20 August 2012
Quixotic Anonymity, Privacy and Security
04:28 PM 7/31/2012:
My name is Chris Clayton and Im a writer-editor at Sky, Deltas
in-flight magazine. Im writing a feature on the quest (however quixotic)
for online anonymity - with a special focus on who needs/wants it and
why, as well as how various individuals are attempting to get it.
Given that Cryptomes quest is somewhat at odds with the idea of a faceless,
nameless web presence, I thought it might be interesting to get your take
on the topic. Would you have time tomorrow or Thursday of this week for a
short phone interview?
Deputy Editor, Delta Sky magazine
That would be a pleasure. Tomorrow about 10AM work for you?
If not suggest a time tomorrow, excluding 11AM-2PM.
At 09:12 AM 8/1/2012:
10 am works for me, John. Ill call you in about 45 minutes. Thanks
The gist of the Cryptome interview comments:
1. Online anonymity, privacy and security are technically and programmatically
impossible, but misleading illusions can be obtained through deceptive
anonymizing services, privacy policies and security promises.
2. The better anonymity services, privacy promises and security promises
are known and publicized as trustworthy, the greater the illusion of branding
3. Anonymizing services, privacy policies and security promises are illusory
by design to induce unjustified trust for gathering private data for undisclosed
venal purposes -- official, commercial, educational, organizational.
4. Online users should learn to protect themselves and to never rely upon
providers of anonymity, privacy and security -- whether online, offline,
national or personal.
5. URLs for reference:
Cryptome background, foreground:
At 12:02 PM 8/6/2012:
One more question: What was your involvement with WikiLeaks? CNET called
you a "co-founder," others mention that you were a consultant and a board
member. Wanted to get a straight answer from you before I reference that
in the piece. Thanks.
My WL role was limited to serving as the public name to register wikileaks.org.
Then to receive univited email on a private WL mail list before WL went public.
During the email receipt period of a few weeks I criticized WL's overly ambitious
fundraisng goals and was booted, then booted again under another email address
when I published the emails. Described here:
This might be considered a founder role and I would not deny the honor of
"founder" as well as being the first Wikileaks dissenter fired. Firing,
"plonking," happened a lot on the Cypherpunk mail list, so nothing unusual.
Cryptome has offered WL back-up mirrors in emergencies, and vice versa. Though
any conspiracy is not to be believed.