oda: Chrome tab with a sad face on blue-violet field field (degoogle)
2011-09-29 04:56 pm

De-Googlefication: Dribs and Drabs

My health is still on the really bad side, so I haven't been doing much more than skimming and collecting links.

Some dribs and drabs of progress on the De-Googlification front:

  • Inspiration: I reread Cory Doctorow's Little Brother, to get into the mood.... (the deadtree edition, not the free ebook, as when I'm sick I have less trouble with paper than with screens.) It holds up surprisingly well.

  • Search: Am doing just fine on DuckDuckGo. I love that it's customizable, though the default look is good enough for me. It's exactly what I want in a search engine, especially with the lack of tracking, and if I want different results it will run the same search again through another engine -- proxying to hide the tracking info. It's kind of startling what the world looks like outside of the filter bubble. Noisier, yes, but more evenhanded.

  • Subjot: Yeah, I'm counting this. Subjects and comments really hit a sweet spot for me. It's a for-profit startup but the dev team is amazingly responsive and doesn't seem to want to do anything evil; their ideas in the way of advertising etc. all make sense to me, and they may even end up with a dual-track ad-supported/subscription model like LJ. After DW/LJ this is the most pleasant place I visit every day, though Diaspora is quite nice (the partial implementation of Markdown and lack of collapsing of reshares makes D* a little too cluttery to be soothing.) I have even gotten oda there. Anyhow, this counts because it's a social site I actually enjoy.

  • Meanwhile, I have finally hit my last straw with Facebook. I'm tired of all of the reactive privacy, having to opt out to their brilliant new changes. I'm tired of people having to expose serious security issues in Facebook to get them to fix them. This "push sloppy changes and see who screams" strategy is old. Also, the current UI is a horrendous mess. Clearly a fine time to leave, and I'll be out of there by the end of October (allowing for the two week period of removal.) Of course that doesn't mean anything is actually deleted, just tagged as deleted. Feh. In the meantime I've also set up some AdBlock plus filters to be more aggressive about them.

  • Proxy options: I've been trying out TOR and VPNReactor. The former is a little more obfuscated, but any non-SSL content is in the clear for the last exit router, so I'm leery of using it for anything that's not fully encrypted or for read-only browsing -- session-based HTTP seems risky. VPNReactor will let me use my iPod on hotspots without worrying about my sessions getting hijacked by Firesheep. Sadly it doesn't work for my Android so I will want to use that only on trustworthy wifi networks and not open hotspots (my phone has unlimited, if slow and cruddy, 3g so this isn't exactly the end of the world; the iPod support on the other hand is lovely to have for my wifi-only critter, though I'm less likely to use that on hotspots now that I have a phone.) TOR will show Facebook in a satisfactory if slow-as-a-slug manner, and the Browser bundle was easy to install and use.

  • Email/GMail: My kind friend who runs my site for me is working on getting an IMAP server (Dovecot) up and running there. I've been using mutt for years and the approach is primitive and clunky. I only back up my mail to GMail so I have some flexibility on what I can do, but I need something web accessible so that my husband doesn't need to install anything to see his mail from work. So the options are either to find an email provider with a webmail UI and forward a copy of our mail to that, or to find a sturdy webmail server for my FreeBSD site. (This would actually be my ideal as it means edit operations happen on the live archive instead of the backup. Husband would much prefer to use a web interface for his email activity.) I've had no energy for assessing webmail providers and a general suspicion of PHP, so there's a lot of friction on this one.

  • Email/GMail, Part 2: Thunderbird. Finally got around to getting it ready and am using it to grab stuff. It's a little obtuse but works all right so far, though appears to have some issues with DNS leaking if combined with TOR. It also has the advantage of, if set to copy full messages down, providing a local email backup -- this means that if I get IMAP+webmail on my server I can stop forwarding a backup. If my husband likes this client all right, then he's willing to use this and his phone as clients and can put up with not having webmail access, woot.

I've also been playing around with accessibility extensions, but that's another post.
oda: zombie face on a blue-violet plane (personal)
2011-09-11 10:08 pm

Not Much, Really

What I have been up to:

Not a lot.... Health issues, mostly, have had me at basic day to day. Which isn't bad, really, but it means I haven't had a lot of cognitive surplus. I want to be doing more, but pushing it won't help, so I am not.

