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Re: [freehaven-dev] Why Unpublishing Is Not Allowed

On Tue, 14 Mar 2000, Roger Dingledine wrote:
> And as a fourth point (this one is hardest to defend), I really don't
> see any reason why somebody should want to alter or remove a document they
> submit -- the free haven service is meant to be a longterm robust
> distributed persistent anonymous storage system, not a filesystem.

Well, part of this seems to go back to the discussion on ethics we began
on Sunday. If we believe that all speech deserves to be free, then
there doesn't seem to be any place for unpublishing. On the other hand it
seems that if we want to restrict some kinds of data, then unpublishing
becomes "worth something."

Unfortunately, I think that nice dichotomy breaks down a bit if we allow 
that people may have legitimate reasons for wanting to unpublish their own
data. I think that's an arguable point; I'm not sure myself which way I'd

It seems to me that only if unpublishing is "worth something" do we need
to provide technical (or other) justifications for "why unpublishing is
bad." The way we were talking on Sunday, it seemed to me that we excluded
the possibility of unpublishing at least partly out of a non-technical
reason -- no one in the room wanted it. (including me, but that's another

So it seems to me that we can have at least two parallel threads of
discussion here 

	1) technical benefits and drawbacks to various methods for
	unpublishing, such as we've had with Rivest's proposal and
	continued with Brett's message and Roger's response.

	2) a mostly non-technical discussion as to whether we 
	want unpublishing at all, or do not want it. If we want it,
	under what circumstances do we want it? and how do we avoid
	a slippery slope? and what technical costs are we willing to
	pay for unpublishing if we want it? 

Please let me know if I'm leaving out anything or have the approach wrong.
I think that we need to be careful about how we treat this issue in order
to avoid getting confused / sidetracked, and then wasting time. :-/