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Re: Latency, bandwidth, and anonymity


In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected] ([email protected] +1-510-484-6204) 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...")

I thought so too, at first; but then I thought of this obvious application:

The scene is a bare room, with a single chair in the middle.  Seated on the
chair is THE VICTIM, whose head covered in a hood.  The victim's hands
are bound to the armrests, and the legs to those of the chair.

A KIDNAPPER enters the scene and walks over to the victim.  The
kidnapper's face is obscured, either by a hood or ski mask, or by
digital scrambling of the image.  The kidnapper's voice is scrambled
digitally.  The kidnapper pulls the hood off of the victim's head, and

KIDNAPPER:		Okay, you're on!  Talk!

The camera slowly zooms in on the victim's face.

VICTIM (tentatively):	Mom?  Dad?  It's me.

DAD (voice over):	Is that really you, son?  Are you all right?

VICTIM:			It's me.  I'm okay.  This is no picnic, but 
			they're treating me okay, considering.  Listen,
			have a message they want you to pass on to the 

DAD:			I don't know if I can get it to him.  It's not 
			like we play golf together.  

VICTIM (nervously):	You have to.  You'll find away.  Tell the President
			that he has to pull the troops out of Belgrade.
			If the U.S. forces aren't pulled completely out
			by the end of this month, they say they're going
			to cut me into pieces and send them to you piece
			piece. . . .


Whether technology is going to be developed for the convenience of 
kidnappers and terrorists is an open question.  But there is clearly 
at least this one clear use for anonymous video conferencing.  There are
probably more.

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