You Can't Get Rid Of Anonymity Online, Even If You Wanted To

from the welcome-to-the-internet dept

While some politicians still think that it's possible to get rid of anonymity online, the truth is a lot more complicated. Bruce Schneier has an excellent new column where he breaks down why it's not really possible to end anonymity online, no matter how hard people try:
Imagine a magic world in which every Internet packet could be traced to its origin. Even in this world, our Internet security problems wouldn't be solved. There's a huge gap between proving that a packet came from a particular computer and that a packet was directed by a particular person. This is the exact problem we have with botnets, or pedophiles storing child porn on innocents' computers. In these cases, we know the origins of the DDoS packets and the spam; they're from legitimate machines that have been hacked. Attribution isn't as valuable as you might think.

Implementing an Internet without anonymity is very difficult, and causes its own problems. In order to have perfect attribution, we'd need agencies -- real-world organizations -- to provide Internet identity credentials based on other identification systems: passports, national identity cards, driver's licenses, whatever. Sloppier identification systems, based on things such as credit cards, are simply too easy to subvert. We have nothing that comes close to this global identification infrastructure. Moreover, centralizing information like this actually hurts security because it makes identity theft that much more profitable a crime.

And realistically, any theoretical ideal Internet would need to allow people access even without their magic credentials. People would still use the Internet at public kiosks and at friends' houses. People would lose their magic Internet tokens just like they lose their driver's licenses and passports today. The legitimate bypass mechanisms would allow even more ways for criminals and hackers to subvert the system.

On top of all this, the magic attribution technology doesn't exist. Bits are bits; they don't come with identity information attached to them. Every software system we've ever invented has been successfully hacked, repeatedly. We simply don't have anywhere near the expertise to build an airtight attribution system.
And of course, this doesn't even get into the question of why you'd want to remove anonymity. While there's always one or two people in our comments who claim that anonymity should be ditched to make people "responsible for what they say," that's ridiculous. Responsibility is separate from identity, and there are times when it's much more "responsible" for someone to be able to post something anonymously.


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  1.  
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    Jesse, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 9:44pm

    But Mike, how are we going to nail the whistleblowers then???

     

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  2.  
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    anti-mike fanclub member #1, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 10:19pm

    It isn't fair to us utopians to imagine a world with anonymity gone without granting us that it is supposed to be part of a larger goal: absolute openness. I only need anonymity in order to protect myself from persecution from those who dislike what I have to say. That persecution may be secret, in which case anonymity is working _against_ me. We'd be better off in that case with no anonymity and total openness. But then again, the persecution may come from oppressive governments who feel no need to do things secretly. Feel free to don your tinfoil hat and imagine that. I don't think in the Internet age any government could last long in an environment of total openness. Anonymity is secrecy, and secrecy is the friend of totalitarians.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 10:33pm

    The government wants to destroy any transparency the Internet provides them against their will by punishing anyone that leaks the truth against them all while claiming to be transparent. The government only proclaims transparency, I want ACTUAL transparency, not just mere proclamations. and I think Internet anonymity is an important aspect of ensuring government transparency and accountability.

    Hardly anyone would even know about ACTA if it weren't for the Internet since the corporate controlled mainstream media, who have managed to pass laws that regulate most communication mediums outside the Internet, censor these issues from these subject. It's a mass conspiracy and thanks to the Internet it's this mass conspiracy is blatantly obvious and would otherwise be mostly unknown and the government wants to do the Internet the same exact thing they did the mainstream media.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 10:36pm

    Re:

    "I only need anonymity in order to protect myself from persecution from those who dislike what I have to say."

    People need anonymity to protect themselves from being oppressed and punished by a corrupt government (or corrupt corporations) for saying something that disagrees with them. Anonymity is good for the individual, but openness is good for the government BECAUSE individuals pay taxes, so the government is accountable to us.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 10:39pm

    Re:

    "We'd be better off in that case with no anonymity and total openness. But then again, the persecution may come from oppressive governments who feel no need to do things secretly. Feel free to don your tinfoil hat and imagine that. I don't think in the Internet age any government could last long in an environment of total openness. Anonymity is secrecy, and secrecy is the friend of totalitarians."

    Ok, anti mike, then what's your first and last name and your middle name while you're at it and what state do you live in and present us with a picture of yourself if you have a common name. If you insist that anonymity is bad, present yourself to us.

    ANYONE who claims anonymity is bad should do the same exact thing or else you're a hypocrite.

     

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  6.  
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    Henry Emrich, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 10:58pm

    This is the basic problem with all IP morons

    I'm not going to play games. I'm not going to create this false dichotomy between supposed "maximalists" and ostensibly more reasonable defenders of the notion of IP.

    Intellectual "property" (copyright and patents) is a system of State-granted monopoly privileges that doesn't even achieve what it's defenders justifies such monopolies (advancing "science and the useful arts", according to the U.s. Constitutional formulation).

    Such monopolies *might* be reasonable if they actually DID advance science and the useful arts, or really *did* enrich creators (as opposed to publishers), or didn't last for absurdly long amounts (and ever-increasing) amounts of time.

    But when we reach the point where an IP apologist troll actually dares to submit a link defending Government proposals to mandate "internet licensing" (and the de facto abolition of any form of privacy whatsoever) in defense of IP....well, that's when I personally stop being able to find *any* "defense" of IP tenable.

    TAM and "Sam I Am" are either too greedy, or simply too short-sighted to understand what they're defending, and would gladly march the world into digital totalitarianism if that was actually possible, simply to ensure perpetual "protection" (monopolization) of as much cultural "content" as possible, just so they could squeeze a few bucks out of the resultant regime, for themselves.

    So either these dishonest little shits come forward with their REAL names, addresses, emails, Google street-views of their houses, etc., or they can be the dishonest little shits they are, and STFU.

     

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  7.  
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    Henry Emrich, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 10:58pm

    This is the basic problem with all IP morons

    I'm not going to play games. I'm not going to create this false dichotomy between supposed "maximalists" and ostensibly more reasonable defenders of the notion of IP.

    Intellectual "property" (copyright and patents) is a system of State-granted monopoly privileges that doesn't even achieve what it's defenders justifies such monopolies (advancing "science and the useful arts", according to the U.s. Constitutional formulation).

    Such monopolies *might* be reasonable if they actually DID advance science and the useful arts, or really *did* enrich creators (as opposed to publishers), or didn't last for absurdly long amounts (and ever-increasing) amounts of time.

    But when we reach the point where an IP apologist troll actually dares to submit a link defending Government proposals to mandate "internet licensing" (and the de facto abolition of any form of privacy whatsoever) in defense of IP....well, that's when I personally stop being able to find *any* "defense" of IP tenable.

    TAM and "Sam I Am" are either too greedy, or simply too short-sighted to understand what they're defending, and would gladly march the world into digital totalitarianism if that was actually possible, simply to ensure perpetual "protection" (monopolization) of as much cultural "content" as possible, just so they could squeeze a few bucks out of the resultant regime, for themselves.

    So either these dishonest little shits come forward with their REAL names, addresses, emails, Google street-views of their houses, etc., or they can be the dishonest little shits they are, and STFU.

     

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  8.  
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    Henry Emrich, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 11:01pm

    GODDAMN DOUBLE POSTS!

    Gotta get a new keyboard, as I said before :(

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 11:07pm

    Re: This is the basic problem with all IP morons

    "But when we reach the point where an IP apologist troll actually dares to submit a link defending Government proposals to mandate "internet licensing" (and the de facto abolition of any form of privacy whatsoever)"

    What I do is I demand for them to reveal who they are, first, middle, and last name and if they have a common name, a clear, unambiguous high resolution picture of their face, so that there is no mistake over who they are. If they refuse then they are hypocrites. You want anonymity abolished, set a good example. For the most part that just shuts them up immediately.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 11:16pm

    You Can't Get Rid Of Anonymity Online, Even If You Wanted To

    Right.

    So the answer to this is to report fake orgasms. Seriously, here me out- If they don't want anonymity, I believe I am able to report the fake orgasms.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 11:20pm

    Re: You Can't Get Rid Of Anonymity Online, Even If You Wanted To

    Think of it like social networking for fake orgasms. This could work... Hmm. What shall we call it?

     

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  12.  
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    anti-mike fanclub member #1, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 11:30pm

    Re: Re:

    No thank you, not without reciprocity. Was that not the entire point of my post? If I reveal my identity, you can anonymously destroy me.

