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anon email/caller id
Phil Karn's anology between anonymous e-mail & caller i.d. gets it
right, I think. If you don't want to read it, don't, just as you
may block calls without caller i.d. There are two concerns I'd like to
see addressed, though: first, what about those who use anon email to
get away with behavior that wastes net resources? When the identity of
the poster is know, they can be 'disciplined' by other net.citizens (call
it frontier justice if you like...). second, from the opposite end, won't
the availability of caller i.d. mean that it will become more diffuclt to
engage in truly anonymous conversations over the telephone network, as
revealing one's identity becomes the norm?
As to the first objection, I suppose we could continue to rely on the
site administrators (& remailer admins) to discipline the offenders. After
all, the sites are still subject to the same discipline we can inflict on
the individual poster if known. As to the second, I suppose we can always
observe that those who won't accept our anonymous call aren't worth talking
to in the first place, but that evades the question IMHO. Also, having the
capability in the phone system means someone can still abuse it without our
I would suggest another solution to this dilemma: 'handles'. Having a
semi-secret identity means having control over your Real Life exposure to
risk, whiel still allowing those you come in contact with to indentify you--
& ignore you if they wish with minimal trouble. It also means that you can
set different levels of security: anyone who cares to can find out who Mr.
Noise is, but how many of you know the *other* 'real mes'?
Well, just some rambling thoughts at lunchtime as a way of saying hello to
all of you on this list, since I just joined a week ago & didn't want to
'lurk'. :-) Have an anonymous day!