Danish police proposal: Ban anonymous Internet use

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74 Responses to “Danish police proposal: Ban anonymous Internet use”

  1. joelfinch says:

    Who wants to explain to their grandmother that she now needs a trust certificate and a cryptographic-strength password just to see her grandkids on teh facebooks?

    And who thinks these totally secure internet credentials aren’t going to be leaking into nefarious hands as fast as they’re created?

  2. phisrow says:

    Umm..? Have I somehow missed the terrifying terrorist reign of terror that has Denmark teetering on the verge of annihilation in a pile of its own rubble? What terrorists, exactly, are suspected to be lurking un-identified in the innocent and trusting internet cafes and wireless hotspots?

    • IronEdithKidd says:

      I thought the same thing. What onerous foreign policies has Denmark enacted that make it the focus of ire amongst the middle east’s disenfranchised malcontents?

  3. Mantissa128 says:

    Wow… takes me back to my dial-up days, when I had to send a photocopy of my driver’s license verifying my age to a guy hosting a local pornography site.

    Ah, internets of today, how I love you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Obviously the Dutch police have never heard of proxies of VPNs. All someone would have to do is sign on to a VPN outside of Denmark.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Think the Danish PD gonna get a visit from anonymous folks. For the lulz of course.

  6. Taymon says:

    I think I get it. Andrei is discussing the question of whether anonymity is needed in an ideal society, while the rest of us are discussing whether it’s needed in the society that we actually have to live in.

    In any case, I suspect that this will die in relative obscurity. But as I’ve said before, I’m an optimist.

  7. Baldhead says:

    I see this as another case of paranoia about terrorism, or perhaps exploiting that paranoia to expand police powers. The logic appears to be “we haven’t been able to catch them” and the explanation for why isn’t allowed to be “because they aren’t there” even though this is almost certainly the case. Which brings me to the point that whatever the apparent intended use of this law, it’s actual use will be something different. Any proposed law which has this as the case is one that needs to die a swift death.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well if the danish go ahead with this is just proves that facism is taking over and that the Nazi party are holding there heads up within the Danish Police Force.

  9. Raven says:

    If I could be identified, it would certainly curtail my commenting on Blogs such as the ones over at the Spearhead, In MalaFide, Dilbert etc.

    I am not worried about men showing up outside my door, but I would be very worried about some feminist targeting my male children because of my comments.

    Head on over to misandry sites like Feministing and Jezebel and you will see what I mean.

    The WN responding to my comments have never caused me a moments concern, whereas the raw hatred I see on sites such as Jezebel would have me truly alarmed for my children’s safety.

  10. angusm says:

    Good to see that Denmark is catching up to that other bastion of liberty, Myanmar, where a similar law has just been enacted.

  11. Anonymous says:

    >All someone would have to do is sign on to a VPN outside of >Denmark.

    Arrest anyone using a VPN outside of Denmark, they must be terrorists.

  12. Anonymous says:

    nobody has the intention to build a surveillance state.

    .~.

  13. Anonymous says:

    “Anonymity is a pillar of democracy. Without it, no democracy and no elections are possible.” That’s all. Do you want to get the entire Earth people’s anger or do you want to stay a bit free ? I think that your proposal is excessive.. You should be careful on what you’re hiding to your People, he doesn’t like it ;)
    “Anonymity is a pillar of democracy. Without it, no democracy and no elections are possible.” That’s all.

  14. Crashproof says:

    My wife, a library assistant, uses this example about why looking for information needs to remain anonymous:

    A woman is trying to leave her abusive husband, and reserves books at the library about divorce. When the book comes in, a librarian calls the given phone number and the husband picks up. You tell him there are books available for pickup, you don’t tell him the titles or let him pick up the books himself without prior permission.

  15. JustOk says:

    Papers! You must show us your papers. Even on the internet.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This is very very similar to the law which has been in force in Italy for 5 years. During this period italian police and government have been unable to produce even a single case for which the law was useful to prosecute / identify a criminal or a terrorist. The law has been repealed at the end of 2010 because it was completely useless for security purposes, while it was blocking WiFi services and development on the territory.

  17. fractos says:

    lolwut?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Seems normal because, we already are required wearing our identity on our clothes in streets and public places, and conversations in bars are already moderated.