    On the day when you are not even able to read my blog reply posts without divulging your identity due to systematic erasure of online anonymity, or even drive to my house to T.P. it without your whereabouts being tracked by GPS, then I will be obligated, obviously, to do the same, and divulge my identity when writing.

    Doesn't make me a hypocrite at all. If my idea of utopia is living on the moon, am I supposed to prove that it is utopian by going there by myself? I _can't_, I need some others to come with me, and also by the way for you to pay for the trip.

     

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  13.  
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    anti-mike fanclub member #1, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 11:32pm

    Re: Re:

    Corrupt governments and C-words won't survive long in a truly open environment. They slink in the sewers right now and strike from the dark.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 11:37pm

    You Can't Get Rid Of Anonymity Online, Even If You Wanted To

    THE JOY OF HANDLES
    ------------------
    or:
    EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT ME
    (but have no right to ask)
    --------------------------


    * * * * *


    We should never so entirely avoid danger as to appear
    irresolute and cowardly. But, at the same time, we should
    avoid unnecessarily exposing ourselves to danger, than
    which nothing can be more foolish. [Cicero]


    * * * * *



    Do you trust me?

    If you participate in computer conferencing, and you use
    your real name, then you'd better.

    "Why?", you ask. "What can you do with my name?" To start
    with, given that and your origin line, I can probably look
    you up in your local phone book, and find out where you
    live. Even if you are unlisted, there are ways to locate
    you based on your name. If you own any property, or pay any
    utility bills, your address is a matter of public record.
    Do you have children in the public schools? It would be
    easy to find out. But that's just the beginning.

    Former Chairman of the U.S. Privacy Protection Commission
    David F. Linowes, in his book "Privacy in America" (1989),
    writes of New York private investigator Irwin Blye:

    "Challenged to prove his contention that, given a little
    time and his usual fee, he could learn all about an
    individual without even speaking with him, Blye was
    presented with a subject -- a New Jersey
    newspaperman.... The result was a five-page, single-
    spaced, typed report which documented, though not always
    accurately, a wide sweep of the journalist's past, and
    was detailed to the point of disclosing his father's
    income before his retirement."

    Who am I? If I don't post, you might not even know I exist.
    I could be on your local Police Department, or an agent
    working with the IRS, or some federal law-enforcement
    agency. I could be a member of some fanatical hate group,
    or criminal organization. I might even be a former Nixon
    White-House staffer!

    I could be that pyromaniacal teenager you flamed last
    weekend, for posting a step-by-step description of how he
    made plastic explosive in his high-school chem lab. He
    seemed kind of mad.

    But you're an upstanding citizen; you have nothing to hide.
    So why not use your name on the nets? Trust me. There's
    nothing to worry about.

    Is there?

    * * * * *

    WHAT'S ALL THIS BROUHAHA?
    -------------------------

    Stupidity is evil waiting to happen. [Clay Bond]


    Not long ago in Fidonet's BCSNET echo (the Boston Computer
    Society's national conference), the following was posted by
    the conference moderator to a user calling himself "Captain
    Kirk":

    "May we ask dear Captain Kirk that it would be very
    polite if you could use your real name in an echomail
    conference? This particular message area is shared
    with BBS's all across the country and everyone else is
    using their real name. It is only common courtesy to
    do so in an echomail conference."

    One of us (mkj) responded with a post questioning that
    policy. Soon the conference had erupted into a heated
    debate! Although mkj had worried that the subject might be
    dismissed as trivial, it apparently touched a nerve. It
    brought forth debate over issues and perceptions central to
    computer communications in general, and it revealed profound
    disparities in fundamental values and assumptions among
    participants.

    This article is a response to that debate, and to the
    prevailing negative attitudes regarding the use of handles.
    Handles seem to have a bad reputation. Their use is
    strangely unpopular, and frequently forbidden by network
    authorities. Many people seem to feel that handles are rude
    or dishonest, or that anyone wishing to conceal his or her
    identity must be up to no good. It is the primary purpose
    of this article to dispel such prejudices.

    Let us make one thing perfectly clear here at the outset: We
    do NOT challenge the need or the right of sysops to know the
    identities of their users! But we do believe that a sysop
    who collects user names has a serious responsibility to
    protect that information. This means making sure that no
    one has access to the data without a legal warrant, and it
    certainly means not pressuring users to broadcast their real
    names in widespread public forums such as conferences.

    * * * * *

    SO YOU WANT TO BE A STAR?
    -------------------------

    John Lennon died for our sins. [anonymous]


    Andy Warhol said that "In the future, everyone will be
    famous for fifteen minutes". The computer nets, more than
    any other medium, lend credibility to this prediction. A
    network conference may span the globe more completely than
    even satellite TV, yet be open to anyone who can afford the
    simplest computer and modem. Through our participation in
    conferencing, each of us becomes, if only briefly, a public
    figure of sorts -- often without realizing it, and without
    any contemplation of the implications and possible
    consequences.

    Brian Reid (reid@decwrl.DEC.COM) conducts and distributes
    periodic surveys of Usenet conference readership. His
    statistical results for the end of 1991 show that of the
    1,459 conferences which currently make up Usenet, more than
    fifty percent have over 20,000 readers apiece; the most
    popular conferences are each seen by about 200,000 readers!
    Mr. Reid's estimate of total Usenet readership is nearly TWO
    MILLION people.

    Note that Mr. Reid's numbers are for Usenet only; they do
    not include any information on other large public nets such
    as RIME (PC-Relaynet), Fido, or dozens of others, nor do
    they take into account thousands of private networks which
    may have indirect public network connections. The total
    number of users with access to public networks is unknown,
    but informed estimates range to the tens of millions, and
    the number keeps growing at an amazing pace -- in fact, the
    rate of growth of this medium may be greater than any other
    communications medium in history.

    The special problems and risks which arise when one deals
    with a large public audience are something about which most
    computer users have little or no experience or
    understanding. Until recently, those of us involved in
    computer conferencing have comprised a small and rather
    elite community. The explosion in network participation is
    catching us all a little unprepared.

    Among media professionals and celebrities, on the other
    hand, the risks of conducting one's business in front of a
    public audience are all too familiar. If the size of one's
    audience becomes sufficiently large, one must assume that
    examples of virtually every personality type will be
    included: police and other agents of various governments,
    terrorists, murderers, rapists, religious fanatics, the
    mentally ill, robbers and con artists, et al ad infinitum.
    It must also be assumed that almost anything you do, no
    matter how innocuous, could inspire at least one person,
    somewhere, to harbor ill will toward you.

    The near-fatal stabbing of actress Theresa Saldana is a case
    in point. As she was walking to her car one morning near her
    West Hollywood apartment, a voice behind her asked, "Are you
    Theresa Saldana?"; when she turned to answer, a man she had
    never seen before pulled out a kitchen knife and stabbed her
    repeatedly.

    After her lengthy and painful recovery, she wrote a book on
    the experience ("Beyond Survival", 1986). In that book she
    wrote:


    [pg 12] "... Detective Kalas informed me that the
    assailant, whom he described as a Scottish drifter, had
    fixated upon me after seeing me in films."

    [pg 28] "... it was through my work as an actress that
    the attacker had fixated on me. Naturally, this made
    me consider getting out of show business ..."

    [pg 34] "For security, I adopted an alias and became
    'Alicia Michaels.' ... during the months that followed
    I grew so accustomed to it that, to this day, I still
    answer reflexively when someone calls the name Alicia!"

    Or consider the fate of Denver radio talk show host Alan
    Berg, who in 1984 died outside his home in a hail of
    gunfire. Police believe he was the victim of a local neo-
    nazi group who didn't like his politics.

    We are reminded of the murders of John Lennon and Rebecca
    Shaffer; the Reagan/Hinckley/Foster incident; and a long
    string of other "celebrity attacks" of all sorts, including
    such bizarre events as the occupation of David Letterman's
    home by a strange woman who claimed to be his wife! There is
    probably no one in public life who doesn't receive at least
    the occassional threatening letter.

    Of course, ordinary participants in network conferencing may
    never attract quite the attention that other types of
    celebrities attract. But consider the following, rather less
    apocalyptic scenarios:

    -- On Friday night you post a message to a public
    conference defending an unpopular or controversial
    viewpoint. On Monday morning your biggest client
    cancels a major contract. Or you are kept up all
    night by repeated telephone calls from someone
    demanding that you "stop killing babies"!

    -- You buy your teenage son or daughter a computer and
    modem. Sometime later you find your lawn littered
    with beer bottles and dug up with tire marks, or
    your home vandalized or burglarized.

