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Cyber Anonymity


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20 replies to this topic

#11 curr3nt

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:19 PM

No, those bosses would likely hire someone to do it for them. And it is only illegal if the employees can prove that was why they were laid off. Also, what stalking would be required if there wasn't anonymity? Just google people's name and see what they post. Since everyone would have to post under their own name instead of user names to avoid anonymity.

You do know voter intimidation is supposedly illegal right? Didn't stop some of them threatening their employees that they will have to lay some of them off if Obama is re-elected. Since when were business leaders the symbol of ethics and legality?

For those that do not want anonymity, how would you enforce it? Just what we need, another government agency to issue internet licences. Would there be a log in or biometrics or whatever before you are allowed to post anything or use a device to access the net? Once those are hacked then what?

Where do you draw the privacy lines while online? Without anonymity it will become so much easier to track everything you do online since the net would have to know who you are to enforce it. You think no one will want to track, categorize and analyze your behavior? Or are we not allowed to use the net without accepting that cost?
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#12 Yoruichi-san

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 09:09 PM

The controversy surrounding the redditor, at least, and what the OP was based on, was not whether to force non-anonymity, but whether to protect anonymity, as some sort of a right. On reddit, threads were deleted by mods that talked about the real life identity, even though reddit prides itself as a center for 'freedom of speech'.

Hence my question to you assumed there was 'stalking' since the RL identity could be traced if anonymity is not protected, but unless the person themselves posted under their real name, they would take some effort.

The extreme case you discuss is interesting, and if people want to discuss it, it's fine, but it's not the same situation that I am discussing.
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#13 curr3nt

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 09:32 PM

Ah...

I think we have the right to anonymity online if we chose. On the other side I think that a court order should be allowed to uncover anonymity in the case of crimes. As long as the anonymity isn't used for criminal actions it should be protected.

As for the Amanda Todd case. If it turns out this guy did it then charge him and prosecute him. For the people that are outing all his information, do they even care that they might be wrong? The ones that discovered a possible link should have contacted the police instead of judging him guilty.

Our court systems are far from perfect but in the long run they are a heck of a lot better than vigilante justice.
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#14 TheChad08

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:20 PM

The main difference between Anonymous outing the guy and the police doing is it the collection of evidence.
Groups like Anon could hack into Amanda's Facebook account, or his, and figure out who was sending the messages.
Police aren't given that ability and any evidence collected from that, or follows from that, would be inadmissible in court.

As for my views on anonymity.
Perhaps instead of removing all ability to be anonymous, we should fix the current system of changing IP addresses.
What if you could allow people to be anonymous with usernames and their online identity, but if every individual has their own special code/pin/IP address/etc. then it would make it a lot easier for police to deal with cyber crimes.

Granted this still allows the oppressive governments to figure out their activists, but it is a better balance between complete anonymity and full disclosure.

I'm also sure that it would be relatively easy for there to be a group set up in a free state that would allow those in oppressed states to send information directly to them, and then they would broadcast that to the rest of the world. It is similar to using a proxy server, but it is using a willing proxy person.

P.S. My last name is Eastern European, I claim it is Polish. I have no idea how to pronounce it properly since I am Canadian through and through.
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#15 Prof. Templeton

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:15 PM

From what I understand regrading this particular case involving the redditor, his identity was discovered not by hacking or combing data, but for someone whom he entrusted that information with in real life. That person decided they no longer, if ever, cared for the content of the redditors on-line activities and so gave his identity to the press (and I use that term loosely).

It is also my understanding that Reddit has a policy against doxing so deleting any posts regarding a person's identity is absolutely the correct position for them to take and is not a free speech issue. I admit I don't spend a lot of time there, so my understanding my be incorrect.

Personally, I like anonymity. My neighbors don't know much about me beyond what they can see from their front window, simply because I don't tell them and choose not to. I don't care to know their business either. I'm a bit of an introvert in that respect. At the same time I am very civil with them and will help them if it looks like they need it or ask for it. I have a hard time with today's social media and it's overload of needless information. My children are a source of anxiety with their desire to tell complete strangers every small detail of my actions (My dad built a castle on Minecraft and he's way older than my mom!! (the later is an untruth propagated by their mother)).

I feel that I conduct myself on-line in a similar manner that I do in real life. I try not to do or say anything that I could not later own up to or look you in the eye and say, "Yeah, I said that, because that's how I feel". I try to consider the feelings of others as long as they are reasonable.

There are some who do not conduct themselves this way and the shroud of anonymity seems to bring out the worst in them. Almost as if, when they are concealed, they are not themselves and are able to bypass any internal filters or conscious. This happens in real life as well. People feel hidden inside a marauding mob or under a balaclava.

