1993-03-28 - ANON: real-person newsgroups

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From: Marc.Ringuette@GS80.SP.CS.CMU.EDU
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 65dc7179aab881a526c562c3b1f524e59ec814af4535e8a89123e99ce3efcf4c
Message ID: <9303280726.AA11118@toad.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1993-03-28 07:26:59 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 27 Mar 93 23:26:59 PST

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From: Marc.Ringuette@GS80.SP.CS.CMU.EDU
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 93 23:26:59 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: ANON: real-person newsgroups
Message-ID: <9303280726.AA11118@toad.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Hal Finney (I think) writes,
> the net is inherently an anonymous environment.
> ...The sooner people realize that there is
> no line that divides the clean from the unclean, the sooner anonymity will
> be widely accepted on the net.

But there _is_ a line, and people will likely want to draw it.  It's
true that currently there aren't any security guarantees to prevent a
person from pretending to be someone else, but there will be.  PEM
certificates will distinguish between real people and personas.  A
public-key-authenticated "real person newsgroup" can be implemented.

This raises the possibility that most newsgroups will transition to
real-person-only status.  This will cramp the style of those of us who
wish to participate in the net using a persona.

I think a major task ahead of us is to provide an alternative to
"real people = good, personas = bad", and to put forward alternatives
to "real person newsgroups" which are tolerable to most and more 
palatable to us.  

So what's the distinction we might wish to put forward instead of
"real person"?  "Paying customer", perhaps, or "respected reputation"?
Yeah, that sounds good.  Maybe it's time to set up some reputation
based newsgroups, with a means of keeping track of who has been
posting good stuff, and of filtering for credibility.

-- Marc Ringuette (mnr@cs.cmu.edu)