    -- One day you are nominated to the Supreme Court. Who
    are all these strange people on TV claiming to be
    your friends? How did that fellow know your position
    on abortion? Your taste in GIFs?

    Celebrities and other professional media personalities
    accept the risks and sacrifices of notoriety, along with the
    benefits, as part of their chosen careers. Should computer
    conference participants be expected to do the same? And who
    should be making these decisions?

    * * * * *

    OTHER MEDIA
    -----------

    When thou art at Rome, do as they do at Rome [Cervantes]


    Older media seem to address the problems of privacy very
    differently than computer media, at least so far. We are
    not aware of ANY medium or publication, apart from computer
    conferencing, where amateur or even most professional
    participants are required to expose their true names against
    their will. Even celebrities frequently use "stage names",
    and protect their addresses and phone numbers as best they
    can.

    When a medium caters specifically to the general public,
    participants are typically given even greater opportunities
    to protect their privacy. Television talk shows have been
    known to go so far as to employ silhouetting and electronic
    alteration of voices to protect the identities of guests,
    and audience members who participate are certainly not
    required to state their full names before speaking.

    The traditional medium most analogous to computer
    conferencing may be talk radio. Like conferencing, talk
    radio is a group discussion and debate medium oriented
    toward controversy, where emotions can run high. Programs
    often center around a specific topic, and are always run by
    a "host" whose role seems analogous in many respects to that
    of a conference moderator. It is therefore worth noting
    that in talk radio generally, policy seems to be that
    callers are identified on the air only by their first names
    (unless of course they volunteer more).

    Finally, of course, authors have published under "pen names"
    since the dawn of publishing, and newspapers and magazines
    frequently publish letters to the editor with "name and
    address withheld by request" as the signature line. Even
    founding fathers Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John
    Jay, in authoring the seminal Federalist Papers in 1787 for
    publication in the Letters columns of various New York City
    newspapers, concealed their identities behind the now-famous
    psuedonym "Publius".

    What would you think if someone called a radio talk show
    demanding to know the identity of a previous caller? Such a
    demand would undoubtedly be seen as menacing and
    inappropriate in that context. Yet that same demand seems
    to arise without much challenge each time a handle shows up
    in a computer conference. The authors of this article feel
    that such demands should always be looked upon as
    suspicious, and that it would be beneficial for moderators
    to take upon themselves the responsibility of making sure
    that besieged handle-users are aware of their right to
    refuse such inappropriate demands.

    It is reasonable to assume that privacy policies in
    traditional media are the result of hard-won wisdom gained
    from long experience. Are we so arrogant that we cannot
    learn from others? It is not hard to imagine the sorts of
    problems and experiences which shaped these policies in the
    old media. Will we have to wait for similar problems to
    occur on the computer networks before we learn?

    * * * * *

    PRIVACY AND SURVEILLANCE
    ------------------------

    In an effort to identify people who fail to file tax
    returns, the Internal Revenue Service is matching
    its files against available lists of names and
    addresses of U.S. citizens who have purchased
    computers for home use. The IRS continues to seek
    out sources for such information. This information
    is matched against the IRS master file of taxpayers
    to see if those who have not filed can be
    identified.
    [COMPUTERWORLD, Sept. 1985]

    Date: Thu, 23 May 91 11:58:07 PDT
    From: mmm@cup.portal.com
    Subject: The RISKS of Posting to the Net
    -
    I just had an interesting visit from the FBI. It
    seems that a posting I made to sci.space several
    months ago had filtered through channels, caused the
    FBI to open (or re-open) a file on me, and an agent
    wanted to interview me, which I did voluntarily...
    I then went on to tell him about the controversy
    over Uunet, and their role in supplying archives of
    Usenet traffic on tape to the FBI...
    [RISKS Digest]

    Also frequent are instances where computers are
    seized incident to an unrelated arrest. For
    example, on February 28, 1991, following an arrest
    on charges of rape and battery, the Massachusetts
    state and local police seized the suspect's computer
    equipment. The suspect reportedly operated a 650-
    subscriber bulletin board called "BEN," which is
    described as "geared largely to a gay/leather/S&M
    crowd." It is not clear what the board's seizure is
    supposed to have accomplished, but the board is now
    shut down, and the identities and messages of its
    users are in the hands of the police.
    [CONSTITUTIONAL, LEGAL, AND ETHICAL
    CONSIDERATIONS FOR DEALING WITH ELECTRONIC
    FILES IN THE AGE OF CYBERSPACE, Harvey A.
    Silverglate and Thomas C. Viles]


    Most of us have been brought up to be grateful for the fact
    that we live in a nation where freedom is sacred. In other
    countries, we are told as children, people are afraid to
    speak their minds for fear they are being watched. Thank
    God we live in America!

    It would surprise most of us to learn that America is
    currently among the premiere surveillance nations in the
    world, but such, sadly, is indeed the case. Our leadership
    in technology has helped the U.S. government to amass as
    much information on its citizens as almost any other nation
    in history, totalitarian or otherwise. And to make matters
    worse, a consumer surveillance behemoth has sprung up
    consisting of huge private data-collection agencies which
    cater to business.

    As Evan Hendricks, editor of "Privacy Times" (a Washington
    D.C.-based newsletter) has put it: "You go through life
    dropping bits and pieces of information about yourself
    everywhere. Most people don't realize there are big vacuum
    cleaners out there sucking it all up." [Wall Street
    Journal, March 14, 1991].

    To get an idea of how much of your privacy has already been
    lost, consider the bits and pieces of information about
    yourself which are already available to investigators, and
    how thoroughly someone might come to know you by these clues
    alone.

    A person's lifestyle and personality are largely described,
    for example, by his or her purchases and expenses; from your
    checking account records -- which banks are required by law
    to keep and make available to government investigators -- a
    substantial portrait of your life will emerge. Credit card
    records may reveal much of the same information, and can
    also be used to track your movements. (In a recent case,
    "missing" Massachusetts State Representative Timothy O'Leary
    was tracked by credit-card transactions as he fled across
    the country, and his movements were reported on the nightly
    news!)

    Then there are your school records, which include IQ and
    other test results, comments on your "socialization" by
    teachers and others, and may reveal family finances in great
    detail. Employment and tax records reveal your present
    income, as well as personal comments by employers and co-
    workers. Your properties are another public record of your
    income and lifestyle, and possibly your social status as
    well. Telephone billing records reveal your personal and
    business associations in more detail. Insurance records
    reveal personal and family health histories and treatments.

    All of this information is commonly accessed by government
    and private or corporate investigators. And this list is
    far from exhaustive!

    Now consider how easily the computer networks lend
    themselves to even further erosions of personal privacy. The
    actual contents of our mail and telephone traffic have up to
    now been subjected to deliberate scrutiny only under
    extraordinary conditions. This built-in safety is due
    primarily to the difficulty and expense of conducting
    surveillance in these media, which usually requires extended
    human intervention. But in the medium of computer
    communications, most surveillance can be conducted using
    automated monitoring techniques. Tools currently available
    make it possible and even cost-effective for government and
    other interests to monitor virtually everything which
    happens here.

    Why would anyone want to monitor network users? It is well
    documented that, throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the FBI and
    other agencies of government, in operations such as the
    infamous COINTELPRO among others, spent a great deal of time
    and effort collecting vast lists of names. As Computer
    Underground Digest moderators Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer
    recalled in a recent commentary (CuD #3.42):

    "A 1977 class action suit against the Michigan State
    Police learned, through FOIA requests, that state and
    federal agents would peruse letters to the editor of
    newspapers and collect clippings of those whose politics
    they did not like. These news clippings became the basis
    of files on those persons that found there way into the
    hands of other agencies and employers."

    To get onto one of these government "enemies" lists, you
    often needed to do nothing more than telephone an
    organization under surveillance, or subscribe to the "wrong"
    types of magazines and newspapers. Groups engaged in
    political activism, including environmental and women's
    rights organizations, were commonly infiltrated. The sort
    of investigative reporting which uncovered these lists and
    surveillances back in the '60s and '70s is now rare, but
    there is little reason to assume that such activities have
    ceased or even slowed. In fact, progressive computerization
    of local police LEIU activities (Law Enforcement
    Intelligence Units, commonly known as "red squads") suggests
    that such activities may have greatly increased.

