a few opinions, unasked

Stuart W. Card swc at uc1.ucsu.edu
Sun Feb 28 09:09:37 PST 1993

1) Within a couple of years I am going to be setting up a network of
systems incorporating (among other functions) remailing.  I won't know
the 'true' identity of my subscribers any more than anyone else will.
If someone PROVES to me that a particular pseudonymous account has been
used for conspiracy to initiate force or committ fraud, I will shut it down.
But then, the (former) user can just obtain a new pseudonymous account
from me, and I won't even know it is the same guy.  So what's the point?
Quit discussing whether or not we SHOULD restrict anonimity or pseudonymity.
We CAN'T, because there are jerks like me who will set up systems which
will provide for total anonymity of subscriber applications.
End of thread, I hope.

2) Use of false ID is illegal in New York State, and (I think) throughout
the United States.  The definition of false ID is fuzzy, however.  If you
modify your driver's license or other government-issued ID, definitely a
crime.  However, if you obtain legitimate ID from someone under a name other
than the one you mostly use, that is not necessarily fake ID.  for instance,
if I am known to Joe's ID Cards-Are-Us as Mr. John Smith, and he issues me
an ID card in that name, neither of us has committed a crime, UNLESS there is
intent to use it to defraud or committ some other crime (such as obtain
admission to an alcohol-serving establishment if under legal drinking age).
How do I know? I moonlight as a bouncer at a bar, and (unique!) have actually
read SOME of the applicable law.

3) The ratio of philosphical ramblings to pragmatic how-to information is
pretty high.  For me personally, that means (S+N)/N < 0 dB.  Is there a
forum for discussion strictly of how to do it on a commercial basis or
society-affecting scale? I already have my philosophical house in order
(IMnotsoHO) and can't afford to waste time in discussion vs action.  I don't
wish to insult anyone, this discussion here has tremendous value, just not
to me right now.

4) Anyone got any idea how I plan to provide pseudonymous accounts on a
commercial (read, I MAKE MONEY AT IT) basis, while maintaining total
anonymity of subscriber applications (and pseudonymity of payments on
account)? I have a plan, but would like to see if it is obvious before
explaining it; also, I would like to see if there ar other ways to do it.

Who is John Galt?

Stuart W. Card <swc at uc1.ucsu.edu>

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