the persistence of email archives

Gilles d'Aymery aymery at
Thu May 22 21:46:44 MDT 2003

Fully agree with the thoughts with a couple of technical exceptions (see infra).

First, I need to make sure that it is understood that what I was saying had to
do with the fact -- a fact that Les has acknowledged -- that there is no 'actual'
anonymity on the Net. There is not. Period. The best one can do, as Les said,
is to make it more difficult to be discovered.  The technical difficulty of the so-
called re-mailers can be hacked by any savvy (with time to lose) hacker or
(with a salary) bureaucrat. Again, there is NO anonymity on the Net. Period.

That said, yes, sadly the utter marginality of the movement is the best defense,
though, with mild paranoia tendencies and conspiracy streaks (a very US and
reactionary way of behaving), one could easily 'believe' that Big Brother is
about to get her/his. Big Brother is here and there, everywhere... Let's get
used to it. Let's hit the road and run for the hills. I'm sure the French would
agree! :-) Let's all get anonymous! (hmm, who pays the bills?) Enough...

The couple exceptions (see supra):

Hotmail accounts are $MS accounts. Anyone who thinks that it's private
should have a look at the Brooklyn bridge. It's always for sale!

The cyber-cafe approach is definitely more challenging, though since one
needs some kind of an account to register on the Net, one is by definition
technically traceable.

Conclusion (on my part):

The bottom line has to do with the need and the worthiness of anonymity, a
can or worms that I do not want to open. (Yes, I know, I just did. -- so let
say that I have to focus on Swans' next edition, and will not follow-up on this least until next week.)

Meantime, I'll remain unabashedly LOL! :-)


[Tom wrote]
My thoughts on internet security and anonymity

Technically you can always be traced. Unless you are hot shot hacker, about
the only way to avoid this would be to a) use a hotmail-type address with
fake name and b send your messages from an ever-changing array of cyber

Our main protection from Big Brother lies in the sheer volume of traffic
(how likely are they to read this message of mine given the amount of
"noise" they'd have to work through?) and also-- and this is the
politically important issue -- our uterly marginal importance in the
politics of the countries where most of us live. The CIA is very unlikely
to read what I post here because they don't give a stuff what I do.

So by and large I'm for treating this issue the same way we treat the
question of surveillance and police spies in left organisations. Act on the
assumption they will be there from time to time, deal with them if we come
across them, but otherwise don't worry about them. When you post things on
this list, don't refer to anything too sensitive -- common sense is
sufficient guide.

It's a different in some places. My e-mail address is "suarsos" because
that's short for Suara Sosialis -- socialist voice in Indonesian -- and I
can re-set it so those words show up in place of my name. This was
important when I sent Indonesian language Marxist stuff out during the
Suharto era. I used a pseudonym for my articles too. Of course, if the
Indonesian spooks had taken a serious interest in me, they could have
worked out who I was -- but I am alas far too marginal in Indonesia too and
so the anonymous e-mail and pseudonym were quite sufficient.

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