Men in Proxy Blog

A blog covering the most interesting topics about online anonymity and Internet security!

Anonymity and identity online

Posted on: March 21st, 2013

Anonymity and IdentityIndividual anonymity is the default in the actual world if you reside in a big town, not only do  you not know everybody you see, however you are not permitted to randomly require an ID from them and it should be a default online.

It is not so much a disagreement with this fact, but it is believed the problem is framed wrongly. Framing the “online anonymity” concern in the perspective of being a default makes it a binary concern a plain on/off button; either mystery is the default, or something else (from pseudonymity up to robustly authenticated identity) is the default. However, online identity is not a binary concern. Identity (be it access, authentication, federation, authorization, or any other factor) functions on a continuum. Further, each “user-centric” system known of does not request to make “identity” a default, hence much as it requests to make “choice” (counting the choice of secrecy) a default. Whether the system is CardSpace, SXIP, or OpenID, they all start by having the client pick how they will present themselves.

In the perspective of option being the default identity, you will find that many online clients are opting to place vast amounts of their identity online. For instance in, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook and so forth. The heaviest generational section of the online society (the children) hurries to identify themselves online. They assemble to it so quickly and so effortlessly that it is making federal legislators (and a lot of parents) nervous. Do these children believe that anonymity is or ought to be the internet default? Actually not.

A semi-joking clarification of this lies in “Norlin’s Maxim.” It was first posited as a joke; however it has since been found to in fact partially true hence its semi-joking nature. Norlin’s maxim is easy. The internet inevitably draws information from the personal domain into the open domain. The evidence: Google your given name today and Google it once more in 90 days (more will be recognized about you sooner or later).

Therefore, instead of disagreeing about whether or not secrecy is the default in the “actual-world” (it is not), It would simply be asserted that whereas location might have been an alternative for identity in the creative design of the internet, the temperament of the network itself compels identity data from the secretive to the open domains. That compelling function leaves clients open to losing power over their individual personal information, and that issue requires a digital identity system infrastructure.

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