I recently watched a preview for The Fifth Estate, the new film about WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange. At one point in the trailer, which seems to me to lean toward an image of a crusader for democracy and free speech, Benedict Cumberbatch earnestly portrays Assange as telling a hushed crowd, “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. But if you give him a mask, he WILL tell you the truth.”
I don’t buy it.
Much as I have studied, discussed, and analyzed the questions surrounding anonymity on the internet no one (including me) has yet been able to convince me that the benefits of anonymity on the web outweigh the costs. Let me give you a few of my reasons: [Read more...]