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Re: What is the EFF doing exactly?

jim bell <[email protected]>
>"Addressed", maybe, but that doesn't necessarily mean, "solved."  For many 
>decades, people have been able to walk up to a pay telephone at 3:00 AM and 
>make a harassing phone call to somebody, a "problem" which still exists and 
>no solution is being implemented for.

amusing the way you phrase that-- you didn't say, "phone", but "pay 
phone". the statement used to hold in general for all "phones", but
then caller id, caller blocking, etc. have been introduced that
make this no longer true. so in a very real sense, anonymity in 
the phone system was considered a "problem" by some that has been
"solved" or "modified" by some recent advancements. (yes, most people
agree caller ID is an advancement).

I think cpunks should hold the view that communication is a matter
of mutual consent between sender and receiver. if a receiver says,
"I don't want any anonymous messages", then should be able to block them.
this is essentially what is happening with the remailers *right*now*,
if you ask any remailer operator. people ask not to receive anonymous
mail, and are put on the blocking lists. imho only the extremists are arguing,
and have always argued, that they should have some ability to put
an anonymous message in front of someone else against their will.

this basic rule becomes more murky when you look at public forums,
because you can't really say whether given individuals reading them want to
hear something anonymous or not. by designing the forum beforehand
to force the situation, you solve this problem. 

I do believe that in the future there will be all types of forums: those in 
which identity is required, those in which it is optional, and those in
which it is always cloaked. this is eminently reasonable imho.
those who argue against one of the 
above's existence (such as saying it involves a ghettoization
of anonymity, that there should always be an ability to be anonymous
in any communication setting) are extremists imho.

the above is almost exactly what Dyson was saying, and I have been
advocating this position for a long time. again, I think anyone who rejects
the above is an extremist. there are different ways to support or restrict
anonymity, some of them extremist. those who argue for no restrictions
anywhere don't have a clue about reality imho.