1993-03-02 - Re: more ideas on anonymity

Header Data

From: Theodore Ts’o <tytso@Athena.MIT.EDU>
To: mccoy@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu
Message Hash: a90b2b5d654a16680ab08c57f0cc7c5352fe9a23c93219a55d44bbbdffa0c738
Message ID: <9303020520.AA26631@SOS>
Reply To: <9303020450.AA04260@tramp.cc.utexas.edu>
UTC Datetime: 1993-03-02 05:21:58 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 1 Mar 93 21:21:58 PST

Raw message

From: Theodore Ts'o <tytso@Athena.MIT.EDU>
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 93 21:21:58 PST
To: mccoy@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu
Subject: Re: more ideas on anonymity
In-Reply-To: <9303020450.AA04260@tramp.cc.utexas.edu>
Message-ID: <9303020520.AA26631@SOS>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

   From: mccoy@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu (Jim McCoy)
   Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1993 22:50:03 -0600 (CST)

   > The issue is if a
   > non-anonymous individual or entity with credibility, like NBC, says something
   > that is false.

   Either way, these actions are civil one, not criminal.  The U.S. government
   is extremely limited in it's ability to use prior restraint to prevent
   publication of something (although there are many ways around the existing
   protections, as many on this list will undoubtably attest to.)

You are all missing my point.  I am well aware that libel and slander
are civil actions; not criminal ones.  However, they *all* *hinge* *on*
*having* *someone* *to* *sue*.   Today, it is generally not possible to
be anonymous while broadcasting your views to a large number of people.
The closest you can get to that is at a rally, and even then, since you
are phyiscally present, there is some link between what you say and your
identity; hence, there is a certain amount of personal responsibility in
what you say publically.

Anonymous remailers completely removes this check on undisciplined free
speech; it is now possible to spout GIF images, rantings that Elvis is
alive, the fact that Jim McCoy didn't beat his wife today --- all
without any personal risk on the part of the broadcaster.  While, this
may be a feature in some cases, in other cases it is most definitely a
BUG.  If you ignore this, you are only burying your head in the sand.

						- Ted