    No???… So why should the internet be different?

    Methinks China is the model for our democracies in many disturbing areas.

    • Anonymous says:

      While walking on the street you have your privacy. No one asks you about your identity. And while online, there is a track of every request you make.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The internet is a means to disseminate ideas and information. The power structures around the world hate this because it lessens their control. Look at how many of these control or identification initiatives have sprung up since the “Arab Spring” (I draw particular attention to Sarkozy’s ideas at the last G8 or was that g20 I forget). This isnt to catch terrorists it’s to catch us, the average Joe who might shine a light onto the missues of power from government officials or corporations, or who might draw attention to a particular cause someone in power would like to go away.
    Remember those who sacrifice freedom in the name of security deserve neither

  20. Anonymous says:

    So, kinda like the Stasi then? Watch everyone and always assume they are an enemy.

  21. awjtawjt says:

    We need more apps & devices for creative piggybacking.

  22. andrei.timoshenko says:

    I have never understood the obsession with anonymity. If you are choosing to do something, you ought to be willing to put your name to that action, and have it be remembered. Of course, this applies doubly to governments and police – if they choose to investigate your Internet activity, you should be easily be able to track down which officer did it, what he or she did, when it was done, and for what purpose.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really, you can NOT seriously think that people should be forced to put protected and private information on the Internet. you apparently do not understand that there are VERY legit reasons for anonymizing on the Internet. Maybe you should read a little and get informed before you make stupid comments.

    • VillageIdiot says:

      I think it really stems from three facts:

      1) Many actions, if not wrong, might be embarrassing. Who wants their pornography habits recorded in their name?

      2) Laws are so complicated that it’s entirely possible everyone is accidentally breaking a few. Unfortunately, the way the system currently works if the government realised everyone was breaking some old laws, they’d probably opt to arrest as many as possible rather than fixing the laws.

      3) The avenues for abuse without anonymity are too many. Companies could easily sue any reviewer for libel, and political parties could rapidly develop lists of people who disagree with them. Simply put, while a lack of anonymity might make it really easy to catch “criminals” (namely the ones used to justify legislation like this: terrorists, pirates, and child pornographers), it makes it way too easy to criminalise anything.

      • andrei.timoshenko says:

        1. Hence my earlier point about societal hypocrisy. What is and is not embarrassing is socially defined. If everyone is engaging in things that are considered to be embarrassing (and “shit we all do when horny” certainly qualifies), then how we judge our own actions differs from how we judge the same actions of others. My guess is that society would be much more healthy if this were not the case. Less ostracism and whatnot.

        Actually, the recent Weiner situation is a case in point. He had his name publicly linked with his horniness. That he had to quit Congress over it, to me, is the sign of an immature society… and the immaturity, I would argue, is prolonged by our general ability to pretend in public that we do not all do similar shit in private.

        2. Another excellent point as to why I would argue that anonymity should be reduced. Keeping stupid, randomly enforced laws on the books is crazy! Something is either a law, or it is not. We should not tolerate stupid laws just because we can pretty much always get away with breaking them – if the law is bad, it should be repealed. Put everyone on the hook for getting punished for stupid laws, as opposed to only the poor and the unlucky (e.g. let college kids be as likely to go to spend time at the precinct for drug possession as inner city kids), and see how quickly people switch to supporting politicians willing to get rid of stupid laws.

        3. Not sure I understand this one. If everyone could check on everyone (including people in government), and everyone could immediately know the full extent to which they were being checked by anyone else (again, including by people in government), what would be the big scope for abuse?

        • danawhitaker says:

          “3. Not sure I understand this one. If everyone could check on everyone (including people in government), and everyone could immediately know the full extent to which they were being checked by anyone else (again, including by people in government), what would be the big scope for abuse?”

          Let me tell you a little story. One time, a few years ago, one of my neighbors was violating city code in a way that was endangering the physical safety of anyone passing by her house in the winter. I reported her to the city for the violation, and was repeatedly assured that my information would remain private, and would not be given out.

