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Re: Hello directly from Jimbo at Wikipedia

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On Friday 30 September 2005 10:14 pm, David Benfell wrote:

> > I firmly believe it might be better to stay away from a classical nym
> > solution if possible. In the real world, our Chinese dissident might find
> > themselves in deep poo for holding the nym keys, while the ephemeral
> > nature of something like self-minted digital cash might shield them to
> > some degree.
> The one thing that's been made clear here is that the nym solution
> should be implemented apart from Tor.  As someone posted, those who
> adopt this solution would have to accept the implications.

The problem is that any negative byproduct of the solution impacts all Tor 
users. Those who choose to accept it are giving up willingly, and those that 
do  not have lost the privilege of participating in an interactive way. It's 
not a choice, it's an ultimatum.

> But as far as Wikipedia is concerned, this apparently doesn't matter.
> They don't want first person accounts anyway.  They want *verified*
> information.
> I'm thinking that limits the value of Wikipedia as an outlet for a
> dissident.  While I tremble at the thought of restricting *any* outlet
> for dissidents, I'm also inclined to think that Wikipedia would be
> correct to limit this sort of information.  Wikipedia is there for a
> specific purpose, and I don't really see that purpose as all that
> compatible with being an outlet for dissent.

I understand fully. I stated before that I'm a clueless noob when it comes to 
Wikipedia. Three days ago was the first time that I consciously visited their 
pages (although I knew I'd been there before instantly). I'm naturally and 
admittedly examining the problem from a purely privacy minded POV. I also 
understand that this may be an impractical way to look at the problem. It's 
the way I'm wired however. :)

The Chinese dissident was a metaphor more than anything. I'm sure we could wax 
eternal about "controversial subjects" and "public officials" and such, and 
how this Joe or that needs anonymity, and we'd come up with a fair list of 
valid scenarios where anonymity, or the lack of,  could make a major 
difference in someone's life. I think it's in this minority's interests that 
any errors should be made on the side of caution. But again, that's just the 
way I'm wired.

> I fear this invites a far wider discussion than the one we have
> already had.  For there are large problems which the current Internet

Agreed. It's a discussion that's outside the scope of this group, and the 
problem, at hand. The bottom line is finding an equitable solution, and I 
believe either nyms or "minted cash" would be good enough in the real world. 
So I'll probably bow out of the conversation before it becomes a holy 
war. ;-) I've said my peace, so I feel better, and I can go back to lurking 
and learning for now. Hopefully I didn't tweak too many beaks, it was not my 

> architecture clearly fails to adequately address--with or without Tor.
> Whether you're talking about vandalizing Wikipedia content or spam or
> phishing or any of a number of other kinds of abuse.
> This discussion has highlighted that anonymity poses a problem.  Most
> of us are concerned with preserving it, and for good reason.  And what
> is clear is that we need a solution far broader than Tor.
> I wish I had some ideas for this solution.  I don't.

- -- 
Hand crafted on September 30, 2005 at 23:09:45 -0400

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
                                  -Groucho Marx
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