersions they do not in any way garner support for your purported view point.

Winter July 15, 2022 6:57 AM


I don’t know why I am not surprised a bunch of dudes on a tech site support killing innocent human life;

Criminalizing abortion kills women world-wide. And no-one is suggesting killing babies as babies exist only after birth.

Until ~week 21, no embryo/fetus has survived outside of the womb ever, even with maximal medical existence. Embryos/fetuses have no independent existence. They are a part of the mother just like any other part.

I would be willing to believe a pro-life activist is really trying to protect life if he:
* is against the death penalty (duh)
* advocates the use of contraceptives, also to minors and in school (duh)
* advocates financial support for pregnant women without means
* advocates free medical service for mother and child without means
* advocates free child care for mothers without means

These are all policies needed to protect the lives of mother and child. In all other cases, I know “Pro-Life” is just a forced breeding program for white babies.

Winter July 15, 2022 6:59 AM


Secondly define what “innocent” is in your view.

You know the church drill: Evey woman is guilty since Eve. So a woman can never be innocent.

That is why a woman’s life does not count.

J.B. July 15, 2022 11:50 AM

“Every woman is guilty since Eve.”

That’s because they don’t read the Bible? 1 Timothy 2:14 says that “Adam was not deceived”. He sinned knowingly. That is why Romans 5:12 refers to him as the “one man” through whom sin and death entered into the world.

J.B. July 15, 2022 12:06 PM

“In the words of the religious: God is the greatest abortionist [2].”

I guess that is the case if you believe that he is personally aborting fetuses. Rather than it happening due to some natural processes.

I would think there is a difference between explicitly killing a life once it has started vs. it dying from some natural cause.

By the way what’s the reason for hyphenating the protocol indicator (“ht-tps” instead of “https”)?

Also the advice in the essay to “turn Google search history off” may not be all that safe. That might turn it off on your device but Google is probably still tracking it on their servers.

Clive Robinson July 15, 2022 12:21 PM

@ J.B.,

Re : By the way what’s the reason for hyphenating the protocol indicator

To prevent theauto-load / prefetch feature in some software from bownloading an HTML page and all the things that might come with it, that you do not want.

Turning off JavaScript and Cookies is generally a good idea as well, it does not stop everything, but it,

1, Stops a lot of the crud
2, Decreases load time by reducing bandwidth thus also helps any mobile broadband go further.
3, Stops many anoying pop-ups.
4, Makes life harder for those you do not want sniffing things.

lurker July 15, 2022 12:52 PM

@J.B. re Google Search History

That’s just one of the parameters included in “Account Sync” along with bookmarks and most of the farm. They run a sort of IMAP for your web, YT, GDocs, ever since they imposed a single logon for all G properties. Turning off Search History must be turned off on every device you use, or better turn off Account Sync on all devices.

Better still don’t use any G derived apps for web or mail or office collaboration or . . . Even then they’re still entitled to keep “business records” of every transaction you make on their servers.

Winter July 15, 2022 1:41 PM


Rather than it happening due to some natural processes.

The foundation of monotheistic religions is that He is all powerful and Good. Anything that happens happens because He created it so it would happen.

To a True Believer in the Faith, there is no such thing as natural causes.But, if He is All Powerful and at the root of all Creation, then he is also responsible for all spontaneous abortions.

The existence of evil is generally attributed to the Evil One, the Devil. Questions about why an All Powerful and Good God created Evil leads one to be burned at the stake, or excommunication.

However, spontaneous abortions are generally not attributed to the devil.

EvilKiru July 15, 2022 4:04 PM

@All, with regards to breaking URLs:

I much prefer the ‘ prefix that @SpaceLifeForm adds in front of the complete URL, which suffices to break the auto-URL-ification on this web site in Chrome-based browsers and allows me to hoover the URL via Shift+Drag, then drop it into a different tab without needing to perform manual edits.

