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Re: Los Angeles Times article on Helsingius and anon.penet.fi


In message <[email protected]>, Esther Dyson writes
>Now, speaking personally: I believe there are trade-offs -- which is what I
>told the LA Times.  I assume I was quoted accurately (although the word
>"enforce" is awkward), but out of context.   Anonymity can be dangerous --
>as can traceability, especially in/by repressive regimes.  Therefore I would
>favor allowing anonymity -- with some form of traceability only under terms
>considerably stronger than what are generally required for a wiretap.
>Anyone who seriously needs anonymity because of a repressive government is
>likely to use a foreign (outside whatever jurisdiction he fears) server, so
>that this is not a matter of "local" laws.  The tracer would have to pass
>through what I hope would be tighter hoops than we have now.  
Just a small parenthesis at this point: traceability can be dangerous
even in non-repressive regimes; there is information about oneself
which, although far from illegal or "top secret", is not exactly for
the whole world to know; this sort of information includes, but is not
limited to, financial transactions, product preferences, habbits,
hobbies etc.

My feeling is that it's better to devise ways to prevent a digital
crime (for lack of better term) than try to find and punish the

Of course, this applies to SOME services (i don't expect anonymous
contracts to become very popular), for which anonymity makes sense.
But the infrastructure has to be there, IMNSHO. 
Just my $0.02 (+tax). 
- -Angelos

PS. An interesting thing to consider is whether traceability in a
service should be inherent to it or enforced by policy.
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