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ANON: Mark anon. posts a
>of the strongest arguments in favor of anonymous remailers, which is
>that the net is inherently an anonymous environment.
It is anonymous by default. If someone wants to break anonymity, they
may. I make this stronger below.
>In short, we anonymous remailer operators have every right to be part of
>the net. We introduce no more problems than are already happening and
>will continue to occur as the net grows and becomes more universal.
We create no new problems to be sure; we just bring them on faster, in
order to prepare for them.
>Rather than placating obsolete beliefs about network identity by agreeing
>to mark our messages with the scarlett letter A for anonymity, by accepting
>that we deserve to be in a ghetto set aside for inferior posts, I feel that
>we should challenge the net with messages that blur the distinction between
>anonymous and authenticated posts.
I agree. Hal argues that this means not marking anonymous posts. I
disagree with this technique.
My solution to this is to make the posting anonymous but to sign the
post with your real name. (Yes, that means however _you_ construe
your real name.) If we wish to blur the distinction, we should make
the means of transport anonymous and the contents of the posting named.
Surely this blurs the distinction between named and anonymous posts.
People will ask "Why would anyone not want the routing information
revealed when they are saying who they are?" This question, even
merely asked, has positive effects. It makes one aware that identity
is not an email address, nor is accountability the ability to complain
to an authority.
It allows people to kill anonymous posts out of whatever spite they
feel to "those cowardly hypocrites". It also allows the worst
excesses to be restrained. Yet if there is a visible group of
respected individuals who use anonymous mechanisms for reasons other
than avoiding rebuttal, those who unrestrainedly ignore anonymity will
find themselves missing out.
I suggest that those who participate in news.admin.policy and
sci.crypt be the first to start this practice. The more respected
users of anonymous servers there are, the greater will be the
incentive not to ignore anonymity completely.