[Ads-l] burner account

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Tue Sep 19 18:53:37 UTC 2017

Nice work, Garson, for finding those additional Wiktionary entries.

Since last night, I’ve run been thinking about Chris’s example.

Messina’s fungibility test says that the attribute tying the device to the user has to be fungible in order for the device to be a burner. Trying to apply that to a computer involves various technological considerations (such as whether a VPN or canvas fingerprinting faker is used) that goes beyond what can be reasonably subjected to that test.

What Chris’s friends are talking about is simply having a computer without personal information that border agents can find if they search the device. So I think this has a meaning beyond the throw-away non-identifiable cell phone (the laptop isn’t disposable, so the owner will retain it for at least a year) and different from the anonymous burner user account on Kinja/Twitter.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA

> On 18 Sep 2017, at 16:45, Chris Waigl <chris at LASCRIBE.NET> wrote:
> My friends frequently talk about the option or advisability of carrying a
> burner laptop or burner phone (or general a burner device) on travels
> outside the US, for the eventuality of intrusive scrutiny from customs and
> border control officers. (This would imply leaving their real phones,
> laptop and/or devices at home.)
> Chris
> On Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 3:03 PM, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> In an Mashable article today, I ran into the expression “burner account”.
>> Please, good lord, tell me Kevin Durant is arguing with trolls on secret
>> social media accounts
>> http://mashable.com/2017/09/18/kevin-durant-secret-twitter/ <
>> http://mashable.com/2017/09/18/kevin-durant-secret-twitter/>
>> Brian de Los Santos
>>>> Internet inspectors connected the dots on Reddit and claimed that Durant
>> meant to reply to @ColeCashwell using a fake burner account to defend his
>> own honor, thus hiding his identity when engaging in Twitter schadenfreude.
>> The Oxford Living Dictionaries (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/
>> definition/burner <https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/burner>)
>> say that a “burner” is "A cheap mobile phone paid for in advance”, a
>> definition that Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/burner <
>> https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/burner>) narrows slightly: "A mobile phone
>> used for only a short time and then thrown away so that the owner cannot be
>> traced.”
>> In 2014, Chris Messina discussed this term in "Adding ‘unlisted' and
>> ‘burner' to the modern lexicon” (https://medium.com/chris-
>> messina/unlisted-and-burner-two-new-terms-to-learn-78d3a2c17f5a <
>> https://medium.com/chris-messina/unlisted-and-burner-
>> two-new-terms-to-learn-78d3a2c17f5a>).
>> Messina provides a YouTube video that is evidently from “The Wire” as an
>> example of the sort of burner phone that the OLD and Wiktionary talk about.
>> He argues that the key element in this use of “burner” is that the item
>> being described has an attribute that can be replaced, such as a phone
>> number. In other words, a burner (phone) is a burner because the phone
>> number can be discarded without a connection to the owner, as opposed to a
>> landline or social security number which cannot.
>> Messina also mentions the use of burner accounts on Kinja (
>> https://kinja.desk.com/customer/en/portal/articles/
>> 1192515-what-is-a-burner-account- <https://kinja.desk.com/
>> customer/en/portal/articles/1192515-what-is-a-burner-account->), which
>> makes explicit the use of an account that does not identify the owner.
>> It’s not completely clear to me, but I think Los Santos’s use of “fake in
>> “fake burner account” is redundant, but perhaps you can argue that since
>> Durant was faking being someone else, the word “fake” adds semantic meaning.
>> Benjamin Barrett
>> Formerly of Seattle, WA
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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