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Archive for September 7th, 2017

The Scent of Money

I’m an older gentleman who wants to start a blog, mostly about my erotic adventures.  I’ve read your “staying anonymous” article but I’m confused about how you can do that when accepting donations by PayPal.

The article you’re talking about is hosted on my blog, but was not written by me; it’s by my friend Brooke Magnanti, whom you may know as Belle de Jour.  I’m not anything like an expert at remaining anonymous online, and honestly I don’t even try any more; I’ve gotten used to complete strangers greeting me by name or telling me they saw me on TV or whatever.  However, I will tell you this: when there’s non-cash money transfer involved, you can’t be completely anonymous, period (no, not even with bitcoin).  The federal government has a sick, pathological need to peer into the business of every single person in the world, trebly so when money is involved.  So if you take donations via Paypal, Patreon, Google wallet or anything else, that is going to be linked to a bank account with your name on it.  Even if you form a corporation in Delaware as I did, thus keeping your legal name out of the public record, your corporate agent still has your legal name on file because Uncle Sam demands it.  So even though stalkers, reporters and other garden-variety Nosy Parkers can’t easily discover my legal name, I can guarantee you as sure as the sun rises that if any government actor of sufficient power really wanted my info, all he’s have to do is present a “warrant request” to his trained pet judge and they’d have my name before you can say “Holy police state, Batman!”.  Actually, I’m reasonably sure my FBI file contains all that info anyway (up to and including my legal name, street address, IQ, psychological profile, bra size and close-up photos of every one of my scars*).

All this having been said, I doubt you’re trying to hide your identity from the IRS or FBI; I assume you’re probably just trying to hide it from friends, associates and family members.  In which case, you’ll be just fine because ordinary folks can’t easily discover which bank account the PayPal account (or Google wallet) for a given email address is connected to.  But if it’s the government you’re concerned about, you might as well hang up that idea of taking donations right now, unless you plan to go around the country on foot picking up anonymous cash donations left in nondescript satchels in bus-station lockers.

*The answer is “quite a few”.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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