Cui bono?

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Interesting article on internet privacy in Canada. I do like the ability to not identify myself everywhere I go on the internet. While I won’t say anything online that I wouldn’t in person, I do think others could be afraid to talk about if forced to reveal their real identities. Therefore I am fine with pseudonyms.

My main thought on this article is the hoaxsters, those who create false stories (like this latest triple shooting in Toronto looks to be), are the ones that benefit most. Their ability to create false identities and stories without anyone checking or knowing far outweighs the benefits of anonymous surfing or posting for the masses. Even if you had to sign in with a digital identity (that would obviously be immediately circumvented by crafty minds), the writers would still have their ways to spoof identities and create false stories. Therefore they would have an even greater advantage if there was some sort of identity confirmation system, if it’s even possible.

Therefore I doubt lawmakers are going to crack down and make people sign in with something official just to find out who’s downloading what movie. It would be hard to enforce and the benefits few, especially since anonymity makes their jobs of fooling us so much easier.

The importance of online anonymity extends far beyond law enforcement, however. Corporate whistleblowers, women in abusive relationships, visible minorities, and a myriad of other people are emboldened by anonymity to speak out in a manner that would otherwise be unavailable if they were forced to identify themselves.

via The importance of online anonymity: Geist | Toronto Star.

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