In defense of extreme unmoderated anonymity

Doug Feaver - Listening to the Dot-Comments - I am quite impressed with this article by a former executive editor of the Washington Post. He makes a strong case for the importance of anonymous comments. Attribution immediately leads to self censorship. Anonymous comments give a much better picture of what people really think rather than what they would like to be seen to be thinking. It is not pretty, but it is reality.

Chinese Bloggers Scale The Great Firewall In Riots Aftermath -

Chinese Bloggers Scale The Great Firewall In Riots Aftermath - In a triumph of low tech, Chinese bloggers are evading the Chinese national censorship system by simply converting their posts to read right to left rather than left to right.Clearly this is only a short term solution, and the government will adapt quickly, but it shows again how brittle these censorship systems are. 

The strength and weakness of Internet activism

Fledgling Rebellion on Facebook Is Struck Down by Force in Egypt -  For a short time Facebook became the center of a fledgling activist movement in Egypt. Over 74,000 people registered on a Facebook page devoted to this issue. It became the primary communications path for this group, and enabled its explosive growth. It also contained the seeds of its rapid unwinding and the arrest and beating of the creator of that page.To me this is yet another example of the "On the Internet nobody knows you're a dog" syndrome. People feel so comfortable in front of their computers, they will say and do things they would fear to do in public or face to face. Facebook is in no way anonymous, nor does it claim to be. While there are many tools that could have enabled these people to operate and organize anonymously, there is no evidence that they used any of them.The Internet is very powerful, but it is also very public. People wishing to use it in repressive countries need to take special care to protect themselves and their visitors. 


My purpose in creating this blog is to address trends and issues in online privacy and security. Having been in the trenches in these areas since around 1992, I bring a very applied, practical, and pragmatic viewpoint to the discussion. My personal perspective is based in the strong principles of privacy and free speech. These absolutes have been tempered over the years, and especially flagrantly in the World Wide Web, which led me to pursue a career in providing privacy and identity protection services.

With this blog, I hope to help, educate, and spur lively debate around these and related issues. Your feedback is greatly appreciated as I look for the best structure for this blog.