Fairly soon after creating this web log I began to notice a steady traffic of views from the Czech Republic. I immediately suspected it was someone using a proxy server, and then noticed that the IP was tracking links I’d send to other people through signal and protonmail (both cryptographic services)- following the links before the messages or emails were received by the individuals I was contacting. Over the course of several months I tested this effect to try and deduce whether it was automated or human activity. The response rate would vary considerably from seconds to hours and when I’d send the same link to multiple people the traffic wouldn’t track each individual instance- suggesting human traffic; not a bot.
Besides traffic from the US, this traffic from the Czech Republic constituted for most the views on my site up until October when I revealed through messages sent to various people via signal and protonmail that I had been noticing this for some time and was curious why someone would go to such lengths and not bother to mask their IP or use a VPN (both of which are somewhat noticeable in traffic anyways). As soon as I did this the traffic from the Czech Republic stopped entirely, further indicating a person was actually reading my private messages. Clearly they didn’t realize that wordpress comes with an analytics feature to view web traffic. To be honest I was more flattered than spooked and only wished that whoever it was would contact me directly to discuss whatever it was they were so intrigued by.
Under the presumption that all of my web traffic was being monitored I went on to construct scenarios which would implement myself in a way which would agitate anyone trapped by their desire to maintain plausible deniability- with interesting results. By the end of December I pretty much had exhausted this little sideproject with still no idea who or why but enough information to conclude that indeed I was being monitored by someone with a lot of oversight and strings to pull. It all just makes me wonder what is going through their head, how oblivious they must have thought I was, and how surprised they are that I was essentially putting on a show for them. In the end neither them nor I have really learned much of anything about each other- except the extent to which humans can act out deception.
So, mate, what do you say we put down these masks and have a little pow-wow? You have my contact information.