Anonymity, Thy Name is…

In conjunction with Movable Type 3.0, they are introducing a new service, “TypeKey(TypeKey Authentication Services)”:http://www.typekey.com/. As is typical in the blogosphere, merely the “hint( More TypeKey Information)”:http://www.movabletype.org/news/2004_03.shtml#000926 of how it will work has elicited a number of strong opinions both “for(TypeKey? You Blow Me)”:http://diveintomark.org/archives/2004/03/22/you-blow-me and “against(TypeKey: The Patriot Act of Weblogging)”:http://weblog.burningbird.net/fires/technology/typekey_the_patriot_act_of_weblogging.htm it. And “questions(Questions for SixApart)”:http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/crimson1/2004/03/20#a1327 and “more questions(Questions for Dave Winer)”:http://www.plasticbag.org/archives/2004/03/questions_for_dave_winer.shtml and “even more questions(Six Apart’s FAQ on TypeKey)”:http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/crimson1/2004/03/23#a1396. However, at this point, since it has received the “endorsement(Movable Type 3.0 and MT-Blacklist)”:http://www.jayallen.org/comment_spam/2004/03/movable_type_30_and_mtblacklist of Jay Allen, whose extraordinary tool has become an “essential part(Comments on Comment Spam)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/2004/01/spam of the operations around here, I can pretty much assure you that I will be an avid TypeKey user. But I was really struck by the whole issue of anonymity. This is my personal belief. There is no such thing. You can take steps to limit your exposure by signing up for an “anonymous e-mail account(Will anonymous e-mail become a casualty of war?)”:http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/internet/02/13/anonymous.email.idg/. But if you pay for it with a credit card, it means they have a record, which can be obtained via a court order. If you use a re-mailer, you may be safe, but there is no “guarantee(A Brief History of anon.penet.fi – The Legendary Anonymous Remailer)”:http://www.december.com/cmc/mag/1997/sep/helmers.html. And, of course, everyone who comments on a weblog leaves an ip address behind. Which, is not necessarily that difficult to “track down(Output from ARIN WHOIS)”:http://ws.arin.net/cgi-bin/whois.pl. So here is my advice: decide what level of anonymity you are comfortable with, and conduct yourself accordingly. “That(whois record for: libraryplanet.com)”:http://www.easywhois.com/index.php?domain=libraryplanet.com&next.x=27&next.y=2 is what I do.

Posted by Michael K Pate

Michael K. Pate tends to spend a great deal time of time around computers. He has been a Librarian since 1997. Michael was born in Avon Park, Florida in 1966. Except for a couple of brief periods in his life (once in Tampa and once in Winter Haven/Haines City), he has been a life-long resident. Originally, he planned on a career as a Computer Programmer and therefore graduate from Webber College with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems in 1988. However, unhappy with career opportunities at the time, he soon returned to school and received a BS in Social Science Education from the University of South Florida. He began his career in education at Avon Elementary and later Avon Park Middle working as a Computer Lab Coordinator. While technological challenges were interesting, he found himself more and more interested in becoming a Media Specialist. He began work on his MLS in 1995. However, a summer internship at the Sebring Public Library in 1996 soon made him reconsider just what his career should be. Upon graduation in 1997, he secured a position as a Media Specialist at Eastside Elementary in Haines City. Eventually, the position he was looking for opened up and he returned to SPL as Reference Librarian in 1999. In 2003, he became Assistant Director of the Highlands County Library System, serving in that role until the position was eliminated during a late round of budget cuts in 2010. Since then, he has been the Computer Support Specialist for the Heartland Library Cooperative. In 2011, he began serving on the Board of Directors of the Tampa Bay Library Consortium.