SpaceLifeForm July 15, 2022 6:02 PM

@ EvilKiru, ALL

re: breaking URLs

Some misc notes:

The conversion of a URL to a clickable link happens by the blog software, it happens regardless of your browser.

In my experience, the main reason to prevent that from happening, is to help users reading on mobile, where it is easier to accidently click via touch.

You, the user, are not likely to accidently click on a clickable link on desktop with a mouse or even a touch screen monitor.

But, on mobile, it may very well be the case that the user does not want to accidently click. An example would be a long article, or a youtube that one does not want to review at the moment, but may want to review later, maybe on desktop with a larger monitor.

Whether or not a URL becomes clickable, it should not afffect SEO as the blog software marks the link as UGC, and allegedly, search engines should ignore the link in it’s algorithms.

Therefore, the spammers are not winning.

So, basically, if I remember at the time, I am going with a 3 tier approach.

No single or double quote; Recommended read, not long, reputable website, no video. If you accidently click it, not a major problem, no big bandwidth usage.

Single quote: Probably reputable, probably worth reading, may be long or have video. No accidental click by mobile users.

Double quote: You decide.

I will normally not do the double quote method. Consider it a warning, but may be worth researching further, probably on desktop.

If a link that does not meet those criteria, I would probably not mention it at all, and if I did, I would break it further, so as to provide additional warning. Most often, it would be to point out insanity, i.e., to make an example of idiots. It would probably be clear from the characters of the obfuscated URL itself how stupid it is.

I hope everyone can see the logic and the method behind the madness. 😉

lurker July 15, 2022 8:29 PM


Another significant reason for wanting to prevent the blog software from making all links clickable is that some browsers had a habit of prefetching what they identified as links to make it look like they were fast.

This caused problems for those on limited data plans; and it downloaded garbage to be cached on your machine. One could expect readers of this blog to not use such browsers, or to dig in the Settings to turn it off.

JonKnowsNothing July 15, 2022 9:43 PM

@ lurker, @Clive, @EvilKiru, SpaceLifeForm, All

In addition to pre-fetch, pre-load, hidden cache on your system, some Named Browsers will punch the ticket on the destination server that you “visited” their site. Even if you didn’t.

Consider carefully:

You are looking a HTML page of information, on which there are “links lines” that are clickable. Pretend there are a lot of them on the page.

The Named Browser will prefetch, preload and cache each and every link, and triggering the server Visited Count +1 for each. Even if you turn off the cache and pre-loader, it may still run over to the Linked Server and tick Visit +1.

In the normal course of things that may not be a problem but links hide their true destinations. The Text ain’t the destination and rerouting MITM MOTS happens.

As in some current cases (S vs USA) one of the major points was all the “visits” made to “derogatory websites”. Those are the ones, the USA considers “bad sites” but not illegal ones.

Just looking at that page is marking that you visited a site that you never did, but the server logs and counters show you were there on date-time-feature-crosslink-source.

It’s not just an add feature to sell you products you don’t need, want or can afford. It’s now the 6 Lines of Incrimination

SpaceLifeForm July 16, 2022 1:39 AM

@ lurker, JonKnowsNothing

OK, you have convinced me. Always obfuscate the URL.

I still will go with double quote as a warning.

stewart July 16, 2022 11:44 AM

In addition to pre-fetch, pre-load, hidden cache on your system, some Named Browsers will punch the ticket on the destination server that you “visited” their site. Even if you didn’t.

I used to wonder if that was in order to increase their sites visitor ranks. Or to keep track of browser launches.

But it’s apparently possible to get a person’s device to load incriminating photos of minors through use of links posted to comment sites visited by such person. Or alternatively, adverts.

Clive Robinson July 16, 2022 4:23 PM

@ stewart, ALL,

But it’s apparently possible to get a person’s device to load incriminating photos…

When you alow some form of “program code” to execute without your control on your “personal” computer, what do you expect could happen?

Simple answer,

“Anything someone you have no control over physically, legally, morally, or otherwise, decides to do.

It’s not that you have “no control” but you have “given up control” thus you become just another “target”.