I feel that there is a right to anonymity, until a law is broken. I feel that there is a right to free speech despite how repugnant or disagreeable I find that speech to be. Sometime you have to take to good with the bad. Anonymity has it's value as well as a distasteful side.

Edited by Prof. Templeton, 19 October 2012 - 02:17 PM.

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#16 Yoruichi-san

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:11 PM

Both curr3nt and Prof. T bring up an interesting point about "let anonymity stand unless it's criminal". I probably would agree with this, except for I don't really think the courts are yet fully equipped to handle cyber crimes. I mean, like hacking into a bank and stealing money, they can do something about, since the stealing of material wealth is something they have been dealing with for a long time, but like, things that could be considered 'crimes', that are unique to the fabric of cyber-space, there's still not a firm policy on. Just because something is not a crime yet, does not mean it shouldn't be :(. Technology and the world we live in is changing so quickly, and like, legislation is so slow (especially with the current state of congress *cough*), that it's not surprising that cyber-vigilantes take it on themselves to punish 'wrong-doers'.

It really saddens me that people use cyber anonymity to bring the worst out in themselves. Personally, I see it as an opportunity to be better than you are, to free yourself from the shackles of life and responsibilities and society and be the person you really wanted to be. I mean, in real life I have had to make compromises, I'm pretty sure we all have had to. We need to keep our jobs, make money for food and shelter, take care of our families, sometimes tone down our crazeativity to work with others and get the mundane minutia of life done (well, I know I've definitely had to), etc. But in cyber space I can be strong and uncompromising and let my crazeativity run rampant. I mean, yes, I know I'm not polite or tactful and there are people who don't like cyber me, but that's okay....and that's the beauty of it. If (and sometimes when) people in my real life discover my cyber-personality(ies), sometimes they're surprised, but I don't feel like their opinion of me is impacted negatively. In fact, often I feel like they have a new respect, a new appreciation for the sides of me they hadn't seen before.

Anonymity gives the opportunity to reinvent yourself. Why so many choose to be re-invented as villains when they have the opportunity to be heroes is beyond me :(.
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Women are definitely stronger. We are [Fe]males, after all...

Some of what makes me me is real, some of what makes me me is imaginary...I guess I'm just complex. ;P

<3 BBC's Sherlock, the series and the man. "Smart is the new sexy."

Chromatic Witch links now on my 'About Me' page! Episode 3 is finally here!

When life hands me lemons, I make invisible ink.

#17 Prof. Templeton

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:42 PM

Both curr3nt and Prof. T bring up an interesting point about "let anonymity stand unless it's criminal". I probably would agree with this, except for I don't really think the courts are yet fully equipped to handle cyber crimes.


Yeah, they're not so good at policing the "regular" stuff either. Good with the bad, right?
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#18 TheChad08

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 01:07 AM

To be completely fair, the U.S. stance on freedom of speech is ridiculous.

Canada has freedom of speech, but we don't allow people to promote hatred and say whatever they want. We limit their rights based on the rights of others. Your Westboro Baptist Church wouldn't be allowed to operate how they do in Canada.

The constant claims of "FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS MY RIGHT" with respect to these racist, homophobic, etc. statements just seems like a contradiction to the freedoms of others.

I am quite pleased with the Canadian progress in terms of bullying online. As everyone knows, that Amanda Todd woman was Canadian, and recently there has been a strong push for punishment for cyber bullying. 8 students were recently arrested/detained in London Ontario with respect to cyber bullying.

That being said, it is extremely hard to police the internet because of jurisdictional issues. If an American is posting hatred on a Canadian website (or website accessible by Canadians), we cannot limit their rights.

As for reddit, I don't visit the site but I never knew the dark side of it and how inappropriate it was.
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#19 peace*out

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 04:17 AM

Personally, i find it both dangerous and freeing. Trusting people on the internet is something that has never been a problem for me, although i would never meet up with someone alone and without knowing who they are.

My name is Jenny. This is not an alias, and I'm perfectly fine with using my own name. I use it often. I trust a lot of people on the internet with my personal information. Im friends with a lot of denizens on fb.

However, i dont think any of them know my address. They could, I'm sure, but I know who I friend. I make sure theres a life behind the profile.

In the end, i believe in the right of it. But its a power that has to be wielded carefully. Trust wisely.
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#20 EDM

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 04:35 PM

Hmm, I don't think I'm that anon around here...anyone who knows me here, knows that I'm not strict on anonymity...yes, i do believe that a certain amount of anonymity is required. However, it is becoming easier to trust people online, especially with all these new security measures. It's getting easier to trace & reveal people who prey on others...so, I think it's comfortable, to an extent, to be a little lax on anonymity... :)

Edited by EDM, 02 November 2012 - 04:35 PM.

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