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Disqus Bug Deanonymizes Commenters

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  • Disqus is evil (Score:5, Insightful)

    by johnsie (1158363) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @10:45AM (#45659965)
    One company being able to build up a collection your comments and opinions across multiple websites.... Thank goodness I only comment on Slahsdot
  • Re:Damn! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TWX (665546) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @10:46AM (#45659985)
    Bear in mind, most of the people the world haven't structured their lives to understanding technology. They may like technology, they may be technology groupies, but they probably haven't really contemplated the ramifications of technology or how it can be used differently than their preconceived notions. They probably don't necessarily get that databases can be cross-referenced so easily or that unless they're willing to go through a specific amount of work each and every time they want to obfuscate their identities, it's likely that someone can figure out who they are.

    Another thing to remember, it's never really been possible to be truly anonymous when saying something in text. In the days when the printing press was the preferred way, one still had to have trusted people to help print and distribute the words. In early electronic days when dialup was king, there were always phone records and one had to have accounts on bulletin boards, and systems like fidonet kept origination records. In the days of Usenet, messages could at least be tracked back to a newsserver of origin, and assuming that records were kept, the ISP information could be found and then the subscriber account could be identified.

    Nowadays, unless the person wants to take the special laptop that's only used for this purpose, with a special add-on wifi adapter, go park next to a public wifi hotspot and use that public connection, being sure to store the equipment far enough away from themselves when not using it for plausible deniability, there's really isn't true anonymity. If one wants to truly remain anonymous, one generally has to not say anything. That's the tradeoff, true anonymity comes at the price of nonparticipation.
  • Re:I do. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @10:47AM (#45659993)

    You're not the one who gets to decide what is unacceptable; prospective employers do. If employers see something that is, to you, completely innocuous or just a tad embarrassing, and they find it offensive or unacceptable, it's not really going to matter how minor you believe it is. Using your real name is just stupid.

  • Re:I do. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @11:01AM (#45660099)

    Then maybe, just maybe, you wouldn't want to work for that employer.

    Fair enough, but sometimes people are desperate for a job.

    I have always thought you should be able to stand behind your thoughts and opinions should you chose to share them publicly.

    Why? Either the ideas have merit or they don't. The end.

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @11:11AM (#45660179)

    Part of the problem is the fact that Europe has been trying to block free speech on it.
    I am not supporting racist or care for their ideals. But blocking out hate speech is more dangerous then trying to stop it.
    Why?
    Because the hate speech goes underground, where there is no sense of the scope of the problem. So the government doesn't understand how big the problem is and unable to do an appropriate protection of the hated groups.
    Secondly there isn't a counter dialog going on to discredit the hate logic. So people get this feed of hate in private and told that it is taboo, so they keep it quite, however there isn't anyone pointing out the flaw in their reasoning. So they can create more people who hate.

    Free speech is necessary, however it isn't safe or easy.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @11:12AM (#45660195) Homepage

    Disqus has been blocked at my firewall for some time.

    Not because of this, but because I was seeing it on so damned many sites it's not funny. Which means I didn't trust it to be anything good for me.

    There's so much shit on the internet these days that if you're not using cookie/script/beacon blockers you're just handing over your information to a company for profit.

    I believe every hacker on the planet should be working to release the private details of every company executive (and their families) involved in this stuff. If our personal information is a commodity, then don't act like yours is any different. Assholes.

    Much like Zuckerfuck fiercely protects his privacy while undermining ours, you don't get to choose that your privacy is more important than mine.

  • Re:I do. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dr. Manhattan (29720) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .171rorecros.> on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @11:16AM (#45660239) Homepage

    You're not the one who gets to decide what is unacceptable; prospective employers do.

    I wouldn't want to work for an employer that would consider anything I've said "unacceptable".

  • Re:I do. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jiro (131519) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @11:46AM (#45660515)

    I wouldn't want to work for an employer that would consider anything I've said "unacceptable".

    If work was something we wanted to do, it wouldn't be work, it would be hobbies. The whole idea of work is that you do something you otherwise wouldn't because people are willing to pay you for it.

    Nobody wants to work for a bad employer, but most people want to be without money even less. People work for assholes because they need the money, not because they want to work for assholes.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @12:36PM (#45660997) Journal

    In Europe we have an increasing problem with racism and hate speech, especially on anonymous internet forums.

    Which is appropriately countered with more speech.

  • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @01:51PM (#45661717)

    This is particularly disturbing because they should well have known about this. Disqus used (uses?) Gravatar, and Gravatar's failure in this exact same fashion has been previously covered [slashdot.org] and was not even fixed for a long time afterward [slashdot.org] (disclaimer: that AC is me. At least, I think it was. The company I referred to in there did respond to my complaint and fixed it on their side (making Gravatar use opt-in and using a generic 'profile picture' when it wasn't enabled) - not sure if there's statistics on how many people decided to enable it.)

  • Re:I do. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Requiem18th (742389) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @01:56PM (#45661793)

    However, if you are a social conformist living an entirely unthreatening life, you really have nothing to hide in the first place. People have had good reasons to hide something for as long as there have been governments. Maybe it's something as simple as enjoying a beer (once an illegal practice), or maybe it's something as heroic as protecting a Jew family from extermination, with a lot of grey areas in between, like marring a person that desperately needs to obtain citizenship or helping a girl get an abortion from a dangerous pregnancy in a state that doesn't allow.

    The government is not perfect, so it should have perfect reach. Through out history we have benefited from the inability of governments to enforce the law with absolute efficacy. The US wouldn't even exist today if England had the ability to know everything that was being discussed in their territories. And yes, sometimes social progress needs heroes. People who are upfront about their beliefs in open disobedience. Sometimes we need martyrs. But social progress doesn't actually happen there. It happens at home, at the homes of the low profile individual.

    Morality is flexible and nuanced but the law is rigid, short-minded and often manipulated by special interests. Between activism and suppression there is a valley of unenforceability. I'll dare to say that valley was the reason the US flourished while Europe fell into totalitarianism.

    You need this environment. Even if none of your current opinions are controversial. Because one day yours, or your childrens' opinion won't won't be welcomed by government.

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