    Within the realm of computer conferencing especially, there
    is ample reason to believe that systematic monitoring is
    being conducted by government and law-enforcement
    organizations, and perhaps by other hostile interests as
    well. In a recent issue of Telecom Digest
    (comp.dcom.telecom), Craig Neidorf (knight@EFF.ORG) reported
    on the results of a recent Freedom of Information Act
    request for documents from the Secret Service:

    " ... The documents also show that the Secret Service
    established a computer database to keep track of
    suspected computer hackers. This database contains
    records of names, aliases, addresses, phone numbers,
    known associates, a list of activities, and various
    [conference postings] associated with each individual."

    But the privacy issues which surround computer
    communications go far beyond the collection of user lists.
    Both government and industry have long pursued the elusive
    grail of personality profiling on citizens and consumers. Up
    to now, such ambitions have been restrained by the practical
    difficulty and expense of collecting and analyzing large
    amounts of information on large numbers of citizens. But
    computer communications, more than any other technology,
    seems to hold out the promise that this unholy grail may
    finally be in sight.

    To coin a phrase, never has so much been known by so few
    about so many. The information commonly available to
    government and industry investi-gators today is sufficient
    to make reliable predictions about our personalities,
    health, politics, future behavior, our vulnerabilities,
    perhaps even about our innermost thoughts and feelings. The
    privacy we all take for granted is, in fact, largely an
    illusion; it no longer exists in most walks of life. If we
    wish to preserve even the most basic minimum of personal
    privacy, it seems clear that we need to take far better care
    on the networks than we have taken elsewhere.

    * * * * *

    FREEDOM
    -------

    Human beings are the only species with a history.
    Whether they also have a future is not so obvious.
    The answer will lie in the prospects for popular
    movements, with firm roots among all sectors of the
    population, dedicated to values that are suppressed
    or driven to the margins within the existing social
    and political order...
    [Noam Chomsky]


    In your day-to-day social interactions, as you deal with
    employers, clients, public officials, friends, acquaintances
    and total strangers, how often do you feel you can really
    speak freely? How comfortable are you discussing
    controversial issues such as religion, taxes, politics,
    racism, sexuality, abortion or AIDS, for example? Would you
    consider it appropriate or wise to express an honest opinion
    on such an issue to your boss, or a client? To your
    neighbors?

    Most of us confine such candid discussions to certain
    "trusted" social contexts, such as when we are among our
    closest friends. But when you post to a network conference,
    your boss, your clients, and your neighbors may very well
    read what you post -- if they are not on the nets today,
    they probably will be soon, as will nearly everyone.

    If we have to consider each post's possible impact on our
    social and professional reputations, on our job security and
    income, on our family's acceptance and safety in the
    community, it could be reckless indeed to express ourselves
    freely on the nets. Yet conferences are often geared to
    controversy, and inhibitions on the free expression of
    opinions can reduce traffic to a trickle, killing off an
    important conference topic or distorting a valuable sampling
    of public opinion.

    More important still is the role computer networks are
    beginning to play in the free and open dissemination of news
    and information. Democracy is crippled if dissent and
    diversity in the media are compromised; yet even here in the
    U.S., where a "free press" is a cherished tradition, the
    bulk of all the media is owned by a small (and ever-
    shrinking) number of corporations, whose relatively narrow
    culture, interests and perspec-tives largely shape the
    public perception.

    Computer communication, on the other hand, is by its nature
    very difficult to control or shape. Its resources are
    scattered; when one BBS goes bust (or is busted!), three
    others spring up in its place. The natural resiliency of
    computer communications (and other new, decentral-ized
    information technologies such as fax, consumer camcorders
    and cheap satellite links) is giving rise to a new brand of
    global "guerrilla journalism" which includes everyone, and
    defies efforts at suppression.

    The power and value of this new journalistic freedom has
    recently shown itself during the Gulf War, and throughout
    Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, as well as within the
    U.S. Just think of the depth and detail of information
    available on the nets regarding the Secret Service's recent
    "Operation Sundevil" and associated activities, compared to
    the grossly distorted, blatantly propagandistic coverage of
    those same activities given to the general public through
    the traditional media.

    Historically, established power and wealth have seldom been
    disposed to tolerate uncontrolled media, and recent events
    in this country and elsewhere show that computer media are
    sometimes seen as threats to established interests as well.
    To understand the role of handles in this context, it is
    useful to note the flurries of anti-handle sentiment which
    have arisen in the wake of crackdowns such as Sundevil, or
    the Tom Tcimpidis raid in the early 1980s. Although few
    charges and fewer convictions have typically resulted from
    such operations, one might be tempted to speculate that the
    real purposes -- to terrorize the nets and chill freedoms of
    speech and assembly thereon -- have been achieved.

    In this way, sysops and moderators become unwitting
    accomplices in the supression of freedom on the networks.
    When real name requirements are instituted, anyone who fears
    retaliation of any sort, by any group, will have to fear
    participation in the nets; hence content is effectively
    controlled. This consideration becomes especially important
    as the nets expand into even more violent and repressive
    countries outside the U.S.

    We must decide whether freedom of information and open
    public discussion are in fact among the goals of network
    conferencing, and if so, whether handles have a role in
    achieving these goals. As access to the networks grows, we
    have a rare opportunity to frustrate the efforts of
    governments and corporations to control the public mind! In
    this way above all others, computers may have the potential
    to shape the future of all mankind for the better.

    * * * * *

    A CALL TO ACTION
    ----------------


    The move to electronic communication may be a turning
    point that history will remember. Just as in
    seventeenth and eighteenth century Great Britain and
    America a few tracts and acts set precedents for
    print by which we live today, so what we think and do
    today may frame the information system for a
    substantial period in the future.
    [Ithiel de Sola Pool, "Technologies of Freedom", 1983]


    There was a time when anybody with some gear and a few
    batteries could become a radio broadcaster -- no license
    required. There was a time when anyone with a sense of
    adventure could buy a plane, and maybe get a contract to
    carry mail. Those early technological pioneers were
    probably unable to imagine the world as it is today, but
    their influence is strongly felt in current laws,
    regulations and policies with roots in the traditions and
    philosophies they founded and shaped.

    Today the new pioneers are knitting the world together with
    computers, and the world is changing faster than ever. Law
    and ethics are scrambling to keep up. How far will this
    growth take us? No one can say for sure. But you don't
    need a crystal ball to see that computer communications has
    the potential to encompass and surpass all the functionality
    of prior media -- print, post, telegraph, telephone, radio
    and television -- and more. It seems reasonable to assume
    that computer communications will be at least as ubiquitous
    and important in the lives of our grandchildren as all the
    older media have been in ours.

    It will be a world whose outlines we can now make out only
    dimly. But the foundations of that world are being built
    today by those of us exploring and homesteading on the
    electronic frontier. We need to look hard at what it will
    take to survive in the information age.

    In this article we have attempted to show, for one very
    narrow issue, what some of the stakes may be in this future-
    building game. But the risks associated with exposing your
    name in a computer conference are not well defined, and
    various people will no doubt assess the importance of these
    risks differently. After all, most of us take risks every
    day which are probably greater than the risks associated
    with conferencing. We drive on the expressway. We eat
    sushi. To some people, the risks of conferencing may seem
    terrifying; to others, insignificant.

    But let us not get side-tracked into unresolvable arguments
    on the matter. The real issue here is not how dangerous
    conferencing may or may not be; it is whether you and I will
    be able to make our own decisions, and protect ourselves (or
    not) as we see fit. The obvious answer is that users must
    exercise their collective power to advance their own
    interests, and to pressure sysops and moderators to become
    more sensitive to user concerns.

    To help in that effort, we would like to recommend the
    following guidelines for user action:

    -- Bear in mind John Perry Barlow's observation that
    "Liberties are preserved by using them". Let your
    sysop know that you would prefer to be using a
    handle, and use one wherever you can.

    -- Try to support boards and conferences which allow
    handles, and avoid those which don't.

    -- When using a handle, BEHAVE RESPONSIBLY! There will
    always be irresponsible users on the nets, and they
    will always use handles. It is important for the
    rest of us to fight common anti-handle prejudices by
    showing that handles are NOT always the mark of an
    irresponsible user!

    -- Educate others about the importance of handles (but
    NEVER argue or flame anyone about it).

    To sysops and moderators: We ask you to bear in mind that
    authority is often used best where it is used least. Grant
    users the right to engage in any harmless and responsible
    behaviors they choose. Protect your interests in ways which
    tread as lightly as possible upon the interests of others.
    The liberties you preserve may be your own!

