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rufus sanders

Wow James - powerful stuff.
Agree with all you've said apart from "online anonymity is seen as suspicious" -
Firms that can offer privacy will ultimately guarantee it to anyone for a fee (read well-heeled.)
Privacy , I believe will be comoditized (pay-to-fade). Ever tried asking who checked into The Priory last month? This can be done by either people surfing for you or elaborate online "selves" for specific functions. Those with the most privacy are just the most resourced in that model.
Where you are right is that current standalone privacy networks (ostensibly for the pirates dressed up as digital freedom fighters - eg TOR) will lose their status as compassionate and necessary media channels from oppresive states and simply appear as grubby kiddie networks because we dont know what they are doing.

Its the difference between secrecy and privacy I guess.

Thought provoking stuff.
Anyway, I just sell posh shoes- what do I know?!?


James Cherkoff

Hey there Rufus! Good to hear from you...

And you make a good point about the difference between secret and private...interesting point.

You clearly know plenty about the 'well-heeled'... ;-)

All the best matey...

Brad Bell

So much ground covered in one small article, James...

While I don't question the trend toward increasingly valuable (to everyone) real world identities, I don't see any possible reason anonymity is going away. "On the internet, no one knows you are so many people." (Anyone who wants to rid the network of anonymity, implicitly desires tyranny.) The ideal is a mix of multiple identities based on roles (professional, personal, familial, consumer, etc) and anonymity - as well as simply having the spectrum of choices.

On the topic of 'free': despite crazy Rupert, it seems cultural belief systems have much less impact than real economic factors. Rupert seems to think there is a culture of 'free,' which can be changed with PR and leadership. Of course, that ignores the actual technological value of the global network: it radically lowers transaction costs. *That's* were the culture of free comes from. The costs of sharing information drop to the point where it resembles a glass of water in a restaurant.

Secondly - it's *digital* information. People like Rupert and Mandelson seem to struggle to see that digital media implies the end of the analog business of selling content. (In the analog world, selling content worked because copies of copies introduced noise, whereas copies of digital media are clones of the original.) Like 'free', this is often presented as a cultural belief, like a kind of negative consumer demand. This kind of thinking leads to attempts to legislate digital devices in an attempt to stop them from acting like digital devices, and legislating people into a digital panopticon, relying on dataveillance to solve problems ranging from outmoded business models to terrorism. In fact, we are being asked to buy into a technological fairy tale in order to preserve the status quo - and the costs to us are simply staggering.

It's easy to forget Rupert sold paper with news printed on it. He did not sell the news.

James Cherkoff

Brad, great to hear from you and some absolutely fantastic comment and insight there. Many thanks for dropping by. You paint a perfect picture of the struggles occurring on the web at the moment. However, I just feel the old guard are back in the game. The disruptors are being disrupted is an interesting phrase I read recently...

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