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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
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
> 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
<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>