          A few days later, she calls our house screaming and yelling and threatening. And she didn’t even care that the person who answered the phone wasn’t the person who’d made the complaint. That’s right, she yelled at a 93 year old woman who had no clue what she was even talking about. When I called the city to voice my concern at the fact that the person knew I’d made the complaint, they apologized, and said that the information shouldn’t have been given out. Then they backtracked and said they shouldn’t have told me it couldn’t be given out. Then, they reversed that after I pointed out she’d screamed at and threatened us and seemed genuinely concerned they’d given that information out. If we’d had our property vandalized or one of us had been assaulted over it (which in some neighborhoods probably isn’t out of the realm of possibility), I’d have been very angry. Luckily, instead, the woman just decided to call the cops on our cat when she saw it outside.

          That woman had no business knowing who made a complaint against her. She shouldn’t have been violating the code in the first place. It could have been anyone who used the sidewalk in the entire neighorhood that might have made that complaint. I can tell you this, the next time I have a complaint about someone that I decide to report to the city, I’ll use a burner phone to make it.

          When it comes to the internet, I shouldn’t have to worry that some strange guy I piss off in a video game will try to come find me because I’m not anonymous. And believe me, there are people who get that mad. The same goes for any comments I make on local news station websites. There *are* crazy people who would show up at your house if they knew your name and your opinion was opposed to theirs, especially if they could live right down the street or just a short drive across town. It would only be a matter of time before someone would end up dead because of something like that. Maybe I’m being melodramatic, but I do believe there are a few people out there crazy enough to actually track people down and carry out threats they’re willing to make from behind a keyboard. Taking away everyone’s anonymity won’t solve that. I’m never ashamed of my opinions, but I am wholeheartedly concerned about the action someone might take because of them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whoa! You don’t understand why people might want to annonymously use the internet? Not to make light of a truly important issue (right to internet access), but I’ve got one word for you, buddy: PORNOGRAPHY. Ain’t no one wants to use their real name when accessing porn sites, and the internet is for porn.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’ve got to be kidding me? Let’s say you are a reporter looking into a cover up at some pharmaceutical company, and start searching around all these different sites and the politicians connected to the pharma company see a pattern developing so they send their “boys” to take care of the potential lawsuits. One out of a million examples

    • Anonymous says:

      Anybody who uses the “nothing to hide” baloney as a justification for living in a “big brother” world is a moron.

      Do you really believe that EVERYBODY in prison is there because they committed the crimes they were prosecuted for? Why do you think the death penalty is so damn controversial?

      It’s because innocent men and women have been put to death because their information (“evidence”) was easier to find than the criminals who committed the actual crime.

      Sure, let’s kill anonymity online. Then the next time a hacker circumvents your security measures or uses your username and password to perpetrate a serious crime we’ll just lock some random computer nerd up instead.

      If you think that “innocence” of criminal intent or activity is any sort of protection in this world then you obviously have no bloody clue what goes on outside the comfort of your home.

      There would be no need for anonymity in a perfect world. But if you think we live in one — you’re dumb as a box of bricks.

      Whatever happened to freedom? Oh yeah… we never had it…

    • Anonymous says:

      I would like to recommend the following article to you Andrei:

      The Eternal Value of Privacy
      http://www.wired.com/politics/security/commentary/securitymatters/2006/05/70886

      And ponder about paragraphs like:

      “Cardinal Richelieu understood the value of surveillance when he famously said, “If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged.” Watch someone long enough, and you’ll find something to arrest — or just blackmail — with. Privacy is important because without it, surveillance information will be abused: to peep, to sell to marketers and to spy on political enemies — whoever they happen to be at the time.

      Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we’re doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance.

      We do nothing wrong when we make love or go to the bathroom. We are not deliberately hiding anything when we seek out private places for reflection or conversation. We keep private journals, sing in the privacy of the shower, and write letters to secret lovers and then burn them. Privacy is a basic human need.”

      and

      “Too many wrongly characterize the debate as “security versus privacy.” The real choice is liberty versus control. Tyranny, whether it arises under threat of foreign physical attack or under constant domestic authoritative scrutiny, is still tyranny. Liberty requires security without intrusion, security plus privacy. Widespread police surveillance is the very definition of a police state. And that’s why we should champion privacy even when we have nothing to hide.”

    • Cory Doctorow says:

      So, when are you going to upload the videos of you masturbating, the photos of you having sex with your spouse, the details of your diaries, your children’s test-scores, and all the feedback you’ve ever received from a work supervisor? Do you wear a prominent badge with your home address, full name, and phone number, so that the people around you can know who’s sharing the sidewalk with them?