Back around HTML 3, with no Flash, Java or Javascript or other nonsense running you had some degree of control.

With HTML 5 you have lost that, with Javascript you have lost that, with Apple and Google Walled Garden Apps you have lost that…

The list is long, and every time you try to keep them out, they just slip in and turn it on again via some update or another…

All for the sake of,

1, User ease of use.
2, User entertainment.

Oh and,

3, User forced control.
4, User as a product.
5, User as an income stream.

And soon to be,

6, User forced liability
7, User forced criminality
8, User “Rights Stripped”
9, User “Show trials”.

The gilded cage trap most have “sleep walked into” where authorities and their corporate partners have created a world of “points make prizes” and your computer that they now own making points for them…

Welcome to the brave new world,

All without the touch of a button

stewart July 19, 2022 8:54 AM

@Clive Robinson
Agree. We have a drift toward fascism in USA but, in contrast to 1930’s, augmented with modern technology and data collectors like Facebook.

Facebook Is Dodging Questions About Surveillance of Users Seeking Abortions

JonKnowsNothing July 19, 2022 11:13 AM

@ Clive. @ stewart, ALL,

re: But it’s apparently possible to get a person’s device to load incriminating photos…


There is a case in the UK where a highly decorated and respected senior police person was criminally charged, arrested, convicted, sentenced, imprisoned, appealed, overturned, returned, refused, (loop 1-infinity) over the presence of “illegal images on their device”.

The images were sent by a relative as an example of “can someone do something about this?”. The civilian relative got the same treatment.

There are points of agreement in the case:

  • The police person NEVER looked at the images.
  • The police person WAS NOT interested in such material: Before, During or After.

It was the mere presence of the images on the device, looked at or not, that was the criminal offense.

It was the images themselves that are illegal and how they got to the device was irrelevant. They were there and therefore a lifetime criminal finding was made, issued, and implemented. Note: Lifetime.

Such things can come from anywhere, in any way, any shape and format. Sometimes they are added by “computer repair shops doing business with and for LEAs”.

SpaceLifeForm July 19, 2022 6:40 PM

As the insanity continues


NC Bill 158 would make it legal to murder a pregnant woman who intends to get an abortion if you are “defending the life of a baby”.

Ted July 19, 2022 9:54 PM


Re: North Carolina bill HB158 (2021)

Luckily, I’m seeing this bill is “extremely unlikely to become law.” As we speak abortion is legal in North Carolina until fetal viability (which has to be determined by a physician, and is usually around 24-26 weeks).

It’s still scary for someone to propose a bill like this though. I’m glad you mentioned it because I saw some similar posts, but hadn’t looked into it more until now.

Clive Robinson July 20, 2022 6:39 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : As the insanity continues

Read the bill carefully, it’s much worse than you think.

It denies women the use of any kind of hormonal or other contraception.

Thus opens up the Medieval “Marriage by Rape” etc again, that was still around in one form or another in the UK legislation untill the 1950’s.

As for those saying “if they kill the mother, they kill the featus” they don’t get it either…

Look up the difference between “brain death” and actual death, that allows people to be kept biologically viable for years very very profitably.

Part of which is the very nasty notion of “progressive organ donation”. That is where you can remove one or more organs without the body becoming unviable. So I can take one of your kidneys and you will remain viable. I can actually take both providing I give you dialysis every few days. Likewise the liver can be taken in parts.

Experiments with dogs and pigs in the 1960’s onwards have shown how “surgery” can be used to not just harvest organs bit by bit, but also how they can be shared… Imagine if you will an older person having blood transfusions with a younger person, kept for the purpose. This is in effect happening already in certain parts of the US where students get “grants” to be research guinea pigs, where they are matched with very wealthy financial doners looking to prelong their life or vitality…

Other research has shown the bio-compatability of certain other spieces with minor genetic engineering, such as bacteria and pigs, which are already being used in this way (insulin, heart valves etc).