    In building the computer forums of today, we are building
    the social fabric of tomorrow. If we wish to preserve the
    free and open atmosphere which has made computer networking
    a powerful force, while at the same time taking care against
    the risks inherent in such a force, handles seem to be a
    remarkably harmless, entertaining and effective tool to help
    us. Let's not throw that tool away.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 11:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "If I reveal my identity, you can anonymously destroy me.

    On the day when you are not even able to read my blog reply posts without divulging your identity due to systematic erasure of online anonymity, or even drive to my house to T.P. it without your whereabouts being tracked by GPS, then I will be obligated, obviously, to do the same, and divulge my identity when writing."

    If someone wanted to anonymously drive to your house to TP it, requiring online disclosure is not going to stop them from anonymously doing so. If I read the blog and disagree with you and I post nothing and did something to your house, how would you know I did it. You won't. You're a hypocrite, plain and simple.

    Requiring me to reveal my identity on the Internet is not going to stop anyone from anonymously destroying you if they know who you are. and that's the point, the corporate thugs want to anonymously destroy those that disagree with them by ensuring that they don't get jobs to ensure they can't survive or work because they'll enforce their unethically government granted monopolies on them to even ensure they can't survive.

    Furthermore, I want a video of you on youtube speaking in a camera and telling us your registered name on techdirt so we can independently verify it's you and not just a photo of someone else.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 11:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    err. because they'll enforce their unethical government granted monopolies on them to even ensure they can't compete.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 11:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You should run for office.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 11:42pm

    Too many people anonymously claim that anonymity is bad.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2010 @ 11:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "If my idea of utopia"

    You know communism is a Utopian economic structure. Utopians tend to be totalitarian and/or fascist, look at Hitler for example.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "No thank you, not without reciprocity."

    You know requiring reciprocity is an act of self interest which partly may suggest that your demands for disclosure could be in your self interest, not necessarily in the self interest of the population as a whole (though you are part of the population).

    If you really believed that anonymity is bad and your intention in requiring disclosure really is to benefit society then releasing your information would benefit society. But your refusal to do so suggests that you don't care enough about society to benefit them with your disclosure and if you don't care enough about society to do so then why should we think that your attempts to require disclosure from others is intended to benefit society?

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    anti-mike fanclub member #1, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I've tendered my candidacy for world governor, but the campaign hasn't picked up much steam yet. Give it some time.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    anti-mike fanclub member #1, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Requiring me to reveal my identity on the Internet is not going to stop anyone from anonymously destroying you if they know who you are."

    That's why I brought up the other aspects of anonymity which you chose to ignore, the GPS monitoring and fill in whatever blanks with ideas from 1984 you want. If the Department of Tracing Through The No-Anonymity Big Brother Logs Of Everything After Someone Does Something Bad is able to do pose a credible threat to evildoers such as you, hypothetical T.P.er, then you will think twice before doing it.

    And then you go on to yammer about C-word's thugs operating anonymously when I explicitly stipulated that we were to operate in an environment of 100% openness. Did you even read what I said?

    Furthermore, I want a pony with a sparkly bridle.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "On the day when you are not even able to read my blog reply posts without divulging your identity due to systematic erasure of online anonymity, or even drive to my house to T.P."

    In fact, since anonymity will do nothing to prevent someone from anonymously TPin'g my house (and while this part you may disagree with, it's common sense and everybody knows it and your stupidity will convince no one otherwise) and since you admit that disclosing your identity might cause someone to anonymously TP your house, then, by your very own logic, the only thing requiring online disclosure would do is make everyone afraid that their house will get TP'd every time they said something that someone else might disagree with. This will do plenty to hinder free speech.

    You my friend are an idiot.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    errr ... In fact, since disclosure will do nothing to prevent someone from anonymously TPin'g my house

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Is this so hard to understand? Unanonymity is a necessary part of complete openness, but not a virtue unto itsself. It is poison when applied to individuals, and tonic when applied to everyone. Ever heard of a prisoner's dilemma? We're all better off if we work together, but if we act alone, we are all screwed.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "That's why I brought up the other aspects of anonymity which you chose to ignore, the GPS monitoring and fill in whatever blanks with ideas from 1984 you want."

    GPS monitoring? If I wanted to TP your house I'm not going to take a GPS with me that allows the government to monitor me. and why should we waste precious government resources on such a pointless system?

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    and if you honestly believe that this GPS nonsense is going to be non circumventable then you're an idiot. and to require an expensive totalitarian government for no good reason is not acceptable either.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    anti-mike fanclub member #1, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Thnks for pointing that out. You know, Utopian is a word that starts with a capital U. U tends to be used as a vowel, look at "juvenile strawmanning hit and run" for example.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    anti-mike fanclub member #1, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You'd take a GPS in your car because if you didnt, and the ground monitoring systems noticed a discrepancy, you would get dragged in chains to a dungeon and flogged with the wits of all those who came before you, which is not as bad as it sound since they are all soggy and overladen with self-delusion. We should waste precious government resources for the same reason we waste resources making sure companies dont dump mercury into your water supplies: it makes the world a better and safer place.

    By the way, don't think you can travel to my house by foot, because the computers which watch everywhere you go will know you have no alibi and algorithms will ferret you out. And the cameras on every streetcorner will catch you doing it anyway. Wearing a mask? A mask-wearing man is conspicuous. You will be caught.

    Think I am living in a fantasy world? The only reason we can't do all of this now is an archaic preoccupation with privacy.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    With the system you're proposing Internet disclosure will not be required to catch me TPing your house, the system you propose itself will do a fine job of catching me without the need to disclose who I am on the Internet.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:43am

    Re: You Can't Get Rid Of Anonymity Online, Even If You Wanted To

    FYI:
    Moderator's note:

    The preceding article is a lengthy excerpt from a recent issue of FIDONEWS concerning individual privacy and the use of aliases or handles in computer-based communications. It was submitted by a comp.society reader who used an alias; because the excerpt is a cross-post from another electronic publication, I have taken the liberty of viewing the use of a handle by sender as a request for privacy and anonymity similar to the request a newspaper editor might receive in a
    letter to the editor.

    Thus, while reprinting the submission, the name and address of the sender are "withheld upon request."

    However, the article raises a number of good points; the submission by a reader using a handle to preserve anonymity makes a point; and the editorial action of submitting the reader's posting anonymously makes the question current.

    What are the implications of using aliases on the net?

    Originally:
    Greg Welsh, moderator, comp.society
    Internet: Socicom@american.edu
    Bitnet: Socicom@auvm.bitnet

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    anti-mike fanclub member #1, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It was supposed to be an exercise left to the leader to analogize and contemplate how a similarly ruthless and thorough policy and enforcement regime could prevent even the most banal of crimes online. Internet disclosure is just an instance of X disclosure, where I seek the disclosure of every possible X, including online, and including where your car is at any given time.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Internet disclosure is just an instance of X disclosure, where I seek the disclosure of every possible X, including online, and including where your car is at any given time."

    and my point is that such requirements pretty much defeat the purpose of Internet disclosure in terms of someone TPing your house or doing something of that nature since they will get caught with or without Internet disclosure.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ok, n/m, I see your point now.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry, I had a long day, and I'm really sleep deprived anyways. But now I see your point.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    anti-mike fanclub member #1, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Do I have to spell this out for you? How are they going to get caught hacking into your computer or tormenting your teenage daughter until she commits suicide, or spreading malicious slander, or moving kiddie porn bits?

    Ok, they'll get caught with the mandatory keyloggers and screen capturers which will be installed on everyone's computers.

    Let's be real here. There is a cost benefit analysis to everything, and there is low-hanging fruit to be picked. Eliminating anonymity results in so much self-regulation that is is almost foolish not to take it as the very first step. That's bang for the buck.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So then I want to see the government stop being secretive about ACTA and I want to see the top percent be open about the percentage of the resources they own.

    Also, why is disclosure good if everyone does it? Do you have any evidence for this? and isn't some degree of privacy an end unto itself? You remove all privacy and doesn't that defeat the purpose of suppressing those that oppress us (ie: by allowing the government instead to oppress us and to invade our privacy and be tyrants)?

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Eliminating anonymity results in so much self-regulation that is is almost foolish not to take it as the very first step. That's bang for the buck."