      If you don’t understand that private != secret, then you’re likely lucky enough never to have been in a situation in which the people around you had coercive power over you and your life.

      • andrei.timoshenko says:

        Private is not the same as secret, but private is not the same as anonymous either. Anonymity would be me uploading a video of myself masturbating with my face blurred out. What I am saying, is that it would make for a much saner and less hypocritical society, if people who chose to upload masturbation videos online could not do so anonymously, and the people who watched those videos could not do it anonymously either.

        It is not a question of privacy (which particular actions are others aware of), but one of responsibility and reputation (can one make actions that everyone is aware of, but no one knows who is responsible).

        Finally, to I want to stress a part of the first point – if anonymous actions disappear, anonymous gathering of information about those actions must disappear with them. If someone just checked my “home address, full name, and phone number”, I want to know who and when.

        • Rob says:

          It is not a question of privacy (which particular actions are others aware of), but one of responsibility and reputation (can one make actions that everyone is aware of, but no one knows who is responsible).

          Using a consistent pseudonymous handle is enough for reputation. There is no need to tie to real world identities.

          • andrei.timoshenko says:

            What is it about online actions that makes it better for them to firewalled off from offline ones? Personally, I would argue that the online-offline duality is a temporary aberration resulting from the (relative) novelty of the online mode of interaction.

            I could see keeping several persistent identities (which we now anyway do in practice – e.g. work colleagues vs. family – even though it is formally socially frowned on) for separate types of situations, but it would make no sense for me to separate these identities by whether the interactions are direct or technology-mediated, and I see no good ethical argument to favour strong anonymity over strong transparency and reputation.

          • VillageIdiot says:

            Considering that we already use anonymity often in real life, I feel that your point is moot. We vote anonymously, we are effectively anonymous on the street (we are traceable, yes, but we aren’t actively identified as part of the process of walking down the street), and our vehicles are anonymous.

            So if you’re trying to liken this to our every day existence, let me modify it slightly. This proposal is like forcing your name to be plastered on every single thing you do. It would be like being forced to wear clothing with your full name and social on it, have that plastered on your vehicle, and have any phone call you make begin with “Phone call from “. You’d also have to publicly post how you vote, and any feedback you have for the businesses you frequent. I personally wouldn’t want to live this way.

          • andrei.timoshenko says:

            Yeah, but it was not always this way. In fact, it was not this way for most of human history. In a village or tribe of about 50 people, there was no anonymity. I’m not sure it was a terrible thing.

          • Anonymous says:

            There is a huge difference between a village of 50 people who are probably related to some degree and a nation of millions. At a certain point social pleasentries break down due to sheer numbers (this has actually been studied).

            Try living in a small town where everyone knows most of your doings and see how appealing that is. Even then people still seek their privacy, everyone needs a space of their own.

          • polama says:

            There was certainly private communication in a village of 50 people. Within your home, you could speak with another villager privately. If you wanted to have a tryst you could make excuses to be alone together, or just sneak out into the forest at night. And semi-anonymous public communication was even possible by starting rumors. “I heard Joe kicks puppies. No, no, I won’t tell you who told me, I don’t want to get them in trouble. But feel free to pass the news along”.

            Plus, the internet has a better memory than a village. Got drunk one night and chewed out a future village chief? 20 years later it’s more or less forgotten. But with a recorded internet, youthful indiscretions can be preserved in meticulous detail.

          • Summer Seale says:

            Ja! Ja! Und ve vould have special klohthing for more “acceptable” peeple and those who are not “acceptable” and purre! :)

            I agree with you: It’s a travesty, stupid, and actually I don’t see how they could do it without hiring a full time staff to enforce it like some sort of “Chinese” model.

            Also, it would make it terribly easy for predators to target victims (especially young ones)….think about all the crap that FB is going through because of that problem.

            But I’m not exactly sure anything like that would ever pass. Could you imagine a group of politicians voting *against* keeping their own private lives secret? One or two, yes…but democracies are comprised of far more than one or two politicians.

            Then again, I am certainly not educated in the Danish political system, so maybe it’s possible. I just have my doubts that it would be acceptable to a majority of the population and, again, a majority of politicians.

