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Has Anonymous Ruined Online Anonymity?
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User Rank: Apprentice
5/5/2012 | 2:00:40 PM
re: Has Anonymous Ruined Online Anonymity?
Anonymity is a must online. I used to post under my real name and that was providing too much information. After posting a critical comment to a news story about a neonazi group I was physically attacked a few days later by right extremist thugs.
As far as comments or other online contributions go, content is of more importance than names. Therefore, commenting functions such as this one should do away with the need to register and log in. Add some computer smarts to filter out the spam and simply number the comments so that referencing is still possible.
I also will never have a Facebook or Google+ or similar account. Both of these companies have a horrible track record in regards to privacy. Google does this out of commercial interest, the folks at Facebook are just ignorant and inept.
David Berlind
David Berlind,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/5/2012 | 1:18:26 AM
re: Has Anonymous Ruined Online Anonymity?
It's pretty much impossible to keep innovation out of the hands of those with nefarious objectives.
User Rank: Apprentice
5/4/2012 | 11:28:07 PM
re: Has Anonymous Ruined Online Anonymity?
A nice article that explores the various shades of anonymity like the various shades of hacking (white, grey, or black). I make a difference between online blogging and the technical "tools" like the email sites described or Tor which seeks to obscure all internet traffic from a device. My comments here for instance, while done under a name which is traceable by the staff hosting the site that can tie that to a registered user. Should I slander a public figure or make threats or other illicit activity, then they could effectively and with little effort identify me (it is little more than a placebo). Yahoo, Google, FB and others have even more superficial controls that verify not even an identity but rather a valid email address (created using false information so simply throwing out userIDs wouldn't resolve it). Some of the human rights defenders or whistle blowers need only to create these false personalities but it is the ease that make them popular with the cyber bullies described (read the story on the two adolescents that created a false, diffamatory FB page for their classmate leading to 12 months of mental anguish before FB pulled it). FB, Yahoo and the others simply do not want to invest the overhead for staff that it would take to verify identities such as should be in place with others such as PayPal for instance - guess investing in lawyers to defend the law suits still has a lower ROI given current lack of regulation.

Surfing behind a Tor connection or sending email through an anonymizer is to me an entirely separate ballpark with identifiable characteristics and with a singular unifying element - ethical use or lack of. Success implies an objective measurement, is forcing everyone to participate or observe a WWF Smackdown contest a success if they would rather watch a documentary?
TT Millard
TT Millard,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/4/2012 | 11:02:06 PM
re: Has Anonymous Ruined Online Anonymity?
The biggest problem we're facing is the abuse by people who use the layer of anonymity to vandalize online communities with their reprehensible actions and behavior, with complete disregard for the rights of others, and do so without repercussion or consequence.

It has been a problem with our society down through the ages; this is just the next medium that shows if we are given the opportunity for good or evil, there will always be a faction that will tend towards the latter. We prove it time and time again.

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