before we changed the forum software to discourse, there was the option of writing a small comment under the user name. So I did. What I wrote was the following sentence: “Would Whonix be needed in a perfect world?”, which seems to have been quite an intriguing question, as I’ve actually received mails from more than one person, asking me about what I really mean with this question. Now, since this is quite an interesting topic to discuss, I thought I might revive an old habit of mine, writing far to long “blog-like” forum threads, which tackle mundane, yet somehow perplexing questions with far more depth than necessary. So, with that in mind, let’s get rolling:
What did I actually mean by this question?
This might seem like quite a simple, almost unnecessary question to ask, however, after receiving more than one mail, asking me about the question, I had to admit, that it left more room for interpretation, then initially intended. This, while at first not ideal, actually was a advantage in the long run, as it sparked more varied discussion, then were otherwise possible. So, let’s get this now out of the way: What I meant by this question was the following: Would there be a necessity for anonymity focused software in a literal perfect world, in a utopian society? Is there still necessity for anonymity in a world were things like racism, sexism, fanaticism and the disadvantages of both capitalism and communism have been completely abolished? Well, a hard question, as an utopia always is the ultimate compromise. Everyone has a different opinion on what “perfection” has to look like, so in the definition of a “flawless” society, there will per se always be things someone won’t be able to accept. This, in the area of anonymity, could be what I enjoy calling “self dataing”. What that is, is completely voluntary surveillance, done by cooperation, which actually benefit the person who lets the surveillance happen. Examples of this would be all the “personal assistance”, like Google Now or Cortana, as well as all the fitness trackers and apps, which currently flood the market. Now, you might say, that in a “perfect world”, there would of course be the possibility to opt-out of such systems, without really having to actively hide from them, though I’d have to object. Why? Well, basic psychology actually. Most people wouldn’t care, as they are happy with their data being collected. With only few people expressing their wish for anonymity, it wouldn’t take all to long for them to be suspicious. Now, I know what you are about to write. That in a “perfect world”, there wouldn’t be such a prejudice against any group, right? Well, the thing is, that even though the society is perfect, the humans inhabiting it, may be far from it. Group psychology for example is a factor which always will be an issue. Furthermore, there are always going to be different personality types, be it predetermined by meiosis or created by the surroundings in the post-natal development phase.
So, this is the way, I meant the question and I would really enjoy hearing some opinions about it.
However, there were some, which asked, whether I meant by my question, that perfect technology, projects like “Let’s encrypt” and encryption of everything, would make Whonix superfluous. I’d have to object. While I feel that for a lot of people, pseudonymity is what they need and the situation in general, would improve if for example “non-ssl sites” were abolished and high standard encryption would be something as normal as an account password. However, until we get to the “utopian state”, mentioned before, there will always be people who NEED anonymity for every price, as their lives depend on it. Dissidence, journalists, activist, etc.
I hope, I was able to maybe spark on our two interesting thoughts,