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Anonymity Not the Enemy

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In the context of the Gizmodo social hack, Seth writes:

"Anonymity is the enemy, whether it’s online or walking around a trade show with a clicker in your pocket."

I vehemently disagree with Seth’s statement.  Here’s why.

Seth’s viewpoint of "anonymity is the enemy" only works if one is secure: physically, financially and emotionally.  Unfortunately, there are still many, many people in the world where that is not the case.  Here are three:

  • Whisteblowers
  • Political Dissidents
  • Victims of violent or family crime

For any of those groups, anonymity is the means through which they can effect change.

In some cases, for those groups, anonymity is the thing that’s keeping them alive, literally.  On that note, I want to make a shout out to the TOR Project.  The TOR site says:

"Hundreds of thousands of people around the world use Tor for a wide variety of reasons: journalists and bloggers, human rights workers, law enforcement officers, soldiers, corporations, citizens of repressive regimes, and just ordinary citizens. See the Who Uses Tor? page for examples of typical Tor users. See the overview page for a more detailed explanation of what Tor does, why this diversity of users is important, and how Tor works."

What Gizmodo did was a social hack, not unlike a flashmob or Santarchy

It was not a crime, as Seth called it. 

If someone turning off a TV is a crime to get up in arms about where you live, consider yourself very, very fortunate.

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Anonymity Not the Enemy
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About Christopher Carfi
Christopher Carfi, CEO and co-founder of Cerado, looks at sales, marketing, and the business experience from the customers point of view. He currently is focused on understanding how emerging social technologies such as blogs, wikis, and social networking are enabling the creation of new types of customer-driven communities. He is the author of the Social Customer Manifesto weblog, and has been occasionally told that he drives and snowboards just a little too quickly. WebProNews Writer
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