Because it's mostly busywork and hence can be done as a bear of very little brain, I've done a major cleaning of my Facebook account, because I am still using it (for now) to keep in touch with family, but I don't think their privacy is going to get any better either. So: fixed a lot of settings there, and deleted all of the fluff from my Wall, likes and things, and tried to zap everything that my name points to in public. Ruthlessly deleted anything I'd posted that no one had touched. While none of it is earth shattering in the least, I am not really fond of having a bunch of "I like pie" trivia under my full legal name.

I am not hardcore enough to do some of the things described in danah boyd's post on how "Real Names" Policies Are an Abuse of Power like deactivating my account when I'm not actively logged in, or scrubbing everything off my wall even if other people have commented, or scrubbing my comments off other people's posts. That feels like it's going too far.

Not sure how I feel about Google+ right now. It's a marathon, not a sprint. And hard to think clearly about when I'm on a bad part of my particular health curve.

I would like to be able to think of social networks as only fun and only about the people, and not about the enormous amount of work it takes to have a modicum of privacy, because it wasn't designed in from the beginning. The privacy issue is enormous, and bigger than these sites, and it's going to quietly (and not so quietly) hurt people and a lot of people don't even realize it yet.

I wish it were easier to get my family over here, where I actually feel comfortable, welcome, and included. I like the community on Diaspora, a lot, but still have concerns about the privacy. I like the vibe and community on Subjot. It's short-form and fully-public now but will including private later, and it has delicious topics, just like I wanted baked into Google+. Oh yes, that's another thing I'm trying out, Subjot, but it's been so low-key and easy that I find it's very natural. Though now I tend to reach for it instead of twitter. Longer form than twitter with topics and real comments and a restful UI? Yes, please. I was only going to look but I thought I'd just post one thing and there I still am; I like it a lot.

I've also switched to DuckDuckGo, which is hardly even-minded of me as I didn't try the other alternatives, but I tried it, liked it well enough, liked some features very much indeed, and stopped. Even just switching search engines is a pretty big change for me right now.

The amount of rambling I am doing is probably some indication of why I haven't been posting anything structured lately.
oda: droid icon on blue-violet field (android)
2011-08-27 01:13 am

Leave Your Apps Behind on Your Way out the Door

For everyone who is voluntarily doing a takeout, but wants to keep their Android phone: talk to your app vendors first and see if you can have them switched to a new GMail account, or you will lose your paid-for apps forever. If you are in your grace period on a suspension, requesting a review can get you shut down long before your grace period ends.

It's not warned about anywhere on the data liberation page, but one item of data you cannot liberate is your ownership of any Android apps you've bought.

"Data liberation? What data liberation? Where? Oh.... you’ll graciously allow me to have content I actually created, but not the things I bought and paid for; silly me, here I thought you actually MEANT it. (You’d think I would have learned by now, eh?)" -- Bonnie L. Nadri

Google Checkout does not liberate personal info either.

At least, my name and address remain welded to Google Checkout, even if I delete the credit card. I can't do squat with those fields if there isn't a valid credit card attached. If I add the credit card it auths it then and there to make sure it all matches and won't let me change the address to something that doesn't match and then delete the card.

<extra sarcasm> The place where I most want to see flaky privacy behavior and only a partial removal of personal information is the one attached to not just my wallet name, but my wallet contents. </extra sarcasm>

Current status on my own Android apps:

App vendors have gotten back to me. One didn't get the possibility of losing access to the account so tried to be helpful by trying to tell me to use it as a secondary account. I think they will probably let me move the apps to another account if I lose access, though. But I am not sure if I can go Amazon with them; I need to check and see if they're in the Amazon store. (An app move might not work as well if I've already lost access.) Another vendor has offered me the choice of Amazon or a fresh Google account, which is a fair pick. I don't think there are any independently authed app stores, more's the pity.

Because of the lack of ability to move apps between accounts, this must be done ad hoc for each app vendor, and they are basically doing it out of their kindness of their hearts if they do it at all; nothing is making them do it other than good customer service and decency. So it's heartwarming to see them be accommodating here, and I want to recognize that they are going above and beyond. (In this case it's the makers of Ultimate Todo List and iSyncr.)


Check purchased apps against Amazon store. Dither a while about which I want. I am going to have to do a full migration either way.

Pros of Amazon: Google doesn't get a cut. I won't get cut off from Amazon for using whatever name I feel like. They will probably get better in response to complaints.