Now, consider the Muslim “Jizya tax” on “non-muslims” in the past this has included the taxing of boys to be castrated and then abused in variois ways… Under ISIS it has routinely been used within the past decade for rape and worse,

With such mentality prevelant, how long do you think it will be before you will be “organ taxed” or used as a biological equivalent of an incubator, for some tiny infraction of a rule that is arbitarily applied via “fines”?

And to ensure it works, the first right you loose for any “offence” is the right to vote if you can not pay the fine… Thus it’s “in the voters interests” to bring in further legislation that is a two or three step benifit to themselves. Oh and have a look around the US today, such arbitary “Rights Stripping” is already very much under way…

Winter July 20, 2022 6:59 AM


It denies women the use of any kind of hormonal or other contraception.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty

If people do not act, women will lose their citizenship. It has happened before:


Clive Robinson July 20, 2022 9:41 AM

@ Winter,

Re : If people do not act, women will lose their citizenship.

In some cases they still effectively do, as various laws basically affirmed what you might call,

“Slavery by marriage”

As the woman became “property” as did anything she owned, she lost her rights.

It’s a legal situation that certain people found most usefull, along with other laws such that there can be no rape in marriage…

In the UK we had legislation that said any woman who was not married and was not a virgin was “mentally defective” and they could just be locked up in long term institutional care away from the eyes of society… At one time they were also forcefully sterilized, which ment that they could easily be further abused without much worry.

As I indicated women were still subject to this legislation as late as the early 1950’s in the UK.

Thus any girl subject to abuse in the home, could be safely removed and locked away with no legal right of redress against her abuser or even freedom. Be they a member of the family, or an “uncle” or similar, even members of the church. Worse those driven to attempt to kill themselves were guilty of another crime, which was the equivalent of a life long sentence, as it had to be declared to all medical practicioners, local authorities, landlords, insurance companies, banks, potential employees and a whole host of others.

The more you look into what went on, the more you realise just how much in fairly recent history has been kept quiet, and is now on the return at the hands of those who claim they have strong religious morals…

As I noted the other day “Gods work carried out by the hands of the Devil”.

JonKnowsNothing July 20, 2022 10:41 AM

@ Clive, @ Winter, @All

re: losing ground

Losing ground in social order, losing ground in political-legal order and losing ground in tech-privacy-data all have similar aspects.

What is it we want to do about it?

Of course, some answers seem a slam dunk, like email or write (if you know cursive) some representative somewhere about doing something.

It rarely makes any difference. Historical Petitions for all sorts of perks, grants, avoidance’s have been collected by museums and scholars and for the most part, it didn’t matter to anyone other than the petitioner.

What we can learn is that what we thought were concrete-cast-iron social and legal arrangements are nothing of the sort. They are fluid and change within generations.

We have extremes where some cannot leave the house, some must provide the names of male gendered relatives to take over their working positions, some cannot go marketing, some are not allowed to read books.

On the other side we have examples chock-a-block of impacts were all those sorts of restrictions have been removed and greater benefits enjoyed by all societies.

Even with the removal of the above barriers, there are still barriers, both seen and unseen, often of the “it is well know that… ” variety: a barrier accepted without even realizing it was there at all.

When societies move the legal goal posts, it is done with the presumption that once the goal posts have been moved they cannot be moved again. Often this is true because the posts were moved by people who wanted them moved and are able to enforce the move, even to the objection of 52% of the demographic population.

When ordinary folks object to such moves, you get the Operation Condor and 40,000 people in the National Stadium in Santiago.

The old adage of “don’t make waves”, “don’t get noticed” and “don’t cause trouble” ring loudly and survival is not a guarantee in such the times.

When tolerance goes out the window, self preservation better kick in.


Search Terms (an ancillary example)

Wolf Hunt
in 100 Yrs

Winter July 20, 2022 10:57 AM


What is it we want to do about it?

Women vote? Women are member of the GOP?

If women do not want to fight for their rights, who will?

