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RISKS for alt.whistleblowers
I would expect two kinds of people to cause trouble for alt.whistleblowers:
amateurs and professionals. Amateur troublemakers may cause the most volume
of trouble, and the largest signal-to-noise problem, but the more serious
concern is what happens if there's enough signal in the noise to be a threat
to professionals, whether governments, corporations, or criminals.
If I were a professional who wanted to stop a group like this, and options
like court orders, violence, or confiscation weren't appropriate,
I'd consider a few approaches like the following:
- Flooding - it's really not hard, even with automatic protections -
if you can emulate, or abuse, all the neighboring anon-remailers,
you may even force disconnects from them.
- Crying wolf, and other disinformation - if there are enough bogus posts,
people will stop reading the newsgroup, and the talk.bizzare crowd
wil take over because they're the only ones who can handle the noise ..
- Posting libel, slander, child pornography, calls for violence, bomb threats
followed by real bombings, blackmail requests, photographs of local
politicians in real or fake compromising situations, and enough other
legally dangerous material that the moderator and/or people who carry
the newsgroup wouldn't be able to take the heat.
It's really not all that hard, if somebody's serious about it.
Crypto-anarchy is a good thing, but governments and other bad guys can
hide behind it just as effectively as anarchists can.
.... and the last count I've heard on the radio was that 19 separate groups
have called in to claim responsibility for the World Trade Center bombing;
some even called 911, though presumably they used pay phones ...
Bill Stewart, somewhere out in Cyberspace