Re: FWD: Cypherpunks Report 1/2 (VERY LONG]

Mark Baker (
Sat, 05 Apr 1997 19:38:08 -0500

At 12:17 PM 5/4/97 PST, I Find Karma wrote:
>It is impossible to create community without trust.
>With anonymity, there are no names, and without names,
>there is no ownership and hence no trust. Right?

I wouldn't say that. Anonymity doesn't necessarily mean untraceable
to any previous communications. It just means untraceable to any
*physical* person.

Anonymous pseudonyms are people in their own right. They can be
trusted, hated, and mocked, just like any other real person.

My view is that anonymous pseudonyms are *required*, not just
desirable, primarily for privacy protection in a networked world.

I had some more to say in a dist-obj post recently;

>> and anyone who has stumbled across an Internet flamewar has gotten hip
>> to the perils of anonymity. It's far easier to call people
>> who disagree with you pigfuckers if you don't have to say it
>> to their faces. Cypherpunks say that you can deal with this
>> problem by creating permanent online identities that can be
>> banished from cyberspace communities if they act up, but the
>> fact remains that the creation of online culture is more
>> complicated than any of the utopianist manifesto writers
>> first thought.

I agree, but having a pseudonym chastisted or banished is a
pretty bad thing. If you enter a flamewar, and want to wave
around some credentials to back up your opinions, you're out
of luck; credentials are bestowed to physical people. Everything
you are is defined only by the interactions you've had as that
pseudonym. So you better be damned careful with it; creating
a new identity is easy, but making your way into other people's
webs-of-trust is difficult.


Mark Baker, Ottawa Ontario CANADA.                Java, CORBA, OpenDoc, Beans, 

Will distribute business objects for food.