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UN Agency Examining Changes That Would Limit Anonymity Online

September 21st, 2008 02:37 am | by Ed |

The UN, the NSA, and others are talking about a change to Internet Protocols that would implement "IP Traceback" which would make it difficult, if not impossible, to be anonymous online.

The big noise they're making to justify it is how anonymity is often abused and used for criminal purposes. The problem with that reasoning though is that anything can be abused like that, from diet pills to kitchen knives.

The real problem is that if this isn't stopped, it would be a serious blow against people in countries with oppressive regimes, victims of abuse, and any of dozens of other perfectly legitimate reasons to be anonymous. Then there's my favorite reason to be anonymous: What I'm doing is none of anybody's business but mine.

Besides which, creating a method for governments to track down and silence their opposition is in direct violation of the UN's own Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Then there's the simple fact that if something can be abused, it will be. Anonymity can be abused and is frequently. The IP Traceback ability would also be abused to silence free speech and basic human rights.

The whole thing needs to be tossed in the dumper now.

And the old "if you're not doing anything wrong you have nothing to hide" argument holds exactly zero weight.

Technorati Tags: ip traceback, oppressive regimes, human rights, un, free speech, anonymity, freedom of speech

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