[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Outlawing Anonymity

Jonathan Cooper wrote:
> > Criminalize anonymity, and tell the internet providers to figure
> > out how to enforce it or face confiscation.
>    Which would probably amount to sniffing all packet traffic.
>    If that ban was implemented, so would ways around it be implemented.  
> I would prefer that they not need to be invented but if they must be, 
> they will be.

This same topic--the outlawing of anonymity and anonymous
remailers--is also being debated on the Cyberia list, as many of you
know. (Timely, I guess, because of the Siegel comments, the Lewis
article, and the Church of Scientology threats.)

The ways around such a ban are so patently obvious that any such "ban"
is unenforceable. I wrote a piece on this for the Cyberia list, but
this was my single most important point:

If anonymous mail is outlawed, then the anonymous mailers can attach
real names. To wit, all mail from a famous remailing site in the
Netherlands could be marked as being from "Hans Brinker." This would
presumably meet the letter of the law, if not the "spirit." (I always
did hate this "spirit.")

Further, sites which "forward" anonymous mail, or mail from "Hans
Brinker," are in most cases precluded by the ECPA from screening this
mail or otherwise examining it.

I see no prospect whatsover that a ban on anonymous mail could be
implemented, enforced, or upheld in the courts.

--Tim May

Timothy C. May         | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  
[email protected]       | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
408-688-5409           | knowledge, reputations, information markets, 
W.A.S.T.E.: Aptos, CA  | black markets, collapse of governments.
Higher Power: 2^859433 | Public Key: PGP and MailSafe available.
Cypherpunks list: [email protected] with body message of only: 
subscribe cypherpunks. FAQ available at ftp.netcom.com in pub/tc/tcmay