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Anonymity

From time to time I see an editorial or story suggesting that anonymity should not be allowed on the Internet. The motivation is usually associated with concerns over pedophilia. This is certainly an important concern but so are the concerns of some who feel they need to be anonymous. A battered wife or an alcoholic that are seeking help and finding it in discussion groups on the Internet have a very valid reason to be anonymous. We have to be careful that we don’t react to bad things that happen on the Internet with a cry for regulation of the Internet. There are laws that address many bad things and law enforcement agencies need to use the Internet more effectively as a tool to enforce the laws that already exist. This is happening but more needs to be done. What we do need is authentication and digital ID’s so that we can establish that we are who we say we are. Much more on this to come in the privacy series.

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