Censorship: Linus Torvalds Comes Out Blatant Censor's Advocate, Anti Privacy/Anonymity

John Newman jnn at synfin.org
Sat Apr 6 20:28:21 PDT 2019

On April 7, 2019 3:02:36 AM UTC, Steve Kinney <admin at pilobilus.net> wrote:
>On 4/6/19 5:32 AM, grarpamp wrote:
>> "Social Media... Add in anonymity, and it's just disgusting. When you
>> don't even put your real name on your garbage (or the garbage you
>> share or like), it really doesn't help. I'm actually one of those
>> people who thinks that anonymity is overrated. Some people confuse
>> privacy and anonymity and think they go hand in hand, and that
>> protecting privacy means that you need to protect anonymity. I think
>> that's wrong. Anonymity is important if you're a whistle-blower, but
>> if you cannot prove your identity, your crazy rant on some
>> social-media platform shouldn't be visible, and you shouldn't be able
>> to share it or like it."
>The above sounds like a comparison between The Facebook (makes a token
>effort to tie accounts to users' True Names), and 4chan (makes a token
>effort to disconnect users from their True Names).  That strikes me as
>forced context creating forced either/or alternatives.  We need a
>ground between True Names Only and Anonymous FTW.  We already have a
>working example of that middle ground:  The i2p network.
>i2p users host various resources including websites, torrent trackers,
>and community forums on their own hardware, and access the resources
>etc. of their choice either anonymously, or pseudonymously via
>user-chosen screen names.  i2p users may disclose their True Names at
>will, but by default the identity and location of i2p users can not be
>determined without State level infrastructure access and surveillance
>resources.  An i2p user's actual True Name is his or her i2p router ID,
>which by design has no connection with any geographic location or birth
>Result?  A more intelligent, better behaved version of the Internet,
>with prevailing attitudes reminiscent of the public Internet shortly
>before AOL popped up and saturation bombed us with weaponized morons,
>followed by MegaCorporations looking to manipulate, control and extract
>capital from the said morons.  (Younger folks:  Look up "Eternal
>September" for the sad true story.)
>I can not completely attribute the modest i2p success story to the
>prevalence of users known by pseudonyms only.  To access i2p one has to
>install and configure software that will not work unless one cam read
>and apply howto docs and such; this screens out the less-bright 80% of
>potential users right up front.  Size also matters:  The smaller the
>network, the more good or bad behavior stands out, and the larger the
>benefits of presenting as a good (in the sense of useful) person.  At
>present, i2p has about 60k users according to stats.i2p.
>But I do not discount the prevalence of stable pseudo-identities as the
>primary factor affecting the quality of content and discourse in i2p
>space; without this factor, concerns for reputation would have no
>impact.  Compared to the great unwashed publick visible on the open
>Internet under their own names, i2p participants seem remarkably
>intelligent and responsible.  Go figure.
>A user's i2p persona can take any form, and may include the content of
>websites that live on their creators' own hardware, accessible only via
>the i2p router network.  It takes about a day for anyone who knows HTML
>to build a website in i2p space; just turn on the server included in
>router package and populate the relevant local directories with
>Pseudonyms that become visible in i2p space through participation over
>time become "persons" in a community, defined by their in-network
>behavior, building relationships and reputations based on their
>contributions.  The folks who wear those masks mostly take good care of
>them, because the trust and cooperation of other users in the community
>has value:  When a well respected i2p user asks for something, other
>users who have benefited from that user's contributions, advice,
>etc. make a real effort to come through, because that's what humans do.
>Smart ones, anyway.
>Postscript:  Above I mentioned True Names, from the Vernor Vinge
>of that name.  Published in 1981, True Names introduced the term
>'cyberspace' and several key concepts relevant to Cypherpunk interests.
> If you ain't seen it, here's a copy somebody else hosted so I don't
>have to:  http://www.scotswolf.com/TRUENAMES.pdf

Not to be too much of a pedant, but I always thought William
Gibson coined the term cyberspace, first in (I think) the short
story Burning Chrome and then in the novel Neuromancer
(1982 and 1984, respectively).

I need to read True Names (thanks!) - although a cursory search
didn't find the phrase.
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