The Difference Between Anonymity And Accountability

from the not-tied-to-each-other dept

Recently, it's seemed like online anonymity has been under attack. There's no doubt that people hide behind anonymity online to do bad things -- but it's not necessarily the anonymity that's the problem. Bruce Schneier has an essay up on Wired News pointing out that the real problem is accountability, which can still exist with anonymity, though historically the two have been intertwined. It's a good thing to remember the next time someone speaks out against online anonymity. Usually the problem is actually with accountability.

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  1. identicon
    Matt Chase, 12 Jan 2006 @ 6:58am

    This doesn't make a case for online anonymity

    One reason for people trying to be anonymous online is to duck accountability. While some people are paranoid, and therefore try to be anonymous online, others are malicious, and the problem lies with the latter group.
    When I think about people trying to be anonymous online, I don't first think of eBay -- a place where people can be anonymous, yet still accountable, because ultimately, they have an identity and a record.
    I do not think the accountability model witnessed at eBay can be applied to the Internet, and therefore online anonymity is still a dangerous topic.

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