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Re: Latency, bandwidth, and anonymity

On Sun, 8 Jan 1995 [email protected] wrote:

> My initial reaction to "Anonymous video conferencing" was
> "That's when you wear black ski masks and use voice scramblers
> and call from video payphones", i.e. not very useful.
> ("Subcomandata Marcos here...")

Video conferencing was just ONE of the applications of high-bandwidth, 
low-latency anonymous communication.  Maybe it was a bad example.  Here's 
a couple more:

1.  anonymous distributed computing: suppose Alice wants to help Bob 
crack a secret key by using both of their computers, but the algorithm 
entails some heavy exchange of data between them

2.  anonymous remote consulting: Alice is building a nuclear bomb and 
needs help, so she sends a live video feed of her workshop to Bob (and 
have the computer blot out her face in real time).  Bob sends Alice an audio 
only commentary of what Alice is doing wrong.

We tend to focus on the more exotic applications of these tools, but as
mjk pointed out they will have perfectly ordinary uses by people who
simply don't want everyone in the world to be able to know everything
about them. Maybe Alice just wants to call AT&T to ask about their Clipper
phone, and not have everybody realize that and send her a bunch of
propaganda about Voice PGP.  :-) Even now, this may not be as implausible
as it sounds.  What if Alice is using MCI as the long distance carrier,
and MCI happens to be selling Voice PGP? 

Wei Dai