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Re: Anonymity and cost


Tim May wrote:

> > At a very basic level, anonymous (not pseudonymous, like the remailers
> > are) messages are *cheaper*, because they carry less information; they
> > do not need to send the bits which identify the sender. 

> I think the meaning of "anonymous" here is clearly with respect to
> _traffic analysis_. The "cost of anonymity" is with respect to the
> costs and delays of using digital mixes (remailers)).

I don't think it's useful to redefine "anonymous" to include some 
messages which identify the author, and to exclude some messages which
do not identify the author. Then again, I'm not sure it's useful to
play Language Cop, either. But count mine as a voice in favor of
describing accurately what's being discussed. (Perhaps messages which
defy traffic analysis might be called "untraceable" but not 
"anonymous", unless they also do not identify an author.)

> > Anonymous video conferencing is available now; go to Kinko's, pay
> > cash for the use of their video conference room. Or, ask/convince
> > the recipient to consider the conversation "off the record". 

> Neither of these kinds of "anonymity" are cryptographically
> interesting, or strong.

I agree. I fear I've been influenced by some of the authors on that
Cypher[something] list who've recently argued persausively in favor
of applying technology appropriate to local conditions; e.g., not
wasting time on the techno-gadget-of-the-month when more pedestrian
but functional means are available.

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