Cons of Amazon: Reputed to treat devs worse than Google does. Requires network connection to use any Amazon apps at all (nng). Slower review process so it can take much longer for updates to trickle through. I am going to have to have a Google account for some functions anyhow. Store is limited in selection and hard to search and people game the reviews even more than Google Market. (Kind of a surprise because their physical stuff shop is fine.)

(Mirrored to Google+)
oda: Chrome tab with a sad face on blue-violet field field (degoogle)
2011-08-26 01:17 am

De-Googlefication: Checkout, Android App Queries

I really haven't been getting much done, but I got a little bit done tonight, at least.

Here are some links to excellent blogs by people also doing the same thing:

Another very helpful tool is the Dashboard, which can show you where Google is storing your data.

Google Checkout

On the plus side, this had a nice little summary of all of my Android purchases, so I ended up not having to dig through my gmail box as I had feared.

On the minus side, I cannot fully delete my data! I tried deleting my credit card, and while it deleted the credit card number it refuses to delete the address and phone number attached to that card. If I try to edit it, then it tells me I need a valid card number to do so. I tried various permutations including re-entering my card to see if I could then remove the address data, but it does a credit card verification against the number, so I simply cannot edit the data away or delete it. Did anyone ever test card deletion? This is a serious privacy failure.

I'm going to leave this on hold here with the credit card still in place, since I might end up getting credits as part of my app transfer process, and come back to it later.

Android Apps

Having received my app summary via Google Checkout, I used the 'Contact Vendor' links to send mail inquiring the best way to transfer an app off of a Google account, so that I can re-download it even without the account attached on my phone and still receive future updates. This has to be done individually to each vendor.

New Google Account

Given that I might need to transfer apps to a new Google account, I have set up a new GMail account so I have a place to send them. I used an invite and didn't need to authenticate SMS. Remember to check 'Always use HTTPS' under General settings. I also like to turn chat off and set it to only let people chat with me if I explicitly allow it.

Buzz: It appears to be turned on, but I don't yet have a profile set up. It throws a 404 if I try to disable it from GMail without a profile.
oda: monochromatic field of blue-violet (Default)
2011-08-18 10:18 pm
Entry tags:

Use of Pseudonyms by IRS Employees

On the topic of government workers, here are the guidelines for IRS workers taking on pseudonyms. They do have to get permission and prove expectation of harm, but I suspect that is not an uncommon expectation for an IRS case worker, and they can use past history of threats or violence.

When I worked at an ISP we had a more informal policy for this; we simply used our first names, or if we felt we were at particular risk, or if two people had the same first name, chose a unique first name. We also each had a numbered email account for work only. This kept us accountable for what we said and did, but protected us from a customer base that did indeed often threaten us with physical harm, among other things. That and the locked garage were both a relief, given the kind of vitriol we used to get on a regular basis. Most of the threats weren't credible, but it was still rather disturbing.

Internal Revenue Manual - 10.5.7 Use of Pseudonyms by IRS Employees

(Crossposted to https://plus.google.com/u/1/102376799902430080799/posts/7psEX2nBpUE and https://joindiaspora.com/posts/391588)
oda: Chrome tab with a sad face on blue-violet field field (sadchrome)
2011-08-13 10:18 pm

Mostly Procrastination and a Little Research

The Bad News: Another crash day so not a ton of progress, though I got the weekly chores done at least. This is probably where my weekly 'still life with farmers market' would be going if I felt like I was actually welcomed by this service. I was planning to keep doing posts-as-usual, but sadly it feels a little like a farce to continue so I will probably be posting even more boring single issue stuff and less of the rest. It is not as if pictures of what I eat or digressions about my dog are super amazing content anyhow, but while I'm waiting for the next hammer to fall I just don't feel comfortable with it anymore. I will continue documenting my slow dawdle away from disentangling my life from this particular cloud giant.

The Good News: I'm still feeling very engaged with people here, though, and love to read what they post. The gaming community here in general is thriving and beautiful. So I still hope the horse will sing, though that hope seems more silly with each new development. I'm a ways from gone unless I get suspended, so I'll try to grab people's twitter/blogs/etc. on my way out. Feel free to post them here! I have an RSS reader and am on Dreamwidth and Twitter, though the latter in a not very active sense.

