1993-03-01 - Re: more ideas on anonymity

Header Data

From: fen@genmagic.genmagic.com (Fen Labalme)
To: Theodore Ts’o <tytso@Athena.MIT.EDU>
Message Hash: 0f9cb475610454e5399fcb9a15f0abd2598d1311f2c19a3c5530c9960a482d4b
Message ID: <9303012327.AA23552@>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1993-03-01 23:28:40 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 1 Mar 93 15:28:40 PST

Raw message

From: fen@genmagic.genmagic.com (Fen Labalme)
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 93 15:28:40 PST
To: Theodore Ts'o <tytso@Athena.MIT.EDU>
Subject: Re: more ideas on anonymity
Message-ID: <9303012327.AA23552@>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

> From: Theodore Ts'o <tytso@Athena.MIT.EDU>
> Or suppose someone sends 20 messages (all different) about how
> ---- ------ stiffed him/her out of some amount of digital cash?  I'd
> suspect you could do some real damage that way.

In response to this, let me first quote Eric Hughes:

> "How much reputation has an anonymous source?"

I believe that this is the true question being asked.  I believe that in
the not-so-far-off future there will be an immense quantity of anonymous
traffic on the nets, and I will set my filters to ignore the large
percentage of it (though perhaps I may want to see notes with my name in
them, or perhaps not).

This doesn't mean I won't see *any* anonymous messages, as my positive
reputation system will work to counter-balance the effect of the filter,
and allow messages from anonymous sources that are connected to me via a
"line of trust", that is, through a set of anonymous keys and signatures
that prove to me that the source of the information is from someone that I
trust, or that they trust, or...

Further, pseudonymous posters may gain quite a bit of respect.  As was
earlier pointed out on this list, most posters to net news are today
pseudonymous, for I know not if their real name is what their From: line
states, but I learn to recognize and differentiate names (pseudonyms)
bearing good info from those that know not what they say or those that just

It is from this last set of anonymous publishers that we may have the
problem being discussed.  For example, "NBC" may as well be an anonymous
pseudonym, but we (well, a lot of the general public, anyway) have decided
to place a fair amount of trust into them.  This problem stems from people
being too ready to abdicate their responsibility from having to think
critically about the world around them, and the information they receive.

In other words, the big problem, as we all know, is one of education.

Just say "know"!