Monday, July 14, 2003
The myth of anonymityThe San Jose Mercury noted this morning that there's lots of interest these days in anonymous use of the internet, especially as a tool in the battle between the recording industry and illegal downloaders ("Swappers sprint to cloak identities"). Cnet looked at "P2P's little secret" last week. While the stories have slightly different emphasis, both were instigated by the release of Blubster. The Merc things its revolutionary, while Cnet points out that there's nothing anonymous about it.
The reality is, of course, that there is no anonymity on the web - everyone is identified by an IP address. Cnet correctly points this out but then cites free wireless access as a way around this - using different addresses for short periods of time to avoid detection. The flaw in that reasoning is that no WiFi provider will allow a monopolization of bandwidth by a download site to the detriment of other users. Network Operations Centers will quickly discover bandwidth-hogging nodes and shut them down. That's even easier than waiting for the RIAA to sue!
A nod to Eric Norlin at Digital ID World for reminding me about the Cnet story.
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