Email and Docs Research: I've done some reading up on Zoho and didn't see any egregious wails and lamentations in response to my basic searches for reviews, so I will be trying them out when I get more spoons. They also offer web mail and it is supposed to be very solid. I'm trying to decide between that and a solution that offers me a local store that I then can index. I don't actually know of any good desktop/unix based mail indexing solutions, though. Another solution is that I am planning on going to a different provider soon and they will offer email as well, so I could use them as my back/mirror/archive. Email is actually the least of my problems since I host my own, but Zoho offers Docs replacement as well. Heck, depending on their setup I may be able to do some things I wasn't able to do with Sites.

Phone: I keep staring balefully at it and not wanting to start untangling it. It's enough of a hairball that I am procrastinating. I think the solution is to try to pry my apps out of the marketplace and deal individually with their vendors. I don't have that many paid apps. Or find an alternate marketplace of some repute. I'm not happy with Amazon Marketplace though I like them for other services, so not sure what good alternatives are. Another alternative if I can't find a good marketplace is to try to get the app vendors to re-auth my apps onto a new Google account. Except I'm pretty sure they're all going to force real names all the way through at some point, so I'd prefer having them tied to Google as little as possible. While I don't mind a vendor knowing my full name (they're getting my credit card, after all) I do object to my full name popping up on reviews. Static pseudonym is fine.

Wiki Ruminations: I've also used wikidot which in its paid/ad-free form is pretty sweet. It's pretty ad-infested in its free form, but it's a good general purpose wiki and I don't have to keep patching it or removing spammers, which is the general issue with self-hosted wikis. I can host static content in theory (in practice I probably haven't edited a static webpage since 2006, so while it is up there it isn't getting maintained) but running wikis has historically annoyed me, so having that hosted seems plausible as long as I can export it at will. More research, probably. I won't really miss Sites, as it is is Not Quite A Wiki and lacks some features that I keep really wanting.

Mirrored from Google+
oda: monochromatic field of blue-violet (Default)
2011-08-13 02:06 am
Entry tags:

Ways To Take Action

My Name Is Me

Are you someone who uses a pen name? An author, an actor, a musician, an artist? Do you change your name for business? Do you know anyone high profile who does?

My Name Is Me can use contributors.

Original post by +K Robert (Skud): https://plus.google.com/103325808503679220346/posts/LpCFPG1AezL
More thoughts on strategy by Skud: https://plus.google.com/103325808503679220346/posts/LpCFPG1AezL

Submit Feedback

1. Go to your profile page. Click 'send feedback'. Highlight your name. Submit your suggestions.

NOTE: It is very important that you submit your feedback exactly like this. If you do it elsewhere (e.g. highlighting names in a post, instead of your name on your profile page), then it won't get collated as accurately.

Original post by +Sai .: https://plus.google.com/103112149634414554669/posts/9mbQq6gvwqp

Build A Better Mousetrap

Sadly I am not really flush with VCs in my contact list, but +Shava Nerad has even written a pitch for this.
oda: monochromatic field of blue-violet (Default)
2011-08-13 01:35 am

Criticism and Commentary (a small subset)

"Google can not continue with a policy that is so arbitrary that people's real names are rejected, and people's "known as" names are approved one time, and then rejected the next time they are challenged. Nobody wants to invest in a social network which may arbitrarily ban them at any moment."
+Kee Hinckley on the inconsistencies of how the common name policy is enforced.

Video: Is Google+ Killing Anonymity?
+Doug "Krikket" Krick posts EFF's +Eva Galperin's interview on Russia Today.

satiricalbite posts a video "Satire: An Interview with the Folks Behind Google+" -- I find it kind of hard to see the satire in this one, because it's basically what Google is saying. I can't remember who shared this one with me, sorry!

"2007 study says removing anonymity increased hostile interactions by four times that of pseudonymous online discussion."
from +Jay Blanc's post

"Google thinks the freedom of expression is most important value to uphold on the internet. ... We concluded in the end that it is impossible to provide benefits to internet users while observing this country's law because the law does not fall in line with Google's principles."
-- Rachel Whetstone, vice president of Global Communications & Public Affairs at Google, Freedom of Expression on the Internet.
from +Brandon Blackmoor's post on how Google resisted South Korea's real names policy

+Rainyday Superstar, active Buzz user and Trusted Beta Tester, was invited to test Google+ and has had her entire Buzz history vaporized as well as everything else Profiles-dependant. She can't roll back to her pre-test state. If she wants to un-brick her phone she will have to do a factory restore and give it a new account, losing any apps she has purchased through the Marketplace.