    But regulating the requirement for disclosure is not a self regulating process and it's an expensive process as well.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "You'd take a GPS in your car because if you didnt, and the ground monitoring systems noticed a discrepancy"

    and you honestly don't think that people won't get around this? Regulating and requiring and enforcing this is a non-self regulating very expensive process. People will find ways around this, they will continue to innovate. They will switch the GPS of one car with one from another and they'll find ways to circumvent the system. This is not cheap, and defeats the purpose of your whole alleged self regulation system.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:16am

    anyways, I better get some sleep. Interesting discussion though.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    anti-mike fanclub member #1, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's a fair point. But perhaps your view is tainted by the current patchwork setup where disclosure is sometimes mandatory and sometimes not; sometimes desireable and sometimes not; sometimes socially sanctioned and sometimes not--and it is costly to regulate for the same reason that complex tax codes are costly to administer and respond to. In response to that, flat taxes are proposed, and in response to the trouble of a patchwork disclosure regime, a similar overhaul might prove less behemoth an undertaking than extending the present course.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Cyanide is bad for us if only one person takes it but it's good for us, and in fact helps us live longer, if everyone takes it all at once.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "In response to that, flat taxes are proposed"

    and flat taxes lead to tax evasion just as well, and disclosure will lead to evasion for the same reasons that a flat tax does. Because there is a market to evade taxes just like there is a market to avoid disclosure. and a tax itself funds its own enforcement whereas disclosure will be funded via a tax and as such disclosure does cost money. Heck, the war on drugs is a very expensive war yet even where the law is "simple" or, more importantly, well understood by all, enforcement is still difficult. and it is also difficult to measure the benefit of disclosure vs the cost in tax dollars and people value privacy so the "costs" (in social utility) of the lack of privacy must also be considered along with the costs in tax dollars to enforce such laws.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    also note, the market to avoid disclosure is HUGE, it's not small, and so the cost to regulate it will likewise be just as huge. and the fact that the market for privacy is huge also suggests that the social utility lost due to lost privacy will also be huge. and people also have an understanding that, at least to SOME extent, taxes are necessary (though most of our tax dollars are wasted for no good reason) whereas, in the case of privacy, most people tend to hold the belief that some degree of privacy is important.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You sound like you come from a family that would be classified as an "oligarchy".

    Nice.

     

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  46.  
    icon
    Joe Perry (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In an earlier post you said corrupt governments and organization won't survive in an open environment, but then you go on to mention 1984 and Big Brother? Did you even read 1984? The whole point was that it was a corrupt government, it's a dystopia. Do you really think that would solve the problem? There will always be bad people with no regard for the law, and that sort of system just makes it easier for them to find the people they want to hurt and plan out large-scale attacks.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 2:08am

    Can someone tell the US Senator that I said I wanted to work for last week that having a faster interwebs connection and watching "Cognoscor Ergo Sum" without buffering is worth more than working for them?

    For example, and quite plainly: I don't plan to work for your re-election campaign.

    Unless you get Unilever as a sponsor.

    And that's tonight's word.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 2:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "setup where disclosure is sometimes mandatory and sometimes not"

    Another thing to note is that identification authenticity on the Internet would be important, that is, the ability to authenticate a user and ensure that the user is who s/he claims to be. Otherwise you have identity theft. For that we often have passwords and/or keys (ie: public/private key). However, that often requires some degree of privacy to authenticate someones identity (ie: you have to have the private key kept private and passwords must be kept secret). Unless every time I want to sign into my Gmail account I have a high resolution camera and I speak to someone who physically works at Gmail, who remembers me, and tell him who I am (and this is expensive) or every time I speak to people on the Internet I use video of myself to authenticate myself (again, adding cost), there must be something kept secret (ie: a password) for a server or others to authenticate me. So then, this expensive problem of sometimes required and sometimes not is not going to go away precisely because there are many situations where privacy is more cheaper than full disclosure (ie: using a password is a cheaper method of identification than using a webcam or maybe even a finger print, which can be fabricated even unless kept secret and it's not hard, and is in fact VERY cheap and easy, to fabricate and make a cast of your fingerprints or even make a program that imitates the output of your fingerprint to a server, each time you want to log into an account. Or, you can have a device that creates a random number based on an algorithm, but notice that such requires privacy/secrecy, the key used to generate random keys must be kept secret).

     

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  49.  
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    Craig Mundie, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 5:17am

    Everyone should be required to have a license to use the internet.

     

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  50.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 5:42am

    All I can say is that it is totally amazing to watch someone have a discussion with themselves.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 5:48am

    Re:

    No, I am not having a discussion with myself (and I do not have discussions with myself. Sometimes in the past I may click reply to my post to ADD to what I said before but I do not have discussions with myself), and in fact am terrified at the idea of whoever I am having a discussion with, being at how well they managed to argue a completely untenable and absurd position. but I see it as a good exercise that will help me better defeat such stupid positoins in the future.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 6:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "That's a fair point."

    (to add to what I said before)
    Then you admit that it's not a self regulating process. and this is key, it requires other PEOPLE to regulate it, people that are themselves subject to corruption. The government collects taxes but they waste the overwhelming majority of it on things that are absolutely not in the public interest but instead are unfairly in the best interest of a small minority. We must trust that the those regulating the system will not game the system and governments have made one thing very clear, that they are unable NOT to game the system. Our current system is gamed. The mainstream media, and most media outside the Internet, is very gamed and corrupted, censoring important information and viewpoints and spreading lies, and it's the government that enables this. Governments are inherently corrupt and can't tell the truth if their lives depend on it. Your ideology requires trust in a government when almost the only thing that governments are able and have been able to show is an inability to be trustworthy. This is the most important reason why your system will fail, it requires regulation and PEOPLE, at some level, will regulate and influence it and people are subject to corruption and secrecy.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 6:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not to mention, tax dollars end up getting wasted to enforce laws that are not in the public interest (ie: the existing intellectual property laws, cableco/telco infrastructure monopolies and monopolies on who can build new infrastructure, taxi cab monopolies, etc... Our tax system is a failure thanks to corruption, why should I believe that your ideology will be any less of a failure. You know some taxi cab companies in the U.S. still use prehistoric 486 and older computers, along with the ancient Novell Netware networking systems, for their system with 5.25 disk floppies even. Bet this isn't true in countries where such monopoly regulation does not exist. Bet you if you removed their monopoly power you will see more modern technology become the norm in taxi cab driving corporations. These companies absolutely refuse to advance due to their monopoly power, why should they, and they don't advance as a result. They have no reason to advance and invest since most of their investments go into campaign contributions/bribery and lobbying anyways).

     

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  54.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 6:48am

    Re: Re: This is the basic problem with all IP morons

    In general responding to them with lots of facts and reason will either A ) Shut them up, or B ) Get them to reply without actually responding to anything.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "setup where disclosure is sometimes mandatory and sometimes not"
    (to restate my response more clearly)

    Full disclosure requires authentication and authentication often requires secrecy and to require full disclosure and no secrecy is going to be a very difficult and expensive process.

     

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  56.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:16am

    Re:

    So TAM how does the article fit in your view of how IPv6 is going to change everything .... LOL

     

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  57.  
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    Buckwally (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:38am

    re: You Can't Get Rid Of Anonymity Online, Even If You Wanted To

    The technology exists right now, the standard three phase credential system, with encryption, Secure ID tokens, strong passwords, security questions, and VPN to access the Internet from any computer with reasonable security. It is possible to authenticate yourself if that is required or desired. The issue isn't that you can't do it, it is that it is a bit more inconvenient, and you might not want to. The analogy I like best is the Old West. There needs to be a part of the Internet that is civilized (ie "east of the Mississippi") and where credential are required, for things like banking, accessing your corporate environment, shopping etc) where using the computer is reasonably safe. There is a sherrif in every town, and there may be a policeman on every corner.
    At the same time, there needs to be a part of the internet where anonimity is allowable or desireable (ie "west of the Mississippi") where anything goes, like whistleblowing, political speech, etc. There just isnt a one-size-fits-all model. Just as in the Old West, if you go there, you had best be prepared to defend yourself because it is a long way between sherrifs, and those that you do encounter may be working for the local land baron.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:49am

    "While there's always one or two people in our comments who claim that anonymity should be ditched to make people "responsible for what they say,"

    These people are the self righteous toolbags of the internet who get twisted in knots when they can't make things quite as personal as they'd like. They're also usually the first to go running for the hills when things get turned around on them.

     

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  59.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re:

    IPv6 is very important towards being able to identify end users better. There are too many gateways, traffic aggregations, rotating IPs, and 101 other things which make it much harder track individual users.

