Anonymity fosters crime?

An ingenious bank robber dressed as a road maintenance worker pulled a heist which was made possible partly thanks to the internet and its inherent anonymity.

The robber pepper-sprayed a guard outside the Bank of America in Monroe, Washington, grabbed a bag of cash from a Brinks truck, and jumped into a nearby creek, where his “get-away inner tube” awaited. He then floated down to the Skykomish River where presumably he had a boat or a car or possibly a zeppelin stashed.

But that wasn’t the genius part. Security guards couldn’t pursue the robber because there were a dozen other people at the bank dressed exactly like him — dust mask, safety goggles, work gloves, blue work shirt — thanks to an ad the robber had placed on Craigslist. They’d all been instructed to show up at the bank at 11 am dressed for a job that promised $28.50 an hour.

Is it time to reconsider the value of anonymity on the Net? Asks Bob Cringely in his story.

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