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[liberationtech] On the politics of the circumvention debate

Michael Rogers m.rogers at cs.ucl.ac.uk
Sat Sep 18 05:33:14 PDT 2010


On 17/09/10 21:54, Evgeny Morozov wrote:
> I certainly understand Mehdi's interest in ensuring that the web-sites
> that he runs - as well as many other Internet resources - are accessible
> to users in Iran. But I don't think that this alone justifies not taking
> a broader view of the field and trying to figure out whether there has
> been too much focus - including on the funding front - on supporting
> circumvention tools at the expense of not funding/discussing/designing
> appropriate responses to other, more "liquid" types of Internet control
> like the intimidation of bloggers or DDoS attacks. 

On that note, I'd like to ask an open question to the members of this
list: given the intimidation and punishment of bloggers around the
world, I'm surprised we haven't seen more of a debate about anonymous
blogging. Why do you think that's the case?

Some possible reasons that spring to mind:

* Bloggers feel that what they write won't be trusted if it's written
anonymously

* Bloggers don't always intend to write about politics when they start
blogging, so they don't consider the need for anonymity at that stage

* Anonymity would cause blogging to appear subversive, rather than
journalistic

* Bloggers choose not to be anonymous in order to make a public stand

* Good tools for anonymous blogging don't exist, or bloggers don't know
about them

* Bloggers are, in fact, writing anonymously/pseudonymously, but are
identified by other means (how?)

I feel that any of these could be plausible explanations, but I'd be
really interested to hear from anyone who has more direct experience
with this issue.

Thanks,
Michael



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