    When you make users have more unique IP addresses, it makes them easier to track, Yes, in some ways you can still spoof things, but bi-direction communication makes spoofing fairly useless, as you may be able to send information but not be able to receive it (as the packets would not come back to you).

    it's like email headers: you can fake them all you like for spam, but there is no easy way to receive replies without providing a legit address. Spoofing is unidirectional.

    Yes, you can use VPN etc, but in the long run VPN systems will likely end up being required to log their users as well, and potentially even provide them an individual IPv6 addressed for their traffic, thus removing much of the anonymous factor there as well.

    The author makes some good points, but in the end it has been shown already that even companies like Google can obtain enough aggregate information about you to just about identify you individually, even without an IP address.

    So to answer your question, the less that is shared and the more that is unique, the easier it is to track individual users. Like it or not, the internet right now is still in it's wild west stage, but that isn't a forever thing. online business right now are very tolerant of scammers, and are accepting loss levels that are not in keeping with what the would accept in a physical retail situation. That isn't something that will be tolerated forever, which will require methods to better identify users and track down scammers. The wild west won't last forever, you may want to remember this as a golden age of anonymous (right after the anon.penet.fi era)

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Yes, you can use VPN etc, but in the long run VPN systems will likely end up being required to log their users as well, and potentially even provide them an individual IPv6 addressed for their traffic, thus removing much of the anonymous factor there as well."

    If I ran a VPN system at my house how does anyone know the logs are authentic. and to require everyone who runs a VPN server to log them would be ridiculous and very burdensome to society, it would add a lot of cost and reduce aggregate output by reducing the amount of VPN servers in use and by reducing who has VPN servers (and this alone is also an expensive cost to society).

    "but bi-direction communication makes spoofing fairly useless"

    If I work for the ISP (or if I hacked the ISP server) and I can direct traffic from a particular server headed to a particular IP address towards me then I can spoof someone else.

     

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  61.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If I ran a VPN system at my house how does anyone know the logs are authentic. and to require everyone who runs a VPN server to log them would be ridiculous and very burdensome to society

    Actually, you would want to log it, otherwise it's your personal IP address that is logged to you that is spewing all this traffic. You see, that is where responsiblity comes in, either you personally sent the traffic, or you can identify what IP sent the traffic through you. It's the reason why most people, presented with this sort of option, would choose not to provide someone else with a stealthy way to access the internet.

    If I work for the ISP (or if I hacked the ISP server) and I can direct traffic from a particular server headed to a particular IP address towards me then I can spoof someone else.

    If grandma has wheels, she would have been a streetcar. If you are willing to hack (break the law) to try to spoof, then more power to you. I mean, heck, I can be a multimillionaire if I only rob enough banks.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "That isn't something that will be tolerated forever"

    That isn't something that would be tolerated by whom, the top one percent who demand control over the masses?

    and you fail to explain how government regulation will improve societal benefit, government regulation outside the Internet (ie: monopolies on public airwaves turning them into a broadcasting system, instead of a communication system that anyone can use) has only hurt public welfare. Government regulation of cableco/telco infrastructure has only hurt public welfare. How is your ideal nonsense going to help public welfare? It won't, and you simply want to force something on the population against their will. This just goes to show the mentality of IP maximists.

    Even you admit that the masses do not like ACTA or IP concepts ( http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100122/1026457875.shtml where you said "The public isn't invited to be part of the process mostly because the public has already spoken clearly with it's actions, and those actions show a total lack of respect for the concepts of IP and rights."). You don't care about having a government that represents the people, you only care about having a government that represents YOU unfairly.

    and if the government imposes full disclosure against the will of the masses (though they don't require disclosure for the evil rich people, ie: when it comes to ACTA discussions, even though this regards laws and politicians and political processes funded with tax dollars by the people and hence are much more deserving of disclosure) then how can we expect the government to represent the people even with our disclosure and why should we believe that such disclosure is in our best interest when the government clearly acts against our will (who are they do determine our best interest better than us)? and why should we believe that the government will server the will of the masses after requiring our full disclosure against our will? The government is supposed to serve the will of the masses and if they're not going to do that we are better off without them.

    It's amazing how you promote both full disclosure for the masses AND secrecy for the rich (ie: in the case of ACTA). You're a hypocrite.

     

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  63.  
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    chris (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's why I brought up the other aspects of anonymity which you chose to ignore, the GPS monitoring and fill in whatever blanks with ideas from 1984 you want. If the Department of Tracing Through The No-Anonymity Big Brother Logs Of Everything After Someone Does Something Bad is able to do pose a credible threat to evildoers such as you, hypothetical T.P.er, then you will think twice before doing it.

    there is a universe of difference between amassing data and being able to do something effective with it. in the intelligence community, this is called collection and analysis. collection is mostly automated, analysis is mostly manual. the manual analysis process is how we got pearl harbor and 9/11. the data was collected, but not analyzed.

    in computer science, this is called logging and parsing. you can use filters and a bunch of other stuff, but the rule is still pretty much the same: logging is automated and parsing is human assisted at best, and completely manual at worst. this is why we still have malware and viruses.

    anyone who works with databases will tell you about the problem of collecting too much data, but neal stevenson sums it up best in "snow crash" http://vxheavens.com/lib/mns00.html:

    The CIC brass can't stand these guys because they upload staggering quantities of useless information to the database, on the off chance that some of it will eventually be useful. It's like writing down the license number of every car you see on your way to work each morning, just in case one of them will be involved in a hit-and-run accident. Even the CIC database can only hold so much garbage. So, usually, these habitual gargoyles get kicked out of CIC before too long.

    this is a problem with crowd sourced surveillance and automated surveillance alike. large datasets take a long time to sort through, even with great tools and expert personnel, and even then it's far from an exact science.

    huge companies built almost entirely around databases (google, amazon, etc.) have the greatest minds of our time working on the problem and still haven't worked out the bugs. those datasets are tiny compared to the system that you are proposing.

    as if that wasn't enough, consider the effects of false positives. a 99% success rate implies a 1% failure rate, or 1 in 100 times the system doesn't work. even if the system were 99.9999% accurate and one 1 in 1 million transactions were bad, when you look at the scale of a city, a country, or god forbid, the internet, where billions of things happen every second, then one in a million happens a couple of million times every day.

    plus, that's before the "privacy pirates" step in to introduce false data. what happens to your magic GPS system when cars drive in loops around the city? what happens when a hundred cars get their beacons stolen, or switched, or fedexed to different cities?

    there is a reason that intelligence types and computer types refer to electronic communications and data as traffic, because it gets really messy really quick. freeway traffic has been around since the 50's and no one has implemented a way to move it efficiently, let alone monitor it.

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Actually, you would want to log it"

    Claiming it's in my best interest to log it is not the same thing as saying they will be required to log it.

    "If grandma has wheels, she would have been a streetcar. If you are willing to hack (break the law) to try to spoof, then more power to you. I mean, heck, I can be a multimillionaire if I only rob enough banks."

    but the point is that this defeats your full disclosure nonsense and makes it more difficult to prove that information from an IP address came from that computer. Not to mention people put trojan horses on the computers of others hence remotely accessing the machines of others and surfing the Internet. In such a situation the people who are accessing my machine illegally without my knowledge should be responsible, not me, even if they are not caught.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Also note, me posting stuff on this blog that disagrees with you or even leaking information that the government doesn't want people to know (for no good reason) is not or at least shouldn't be illegal. What is your position on that, should people have anonymity when it comes to such issues? Should I be allowed to post my opinion online with full anonymity? and if not, why aren't you disclosing your identity?

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    (and to continue where you left of)

    while it is true that technology to sort through and analyze the data may improve, at the same time the quantity, complexity, and sophistication of the data that needs to be analyzed (as technology increases) will also increase and people will also likely develop new technologies to circumvent the new systems that try to automatically store, sort, and analyze the data. So it's a game of cat and mouse, technological advancement in one area to control us will yield a demand for technological advancements in ways to circumvent those methodologies and hence circumventions will likely be created. Likewise, technological advancement itself yields more data and complexity and sophistication to analyze.

    So an alien race that's 1000 years ahead of our technology may do an excellent job at creating a very cheap computer system that can easily and very accurately and completely analyze our Internet and our systems with no problems at all. But because their own systems are so much more sophisticated and advanced, that same technology would do a very poor job of analyzing their own infrastructure and methodologies of circumventing their analytical technologies. So it's a double edged sword.

    Public airwaves were once used as a very useful communication medium until the FCC destroyed it. What did that do? It only created demand for ways and technologies to circumvent the artificial communication barrier and now you have blogs. If that gets restricted it will create a demand to circumvent those restrictions and new technology will be implemented that does so.

