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Nuts & Acorns


>This does mean that a lot of the time until people have built up
>catenative assembleges of keys sufficent to form a "chain of trust"
>for unknown people that they will simply have to do without
>certification of the other person's identity. Isn't that the way life
>usually is, though?

In large part the electronic environment is already pseudonymous.  I
don't know most Usenet posters personally and never will.  I have no
need to personally verify their identities; in fact, I don't even want

But for someone I'm going to deal with over a period of time, I do
want to make sure that it's the same person I'm dealing with each
time.  And if I never happen to meet this person face to face, or need
to know anything about this person as a physical being, so be it.  All
I really care about is persistence, not identity.

In the elctronic world, all you have are persistent pseudonyms.  Most
of them, true, are still linked to physical people, but there is no
particular reason why that need continue.

I think the changeover point will be this.  As soon as there is money
flowing through the networks which is tied only to pseudonyms and not
to physical people, then you'll see a _lot_ more virtual-only
identities.  When you can conduct business and get paid for it,
there's a big difference.  When some of your data has negotiable cash
value, you'll see privacy and security get *important*.

And most of these identities will have regular sounding names.
Handles, a la the underground, are more a mark of social identity than
of anonymity.  The best camouflage is not to draw attention to
yourself.  When most of the world is personal, look personal.  Who
will ever know?