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Re: Latency, bandwidth, and anonymity

On Sat, 7 Jan 1995, Timothy C. May wrote:

> > Perhaps we can tackle the problems of latency and bandwidth seperately.  
> > That is, develop 2 sets of anonymity tools:
> > 1. low-latency, low-bandwidth, for use in textual interactions such as MUD 
> > and IRC
> > 2. high-latency, high-bandwidth, for non-interactive A/V use, perhaps 
> > anonymous TV broadcasting
> Think market. I don't see anyone paying for this until costs drop
> dramatically.

Oops, I didn't mean to exhort anyone to actually make the tools, but was
just thinking about the feasibilities.  (I know, "Cypherpunks write code",
not "Cypherpunks convince others to write code." ;) OTOH, I DO think
people with anonymity needs will pay for lower latency and/or higher
bandwidth (right now probably tool set #1 will have a greater demand,
given the heavy use of MUDs and IRC). 

In the longer term, anonymous communication is in danger of being used
only by fringe groups if it falls too much behind the non-anonymous kind
in terms of latency and bandwidth (and cost, I guess).  Maybe ONLY drug
dealers, nuclear terrorists, etc., will use anonymous remailers when full
sensory virtual interaction is the must popular way for most people to
communicate and remailers are still the only choice for the
anonymity-conscious.  By then, the remailers themselves will be in
danger of being outlawed, or just close down for lack of business.

> I find IRC a waste of time, so "anonymous audivisual" is not even on my
> radar screen of things of interest. I think it's >10 years off. 

I think limited virtual interaction can be available on the Internet in 5 
years (in prototype), so I sure hope anonymous A/V is not that far off.

I know, I know, the market will decide...  But second guessing the market 
can be fun and sometimes profitable.  Just look at all those people 
trying to make money on the stock market.

Sorry if I'm hammering the subject to death...

Wei Dai