Anonymity or Illusion? Around Town, posted by Anonymity or illusion?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2008 at 11:04 am
Yesterday I had a conversation with someone who had an interesting perspective on one of the current topics. I suggested that he share it in a post. He said he would not because the weekly can see where the posts are coming from. Are these posts anonymous or not?
While some are angry about the ability of the community to share thoughts and information anonymously it has taken power away from the few that used to control information through fear of reprisal. The things that in past were said in whispers, in small in-the-know groups, can now be shared. It is unfortunate that these posts are limited to the smaller readership of the blog forum. Why did the Weekly stop the column that gave a summary of the blog in the hard copy PW?
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2008 at 1:17 pm
Sounds like your friend is being paranoid. It is true that your IP address is probably being logged and that leaves a trail that can be followed, but typically companies won't give up that kind of information unless they receive a subpoena from a court (and even then they may fight such an order). Now the only reason a company would get a subpoena for that identifying information would be because you've done something illegal. Even with the logs from PW, anyone trying to find out your friend's identity would have to next get the logs from the ISP. And even then it is possible your friend was accessing this website from a computer at a library or other place where multiple people use the same computer. Finding out someone's identity from the IP address in a webserver log is not an easy task!
Perhaps it is PW that your friend doesn't want to find out who he is. I suggest then he could access this website using an anonymizer service that hides his IP address from the webserver (by replacing it with one the service provides). Those services tend to not keep logs. Let's just say that if someone wants to truly be anonymous on the Internet, there are ways to do it, but unless you know the tricks, it is probably just an illusion.
As for the ability to post something anonymously, sure it is great, but what happens when someone starts printing lies about someone? Even worse here, what happens when someone pretends they are another poster and then prints lies and readers can't tell the difference?
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2008 at 1:27 pm
And in case it isn't clear (because I think the PW has done a poor job of understanding and correcting the issue due to a lack of technical knowledge on the subject), requiring registration in order to post does NOT take away anonymity.
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on Jul 13, 2008 at 7:11 pm
It does take courage to post. If you're even slightly uncomfortable knowing that maybe the shadow is watching, then ask somebody else to post for you.
Next week, I'll complete my short novel: THE APPLE SLICES SOUR. It's about the posters on this blog but they have different names. There are three short chapters; Bullets Fly Up, Hardy Looks To The Left and Eat The Sour Slice.
It's a mystery about a conspiracy in Plutonia where the gutter snipes get off on stealing the valuables of innocent residents. Who but Cholo comes along and solves the crimes. I plan to submit my writings to the Editor and hopefully, they will be published in the your newspaper in serial form for your entertainment! Am I afraid to post it, NOT!
Posted by unclehomerr.., a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jul 14, 2008 at 7:23 pm
After careful analysis of headers, sources, and writing styles together with word selection and phrasing... I've concluded that CHOLO is really Jeb Bing! We're on to you, Jeb.. I just pulled back the curtain!
It figures.. Jeb can't 'post' under his own name, but certainly has an imperative to keep the dialog going.
Damn.. I shudda figured that out long ago. It all makes sense now!
Posted by frank, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Jul 14, 2008 at 9:41 pm
Actually, Jeb Bing is itself a phoney name. The picture of Jeb you see from time to time in the paper is PW's version of his avatar. The real person behind the avatar and phoney moniker wants anonymity for the same reason all of you other phoney-named people do.
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on Jul 15, 2008 at 4:09 pm
Hi Stacey...nice to hear from you! My book will have a slightly different focus. The last chapter will be written completely in Spanish with no translation into English! It will be a how to stay out of trouble guide, filled with down home advice by illegals for illegals on how to keep their noses clean and avoid the Miss Pitty Pat's of Plutonia.
Last evening I was meditating, for 17 hrs. and suddenly everything became very bright, a small being popped into my head by the name of Tudlik BOINK! TURNS OUT IT WAS NONE OTHER THAN PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN...I think?
Oh, another think: I have a short interview on tape that I will translate. Many many years ago, my father interviewed Jacobo Timerman. Jacobo offered advice to people re: how to manage their suspicions! A few people in Plutonia might find it helpful! HOORAY!
Posted by frank, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Jul 16, 2008 at 8:03 pm
Illusion, I believe Stacey early on answered the question. But you needed to interpret it. So, to make it simple, they don't know who you are without a lot of detective work. Basically, they would need to have their ISP agree to provide them with the server logs, which the ISP would normally not do without a court order.
Posted by Illusion, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2008 at 1:50 pm
Is the anonymity an illusion?
Why won't the PW respond to my question, it makes me uncomfortable?
The other day I was looking at an insurance website. Twenty minute after leaving the website I got a call from the agent. I had entered a section that promised to give me a free quote but when I saw the personal information it required I did not sent any info and left the site.
When the agent called I ask how they were able to call me as I did not give any information.
Posted by Illusion, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2008 at 6:27 pm
You are out of line to call me a liar. I will take the high road and resist the temptation to insult you back.
What reason would I have to lie? I have been very confused about how that happened but it did. That is why when someone shared their concerns about the blogs I thought it was reasonable to ask. A simple response from the PW would resolve any question about this site.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2008 at 8:38 pm
If I wanted to call you a liar I'd have used that word. I'm entitled to not believe your story but that hardly makes me say that you're a liar. It says "I DON'T BELIEVE YOU"! Even if you spoke the truth I am still entitled to not believe you. That doesn't make you a liar! Don't put words into my mouth.
Posted by Illusion, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2008 at 10:36 am
You have an odd sense of ownership to this bog.
I don't mind hearing your opinion on every topic but you seem to think you are entitled to impose yourself on everyone else. I truely want an answer from the PW. I apreiciated yours and Franks knowledge on the subject but I will not be comfortable until I hear it from the PW.
For you to insult me because I don't accept you as the authority on all things that you think you are is childish.
To lies is to tell falsehood with intent to deceive, which is what you accused me of when you said you "don't by what I said" and "Stop fear-mongering ". If you had simply allowed for my making a mistake I would not have been offended since I am confused by how someone could get my information from simply entering their site.
While I appriciate yours and the other regular posters this is not the Stacey, Frank and Cholo show .
I respect Franks contributions even thought I don't often agree with his bashing of some of our respected citizens. Cholo gives me chuckles even though he is a troll (yes Cholo I know I am the devil). Stacy you may have lived in Ptown almost as long as I have but you are still clueless on the contributions of our citizens prior to the last two years.
I don't wish to belabor this discussion with you further. I do feel most of your posts contribute but at other times I think you are bullying other posters so others become reluctant to post.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2008 at 11:32 am
Insulting you because you don't accept me as an authority on this subject? Hardly. That is your own interpretation. I'm challenging you here because you're making unsubstantiated claims (ie. rumor) regarding the insurance website. That contributes nothing other than to mislead anyone reading this thread and spreads fear among folks uneducated on the subject that somehow their web-surfing activities are being watched a la Big Brother. Why don't you name the insurance company or provide more detail about where on their website you clicked so that anyone can verify your claims? Let's see if an insurance agent calls them without giving away any information.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2008 at 1:13 pm
I just wanted to add that if there really were a business engaging in such a thing as calling people after a website visit where the person didn't submit any information, THAT'D BE NEWS! Plus, all sorts of privacy advocate agencies would be ALL OVER THEM!