I am participating in this year’s International Symposium on Electronic Art [ISEA] in Hong Kong in a panel with colleagues from design, creative arts and digital media – Jo Sterling, Su Ballard, and Jo Law. We are discussing the various natures and aesthetics of data as a vector of prediction and control in four different case studies. Below is the panel paper we are building from.
A couple of years after Snowden there is already a noticeable stratification into three distinct groups in terms of access to real anonymity online:
1] Most people access the net through a layer of zero anonymity or pseudo anonymity at best, and their destination online is either not anonymous or actively trying to pry away private data from them;
2] A small percentage access the net through a layer of high anonymity [i.e. VPN, TOR] and their destination may be somewhat anonymous [i.e. members only forums, or TOR sites];
3] An even smaller percentage access a completely different and highly anonymous network [i.e. I2P] through an anonymous layer, and their destination is equally highly anonymized.
Groups 2 and 3 are mostly not going to be affected by any government efforts to regulate or remove anonymity, but ironically it is only those two groups who have the will and know-how to defend anonymity.