Anonymity Won’t Kill the Internet

Bruce Schneier comments on an article by Kevin Kelly.  Kelly argues that too much anonymity leads to the collapse of an online community, or eventually converts to pseudo-anonymity, as eBay has.  Schneier agrees that anonymous systems are easier to abuse and harder to secure, but notes that eBay’s feedback mechanism has created trust between anonymous buyers and sellers.  Anonymity, or lack thereof, does not matter as much as accountability, the means to ensure that an anonymous — or not so anonymous — person can be trusted.  Similarly, accuracy problems in Wikipedia are not the result of anonymity; knowing the name of every author would not guarantee accuracy.  Pseudo-anonymity require anonymity to be brokered by a third party, but this third party can easily abuse trust or be required by the government to hand over personal information.  Anonymity is necessary so long as people are willing to use personal information against each other.,70000-0.html

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