          • DarkFox says:

            “Then again, I am certainly not educated in the Danish political system, so maybe it’s possible. I just have my doubts that it would be acceptable to a majority of the population and, again, a majority of politicians.”

            Currently, the majority coalition is so panicked about looking like they’re doing something about terrorism, that I wouldn’t be surprised if it passed.

          • Rob says:

            Why don’t you ask Thomas Paine?

        • Anonymous says:

          What if you live in a country where what you are doing is illegal? What if you are a woman in Saudi Arabia and you want to anonymously upload a video of you driving a car to promote your cause, but you would prefer not to get arrested doing it?
          Eliminating privacy and anonymity have chilling effects on free speech. You seem to be trying to claim that those chilling effects would not be there if everyone’s dirty laundry were hanging out to dry. Sorry, no, you may still not want your wife to read your emails to your mistress, even if she knows about her even if you could know about her liaisons or non-liaisons.

    • Anonymous says:

      In a perfect world, I’d agree.

      However, the situation in denmark is as such:
      - 97% of all inquiries for information is approved by the courts.
      - At all police stations, there are at least one computer, that is always logged in on a generic login, that any officer can use to look up information. (“Because it takes too long to log in”)
      - The information is stored, not in a central police database, but by the ISP, who is trusted with storing and keeping the data safe.
      - The information is supposed to be deleted after a year, but time and time again, it has been shown that it isn’t. (It even got a politician in hot water, when a drunk-driving charge from when he was 20, was widely publicized, even though the case had expired more than 15 years before, and should have been deleted)

    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymity is a pillar of democracy. Without it, no democracy and no elections are possible.

    • Anonymous says:

      You visit a website organizing a peaceful anti-government policy demonstration. Police detain you before you can reach said lawful public protest or block the streets. That is OK?

      The immense potential for abuse and the my own countries thoroughly poor law enforcement make this intensely scary.

  23. Anonymous says:

    while we are at it, we need non-anonymous phoneboxes, cellphones and postal mail service.

  24. Freek says:

    It’s about your right to privacy and not being automaticly treated like a criminal for using the internet.
    You don’t need to declare all your action publicly or have anything be traced back to you.
    Not to mention that over reliance on such systems easely creates errors and injustices. People being arrested for accesing the wrong kind of site even though they never even did that. But the machine says so, so hey it must be true. Off to jail with you.

  25. Frank W says:

    Terrorism is now what Noam Chomsky called a “word with a technical meaning”. It means dissent.

  26. vmaldia says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some hackers were able to do something like “upload the videos of you masturbating, the photos of you having sex with your spouse, the details of your diaries, your children’s test-scores, and all the feedback you’ve ever received from a work supervisor? ” and make it look like the queen or president or whatever’s account was used

  27. Garst says:

    Why should citizens have to obied to stricter rules than the politicians that pass them? We know they lie all the time; how sure are we they are who they say they are? Do you even know what town your representative in congress/parliament/etc. claims to be a resident?

  28. felsby says:

    Ugh. Not proud of being danish today. Luckily, danish politicians and their minions are totally clueless about internet whereabouts. We hope for a silent death of this outrageous proposal.

    BTW, will they ban open unencrypted wifi as well?

  29. traalfaz says:

    It would be technically feasible to require people to be identifiable to their real world identities at all times, no matter what they’re doing. IDs while walking down the street. No telephone will work for you unless you have an RFID chip, and every call you make is logged and potentially recorded. This is no more than what they’re asking for here, and it would obviously be a help in fighting terrorism.

    So why can we use a telephone without end-to-end logging of who is on the call, what they say, and when it occurs? And GPS location, for that matter. It would help the fight against terrorism, and there’s no price too high to pay for that, right?

    (the above paragraph is mean to be sarcastic, for those of impaired ability to recognize that)

    • Anonymous says:

      “No telephone will work for you unless you have an RFID chip…”

      Or, alternatively: no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

      And I always thought the bible was a load of nonsense!

  30. Ugly Canuck says:

    Society suffers if there is no way to make anonymous complaints; people being what they are, the anonymity is an aid to honesty in complaints.

    If nobody complains, it doen’t get fixed.