Winter July 20, 2022 10:59 AM


What is it we want to do about it?

PS: Supposing that male GOP members are against women’s rights. However, I assume there are still men left in the GOP that support women’s rights. But maybe I am too optimistic.

Winter July 20, 2022 12:32 PM


“Slavery by marriage”

When does child marriage become slavery?

Child marriage can be said to be slavery, primarily if the following elements are present: firstly, if the child has not genuinely given their free and informed consent to enter the marriage; secondly, if the child is subjected to control and a sense of “ownership” in the marriage itself, particularly through abuse and threats, and is exploited by being forced to undertake domestic chores within the marital home or labour outside it, and/or engage in non-consensual sexual relations; and thirdly, if the child cannot realistically leave or end the marriage, leading potentially to a lifetime of slavery.

Clive Robinson July 20, 2022 1:31 PM

@ Winter, JonKnowsNothing, ALL,

Re : losing ground

There is an assumption behind,

“If women do not want to fight for their rights, who will?”

Which is “women” are a unified group out of self interest.

I’m sorry to say the world does not work that way, especially in what are considered the White Anglo Saxon / Norman priveledged classes.

We have all seen with “Politicians Wives” and similar “Standing by their cheating husband” going through what appears to most people as their total humiliation in public.

But is it?

The sad answer is no it’s not and they realy don’t care a jot who their husband has been salving his fragile ego with, as long as he keeps it out of the public eye (something the French used to be much better at).

Because they did not marry for love etc but status and privilege. Thus their only concern and why they stand there in the spotlight is getting the status back as quickly as possible thus keeping the privileges. It’s only when that is unlikely to happen does the chat with the lawyers start[1].

But it’s broader than just politicians, it’s why we also have the expression “Trophy Wife” or the lower status “Wives and Girlfriends”(WAGS).

Also the dred “Ladies who lunch”.

They are happy being “wives” of the affluent, who basically pay others to do what traditionaly was a wife’s roll. This is an upper middle class through upper class benifit.

You will find that other women who want to go out and make their own way in life detest such wives and their parasitical behaviours. Why because it is such wives that actually drive what is seen as “the glass ceiling” culture that gets in the way of then progressing.

From the wives point of view they do not want other women to make a success of themselves because such success is a very significant threat to their parasitic way of life…

[1] It will be interesting to see what happens to the “Boris & Carrie Partnership” now he has lost so much status, and their age difference is so large… Something tells me from her earlier behaviours prior to Boris that she will in all probability pursue her own status interests fairly soon. If she takes Boris along I suspect it will be entirely on her terms, based on the calculus of proprietary&profit.

Winter July 21, 2022 12:23 AM


Which is “women” are a unified group out of self interest.

I understand all your arguments. But historically, every right women got was through actions and organized protest by women. In no case were improvements in women’s rights initiated by men.

I do not see why this would be different now.

Clive Robinson July 21, 2022 4:05 AM

@ Winter,

“But historically, every right women got was through actions and organized protest by women.”

Not actually true unless you limit your historical observations to more modern cultures where “Property owning” was established as part of the culture.

There are cultures where property owning is not part of their social moors, interestingly what we call as “rights” are generally not required.

You can make an argument that “rights” are a defence against the greed of “property owning”.

The implication of this being that the more strongly property rights are recognised in a society, then the more poisonous the society is against the individual, both singularly and collectively. That is it is a byproduct of the dark triad “King Game” that basically runs society destructively by enshrining “might is right” into it’s legislation.

One aspect of this is loyalty, often by “blood view” thus children are viewed as assets, and thus women get viewed as breading live stock. This can be seen with the notion of harems.

Winter July 21, 2022 5:08 AM


Not actually true unless you limit your historical observations to more modern cultures where “Property owning” was established as part of the culture.

I know no examples of women getting legal rights closer to that of men without women themselves having initiated the change with protests and activism.

We can look at some old origins in religion, where emancipation was part of the original political work of the founder (Paulus, Prophets). But there we lack the historical sources to evaluate the personal motivation of the founders.

