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Identity in Internet environment

Jul 26, 2009 06:42 AM
by Messenger

Internet can provide anonymity in chats and discussions. From time to time,
question has arisen whether a participant is using their real identity or

There are two classes of discussions. One dealing with philosophical and
scholarly exchanges of opinions and analysis. The other dealing with
organizational issues. In the former, no one really cares much about the
identity. In the latter, it does because we are talking about issues which
affect the operations of the organizations and involves the issue of taking
personal responsibility for what they write.

It is a fact that in due course pseudonyms users get identified. When it
happens, it can and does give a black eye for the individual and the
credibility gets damaged for ever.

Confirming oneâs identity is quite easy. There are many ways. If you are in
the USA, you will realize that oneâs privacy is very limited and Google can
help find a lot of information about you.

A lot of personal information is indexed using public records and much of it
is available for free. One can easily find oneâs addresses, phone numbers,
names of family members, and even the dates of birth. Marriage and divorce
information are public. Professional Licenses you have are public.

Your work place and residence can be identified and even get a map.
Estimated value of your home is available. In some places, even the building
plan is available. With a little effort people have been able to find out
what cars you own. If you have interest, you can spend some time on Internet
and satisfy yourself about the lack of privacy in the USA

Additionally, wherever you are in the world, the simplest way to verify
oneâs identity is to check with a couple of people who have met you over the
years. Since theosophists is a minuscule group around the world, we run into
each other at various occasions and hiding is very difficult. This is all
the more so when you display on Internet, detailed intricate knowledge about
theosophy, theosophists and TS, because it takes a lot of time to acquire
such in-depth knowledge.

I thought I should share the above since many on the list may not be aware
of the identity issues. If anyone wants to keep their real identity a
secret, it is going to be very very difficult in todayâs Internet world,
where massive information can be accessed instantaneously.

Messenger (aka MKR)


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