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But in practice, online anonymity is seeping away. A growing body of legal decisions is making it easier for lawyers to use legal proceedings to unmask people who write anonymous blogs or make anonymous comments on public Web sites.
"You can claim anonymity, but there is a range of things that a judge will use to determine whether you have used your anonymity responsibly," says Judith Donath, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.