1993-02-28 - Re: more ideas on anonymity

Header Data

From: thug@phantom.com (Murdering Thug)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 78593d0dde627ddf54802a677f97e2f5369659d096409a67c9de36c869ca322f
Message ID: <m0nSbit-000jr0C@phantom.com>
Reply To: <9302272041.AA05983@soda.berkeley.edu>
UTC Datetime: 1993-02-28 00:31:17 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 27 Feb 93 16:31:17 PST

Raw message

From: thug@phantom.com (Murdering Thug)
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 93 16:31:17 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: more ideas on anonymity
In-Reply-To: <9302272041.AA05983@soda.berkeley.edu>
Message-ID: <m0nSbit-000jr0C@phantom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Eric Hughes writes:
> For many transactions, identity is not an issue fundamental to the
> transaction.  If I pay cash to you for an item, I have not made any
> implicit promise to pay you at a later date, as I have if I've paid
> with credit (card or account).  Every obligation I might have to you I
> have already fulfilled, fulfilled by paying cash.  My name is not
> relevant here.
> If I perform some service for you, and you acknowledge that the
> service is complete as performed, then you have no need for my
> identity.  (As far as the two of us are concerned.  Other parties
> intrude on this interaction usually.)
> Therefore, should not discrimination against anonymity when names are
> not germane be considered (depending on one's ideology) unreasonable,
> inefficient, coercive, intrusive, or illegal?

Try telling this to the person behind the counter when you're trying to rent
a car, rent a hotel room for the night, or rent a mailbox for 6 months.  Not
only do these people often ask for ID, but they get very upset if you're
not paying by credit card.  Discrimination against cash is widespread and
rampant.  Sure, if you bitch enough at them, and threaten to take them to
court, they might allow you to rent a hotel room without ID and paying in

The thing is, they never ask for ID if you're paying by credit card since
they assume the credit card is enough proof of who you are.  But as soon
as you start flashing some paper currency, they immediatly think that you're
up to no good and won't let you purchase their product/service without some
ID.  Hotels, airlines, and car rental companies are notorious for doing this,
especially if they think you're under 21. 

This brings up the question of using False ID when conducting perfectly legal
transactions, in order to preserve one's privacy.  Can anyone reading this
list with a legal background answer whether this is legal or not?  I am under
the, perhaps erroneous, assumption that it is illegal to use false ID only
when committing a crime (ie: purchasing alcahol while underage, renting a
mail drop specifically for use in mail fraud, gaining admission to private
property using false ID (trespassing)).  However, is it illegal to use
false ID in order to conduct perfectly legal transactions in order to
preserve privacy/anonymity?  How about it, any of you guys associated with
the CPSR, EFF, or ACLU, can you answer this one?

Murdering Thug