But other than that, women never got something without a fight.

Clive Robinson July 21, 2022 5:30 AM

@ Winter,

“I know no examples of women getting legal rights closer”

You are confusing the order of things, which are aproximately,

1, Dark triad behaviour
2, Might is right
3, Invension of Property
4, Invebtion of ownership
5, King Game
6, Invention of other property rights
7, Conversion of ownersip rights to law
8, Expansion of property law
9, Expansion of law into legislation
10, The need for retaliatory or rights law arises to protect individuals against property law.

The might is right / property arguably comes about due to “mating privilege”. That is the mating choice is taken from the femail and vested in the male by the use of violence or the threat of violence.

In a society where the notion of “property” does not arise there is little need for legislation, thus you do not get the sort of laws you are talking about. For the same reason neither fish or birds need bicycles.

Winter July 21, 2022 5:53 AM


You are confusing the order of things, which are aproximately,

I do not understand the relevance of these questions for the question of equal rights for women? These affect men of all stripes as much as women. “Resolving” any of these would be perfectly possible without giving or denying women any rights at all.

Clive Robinson July 21, 2022 8:33 AM

@ Winter,

“I do not understand the relevance of these questions”

They are not questions, but markers of events that are changes in society.

The notion of “human rights” is usually not needed in societies where property rights never developed.

Likewise “law” as in written down “legislation” did not develop in societies where property rights never developed.

The flip side is the places in most need of human rights legislation are those where the notion of ownership is the highest.

Ownership of things and people is a mental aberation and in societies where it did not get a toe hold generally there was no need of protection from it’s many side effects. Untill of course it came over the horizon and imposed it’s self on them.

As I’ve pointed out before, the biggest “export” from Europe, was not people but greed and many who left Europe for the New Worlds were those trying to escape the side effects of property ownership.

Why you appear to want to make a distinction for “women” as opposed to “people” I’m not sure. Because for well over two thousand years the predominant social model in most European societies was that the majority of people were owned as property either directly as slaves or via the land as serfs.

The fact that certain people crave a return to this model is a major concern. As people were treated like “live stock” and in the views of older religions they still are.

We know from livestock breeding that a “closed stud book” is genetically harmfull, well take a good look at european history and the result of notions of “blood purity” and the genetic harm it has caused.

The way women have been and still are treated like prize live stock may be shocking, but don’t let it blind you to the actual base cause of the problem.

Because as long as the base problems cased by the notion of property and ownership continue to run, then human rights will be a “forever more” battle ground with those who have power via ownership will fight continuously to not just gain advantage but extend their “self entitled” rights over all others in society.

The battle to deny women rights over their own bodies, just happens to be easier to see than other battles which effect the majority of society.

The fact that it has become blatently obvious over the past couple of years, appears to have put many people into first shock and now denial. Which I suspect has encoraged those who feel self entitled to be bold.

This legal decision and it’s fall out is just one of many with similar fall out.

Expect more to follow if this is alowed to run.

Winter July 29, 2022 12:19 PM

Watch the numbers in September:

US students re-think college plans in states with abortion bans

But in the wake of Roe’s overturn, college counselors said abortion has figured prominently in many conversations with clients, with some going as far as nixing their dream schools.

Note that many states also outlaw hormonal birth control pills, effectively outlawing intercourse for female students (if you do it, you get pregnant and won’t be able to finish your study).

Maybe it would help to segregate boy’s and girl’s schools. That would protect girls from a truncated education.

This question is easy to answer:

Thaler, 16, recalled the question she posed to her high school class during a discussion in May after the decision that ultimately overturned Roe v. Wade was leaked.
“What if I go to a college in a state where abortion is banned and I get raped and then I don’t have the option to have an abortion?”

Answer: Your studies will be over and you will most likely be deeply in debt from the drop-out, the pregnancy, and it’s consequences.

Leave a comment


Allowed HTML <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre> Markdown Extra syntax via

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.