Dear simonshack and All,
Let me add my tuppence worth on the topic of internet ANONIMITY.
First, a question, to you all:
As children, have you ever heard the following sentence from the mouths of your parents?:
-"My son (or daughter), never, ever repeat in school (or anywhere outside our home) what you hear inside our home, because if you do, Father will get into trouble, Father will get hurt! You don't want your Father to get hurt, do you?"
You never heard that sentence? Lucky you! I did.
And mind you, I heard it during the 1980s, long after the 1950s' hardcore Communist insanity, during the time of us being the "happiest barracks". It was during Kádár's regime, when "Everybody who is not against us must be with us", that is, according to Kádár. This meant, The Man did not really want you to believe in Communism, and I doubt it if even they themselves believed in it at all after 1956. All the regime wanted from you is to shut the fuck up and keep your private opinion to yourself, nod approvingly to the official BS, or if asked, be able to repeat it like a parrot as your public opinion.
As an adult, I find I simply can not help myself: this attitude embedded itself into my DNA. In my private life, in my family, I do have my private opinion, but in public, I either shut the fuck up, or nod approvingly to the official BS, not believing a word of it.
Here comes the tricky part: the Internet. The Internet is not a private place but a public place. Posting on forums makes sense only if you are able to give your real, private thoughts: what would be the point otherwise? But as I said, Internet is a public place, therefore your private opinion does not remain your private opinion but becomes your public one! Would I share my private opinion with the public, openly? Fucking NEVER! (I know, I know: the black car does not come for us any more. The days of the doorbell-fever are over forever. Probably. Still, the fear my grandparents experienced in the 1950s is entrenched in our DNA I'm afraid...)
This is where internet anonimity comes in handy. I can share my private thoughts without being worried that they are publicly attached to my private person, and it is a good thing!
Of course, if The Man would want to come after me they could or, at least, spot this computer and its exact location, and then it would be another easy step to identify me. Or anyone for that matter.
But, I would never, ever join any social media, or divulge my name, or address, or workplace, or picture anywhere on the Internet! IMO exposing yourself in such a way to the public is fucking raving lunatic madness, and I simply can not understand why other people are doing it in the first place, especially that they aren't forced to do so! You can be identified that way! And whatever you posted remains there forever!
And we all know: your employers are monitoring the Internet, The Man is monitoring the Internet! This time, its not Father who may get into trouble, but you, and it would be your own doing. Why risking unnecessarily?
Being anonym, being the gray man, is the best survival-tactics! (Especially in times when the freedom of speech means you are free to speak whatever is allowed to be free...)
And, this is not some modern thing, either. The Hungarian peasants (some of them were my ancestors) were always tight-lipped peoples, and not due to lack of personal opinions either...