Google+ and my “real” name: Yes, I’m Identity Woman

When Google+ launched, I went with my handle as my last name.  This makes a ton of sense to me. If you asked most people what my last name is, they wouldn’t know. It isn’t “common” for me.  Many people don’t even seem to know my first name. I can’t tell you how many times I have found myself talking with folks at conferences this past year and seeing ZERO lighbulbs going off when I say my name “Kaliya”, but when I say I have the handle or blog “Identity Woman” they are like “Oh wow! You’re Identity Woman… cool!” with a tone of recognition – because they know my work by that name.

One theory I have about why this works is because it is not obvious how you pronounce my name when you read it.  And conversely, it isn’t obvious how you write my name when you hear it.  So the handle that is a bit longer but everyone can say spell “Identity Woman” really serves me well professionally.  It isn’t like some “easy to say and spell” google guy name like Chris Messina or Joseph Smarr or Eric Sachs or Andrew Nash. I don’t have the privilege of a name like that so I have this way around it.

So today…I get this

I have “violated” community standards when using a name I choose to express my identity – an identity that is known by almost all who meet me. I, until last October, had a business card for 5 years that just had Identity Woman across the top.

Display Name – To help fight spam and prevent fake profiles, use the name your friends, family, or co-workers usually call you. For example, if your full legal name is Charles Jones Jr. but you normally use Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, either of these would be acceptable. Learn more about your name and Google Profiles.

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When to share your real name? Blizzard and their Real ID plans.

I was recently CCed in a tweet referencing this article “Why Real ID is a Really Bad Ideaabout World of Warcraft implementing their version of a “Real ID” in a way that violated the trust of its users.

The woman writing the article is very clear on the identity “creep” that happened and got to the point of requiring users to use the Real ID account within the system to post on forums and EVEYWHERE they interacted on company websites.

She articulates clearly why this creates an unhealthy climate and a chilled atmosphere for many users.

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Identity Dispute on Twitter

From Slashdot

SpuriousLogic spotted this story on the BBC, from which he excerpts:

“The High Court has given permission for an injunction to be served via social-networking site Twitter. The order is to be served against an unknown Twitter user who anonymously posts to the site using the same name as a right-wing political blogger. The order demands the anonymous Twitter user reveal their identity and stop posing as Donal Blaney, who blogs at a site called Blaney’s Blarney. The order says the Twitter user is breaching the copyright of Mr. Blaney. He told BBC News that the content being posted to Twitter in his name was ‘mildly objectionable.’ Mr. Blaney turned to Twitter to serve the injunction rather than go through the potentially lengthy process of contacting Twitter headquarters in California and asking it to deal with the matter. UK law states that an injunction does not have to be served in person and can be delivered by several different means including fax or e-mail.”

Thomas Friedman on the lesson from Van Jones – “Watch out for the participatory panopticon”

Thomas Friedman of the NYTimes on Meet the Press today talking about several recent incidents including what happened to Van Jones.

When everyone has a cell phone, everyone is a photographer, when everyone has access to YouTube, everyone is a filmmaker, and when everyone is a blogger everyone is a newspaper.

When everyone is a photographer, a newspaper and a filmaker everyone else is a public figure. Tell your kids ok,  be careful every move they make is now a digital footprint. You are on candid camera and unfortunately the real message to young people from all these incidents… (he says holding his hands closely together) is really keep yourself tight – don’t say anything controversial, don’t think anything controversial, don’t put anything in print – you know what ever you do just kind of smooth out all the edges (he says moving his hands in a streamlining motion down) and maybe you too – you know when you get nominated to be ambassador to Burkina Faso will be able to get through the hearing.

What does this capacity to document “everything” digitally mean to free thinking, and free speech? It seems that is having a quelling effect.

I have written about the participatory panopticon several times, a term coined by Jamais Cascio.

* Participatory Panopticon strikes Michael Phelps

* We Live in Public – a movie

* “sousveillance” coming to NYC and Big Brother coming to NYC

* Participatory Panopticon tracking the CIA’s Torture Taxi

* Condi Caught by Emerging Participatory Panopticon

* Accelerating Change Highlights: 1 (Jon Udell)

The first time I spent a whole day with technologists working on the identity layer of the web in 2003 I asked publicly at the end of the day – how do we forgive in these new kinds of tools in place? How do we allow for people to change over time if “everything” is documented?

I hope we can have a dialogue about these kinds of issues via the blogosphere and also face to face at the 9th Internet Identity Workshop coming up in November.

Participatory Panopticon strikes Michael Phelps

I have written about the participatory panopticon before (we live in public, sousveilance, cia torture taxi’s, Jamais Casio @ accelerating change, Condi caught) – but more in the abstract about stories in the news. This is the Huffington Post article about the photo of michael phelps.

This story strikes more close to home. I was, in my first career, an athlete competing at the Olympic level. In 1996 I was an “olympic year tournament” for Women’s water polo (only the men competed in the olympics) in 1998 I played in the World Championships in Perth Australia and in 1999 I won a gold medal at the Pan American Games (an event run by the Olympic committees of countries in north and south america). I also retired following that event and the following year many of my friends on the National team and college team competed in the Olympic Games. (if you want to see some of what is on the web re: that time of life for me search “Kaliya Young” & “water polo” )

So with this caveat – we were very dedicated athletes – we trained hard, we never went out and partied while we in Montreal our training home base – (a notorious “party town”). After a big event – like any one of the tournaments listed above we would for a brief night or two – take a break – go out and yes many of on the team would get drunk. ((No one our team didn’t have any pot heads on it but the difference between Pot and Alcohol is minimal.)) Some of us on those evening would do things that wouldn’t be great to have posted on the internet for posterity. That is to say maybe 3 times a year many of our team would celebrate together out and get slightly inebriated.

