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Hit-and-Run Anonymous Posts (Re: "Dr." Fred)

At 10:22 AM 11/1/95, Dr. Frederick B. Cohen wrote:

(quoting an anonymous poster)

>> The difference, of course, is that its almost impossible
>> to have sympathy for Dr. Fred. His hustle is for a hell
>> of a lot more than subsistence. He was also never actually
>> a master of his field, a fact that becomes increasingly
>> obvious as our exposure to him goes on. Now he's reduced
>> himself to trying to collect someone else's winnings.
>Sour grapes, and from an anonymous poster too.  Oooo - I'm insulted.
>I have been thinking about the issues of anonymity for some time, and I
>have been convinced for some time that you can't have both integrity and
>anonymity.  I thought there might be ways to accomplish this, but the
>cypherpunks have convinced me it isn't true.  Show some integrity and
>tell us who you are.

I've also found that anonymous persons are usually the most prone to
hit-and-run attacks and flames. I usually only briefly scan anonymous posts
and then delete them. Some people hide behind anonymity to launch
scurrilous attacks. Best to just ignore them, in my opinion.

Exceptions are the cases when an anonymous source has something "sensitive"
to contribute, such as the release of the putative MD4 code, and the like.

And there have of course been thoughtful anonymous essays.

Anonymity is under some assault today. I think it important not to throw
out the very basic advantages of allowing anonymity just because some abuse
occurs. (The issue is not that "allowing" it is good, but that "banning" it
would require drastic and draconian enforcement measures.)

Pseudonyms are another matter entirely. Some are classy (Pr0duct Cypher,
Black Unicorn, Lucky Green), some are oafish (S Boxx), some are ephemeral.
Persistence of the identity, as when backed by digital signatures, is
important. (Though not essential, yet.)

--Tim May

Views here are not the views of my Internet Service Provider or Government.
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected]  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
Corralitos, CA              | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^756839      | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders are just speed bumps on the information superhighway."