"Until Facebook came along, there was hardly anywhere on the public Internet where you had to operate with your real name."
-- +Jeff Iverson

Mirrored to Google+
oda: monochromatic field of blue-violet (Default)
2011-08-12 07:00 am

Non-Progress Progress

Punted on much of yesterday; health is acting up, so no real progress on data liberation other than to do a bit of research. Android liberation in particular is reminding me of how much fun it is to deal with Monsanto; the more I look, the more of a tangle it seems to be. Here, have some links!

Alternatives to the Google monoculture
"Monocultures are unhealthy, whether it’s a crop or an informational system, and privacy is a fundamental necessity to democratic institutions. The Internet is arguably one of the most democratic places ever to have existed, but tracking users – not to mention forcing them to use a government-accepted name – threatens that." -- Leaf and Steel

"They knew exactly what they were getting into, and chose to do it anyway. The stalling, avoidance of the issues, and all-too-rare weasel-worded statements are exactly what I would expect from Vic and the rest of G+ management based on their behaviour pre-launch" -- +K Robert in a comment highlighted by +Collette Lynner

Own Your Own Identity
"But all of these proprietary networks that want to own and hold in your content are reversing much of the web’s progress in some other areas, such as the durability and quality of online identity." -- Marco Arment

Mirrored from Google+
oda: Chrome tab with a sad face on blue-violet field field (degoogle)
2011-08-10 02:18 am

De-Googlefication Step 1.1

Mirrored from Google+.

Mostly I ran around in slow circles like a sloth who couldn't find a tree today. I also fiddled with my circles a bit and discovered to my dismay that +Alis D. had turned into an email-only link. Did she delete or was she suspended? Seems rude to send an invite to find out, either way. I'm not sure if mentioning her here will email her or not. Intentional departures, too, as I crawl away slowly. (+David Leung, +Brandon Blackmoor, you will be missed, but as I am working on prying myself off in my own way I can hardly blame you.)

Dreamwidth: Have created an account to host bloggish stuff. Am still getting it set up. My guess is that this represents the most solid combination of policy, circles, and accessibility -- plus it features threaded comments and real moderation.

I'm not very satisfied with Diaspora -- their privacy hearts are definitely in the right place, but I am not convinced that they know how to write secure code. However if anyone wants to play with their alpha I can now provide invites.

And then I got distracted by the dog. Squeaka squeak squeak!
oda: Chrome tab with a sad face on blue-violet field field (degoogle)
2011-08-09 11:41 am


I thought it would be useful to have a presence here as I retreat from Google+.

(De-Googlefication; see original link for comments and elaboration.)

Taking the recent policy changes as the closest thing to a declaration of intent we seem likely to get, Project Googlefy which I had started prior to my testing of Google+ is now starting a 180 into Project De-Googlefy.

Why? Because as a prior Buzz/Picasa user affected by the fiat policy change, I am dissatisfied by a company that feels that it can make major changes to pre-established user privacy simply by introducing a new service. I would rather be more firmly divested in case they turn those policy changes loose on Gmail, and I'm generally very slow at making changes so need to get started now so I can pick at it in my slothlike fashion and don't end up falling off my comfortable tree-branch if it gets sawn off by future changes that I simply no longer trust Google to refrain from.

Yes, the horse can learn how to sing. But I am not holding my breath waiting for it to do so. As long as some groups of people receive disproportionate harassment and/or outright violence merely for being a member of that group, I am not interested in having a lot of my services tied up with a company that has clearly exhibited it simply does not understand privacy, or that it values privacy less than it values the appearance of conformity. (Especially as I am personally a member of at least one of those groups.)

So, step one: identify services.

  • Gmail: Been using it as a searchable archive/backup to my primary mail, an HTML mail reader (since I am text-only on my primary), a way to skim attachments, etc. I've already identified a potential alternative. There will be not inconsiderable pain in migrating an older archive like mine, given that the tools for migration are throttled down to moving only a few hundred messages at a time (IIRC; hopefully I'm wrong in that and I can let it run unattended.)

  • Docs: Collaboration with others, online spreadsheets. This has been a pretty good solution so far, and only improving as they add features, but I've already identified some alternatives. I don't have a huge store of docs, though some are rather crucial to our workflow, so this ought to be easy to migrate once I find a new home. Version controlled cloud storage could also be a solution here.

