Anonymity vs deanonymization

    Recently, I read a lot of discussions about how to hide on the Internet. Someone writes about the technical side, someone about the methodological. I myself am paranoid by nature, but try not to lose common sense. As a result of deliberation of the reasonings read earlier and common sense, the following was obtained.

    1. Privacy is dead - get over it. This mainly happens because users (in a broad sense) are generally not inclined to think about long-term consequences, especially about possibly bad consequences, especially about very rare ones (regarding their life). The ability to communicate with friends is much more important for a person, for example, than keeping their body and mind movements secret from those who can use it to the detriment of the person himself (an elementary example is apartment theft when a person calls on a social network went somewhere for a long time). Fighting the crowd of lemmings is pointless, in any case, fighting for their fate.
    2. Services that require users to deanonymize are often really beneficial. The same social networks, CCTV cameras, and even recordings of the movement of a cell phone between towers - when used correctly, provide many opportunities for gaining knowledge / pleasure / avoiding trouble.
    3. The main threats from deanonymization:
    - The state and society: this refers to the pathological tendency of the state as a whole and of individual structures in particular (including public institutions) to abuse its power with respect to citizens, for different purposes, secret and overt. Organized crime can also be attributed to this, since it differs from the state only in sign. This also includes unsuccessful and frankly stupid near-moral laws, the observance of which is difficult or not always possible, and often requires the sacrifice of health (mental), common sense, other moral norms or long-term interests. An example is the fight against child porn (although the phenomenon itself deserves a fight), where the degree of absurdity in the interpretation of ordinary actions has gone beyond all limits, especially in individual states.
    - Companies making money on advertising and selling services (their own or others). Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. For the sake of their profit, these companies use information to distort the overall picture of the services offered (in search results, for example), which can harm (and strategically harm) the interests of individuals. Also, due to their specifics, these companies are subject to the influence of various public and state organizations, which may require the removal or distortion of publicly available information. The information itself cannot be changed, but it is easy to change the concept of accessibility or the characteristics of information.
    - All sorts of media corporations - suppliers of films and music (both offline and online). They are similar to the companies from the previous paragraph, but the threat is not in distorting a part of reality (cinema has long become a parallel reality), but in the interpretation of the concept of “reproduction” and those payments that are implied by this interpretation, often far from common sense.
    - Unorganized and partially organized crime. Here the presence of the threat is fairly obvious, although some specific threats may surprise.
    - To the best of curious fellow citizens. In fact, they themselves practically do not pose a threat (unless annoying can be in moderation), but they can deliver information to the previously listed categories, voluntarily or involuntarily (more often by stupidity).
    4. The essence of the threat. Any conflict (and positively colored interactions are not considered here) is won by the participant who has the most reliable information, not only about other participants in the conflict, but also about himself and the “landscape” of the conflict, that is rules and laws by which the conflict develops. Information about yourself is always available, other types of information must be obtained. The winner is the one who mined more, and whose extraction is more accurate. You can reverse this statement in this way: the less information the enemy has obtained, the more difficult it is for him to win, given the amount of information available about the enemy that is always available.
    One of the parts of the “landscape” is knowledge about the distribution of information, in some way reflection - knowledge of how much and what kind of information the enemy has, how he can use this information and what other information he can try to get. The distribution is dynamic, because the properties of the information itself, and other parts of the "landscape", and opponents change over time.
    If we formulate the above more clearly, the following will turn out: the threat of deanonymization consists in providing potential adversary with information about himself and / or about the “landscape” of the conflict, which will help him win in the event of a conflict.
    5. What to do? Firstly, one must realize that any act of disclosing information about oneself carries both positive and negative sides. With the awareness of the presence of negative aspects, people traditionally have difficulties in any field. Secondly, in any act of information disclosure, it is worth thinking about what kind of information and in what volume to disclose. Not necessarily the amount of disclosure should be minimal (although desirable), but in any case, it should be controlled. Thirdly, in any social interaction, in any act, you should be aware of the amount of information potentially available to other participants in the interaction. The control over the dissemination of information mentioned earlier helps in this.
    Fourth, you should be critical of the information received from the outside. It would seem that this has nothing to do with deanonymization - because the information is not disclosed, but rather obtained. But it is worth taking into account the fact of misinformation - when the opponent (not necessarily with conflicting interests) provides information that, as he thinks, is beneficial for him to affect the situation. A typical example is when a child answers a lie to the question “with whom he was walking”, in order to avoid scolding for walking with “wrong” friends or in “wrong” places. A more subtle example is Google's search results, as well as any "personalized" services. Fifth, the perennial task of separating grains from the chaff, and so standing in the process of obtaining information, can be complicated for the adversary - by adding informational noise and direct disinformation.

    As a conclusion, we can say the following:
    Deanonymization in itself is neither bad nor good. She accepts the color in each case, taking into account the situation and the participants involved. Information control is needed, but control is not only total closeness. Different types of information require different types and methods of control. As in any other interaction with the world, it is important to understand what is and is happening around, what you give, what you receive in return, it is important to analyze the facts.

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