Can File Sharing Really Be Made Anonymous?

from the would-you-trust-it? dept

It’s no surprise that the creators of the latest file sharing networks are all claiming that it makes users anonymous. Everyone expected that to happen. The bigger question, however, is whether or not these systems really are anonymous. The RIAA (and plenty of others) say that it’s not really possible for anyone to be totally anonymous while file sharing – and these claims of anonymity are a little bit suspect. The main one discussed in the article doesn’t really sound anonymous. All it does is try to confuse the RIAA by mixing the real IP address with the IP addresses of others on the network. What that means, though, is now the RIAA will just accuse more innocent people because their IP address was shown associated with someone who was sharing illegally. Of course, this whole debate on anonymity misses the most basic point about online anonymity: the user can be perfectly anonymous if there’s no way to associate him or her with the particular IP address they’re using.

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