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Re: Almost on-topic news article -- Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, and anonymity!

On Wed, Dec 14, 2005 at 06:13:03PM -0500, Anthony DiPierro wrote:
> Wales agrees with the interviewer that he thinks "it's important to
> allow contributors and site administrators to remain anonymous".  But
> you can't be anonymous when your IP address is broadcast to the world.

Yeah, this represents a split between how the technical world uses the
word "anonymous" and how the broad public uses it.  To us, "anonymous"
means, roughly, "untraceable" -- that an attacker with certain
capabilities can't link users to their speech.  To the public,
"anonymous" often means "unattributed" -- in other words, speech that
nobody wrote their name on.

By way of example: to them, bathroom graffiti is anonymous because it
typically isn't signed.  To us, there's no such thing as anonymous
bathroom graffiti, because it's way too easy to install cameras to
watch people walking into bathrooms, and because people's handwriting
can be identified.

(It's nice, by the way, to see pro-anonymity statements from Jimbo;
this bodes well for technical Tor/Wikipedia rapprochement mechanisms
getting support from their policy wing.)

Nick Mathewson

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