    If there must be a name fixed to every complaint, the fear of suffering as a result of voicing an honest complaint will lead to fewer or no complaints, and things will get worse. Such may lead to people being in general unwilling to offer comments – and things which d should be op pointed out to other people don’t get pointed out, and again, things are worse than they could be.

    The police are correct: anonymity is the cloak and shield of the criminal,and to that precise extent is a social problem.

    But they have failed to notice and give the proper weight to the usefulness of anonymity in the sharing of information (like complaints), of information that people conducting operations of any kind find useful regardless of who precisely is voicing that information.

    They have not given due weight to the socially useful aspects of anonymity, never mind the privately useful (or should I say ‘comforting’?) aspects of it.

    I suppose the amphibious nature of the internet – for it is used both as a private tool, and a social resource – brings this split in the nature of anonymity (Is anonymity of word and action good for society, or bad for society? Why? Is it good for the individual, or bad? Why?) to the fore.

    Personally, I think that a good idea, or valuable information, remains so, regardless of whether or not a specific name can be attached to it.

    And bad ideas and valueless info also does so.

    I suppose that anonymity disturbs most those who wish to punish others for their words and action. Whether they are seeking to punish actual crime, or simply punish people that they disapprove of, is the real question, I think, when it comes to whether or not the anonymity is to be lessened for people.

    That is to say, the more you trust the police and their political masters not to abuse the powers granted them, the less problem you would have with this: but it is still a bad idea, insofar as the anonymity that encourages honesty of expression is lost to society.

    • Anonymous says:

      But [the police] have failed to notice and give the proper weight to the usefulness of anonymity in the sharing of information…

      Not so. See, for example, Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213 (1983), holding that a partially corroborated tip of an anonymous informant is probable cause for a search warrant.

      The police don’t want to eliminate anonymity, they just to decide when and to whom the privilege is granted.

    • Rob says:

      Personally, I think that a good idea, or valuable information, remains so, regardless of whether or not a specific name can be attached to it.

      And bad ideas and valueless info also does so.

      That’s not entirely true in practice. See “Argument from Authority”

    • Ugly Canuck says:

      I hasten to add that by “criminal” I mean quite specifically only conduct engaged in by a person and intended to cause harm, actual harm, (and NOT eg. “harm to the dignity of the State”) to other people; and not simply whatever the Government deems to be “criminal”.

      On that standard, very very little indeed of what is and can be done online is even capable of being classified as being criminal in nature.

      And so, the arguments for reducing internet anonymity must be stronger than those used, for example, in justifying street cams, which aim at reducing physical crimes of violence against persons and property.

  31. andrei.timoshenko says:

    Sorry to continue to spam the comment thread, but I think I just understood why some people are so strongly in favour of anonymity.

    Heretofore, the only group of people with the capabilities to track and verify identities was the government. Furthermore, the government could itself do this identity tracking anonymously. As a result, any decrease in anonymity for citizens meant an undesirable increase in the imbalance of power between government and citizens. This is obviously bad. Modern technologies, however, allow for things to be done differently, so perhaps we should reevaluate the fundamentals. What if everyone could always check up on (though not necessarily obtain all information about) what everyone else was doing, and had done before? What if no such check up could itself be hidden and anonymous?

    I’m not saying we should do this, but I do think it would be interesting to consider what if.

    • Anonymous says:

      Consider this, the first thing a totalitarian government seeks is total information about a person. You can’t revolt without some personal space. “Ah, I see that you like books about overthrowing corrupt rulers!”

      Sorry to make the usual comparison but I thought the Nazis lost and Soviet Union collapsed. It looks like their spirit lives on in Denmark.

    • flink says:

      Andrei,

      May I suggest that you read “Emerald Eyes,” “The Long Run,” and “The Last Dancer” by Daniel Keys Moran?

      The thing about an online identity is that it allows people to “reboot,” if you will, and move on. In my net time I have many pseudonyms. I drop a handle after 3-4 years, generally as my interests change and my online activities shift to different sites.

      Anyone who wants to can eventually find me via an IP address saved with a forum post. And you know what? I don’t usually mind. But there are often instances when I make political comments. For those I use a different handle, and I either use TOR or a pair of SSH tunnels to reach the site.

