Thank you Alastair's Place:

For those who are wondering, I put privacy in quotes when I talk about “privacy” advocates, because most of them are not, in fact, advocating privacy. Instead, the majority advocate anonymity, which is quite different and has many effects that are detrimental to the rest of society [for instance, it’s much easier and safer to commit fraud and other crimes if you have anonymity…].

Interesting way to make the distinction, but it's an important set of concepts to get straight. This is why people run after blogs thinking they'll do the same work as diaries -- they can, up until a point. It's almost like having your cake and eating it too; you have a diary online, you get anonymous feedback, and poof, you're having conversations with amateur psychoanalysts (or at least virtual buds) instead of simply writing catharticly. Then later, a "RL friend" finds it, and your conflation of this magically responsive anonymity meets with a complete lack of the conventional diary's privacy protections (there's only one; it's not left out where it's easy to find; perhaps you lock your diary, etc; your handwriting is difficult to read).

This is the digital revolution, not that it needs to operate in this fashion. That is, as we are increasingly seeing on friend-boards like myspace and friendster, etc., that allow people to make their online presence private and only expose it to "friends" they approve. Not a perfect fix, obviously, as it's still difficult to vet a "RL friend" in virtual sheep personas, but it does show there are ways to protect an online presence. Firewalls, encryption, permission protections on the servers -- they are all opprotunities that blogs don't conventionally provide that old school diaries, in a fashion, did.