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Discussion 1 to A Miscellany 192
We are all open books now

by: JT

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Will raises a valid point. Once we publicly express our thoughts on the internet, they are out there for anyone who wants to do a search. Even deleting something provides no protection. Any major site gets regularly spidered for updates and archived. It is there forever for anyone who wants to find it.

However a site such as this is the least of your concerns if you are worried about the opinions you have expressed. An article published here under your name has a certain deniability should you wish to do so. With contributors from around the world, you could say " that John Doe is not me, it's a John Doe from Tasmania" and you might get away with it if your article has little or no identifying information. But I do hope our various contributors are prepared to stand behind their words should someone call them to account.

More than this site - where contributors know they have a potentially large audience - you should be aware that many other forms of communication can be recovered. For example:

What all those things have in common is that they can all be firmly tied to the writer. Deniability is not an available defense. And deletion is not adequate protection. You just don't control the servers between origin and receipt, nor do you have control over what gets archived.

We all need to think before we write anything electronically. And we may be reaching the point where all our spoken communication over the various phone systems is getting archived somewhere also.

Communication with one person may mean you are communicating to the world. Just be aware of it.

(And now I'll end this before paranoia runs rampant)