There have been numerous anonymous bloggers, from the infamous Washingtienne to Atrios. For the past two years, Pamela Jones, aka PJ, has been running Groklaw
, a site mainly devoted to covering the SCO vs IBM lawsuit that began about two years ago. For those unfamiliar with the case, Groklaw has extensive coverage, but it basically has boiled down to a contract dispute in which SCO sued IBM for illegally contributing code to Linux, and IBM has denied this and countersued. In large part due to coverage from Groklaw, the technology community in large part views the claims of SCO with scorn.
PJ has never disclosed anything about her background except that she was from New York State and has a paralegal background. The (discredited) SCO has generally claimed Groklaw is an IBM plot.
Now, PJ's identity has perhaps been revealed.
Maureen O'Gara, a journalist whos coverage of the SCO case has frequently been attacked by Groklaw, broke this story
, disclosing the identity of Ms. Jones as a
Pamela Jones is a 61-year-old Jehovah's Witness who lives in a shabby genteel garden apartment in desperate need of an interior decorator on a heavily trafficked commercial road at XXXXXXXX in Hartsdale, New York. Hartsdale is in Westchester and Westchester is IBM territory.
She goes on to basically suggest that PJ may be a front a IBM, and promises more to come:
So, is this story-spooked 61-year-old Jehovah's Witness with religious tracts in her backseat also the 90-hour-a-week writer of the voluminous PJ diatribes or is she a victim of identity theft?
O'Gara went on to publish the address of PJ's mother and investigate her son, who also works for Groklaw. As one might expect, this has led to massive outrage at Groklaw as well as other sites. Numerous editors of O'Gara's publishication have threatened to resign in protest.
My question is: why? Why should bloggers influcencing public policy expect to retain their anonymous status? Now, before you go asking Kos to disclose my personal information: I don't think this is very different from a normal investigative journalism story, though we can agree that publication of a home address is perhaps a low blow.
On the other hand, if PJ really is an IBM front, this is both a new corporate technique to fight a PR war, and should be exposed. What do you think?