  • Android: Well, if I want to use the Android market (and to be honest, Amazon's market is a highly inferior alternative) I have to have a Google account. I guess I need to take a harder look at other smartphone OSes for future phone upgrades? Also I am a lot less excited than I was a month ago about having an Android tablet if apps on it can go suddenly defunct based on a random policy change. I might end up having to hold my nose and go Apple, who is at least predictable in its bad policies, or wait until there's another alternative. I'd been holding off on buying a tablet anyhow until the hardware improved, so this is not a priority. Luckily we are not locked into plans on our android phones, so the cost of switching phones is not excessive if that later becomes necessary. There also may be ways around the android market, by buying directly? Not sure; I haven't done a ton of research here yet.

  • Sites: Honestly I have found the site building software to be inferior to other solutions I've tried, though lower maintenance. I won't miss it very much. It might still be a pain to transition off. I'm glad I stopped adding data into that set when I started testing G+, because it's less to have to remove later.

  • Reader: Surely there is a cloud synced RSS reader solution out there somewhere. I just need to research it. Worst case I can probably run something out of cloud storage of some sort.= Calendar: See Reader.

  • Picasa: Had some sharing options that were pretty unique (or at least not readily available on Flickr), but I probably just need to look harder to replicate them. Will miss the ease of synchronization with a local store, but there might be desktop software out there that syncs readily with other solutions.

  • Google+: There may not be a decent substitute yet, but I can cope. I'll stay on while I document my progress at de-googlefying at the very least, and might stay on past that in the same way as I use facebook: exclusively to keep contact with a few people who are only there, and with my own data sequestered/segmented. Still thinking about where to draw the line on this one.

  • Chrome: This one is a sadness as Chrome puts up with my tab abuse and wimpy out of date desktop far better than Firefox does. Might hang onto this one to the bitter end, hoping Firefox solves some of its issues before I make the leap. Might decide it's all right to hang onto stuff that doesn't require any PII.

  • Search: Left off the original post, and it's important. Also: Ads (which I don't use but other people do) and Groups.
  • oda: monochromatic field of blue-violet (Default)
    2011-07-16 10:10 am
    Entry tags:

    Potential Pseudonym Options

    Backdated crosspost from Google+; intended to explicate the various options that Google might be considering; original post has comments.

    Potential Pseudonym Options

    It's been clarified that using an initial for one or another of your real names is all right; that still hasn't been posted as policy but it is part of policy (or likely enough to become part of policy that we can operate as if it were already posted.)

    So the major clarification pending is on true pseudonyms. I see the likely choices as being between:

    1) Only Real Names but you can use initials, and if someone challenges your name you have to show Google a paper trail proving you have the right to it. This is the most restrictive but does afford privacy to those of us with unique real names and will allow many people with privacy concerns to operate here, as long as they do not possess both a unique first and last name. (Perhaps they could use middle names.)

    2) Pseudonyms are allowed but they must somehow "look" like real names by some criteria that is likely going to end up being subjective by necessity. These may or may not require a paper trail if challenged, i.e. pseudonyms will be allowed for people with pen names or who have operated a business or published works under their name, or who have subscribed to other major Real Name sites with their pseudonym (presumably lying to get in if they don't have any other paper trail?)

    2a) If there is policing of "real names" then it seems likely that the "legitimate namespace" will need to be modified to include names from other cultures that aren't formed from two words, to support people whose legal full names have unusual construction, etc. There are lots of different name constructions all over the world.

    3) Full pseudonyms such as Second Life avatar names that look like constructed names are allowed. Likely this option will not require a paper trail, recognizing that it's hard to provide one for such names and that it's a double standard to enforce a paper trail only for names that "look funny." These names will need to be well-formed without numbers or symbols, formed from alphabetical characters only, and will likely (IMO) be machine-screened for offensive language, which is less subjective than for "looking like a real name". I would hope that there is an appeals process for the screening so that people with a last name like 'Woodcock' could operate under their real name here if they desire.

    I think we're going to have one of these. I prefer (3), and would feel that (2) was "quite good" as long as there was no paper trail requirement but only the normal requirement to act in good faith (no spamming, operating as a business on non-business profiles, harassment, griefing, defrauding, etc.) (1) addresses my basic privacy concerns but doesn't at all help people who are better known under psuedonyms, which is why I prefer the other two options even though my own profile has been clarified to be safe from suspension for using an initial.

    This is an edited comment from this very long thread: https://plus.google.com/102376799902430080799/posts/9pPNgN6wbzk