In sports you get insulated – all you do is TRAIN – TRAIN – TRAIN. You don’t party or socialize much at all. I spent 20 hours a week for years in the water at the peak of my training with no summer’s off, no christmas’ – maybe 10 days a year off to visit my family. Michael Phelps was probably spending 30-40 hours a week being an athlete. So once you win – and Phelps won big – you take a break – you go and do a few things in moderation that people your age do all the time every week. Give him a break.

In reading this quote the thing that I think the person who decided to break the veil of his privacy – to “out” his supposed indiscretion should be outed too….

Whoever it was who had the camera to hand to snap Phelps apparently smoking marijuana through a glass pipe, somewhat unfortunately called a bong, made a few quid, but, in those few seconds, Phelps lost his reputation, his aura and, possibly, tens of millions of dollars in earnings from sponsors.

Why I don’t trust telco’s

This Horror story is why I don’t trust telco’s AT ALL. ($3000 bill for the iPhone) I am very willing to pay reasonable price for reasonable service. I am not sure why this is hard for them to GRASP but being raked over the coals.

THANK GOD FOR GOOGLE getting into the spectrum auction and forcing it to be for open usage.

From CNET:

The company is pushing the FCC to adopt rules in the upcoming 700-megahertz auction set to ensure that winners of certain spectrum licenses will have to adhere to four openness principles. These include guaranteeing that consumers can use any device or software on the network, as well as forcing winning bidders to offer spectrum at reasonable wholesale prices to ensure that small companies can get access to wireless capacity to build competitive wireless services.

Yet another contact service.

I got an invitation to SpokeIn touch yesterday. This is “the open network for business people” What I didn’t get was how it was any different then any other ‘stay in touch’ thing like Plaxo (which I don’t use). In fact I am not going to use anything in this genre until they are using open standards that interoperate with other systems. Below the fold is the actual e-mail if you want to dive into it. And no I don’t want to sprinkle the world with my hCards. Please consider building the equivalent using XRI/XDI. It also strikes me that one would need to trust the service one is sharing all this information with. I have no basis for trusting them right now – who has had a good experience with them?
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Sex offender mixup on MySpace and AmeriTrade Spam

Last week there were some interesting identity developments.

summary: Ms. Jessica Davis had her Myspace profile eliminated because it matched a name in a sex offender database. She tried to resolve it with Myspace but they were very unhelpful. She went to the press after learning about a new information sharing agreement between MySpace and states attorney generals. She is planning to go into law and public service and did not want to be in a position for the rest of her life defending her innocence because they put her in some database.

AmeriTrade Spam: “On April 14, 2007, I signed up for an AmeriTrade account using an e-mail address consisting of 16 random alphanumeric characters, which I never gave to anyone else. On May 15, I started receiving pump-and-dump stock spams sent to that e-mail address. I was hardly the first person to discover that this happens. Almost all of the top hits in a Google search for “ameritrade spam” are from people with the same story: they used a unique address for each service that they sign up with, so they could tell if any company ever leaked their address to a spammer, and the address they gave to AmeriTrade started getting stock spam. “

Freedom of Speech Seriously Threatened.

Some highlights from this Blog speak for itself. (I didn’t have time to do all the linking from the quotes so click through to get them.

The U.S. Government wants to force bloggers and online grassroots activists to register and regularly report their activities to Congress in the latest astounding attack on the internet and the First Amendment.

Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of, a website dedicated to fighting efforts to silence grassroots movements, states:

Section 220 of S. 1, the lobbying reform bill currently before the Senate, would require grassroots causes, even bloggers, who communicate to 500 or more members of the public on policy matters, to register and report quarterly to Congress the same as the big K Street lobbyists. Section 220 would amend existing lobbying reporting law by creating the most expansive intrusion on First Amendment rights ever. For the first time in history, critics of Congress will need to register and report with Congress itself.

During an appearance with his wife Barbara on Fox News last November, George Bush senior slammed Internet bloggers for creating an “adversarial and ugly climate.”

– The White House’s own recently de-classified strategy for “winning the war on terror” targets Internet conspiracy theories as a recruiting ground for terrorists and threatens to “diminish” their influence.

– The Pentagon recently announced its effort to infiltrate the Internet and propagandize for the war on terror.

– In a speech last month, Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff identified the web as a “terror training camp,” through which “disaffected people living in the United States” are developing “radical ideologies and potentially violent skills.” Chertoff pledged to dispatch Homeland Security agents to local police departments in order to aid in the apprehension of domestic terrorists who use the Internet as a political tool.

Make no mistake, the internet, one of the greatest outposts of free speech ever created is under constant attack by powerful people who cannot operate within a society where information flows freely and unhindered. All these moves mimic stories we hear every week out of State Controlled Communist China, where the internet is strictly regulated and virtually exists as its own entity away from the rest of the web.