On Anonymity and How to Discourage But Still Permit It

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I respect privacy and anonymity, but it’s obvious that there are significant drawbacks. After Will posted the above tweet, I had a thought: Anil Dash recently proposed a Metcalfe Tax to allow people to break default, broadly public bonds that provide network effects. I like this idea, and I think it would apply here: if you wish to be anonymous, you can certainly have that anonymity, but it comes with a price. The easy counter-argument is that requiring payment, which has at least some sense of identity required for non-cash transactions, doesn’t fix the problem. I disagree: any competent system administrator is going to be able to figure out a lot about you based on server logs alone.

Please note that I don’t think that this is a choice for the entire Internet, nor do I want it to be. But if I ran a publication that had comments as a part of the interaction model, I would institute it.