      There are often many things that a person feels strongly about and that a person will argue for. But if that person knew that his identity was available to any person with a little curiosity and a badge (or who had a few bucks to give to the badge wearer), the level of discourse on the net would be limited to trite exchanges about meatland weather.

      One need only look to the recent uprisings and government responses in many countries to see how important secure, anonymous communications is to stopping a repressive government. Other examples can be found in the Belgrade “Internet Revolution,” and in the many documents that have made their way to WikiLeaks.

      I may not agree that everything that ends up on WikiLeaks should be exposed, but I agree that there must be a way to shed the light of day on the dark places controlled by the the world’s many governments and controlling organizations.

      Governments are not controlled by their citizenry. Not any longer. There comes a time when a person is forced to say, “no more!”

      It’s very hard to hold a decent revolution if you can’t communicate and organize. It becomes even harder when you can’t broadcast cellphone videos of government troops firing into crowds.

    • Anonymous says:

      “What if no such check up could itself be hidden and anonymous?”

      And who would enforce such a law?

  32. Summer Seale says:

    Namen!

    Papiere!

    SCHNELL!!!!!

  33. Ugly Canuck says:

    Eh, imho the police have no business making the laws anyhow.

    Proposals like this one demonstrate why the executive power and the legislative power really ought to be kept at arm’s length from each other.

    It is simply too convenient, for the performance of the executive’s duties, to ignore the rights of the citizenry.
    So perhaps it would be best if the citizenry, in turn, ignored the executive’s requests for changes in legislation, absent a demonstration of a compelling and urgent need, for so radical a change.

  34. Ugly Canuck says:

    Maybe this story is being floated to distract the world from the bad taste left in everybody’s mouths from that recent Danish “marmite law” mis-understanding:

    http://www.metro.co.uk/news/864283-marmite-banned-in-denmark-because-it-has-too-many-vitamins

  35. watchout5 says:

    What’s going on in the comments here is hilarious. You’re arguing about a system that would be impossible to implement in any realistic sense (abstractly you could make it perfect, which is why when you type out the words you don’t laugh as hard as I am right now). Even if it were technically feasible to both force identifiable information to every internet action and safely store that information, the chances of bugs, glitches, or clever social engineering sending law enforcement on endless goose chases that would have no end approach infinity starting at day one. Look at what hackers do with the license plate cameras (steal government plates and run red lights), how long before a list of police officer’s internet ID’s are leaked and someone goes down to the library to download several GB of child porn under their name. How many innocent people do we throw in jail for the illusion of security? This wouldn’t make the internet anymore safe, it wouldn’t help identify anyone but the stupid criminals and it would easily complicate the matter of holding the right people to account for the laws a computer is telling the judge they broke. We lock people up for dumber reasons, but this would be just another win to the prison industry. I half expect next you’ll talk about how essential minimum sentencing for these crimes, cause if the machine says your guilty YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO DEFEND YOURSELF. The police just want more money, and what better way than to lock up people who don’t use the internet the way the government wants you to. Real security though? This wouldn’t stop a terrorist attack if it tried. Not a single one.

  36. kibbee says:

    I forsee a lot of wifi piggy-backing happening in the future. You can require identification from the person paying for the connection, but you can’t require that the person using the connection is using the correct, if any, identification. There’s a lot of people out there using no encryption at all on their network, and many using WEP for the sake of backwards compatibility. If if you have WPA2, you had better have a long password. Using the new GPUs, having a short password will have your password stolen in a very short time period.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I really hope this will end up in a huge backlash, that’ll overturn the already implemented logging laws (Which are: Who calls, texts, emails who and the end-point IPs of every 500th packet. All logged and stored by the providers).

  38. Anonymous says:

    I think that the problem is when private companies like Sony for example get rights, to see who is visiting any GeoHot website or Youtube channel, without any limits. Or when Apple is tracing every I-device, which have not updated to 4.3, like every Iphone 3G user, which is still getting traced. That is a problem!

  39. Anonymous says:

    some observations:

    1. I am wondering if people have read the article as it specifically says that the working group is talking about being able to identify who has used the internet from libraries and internet cafes. Sure you can upload videos of you masturbating in the public library but why would you be doing that?

    2. I used to work for the danish government and have been on my share of working groups, I doubt this is going anywhere.

    3. If the working group does put in a recommendation it will probably just be acknowledged and not acted on.

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