Levels of Internet Anonymity

A half-baked “theory” of mine from roughly 2009, buried in one of my older notebooks. Commentary, addenda and corrections in footnotes.


  1. Assume these levels for any website commenter1).
  2. IP addresses only matter to those who can see it2). Pseudonyms with fake[sic?] IPs are irrelevant.


  • Level 0: Untraceable, fully Anonymous user (e.g. pre-neomugicha 2chan[nel]3)
  • Level 1: Tor-tied/Heavily proxified Anonymous user (e.g. 4chan with Tor)4).
  • Level 2: Simple-proxied Anonymous user (e.g. 4chan through port 80 proxy)5).
  • Level 3: IP-tied Anonymous user (e.g. 4chan [illegible])6), i.e. one which can be only vulnerated by someone with IP access, ends at this level.)).
  • Level 4: Pseudonymus user, unlikable to another online identity/one-time user pseudonym.
  • Level 5: Pseudonyity used in >1 communities.
  • Level 6 Psuedonymity used in >1 communities and/or? pseudonym linked to >1 other “unrelated” identity7).

Right to Vanish is potentially compromised beyond this point.

  • Level 7: Identity from any of the previous levels linkable to an IRL identity or element. Doxable [i.e. vulnerable to doxing] user8).
  • Level 8: Not pseudonymous [Onymous9) user?] or pseudonym directly linked to IRL activity. Directly doxable user.

Right to Vanish useless or directly non-applicable [beyond this point].

  • Level 9: Internet activity is under [an IRL identity] irrevocably. Doxed-by-definition user10).
  • Level 10: Doxed-by-default. Internet celebrity/Internet undesirable or ANY Level >7 when doxing is presented as [a] threat (e.g. full home address11). Full IRL compromise12).
i.e. an Internet community member.
This sentence implies that the levels of Anonymity only apply to a Internet community level. With the ever-increasing outreach of Internet surveillance from various external agents, not just ISPs, most of the levels' descriptions would contain glaring ommissions if its particular scope of online communities is not taken into account.
The relevance of the Neomugicha incident as one of the first big associations between domestic terrorism in Japan and the Internet used to be considered as the cause for Hiroyuki to start logging IP addresses. Now I'm not entirely sure if this example is correct.
Level 0 and 1 seem to trascend the original scope of this categorization despite the opposite stated above. Their description seems to be an inevitable necessity, for communities can also be used and frequented by their own administrators. Now, the purported impenetrability of Tor seems all but null.
Easily unmasked by community administrators and most anti-spam software
“true Anonymity”
Such as a pseudonym used in another place with several degrees of separation to the identity under scrutiny, within the context of a particular Internet community.
This implies the non-linearity of this categorization.
Antonym of “Anonymous”.
Not an ideal choice of words for this category.
Back from the days where sending pizza and hookers to your /b/ enemies was commonplace.
Implied to encompass people whose IRL activities are laid bare due to the person's notoriety in online space.
internet/levels_of_internet_anonymity.txt · Last modified: 2021/03/17 17:46 by Curator
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