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "that same technology would do a very poor job of analyzing their own infrastructure and methodologies of circumventing their analytical technologies."

    err. that should read

    that same technology would do a very poor job of analyzing their own infrastructure and accounting for their existing methodologies of circumventing their analytical technologies.

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Like it or not, the internet right now is still in it's wild west stage"

    Today the Internet, tomorrow untraceable quantum non local communication devices.

     

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  69.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's amazing how you promote both full disclosure for the masses AND secrecy for the rich (ie: in the case of ACTA). You're a hypocrite.

    Sigh.

    Where do I start?

    ACTA isn't secrecy for the rich. Those are your words, not mine. ACTA (and any other treaty) can and often is negotiated in private, under security restrictions. You are just feeling this one more because it strikes closer to home. I am sure you don't have anywhere near as much interest in confidential discussions about sugar cane production or military bases in Japan, do you?

    It is clear that the public, by it's actions, has already expressed what it wants, and those wants have nothing to do with respecting the rights of creators of the very content they long to have. With the concept of "snitches get stiches" I suspect more people respect their corner crack dealer than respect content producers rights.

    if the government imposes full disclosure against the will of the masses

    Where do you get "full disclosure" from? It isn't like your name and home address are going to appear next to every online post you make. You can still be an anonymous coward here if you like, but the concept would be that there would be enough information between techdirt and your ISP to identify you (or at least the connection used to post). That would basically put you in the position of having all your rights, all your free speech, and at the same time having to accept responsibility for that speech. That is actually the fundamentals of a free society, you can say whatever you want, but you cannot cower in the dark when you say them.

    You have to remember too, the will of the masses isn't always how things are done. The will of the masses is to drive faster than the speed limit on highways, but you don't see anyone running on a platform to repeal speed limits. The will of the masses is sometimes against the better interest of the masses, so sometimes the laws aren't as the masses wish. The masses all want lower taxes (or not to pay any), yet without taxes, many of the other things we want (like roads, bridges, the rule of law, etc) are entirely based on those taxes. Only following the wishes of the masses in one direction would have horrible results, don't you think?

    So while your comments are carefully crafted, you managed to try to put words in my mouth on both sides. I am not for your "full disclosure" on one side, not am I suggest that there should be secrecy for the rich.

    Good try though, much better than some of your other work.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "ACTA isn't secrecy for the rich."

    You're a liar and no one believes you.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "That would basically put you in the position of having all your rights, all your free speech, and at the same time having to accept responsibility for that speech. That is actually the fundamentals of a free society, you can say whatever you want, but you cannot cower in the dark when you say them."

    No, this is retarded. This defeats the purpose of free speech. Otherwise one can argue I have free speech but if I disagree with the president I can be jailed or executed. Under those standards free speech exists everywhere and has always done so.

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Good try though, much better than some of your other work."

    While you seem to have improved your spelling (that took a long time) and even your ability to make understandable sentences, you still need to work on not contradicting yourself. Even after that you still need to work on making a reasonable argument, non contradiction is not the only standard to a reasonable argument.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "That is actually the fundamentals of a free society, you can say whatever you want, but you cannot cower in the dark when you say them."

    So identify yourself.

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "You have to remember too, the will of the masses isn't always how things are done. The will of the masses is to drive faster than the speed limit on highways, but you don't see anyone running on a platform to repeal speed limits."

    I would argue that many people would want faster speed limits but they don't think it's worth the time or energy to demand them with enough force to get their demands met.

    "The will of the masses is sometimes against the better interest of the masses"

    So should the masses then succumb to the will of a small minority against the will of the masses? and why should it be assumed that a small minority is better able to determine what's in the best interest of the general public than the general public itself? Or that a small minority is more interested in the best interests of the general public, instead of just its own best interests, than the general public? This sounds like communism/totalitarianism, where a small minority gets to choose what's in the best interest of the masses, even if against their will. It doesn't work, the masses are better qualified in determining what's in their best interest than any minority could ever be and likewise they are more interested in their own best interest just as well.

     

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    anti-mike fanclub member #1, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hey anti-mike! You rule. Keep up the good work! I am your number one fan.

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "ACTA (and any other treaty) can and often is negotiated in private, under security restrictions. "

    and this is a problem. You want transparency for the masses, but not for the rich. Why should they be negotiated in private if disclosure is such a good thing? Or is it that disclosure is only good when it benefits YOU unfairly.


    "You are just feeling this one more because it strikes closer to home. I am sure you don't have anywhere near as much interest in confidential discussions about sugar cane production or military bases in Japan, do you?"

    None of this does anything to negate the idea that transparency in these areas should be required, both here and in Japan.

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    and here is another technology that may emerge to replace the Internet in case Internet anonymity becomes too restricted.

    "Abstract An alternative physical way of communication, communication by the inherent background noise, is proposed which does not need net energy transfer in the information channel. The communicator devices do dissipate energy; however, they do not emit net energy into the channel, instead of that, they modulate the parameters of inherent spontaneous fluctuations in the channel. The method can use two different mechanisms, thermal noise (Johnson´┐ŻNyquist noise) for classical communication, and vacuum fluctuations/zero-po int energy (quantum uncertainty noise) for quantum communication. The strongest advantage of the method is that it is apparently the most hidden (stealth) way of communication, because it is using the inherent background noise for communication."

    http://sciencestage.com/d/5719178/stealth-communication:-zero-power-classical-com munication,-zero-quantum-quantum-communication-and-environmental-noise-communication.html

    The universe is designed to allow for anonymous communication if there is enough demand and restricting the Internet will create demand for new anonymous communication methodologies.

     

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  78.  
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    chris (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So it's a game of cat and mouse, technological advancement in one area to control us will yield a demand for technological advancements in ways to circumvent those methodologies and hence circumventions will likely be created. Likewise, technological advancement itself yields more data and complexity and sophistication to analyze.

    also, the systems to circumvent monitoring are often far less complicated and expensive to implement and distribute when compared to the expense and complexity of implementing the updated monitoring system.

    the best example of such a method is the use of burners to evade law enforcement wire taps.



    also, sid technology would soon fall into the hands of the people that big brother was trying to monitor. at that point, the advantage falls back to the "insurgents".

     

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  79.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    7 replies in a row in under 18 minutes. I am impressed.

    Keep going.

     

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  80.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't even know where you get the full disclosure thing from. Care to provide us with a link or something?

     

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    chris (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    oops, close tag fail.

    let's try this again:

    So an alien race that's 1000 years ahead of our technology may do an excellent job at creating a very cheap computer system that can easily and very accurately and completely analyze our Internet and our systems with no problems at all. But because their own systems are so much more sophisticated and advanced, that same technology would do a very poor job of analyzing their own infrastructure and methodologies of circumventing their analytical technologies. So it's a double edged sword.

    also, said technology would soon fall into the hands of the people that big brother was trying to monitor. at that point, the advantage falls back to the "insurgents".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You said

    "thus removing much of the anonymous factor there as well."

    Removing anonymity means more disclosure.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    Another AC, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 2:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Try responding to what's being brought up, or are you truly just a shill? We all believe you are, mainly because you do not respond to valid questions, or bring anything to the table to back up your ridiculous claims.

    'The people' have made their wants clear. It isn't in the best interests of big money, though, so somehow it's wrong? Who the hell are YOU to decide that? We're a representative democratic republic. Those suit monkeys are supposed to be representing We The People, and working on ACTA in private is NOT representing We The People.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I love how dispensing with anonymoity on the internet won't cost any money. Therefore, we should totally do it!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    TAM is just trying to protect those weak artists who cannot protect themselves.

    And very large, multinational corporations who also happen to own copyrights.

    Who are also weak, at least when it comes to those awful internet thieves and a justice system that takes far too long.

    Poor large, multinational corporations. Who will protect them?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    Mykell, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 8:17pm

    Re: This is the basic problem with all IP morons

    Are you aware that without IP, you couldn't use the Internet? Have you ever thought what IP might stand for? INTERNET Protocol.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2010 @ 7:19pm

    lol wut

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    identicon
    RAYMOND WOO, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:18am

    RAYMOND.WOO@ENERGIZER.COM,RAYMOND.WOO@ENERGIZER.COM;default.html,index.html,email address,

    RAYMOND.WOO@ENERGIZER.COM,RAYMOND.WOO@ENERGIZER.COM;default.html,index.html,email address,

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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