Micz Flor on Wed, 31 Mar 1999 16:54:54 +0100

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Syndicate: Anonymity can save lives

Anonymity can save lives in todays information networks?

After the initial phase of turmoil where many voices went through
independent media channels, the question of identity in information
networks is on everyone's mind. Whereas initially the internet proved to be
a very effective tool to link in and out of the war areas, today we have to
be concerned about the safety of those who put their names to information
which could be considered dangerous if voiced on the street.

The New York based theoretician and media mover Ted Byfield points out that
various services offered online might not necessairly be safe, but at least
indicate that anonymity should be taken very seriously. He points towards
services such as http://www.anonymizer.com/ "if you would like to send mail
but are concerned that doing so could cause problems". However, he reserves
concerns about the safety.

The London based independent media newsfeed Crash Media goes even further:
"We urge everyone who is mailing on lists debating the war situation to
keep personal names of people at risk out of their messages, alternatively
use nicknames or initials. Information on mailinglists (and especially
those with a web archive) are vulnerable sources. In war times as we live
through at the moment information can put people's lives at risk."

Trust is a concept which heavily relies on privacy. And privacy relies on
trust. As long as this reciprocity is endangered, caution seems to be the
only safe alternative.

Micz Flor [Content Development - micz@t0.or.at]

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