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

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

> Therefore I would
> favor allowing anonymity -- with some form of traceability only under terms
> considerably stronger than what are generally required for a wiretap.
> Please note that this is not the same as the right to *private*
> conversations and the use of encryption; this is the issue of being
> accountable for what you publish in public.  

A problem here is that the *same* services and capabilities that permit 
anonymous speech in private permit anonymous speech in public. 
Compromising the latter compromises the former as well.

> 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.  

Unless chaining of remailers is made manadatory and automatic, this is 
unlikely to work. CoS had little difficulty getting anon.penet.fi's logs, 
and getting a preliminary ruling against online anonymity from the 
Finnish courts.

You have to have an anonymizing system that crosses a dozen or so 
national boundaries to make such an attack infeasible for most large 
organizations.  You'd need a system that crossed 50 or more widely 
disparate jurisdictions to make it infeasible to large intelligence or 
law enforcement agencies, and even then you'd have to NOT have broad 
international agreements, such as you'd called for or it would be trivial 
to force all the remailers in the chain to cough up personally 
identifiable information.

> My assumption is that there will be a wide variety of Net communities with
> different rules/regulations/attitudes towards anonymity that would apply ex

This is already true.

> some kind of international sanctions; I think that's appropriate.  

That's what bugs me - if there are some kind of sanctions coming from a 
governmental body (I may be misinterpreting you here), that's probably 
enough to kill private and well as public anonymity on the Net.

Incidentally, if something does happen from a governmental direction to 
kill online anonymity, it will probably be readily broadenable to all 
other media.

<HTML><A HREF="http://www.eff.org/~mech/">    Stanton McCandlish
</A><HR><A HREF="mailto:[email protected]">        [email protected]
</A><P><A HREF="http://www.eff.org/">         Electronic Frontier Foundation
</A><P><A HREF="http://www.eff.org/A">        Online Activist    </A></HTML>