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John James
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Schmidt probably said or meant 'asymetric threats' not 'asynchronous.' We do have reason to fear governments knowing everything we say and do. Many governments become corrupt and evil (by any standard -- nobody believes there has never been a corrupt or evil government). And there is no guarantee it won't happen here, with our government as well. Some would say it already has. But Google doesn't need to require government names (at least not yet). And law enforcement can almost certainly track down a persistent identity if necessary. So it doesn't need Google's real-names policy. So people can still be safe from abusers, etc., since these private aggressors usually don't have law-enforcement's access to inside information. Google has a major conflict of interest here, since its central business interests are fundamentally opposed to privacy. The way forward is to not rely excessively on any one company, not even Google. The so-called "real names" (really, government names) dispute reminds us of this.
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Aug 23, 2011